Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Funeral arrangements

Karena's funeral arrangements are as follows :-

Thursday 4th March :-
  • 11:15am - Private cremation at Easthampstead Park Crematorium (by invitation only due to space limitations).

  • 12:00 noon - Celebration and Remembrance of the life of Karena Claire Mackay at Kerith Community Church, Church Road, Bracknell. - All are welcome.
    Car parking is very limited at the church building and therefore we would request that it is reserved for family, elderly and disabled only. Local parking is available at the Charles Square Multi-Storey Car Park.
    There will be some light refreshments after the service - all are welcome to stay.
Karena's desire was that her family and friends were 'relaxed' at her funeral. It will be a very sad time with the heartache of loosing somebody who was so special and who we loved so much....but it will also be a time filled with hope and confidence in Karena's sure salvation and her resurrection to eternal life with the Lord Jesus. She is having a fabulous time right now !

Consequently, I will not wear a black tie to her funeral but will be colourful, and so will our children! I would like to invite you to do the same if you are comfortable with that - Karena was so colourful in life, let's be colourful too as we remember her life and celebrate her certain future. (If you feel more comfortable wearing black, please also feel free to do so).

Family flowers only please.

If you would like to make a voluntary donation in place of flowers, this can be done either online to Duchess of Kent House Charity, or by cheque made payable to Duchess of Kent House Charity but sent to AB Walker Funeral Directors (up to 4 weeks after the funeral date).

John 14:6 Jesus answered, "I am the way, and the truth and the life, nobody comes to the Father except through me"

Friday, 12 February 2010

Through gates of splendour....

Karena Claire Mackay
15.11.61 – 12.02.10

Ps 139:16 “All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be...”

Karena died at 8.00pm this evening - she went confidently into the presence of her saviour, Jesus.

I’m so privileged to have helped her on her final journey to her permanent home. She was a magnificent wife, an exceptional mum and she was my very best friend.

As a family we are totally devastated by our loss, but also full of assurance that she is with Jesus now where there is no pain, no suffering, no tears. We will see her again one day.

Appreciating your ongoing prayers for our family, and for her parents, sister and nephews for the coming days.

Funeral details will follow.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Almost home....

Karena's breathing has become significantly worse.
This afternoon we all gathered at her bedside. We have all said goodbye.
Her heart is still very strong though so she may even live for another day.
Looks like another sleepless night....
So the sleeping bags are out and we're camping here again.

Psalm 99:1 "The Lord reigns...."

Perhaps tomorrow's verse will be :
Job 1:21 "The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;may the name of the Lord be praised"

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Waiting for Glory....

So Sunday's DVD night came and went. The nurse told me then that Karena's breathing was quite variable and that she may well die in the night. I lay awake for most of the night just listening to my wife breathing in the peace of the room. I talked to her quite a lot and snuggled close to her, telling her what a wonderful wife she is to me and what a magnificent mother she is to our children. I was pretty gushy to be honest through the long hours of the one point in the early hours I was talking and crying close to her, she lifted her legs and her arms both together and made a gentle noise. She truly could hear what I was saying - it was a moment that will always stay with me. Actually knowing Karena, she may have been saying "Do stop, I'm trying to sleep!" ;-) She's such a babe !

Yesterday morning, the nurse told me her breathing had stabilised and she may live another couple of days; as her heart is still very strong (emotionally as well as medically I reckon!)
Monday night was quiet : just me and Karena together, just like the old days! She was restful and peaceful through the night.
So today is another day....and my strength is renewed...let's see what it holds....

Isaiah 40:28-31
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Laughter and tears....

Karena has now lapsed into unconsciousness....but we are told that she can still hear us so we have been chatting to her and reminiscing at her bedside over some of the crazy things we have done as a family. There's been some tears but also some laughter at some of the things we have recalled.
It's very peaceful beside her; and I can only conclude that the Lord has her cradled in His arms, ready to take her home.
We have all said goodbye, and told her that she is free to go with our blessing as soon as it's time.
The Lord will call her home quite soon now.
In the meantime it's sleepover night again so the DVD is on and the sleeping bags are out.....

Psalm 62:1-2
My soul finds rest in God alone;
my salvation comes from Him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation
He is my fortress, I shall never be shaken

Friday, 5 February 2010

Scared about today ?

No, I don't think so......

Luke 24:1-6 "On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, "Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; He has risen!....."

1Cor15:54-55 "...Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where o death is your victory? Where o death is your sting?"

Phil 1:21 "For me, to live is Christ, to die is gain"

Deut 33:27 "The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.."

Karena's condition is worsening day-by-day. Her breathing through the night seemed really very shallow (I didn't sleep very well !!). Had another jolly good cry this morning.

It won't be long now before she meets Jesus face-to-face. Knowing Karena, my guess is that she will run into his arms at full speed......

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

A change for the worse.....

Well, not sure what to write really.....whenever you think it's bad, it gets worse !

Yesterday Karena had some energy and was on form for at least a few hours in the day, and she slept really well last night. Today however she has had very little energy and has been sleeping for 80%+ of the time. It seems like a sudden drop in energy levels just within a day. It's very tough even though the medics told us this would happen! So whilst the children saw her after school and all evening, she didn't have a lot of beans to be able to interract much with them.

Appreciating your ongoing prayers for seems like another step change for the worse.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Quick update....

Karena continues to deteriorate medically. She is again weaker and sleeping a lot more. Today she has slept most of the day, only waking for her shower and for a half hour or so (until 5pm that is - hopefully this evening she will have some more beans). This is how the doctors are expecting that she will finish her days - just drifting off quietly into increasing sleep until she breathes her last breath....
....on the other side of the coin tho.....
Karena continues to improve spiritually. She is stronger in her faith & confidence, and has increasing expectation of the future as her earthly days draw to an end. After her last breath she will step into the presence of the Lord of Glory and will be transformed for ever.

Last night at about 10pm, we were serenaded (just the two of us) by a great family friend with his guitar - we listened to some and sang along to some - "O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder...Then sings my soul my saviour God to great thou art...." was one classic which we sang together. It was very special, if not somewhat tear laden at times !

Tonight - guess what??? - Yes, it's sleepover time (again).....this time the children are bringing their duvets as the camp beds are apparrently not comfortable enough so they need extra cushioning. Very soon, most of our posessions will be in the hospice !

Stuff I'm grateful for today -
  • My wife who continues to be a source of inspiration to me (I am still finding new things out about her !)
  • Precious family moments
  • The privilege of walking side by side with my wife en route to the gates of glory
  • Friends and family who are by our side
  • The care that Karena has experienced at Duchess of Kent hospice which is exceptional
  • Chocolate
Stuff to pray for -
  • Peace for our entire family and an ongoing sense of being carried by God through the toughest of circumstances
  • Continued expectation to grow in Karena's heart of meeting the Lord face-to-face
  • Karena to continue to be pain-free