The End came.

After a short struggle with cancer, Dad (Peter Hanscamp) went to be with the Lord, and with Mum, this morning at about 9am.

We have so much to say about our wonderful Dad and Opa – but struggle to find words at this time. For now we want to say how privileged we were to be his children and grandchildren. We also honour Dad for his faith which was deep and shared widely, and his testimony to God’s faithfulness over many years.

We have been deeply grateful for all the love, support and prayers offered during these weeks.

Renata, Nigel & Rebecca, Letitia and Jacinta

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Out of Control but fully human to the end

(A conversation with myself during the red-eye shift with Dad in hospice)

Young hand holding old hand

1.

If I were in control of this, it would not be this hard.
People wouldn’t have to watch this.
And there wouldn’t be long nights of watching, listening, wondering if this breath is the last.

2.

If I were in control, dying would not …

Would not what?
Be so final?
So hard?
So uncomfortable?
Like the homeless people I want off the street, so I don’t have to see another human being’s reality?
Like the schizophrenic woman who had an episode in the shop yesterday (‘they’ shouldn’t be in the community)?
Like the images of Syrian refugees carrying their belongings for miles or on boats, that make me want to change channels?

Dying is hard, and its part of being human.
Deeply, personally, sobbing-in-the-middle-of-the-night human.

Human to the core. Human to the … to the end.

3.

If I were in control …
But isn’t that the point (if there needs to be a point)?
I’m not (in control)
Dying is the ultimate in being out of control.

4.

If I were in control, I wouldn’t get a chance to say the words of love, to do the acts of care, to cry the tears of grief over and over and over.
If I were in control I would not have spent most of last night listening to the breathing of the man who taught me
how precious life and living is.
If I were in control,
I would not be here, learning to let go.

5.

If I were in control … I would miss this part of being fully human,

to the end.

 

Daffodils, a clock and Dad

From where I sit, I can see daffodils in a vase on the table.
On the wall is a clock in brass and walnut.
Between them is Dad – resting with the help of medication pumped into his body, a body riddled with cancer and grief.
Daffodils
There are daffodils in a vase on the table.
Like Dad, they
    Speak life and delight to many people
    A sign of spring and new life
    A pointer to hope and a Maker who uses vibrant colours
    (“Consider the daffodils”, to paraphrase a wise man)
.
On the wall is a clock in brass and walnut.
It’s a Family Heirloom which speaks of generations and history.
Dad’s story will soon become part of the story of the clock
    Moments in history.
    Hours in study and prayer.
    Days working to provide for a family.
    Years of proving (again and again) the faithfulness of the One present in all time.
.
Daffodils, a clock and Dad.
Kairos and Chronos in the picture:
Time in minutes, a life time of moments.