To share or not to share, that is the question…

What are the boundaries of blogging?

I mean- this is my blog.  I want to share the things that I care about. I love to paste my photos up here, even if they are only beginner level photography. I love to talk about travel, even if I do not get to travel anywhere at the moment. I love to talk about cooking, even if I would fall out in the first challenge in Masterchef.  I like to be challenged to do the Daily Post whenever I can find the time. And I am amazed that about 100 people choose to read my blog every day.

Tonight I am really having a hard time. Do I post on my blog, or not? Do I only entertain, or can my blog cover the whole spectrum of emotion. It is easy to talk about the good times and the beautiful things. And nobody would like to follow a blog that is always moaning and groaning about life’s negative things.

I am a pastor. I would never break the trust that people places in me, by telling their stories here. I would never want to harm or hurt anyone, ever, on this blog.  Maybe a few South African politicians could do with a nice “klap”.  (Any South African can comment on what that means…)

If  I told you that I held a newborn baby this morning, it would be ok. Nobody would feel offended, we would all wish the parents well.  I wish that is what happened this morning. But I experienced the complete opposite of that.

I deleted the next paragraph.

OK- let’s not leave it hanging in the air… I went to visit an elderly lady this morning, who lives alone. She told me about a lot of pain, and the next moment she had a massive heart attack. She died right in front of my eyes in less than 2 seconds… I then had to call the doctor and the undertakers, and help to remove her body. I have been in the Army. I have been at quite a lot of deathbeds. But today- it bowls me over completely.

I am not OK tonight…

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60 thoughts on “To share or not to share, that is the question…

  1. I’m totally convinced God leads us places we need to be when we need to be there, and today I needed to read this particular post.
    One of my dear friends lost a son to an overdose last week…he was in a coma and brain dead but it took a week to assess it for certain.. We’ve had the worst week of our recent lives since his OD,, and I’ve started to blog about it every day since it happened, but somehow couldn’t. Instead I wrote about other non-controversial subjects as if everything was A-ok.
    I don’t know what the answer is. I appreciated reading your honest account of the elderly lady dying in your presence, and know how hard that was to do. As humans, we want to minimize our struggles and not burden others but sometimes they really ARE too heavy to handle alone. Your post is a wonderful reminder of this, and I thank you for it.

  2. You know Pastor, this is exactly why I so enjoy visiting your site. It is exactly why I loved reading your whole experience along the Way in Spain. You are a human just like we are. I understand your emotions, your pain and your triumph. I am not a preacher but grew up in the ‘Church’. My mother was a Minister, so were/ are two of my uncles. My Faith is firm, even though I don’t go to church too often it is when I read your blog that I am often left saying thank you to the Almighty… just because I enjoyed reading your posts.

    I do enjoy reading your posts about the more unpleasant sides of life. The suicide one not too long ago… the one where you took water to the township… the posts where you wonder about your future… again I say, you are human and like me, I think you wear your heart on your sleeve yet you have never denied your Faith or your God!

    All I can do is say thank you for the inspiration and thank you that you follow your heart! I will say a few words of prayer for you, it cannot be easy to have to deal with all the aspects of your ministry, it cannot be easy to deal with the turmoils of life in a hectic South Africa. I wish and pray for strength for you, your family and your congregation. Just keep serving the Lord in your way… your work leads more to Him… you will be rewarded, both here on earth and in Heaven.

    I look forward to your visit to Ireland. If your wife and family are prepared to spare you for a few hours I’d love to go walk a few kilometers with you. Maybe then you can pray for me and my family too… we will be blessed to have you for a braai! God bless you all!!

  3. Death is never easy and such a sudden one at that must be even harder. No amount of army training can prepare you for this (I know, my husband served for 24 years). I hope in time you will come to terms with this sudden demise of this lady and realize that you were meant to be there, the reasons of which may not be revealed to you for a while, if ever.

  4. Maybe in time you will see that that experience was a blessing in disguise, both for you and the woman. I hope you feel more centered soon and that you may know that you most likely were where you were supposed to be.

  5. Ai ai ai! Vandag is my moed so laag in my skoene, maar dit wat jy moes ervaar, is bitter baie erger. Wens ek kon ook net iewers saam met jou ‘n koppie koffie gaan drink en oor mooi dinge in die lewe gesels. baie drukkies en groete by die huis ((()))

  6. Saying a prayer for you. As a fellow blogger who shares everything I am giving you permission to do so as well. Share all the emotions. Life is beautiful but sometimes there are dark clouds and we weather the storms…but when the rain is gone there is a rainbow!

  7. I’m so sorry to hear this story Rider. Life has ups and downs, thank you for being honest enough to share both with us. It means a lot. I hope tomorrow is a better day. *hugs*

    • Thanks Georgia- Saturday will be much better, then I am marrying our youth pastor to the girl of his dreams… despite a generation gap we are great friends, and I am looking forward to it immensely!

    • Dit klink nou na ‘n wenner! Maar ek het Saterdag ‘n troue, en moet vroeg al help- my dogter is die fotograaf, haar eerste troue… so ek gaan nogal rondhol. Wat van Sondag na kerk?

    • THanks! I experienced it, I tried to go to her the day before, but it just did not work out. Then she would have been alone yesterday morning, and that is a very scary thought for me…

  8. Ditto everything above…
    The blogosphere is over full with images of fluffy bunnies and ‘nice’ pictures of flowers (guilty as charged am I on that score) – of course it is right to share your troubles as well as your delights; that’s what makes you human and why we follow your blog (you can easily tell the lame duck bloggers from the ‘real people posting about their very real lives’).
    As for your parishioner, she was blessed to pass with you there. My belief system is different, but we all follow the same big fella, and I know I would want someone like your good self there to guide me on my final journey. I held my late wife in my arms as she passed. It was her final request, and I felt incredibly honoured; I still do, even to this day (some cannot understand that).
    The hard part is that she has passed, you helped, and now you are the one left with the residual pain. You are more experienced than most of us in this area, so you know it will pass in time, but please, never apologise for sharing that you are human.
    Spike

  9. Baie sterkte. Dit moes baie traumaties gewees het. Maar ek glo ook dat die Here jou op die regte tyd na haar toe laat gaan het. As jyu twyfel, gaan spreek iemand,m want hierdie is ‘n post-traumatiese stres moontlikhied

    • Dankie seegogga! Gelukkig het ek self ook al Post Traumatiese Stress Opleiding gehad, en het ‘n paar goeie vriende rondom my- die enigste ding wat maar help is om aan te hou praat daaroor totdat dit van die amygdala na die hippokampus toe geskuif het… dankie vir die omgee!

  10. I think that the more involved a job is with people, the more difficult that job becomes. For doing what you do you have my deepest respect.

  11. You should always share. This community is strong, accepting, forgiving and very very helpful – at least that’s what I’ve seen. We may not want a constant stream of woe, but there’s no reason for you to sugarcoat life for our benefit. I would think the woman was glad that you were there for her, I don’t think she would mind your sharing that experience.

  12. There can’t be happiness without sadness, so I think it’s actually a nice thing for one to include a wide array of emotions in his/her blog. Plus, that helps make blogging a good conduit for compassion, right?

    Thank you for sharing, but I’m really very sorry you had to experience something like that! It must have been really draining to deal with. I hope you can find some solace, though, in knowing that you made that woman’s departure much less scary and lonely.

  13. Praying for you. A very good friend of mine died very suddenly in front of her husband as our pastor was on his way. The pastor still hasn’t forgiven himself for not driving that little bit faster. Think what a blessing you were to that lady. She was not alone when she passed away and she had you right there to pray for her and do what was needed. Psalm 73:25-26

    • Thanks Amanda! I tried to see her yesterday, but she was not answering her phone. It was meant to be that I would be there this morning at 11:50. We had such a good conversation when death suddenly arrived…

  14. Ek is bly dat jy dit met ons gedeel het. Dis asof dit beter word as ‘n mens daaroor kan praat. Dit is altyd maar ‘n moeilike tydjie om deur te gaan , maar weet dat die Here jou altyd weer sal krag gee om voort te gaan. Baie sterkte! Aletta

  15. You were obviously a safe person for her to die with you present. I’m sorry you are not feeling good right now. You know it will pass. I wish I could give you a hug and I would just let you talk or be silent and just be. Much love and energy is being sent your way today!!! (or night).

  16. I’m sorry you’re not doing well today. I think that just conveying that you are struggling is sufficient when it involves information about others. I hope things improve with the situation that has you down.

  17. Rider, I have been a pastor for 15 years, and am now a personal development coach. I guess I’m just a different sort of pastor really. I know the feeling well and it is not nice. Generally when I’m coaching I can stay free, but there are the times when a woman describes how she was raped by four men in a caravan at the age of 17, or the bloke who sat weeping about hearing his dad beat his mum when he was a kid.
    There are no easy answers and no ‘best’. Just have a weep yourself, maybe, or go for a good walk – or ride – and get an early bath and bed.
    Love to you – and those dear parents – Andrew Sercombe at Powerchange.

  18. Ek is baie jammer dat die vandag nie lekker gaan nie! Meeste dae is dit egter jou blog wat my laat besef dat daat nog goeie mense op onse aarde is. Ek hoop jy voel gou beter.

    Groete

    Johan

  19. OK- let’s not leave it hanging in the air… I went to visit an elderly lady. She told me about a lot of pain, and the next moment she had a massive heart attack. She died right in front of my eyes in less than 2 seconds… I then had to call the doctor and the undertakers, and help to remove her body. I have been in the Army. I have been at quite a lot of deathbeds. But today- it bowls me over completely.

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