The Empty Chair

The empty chair.

A number of you have asked how we are doing.  I guess the answer is ‘we are getting there’.  It’s been a whirlwind couple of months, our lives are forever changed.

We have been trying to move on – whatever that means …  trying to cope with the changes in our lives.  Most of the time we have been trying to distract ourselves from the reality of the situation … the fact that our baby is gone… she is not just staying the night at nana’s place for a bit, but actually not here anymore, somewhere else, only God knows…

Kezi is in heaven with Jesus’ we say to Pet and Zach, but what does that really mean… only God knows…  Distraction has come as a blessing, time to do other things, to spend time with ourselves, to go away from this house… where most of our lives have been with Kez for the last couple of years.   Distraction works while away, on holiday, in a different zone, mentally and physically, however wherever we go… Kez is not there…  There is always an empty chair… at the table, at the park, at the beach… a missing set of footprints running along… a missing chatter from the back of the car… a missing song… a missing voice…  It is agonising the continual void, the space that has now replaced her body… our journey has changed so much and it hurts now more than ever.

We have just come back from a week away up north, a magnificent place to stay, and wonderful times at the beach.  One day we took a journey, somewhere we had never been before, I had a chance to pop to the beach by myself, a time alone, a break from others for a few moments, then it hit all over again… I looked up and down the deserted beach, not a soul as far as I could see, I waded into the ocean, and a thought came into my mind… ‘what would Kez be doing’… I well knew, she would be running as fast as she could into the wind along the deserted beach, she had done that so many times, we have her on video running so far that she almost disappeared from view it was so far away… not this beach, not this day, not today…  I wrote in the sand ‘daddy loves Kezia’ and tears welled in my eyes and heart.

It is so hard, we are home to a quiet house, and things are becoming so normal.  We want to move on, but does that mean we lose our baby? …  is moving on just trying to forget, or trying to remember… either way it hurts.  People talk about steps through grief, then they say everyone is different… I guess none of them have lost their baby because from what I know it’s more about a hard time than grieving, more about remembering than forgetting, so really only God can know the loss of a child like me… because each situation is so different, each love so unique, each baby so precious to their daddy.

I recall the first message at church after Kez was diagnosed, Sam was giving the message, he spoke about giving God our precious … I cried throughout the whole message, as if I had a glimpse of what God had planned.  Because if we hold onto something too hard, if we love something more than our focus on God … maybe God will use that to help us grow, or to help others grow.  So why can’t it just happen to someone else, so I can hear their message, read their story and learn from them, I guess we decided a long time ago that we wanted to serve God, to serve his purpose, to be his servants on this earth.  Sometimes I wish we hadn’t, maybe it could have been someone else…

Yes, sure, don’t get all depressed on my behalf, I am trying to work through something, and I know a lot of you are too.  Throughout all of this adventure God has been good to us; we have been blessed in more ways than I can explain now.  It gets to a point where I feel it’s time to share.

Please don’t forget what is important in this life, the one thing we will all run out of is time.  I keep thinking ‘if only I knew that it was going to happen that day… I would have done things so differently’  the last things I did with Kez in the days leading up to her leaving were times I will never forget… I got to take her for a walk around the block, I took her to the playground, but she didn’t want to swing, I took her to the shop, she wanted a new necklace, but the shop was closed, we went around another block because she didn’t was to go home quite yet, every time she spoke I could not hear her properly so I had to stop and crouch down to chat with her… such a precious time.  I am so thankful for each of the little moments spent with her, but always wish for more.

I see children the same age as Kez and realise that we will see them grow up… but not our baby… I looked into the eyes of a beautiful little friend of Kez last week at church, the eyes of a beautiful little lady, eyes full of life, eyes with a hunger for life, eyes so wide and intent of conquering this world, eyes so beautiful.  I have the knowledge that I will see this little girl grow up, compete at sports, win awards, finish school, find a handsome prince, get married, have her own babies, see a life long and full.  I know Kez’s loving little friend who had already experienced so much life with Kez… she won’t be there to share a life of girly adventures together …

After Kez left I was rushing around the house trying to find any little drawing, little picture, any little toy or treasure that she had held, looking through every photo, every piece of video, looking for her…  there will be no new moments, no special cuddles, no little tickles …. not for a while…. I miss you beautiful Kez.

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5 Responses to The Empty Chair

  1. Cherie Moran says:

    Hi Adrian and Rebecca
    As I read your “the empty chair” I saw your words about grief being more about remembering than about stages and you are so right. We are learning (as counsellors) how very much more important the memories are rather than the “stages” – who cares what stage they are at when they are sad and just wanting to hold close the memories. It is those memories that you will take with you for ever. “Moving on” seems to be more about what others expect of us than what we ourselves want to do. You can only take each day as it comes and there will be good days and better days, bad days and worse days but one day you will come to the end of a day and smile at a happy memory knowing what a gift Kez was in your lives and how much she still is. God bless you as you walk and talk and live each day and may he carry you through the days that are too hard to think about! love Cherie

  2. Sarah says:

    Dear Adrian and Becs,
    What a beautiful, moving post! I cannot begin to know the sorrow you must be feeling. Kezia was such a beautiful girl, and was taken so young. But although we all have our beliefs, having lost my father to cancer last November, I can’t believe they are truly gone – only in a different place. I wanted to share a reading which had a lot of meaning to me.

    I am standing upon the seashore.
    A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze
    and starts for the blue ocean.

    She is an object of beauty and strength.
    I stand and watch her until at length
    she hangs like a speck of white cloud
    just where the sea and sky come
    to mingle with each other.

    Then someone at my side says;
    “There, she is gone!”

    “Gone where?”
    Gone from my sight. That is all.
    She is just as large in mast and hull
    and spar as she was when she left
    my side and she is just as able to
    bear her load of living freight
    to her destined port.
    Her diminished size is in me,
    not in her.

    And just at the moment when someone
    at my side says, “There, she is gone!”
    There are other eyes watching her
    coming, and other voices ready
    to take up the glad shout;
    “Here she comes!”

    And that is dying.

    I really do believe that like my father, Kezia is with God, happy and without pain. Full of smiles and laughter, and you WILL see her again.

    Thinking of you, with love,

  3. karen brown says:

    A beautiful piece of writing … a beautiful little girl.
    There are no words to express the is far bigger and one hundred times more painful than we can verbalise.
    My heart goes out to you as life will never be the same. Grief is the price we pay for loving. Your little girl was truly loved.
    May peace come one day.

    Karen . ( Tauranga)

  4. Jenn Prendeville says:

    Dear Adrian and Becs,
    You are truly inspirational .Even in your pain you share of yourselves with those around you . My heart, thoughts and prayers have been with you both ever since that shocking day in January.The day I believed, that for such a beautiful family, would never come. The intensity and purity of you love for Kezi , seems now to exacerbate the void at her absence. Its a grief that only the two of you and God can ever really understand Please. Take good care of each other and cling to that precious love… its your life line .
    As far as moving on …well Kezi will always be in your life, in your heart in your thoughts each and everyday. she’s as much a part of you as your breath and she lives on in your love which is constant , strong and will always remain .She was and still is your special gift from God.
    So moving on …well.?. my prayer for you all is that within the bitter sweet memories , as time passes, the sadness of the empty chair and unfulfilled dreams ,will fade….so allowing the lessons of love and zest for life that Kezi brought into your world to flow down freely to all around you but especially to each other, Petra and Zac .
    God will bless you richly through them and multiple your joy again one day . Karen (from Tauranga) said it so well “grief is the price we pay for loving . Your beautiful little girl was truly loved ” and peace will come someday …..healing will flow ….it will slowly ebb in between each heartfelt sob , prayer and cry …
    Until then take good care of each other, be gentle on yourselves and may there be more good days than bad. as your journey forward towards the future .
    I know God has holds you in the palm of His hand
    may He bless you richly



  5. Simone @Greatfun4kids says:

    Adrian, I just read this today, so many months after you wrote it, and it wrenched my heart.
    I just wanted to let you know that you guys are not forgotten, even thought it might feel like the rest of the world is “business as usual” while you are still facing the empty chair.

    Many thoughts and hugs from

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