Loss & Tragedy

I haven’t written for a while because I have been knocked by a family tragedy. My 28-year-old nephew died nearly two weeks ago after battling cancer for 2 years. I am devastated for my sister and family and shocked at his death.

The last couple of weeks I have thought a lot about Jack’s death. I cried out to God both before he died and after. The senselessness of it leaves me empty and sad. It seems unreal, unbelievable and yet I know it is all too real, too painful and desperately sad.

My mind reels at what it must be like to have your son ripped from you. The emptiness and pain. How do you cope with something like this? I have experienced loss and pain in my life; but nothing on this scale. It gives me the merest glimpse at the suffering. I know for me one thing that always seemed so strange was the way the world carried on around me as normal when my life had been ripped apart. I felt like shouting at the passing laughing crowds, ‘don’t you know what pain I am in?’

In the movie ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral,’ one of the characters reads from a poem by WH Auden, where he expresses that feeling of the futility of life after the death of a loved one. Anyone who has suffered loss will understand that feeling.

We think of grief as a word or a feeling; but it is so much more powerful than that. Grief is the way we summarise the complete transformation that lives undergo after the death of someone close. Grief expresses, pain, sadness, that physical blow to the stomach we feel, that great yawning gap in our very centre, the tears that won’t end, the darkness, the nights of loneliness, the disbelief, the anger, that feeling all is now pointless. Grief is a word that tries to capture so much, yet misses so much. How can we really express what it feels like to lose a son? How do we use a word to express the loss of a loved one.

I know that there is a God and he loves us. But that doesn’t stop me crying out to him a loud and painful, ‘why?’ I know that there is life beyond this one. But that doesn’t take away the pain of loss in this life. I don’t understand why, I don’t have all the answers. But I still turn to God because he does have the answers. He is big enough to take me shouting at him. He understands our pain. There is hope and a future however much we are hurting now. It is in that I rely and put my trust. In the depth of my despair I cry out to God.

I’ve been banned

See the email from their CEO no less, although he got my name wrong:


Dear Mr Neblin,

Regarding your FarceBook account, we are being forced to ban you. We do not take such an action lightly and it is always a sadness to us. But your actions have forced our hand. The following is a detailed breakdown of our reasons:

1/ Your post entitled ‘Prettify me’ has caused widespread issues; in my household. My wife still insists I purchase one of your make believe masks. No amount of explanation will satisfy her. She cannot be the only person taken in by your false claims and bogus web site. FarceBook will no longer tolerate ‘false news’ and misleading claims. Especially ones which cause me personal difficulty. Although if you do have a mask you could send me, I would appreciate it. Just let me know and I’ll send you the size and requirements (I want one of the electro active ones please). This will of course not affect our decision as the matter is very serious.

2/ Your post ‘Don’t be Elfish’ regarding elves living in Echo devices may well have caused you much hilarity. But there are people writing to me on a regular basis saying that they no longer feel safe in their houses as they are convinced they are being watched. I understand that a new branch of psychiatry has had to be developed called Post Elf Trauma (PET) and people suffering from this need to receive a lot of comfort and reassurance. I was also distressed to receive a representation from the prime minister of Iceland, (who is a close personal friend). She does not wish their country to be known as the home of smart device squatters.

3/ The CEO of Amazed has also contacted me due to an urgent issue with our countries President. Geoffrey also wants me to block your blogs. It seems that our President thought foreign agents had infiltrated smart devices at The White House with listening bugs codenamed ELVES. He has ordered a wide scale witch hunt of everyone involved in the manufacture, purchase, installation and recommendation of these devices and he is recommending to the American people that they boycott these devices. Amazed are not happy with the expected drop in sales and directly blame you. Although they did want me to pass on their thanks for your ongoing custom and hope you are happy with their service.

4/ A large contingent of Americans of Scottish descent have camped outside my office for the last few weeks. They play bagpipes day and night and insist I take action or they will force feed me porridge with salt and no sugar! If it was not a breach of data laws, I would send them to your home. From what I gather they were not happy with the way you portrayed the Scottish people in your latest blog ‘Polite midges.’ You seem to have an unhappy knack at alienating whole nations. I have not read this particular blog myself, but I gather you suggested that Scottish midges may be more belligerent than English ones. You may have a point judging by their actions. I would be curious what characteristic you would give American midges? Although I have no wish to guess.

5/ Your blog ‘Hooped Skirts’ made the outrageous suggestion that everyone should wear hooped skirts as a social distance device! Now I am not a scientist, but I do not believe this would be a very effective method. Out of pure curiosity I did try it out at home and found these large skirts unwieldy and difficult to wear. It should be remembered that I have a rather large house so it’s unclear how it would work in smaller houses as I bumped into the furniture many times while attempting to walk around. My wife also commented that I looked foolish, which I did think was a bit harsh. I suppose if I had wanted to try the idea out longer term, I would not have chosen a pink frilly skirt with yellow bows on. But you never made any recommendations in your blog about such things.

On a final personal note, I am disappointed in you. After all the complaint letters and legal letters which should have acted as warnings, that you have carried on blogging regardless. I sincerely hope that we can welcome you back into our happy family in the future, but meanwhile you are banned from using FarceBook.

Mike Zulenberg CEO

P.S. if you are able to supply a mask for my wife, could you also supply a larger size one for me. I wear them lose around the jaw. I also like the look of the electro active ones.

FarceBook, Womenhi Park, PA 8000, USA

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