Seeing The Beauty In The Pain

Because I don’t have my techie with me anymore and I can’t log on under my log in, I have to log in under Martin. With Martin slowly disappearing in the 3D, I don’t mind. It feels like we’re still working together.

I was mentioning to a friend recently that even through all the pain, there is beauty not only to be witnessed, but to be captured. You just have to be willing to see it, even in the most traumatic of times.

A rough day but a beautiful moment

I was able to do it with Andrew through his illness and passing, as hard as it was. I was right when I told my Muck that when we got out of the hospital, we would only remember the good times, and he agreed. And honestly, to this day it is the funny, tender, intimate moments I remember the most. Not the pain and trauma. It’s not like I don’t remember that too, but I just CHOOSE to focus on the beautiful moments amongst the trauma. I’m just sorry I didn’t get more pictures or videos of my boy, but smart phones weren’t a big thing back then. Actually I’m not even sure if they were even a thing back in 2007.

I did capture many moments of Martin when things were getting tough. When I realized he was going to pass, I did get video of him breathing so I could always hear him breathe whenever I wanted. I had a family member take video of me giving a talk to the staff at hospice after he passed. Since no one else in the family was up for giving a wee speech before Martin was brought to his sister’s for the wake, I did it, it’s my thang apparently. I stood beside his coffin and talked to the staff and thanked them for their kindness and that what they do matters so much! That what they do is not just a job but definitely a true calling. They are true Earth Angels!

I also apologized that they didn’t get to see just how magnificent Martin was because they really missed out on getting to know his quick wit, sense of humor and kindness. Like Andrew, he would have made each one of them feel special.

I took pictures of him and I, and the pain on my face as I said my REAL FINAL last good bye to him and my last kiss with him before the undertakers took my husband to the church. These pictures are just for me.

It broke my heart to see my mother-in-law, Nancy’s face when she walked into the room and saw her son for the first time in the coffin. I stood behind her and hugged her, as we were both grieving mothers now. While I was never her favorite person, no one was good enough for her wee son in typical Derry, Irish mum style, we shared a tender moment as mothers. I knew that I now held a special place in her heart and it only took 43 years! LOL Yes it was painful, but tender and loving none the less. I will cherish that moment until I see her again.

I took video of Martin being carried to the hearse, into the house, from the house and into the church. I did this so people around the world that love Martin could feel like they were there. Plus it helps me fill in the blanks of things I have forgotten.

When I think of the moment when Martin passed, as devastated as I was and still am, it was incredibly intimate and beautiful. I wrote about it in the last blog post.

When Martin was leaving Florida to come to N Ireland for cancer treatment, I had my daughter, Elatia capture my last hug and kiss with my husband before he left. I didn’t know if I would ever see him again and I wanted what could be our last moment together captured. She beautifully caught my pain. 

At Andrew’s first Angelversary on Laguna Beach in California, Elatia caught the beautiful moments that were shared between Andrew’s girlfriend Jourdan, and I as we cried together while we wrote our letters to Andrew.

Elatia also caught a beautiful moment between his young friend Daniel and his mother as she hugged him while he cried. Elatia also caught a moment between Martin and I that I recently found. Through the pain, the love and beautiful moments shined through.










With my mother-in-law’s recent passing, just 3 months after Martin, we were all there as she made her transition. It was very sacred and intimate, like Martin’s, and all I could see was the love, even through the tears and pain. I know she hated all of us being there watching her pass while loving on her. Too bad Nancy! We just love ya too much not to be there when you physically leave us!

I whispered in her ear, “I know you loooooove me!” I know while I could feel her laughing, she also wanted to pimp slap me! I also told her to give OUR boyz a hug and a slap from me!

The same for the wake and funeral, as painful as it was, what out shined the pain for me was the immense love we all had for Nancy and each other.

It was an honor to witness and be apart of it. I helped carry Nancy to the hearse along with her daughters, my sisters. After 43 years and what we have been through together, they are my sisters and not sisters in law anymore.

I was able to witness amazing, beautiful, tender moments between family members that truly touched my heart, like seeing my nephew in with his granny softly singing to her. Probably a song they sang together when he was a kid. Thinking of it now brings tears to my eyes still. Or me and a few of my nieces and nephews playing a quiz game in with Granny, funny enough, no one wanted her on their team. After awhile no one wanted me on their team either because I was as good at the game as Granny was. We were there playing until their mothers kicked us out so they could be alone with their Mum.

I think about a story a friend shared with me awhile ago as her father was passing, and how the family stood around her father’s bed taking turns telling their favorite story of him, and also sang to him. It was just so beautiful to hear.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had my fill of wakes and funerals within 3 months this year, the emotions are so intense. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’m done with them. When you have a big Irish family with ageing relatives, wakes and funerals are a part of your life for a wee while.

But when you have to go through these experiences, you have a choice on what you can focus on, the pain or the beauty and love. I suggest you focus on the love, and look for the beauty even in the most painful of human experiences, which I had the good fortune to experience. *insert sarcasm here.* You’ll be glad you did, for those are the memories you will reflect on with fondness and feel the love again, because as my boyz say, Only Love Is Real!

It’s All Good!



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