Tag Archives: #loss

Just do it. Go.


Sometimes, life makes you want to throw your arms up in the air in full f%*# it all!

Cue in time to get lost … in a feisty swim under a sun flecking through warming water, yoga on the beach to salute the sun at dawn or a tear along the Great Ocean Road on the back of a bike. Sometimes just being with a friend that lets you blurt out a chain of rants and holds you when distress is too great for your shoulders or sitting with one of those gangly kids who seem so disinterested in anything seriously adult but that care more deeply than you realise, can help the blood reduce its boil.

And generally, within a few pounding heart beats or slamming round-kicks to the punching bag, that little whisper begins to be heard, ‘do whatever makes you happy.’

We lost a dear uncle last night after he suffered a second heart attack, the first being at home before being air lifted to hospital. Easy to write that he’s passed, much more difficult to express the loss. I cried of course, in streaming tears, while I tried to think through my exam document and interviews and battling a virus, even while preparing dinner. Cooking’s always a reflecting time. A gentle man, caring, and the other half to my aunt, he was her doctor she would say, having to insert drops into her eyes every day. I saw him as the quiet achiever, always busy in the basement or outside, shifting wood for the heater and taking food scraps to the compost, even in sub zero temperatures, watching, always smiling, understanding everything, including my English words.

And when l realised l’d seen him only a few weeks ago, l cried even more. He and my aunt lived in the mountains on the other side of the world to me and l’d only just visited them a few weeks ago. It had been six years since the last visit. It was wonderful of course, winter and snow in Austria with my youngest son, sister and her son, and my aunt and uncle and all their family. Quite blissful, like being home.

‘Do whatever makes you happy.’ That little faint whisper persists.

I’m thankful I got to see him but never imagined it would be my last time.

It just so happened too that a few hours before my uncle’s passing, the beautiful Azure Window in Malta collapsed and crashed into the ocean during a wild storm. We were enjoying the Azure Window’s beauty after seeing our family in Austria, my son climbing the rocks, dwarfed by the magnificent jagged formations and the blowing spurts of sea. Now it’s gone, forever. Loss is grief.

Treasures like these are priceless, where they may be gone in physicality but still linger in a soulful presence that never fades. I’m so blessed to have been able to tell my uncle (and aunt) that l loved them when l saw them those weeks ago, to have glimpsed their emotional tears as we said good bye, to feel their love.

Thankful and grateful are my two words for the week. ‘Do whatever makes you happy,’ l say to my sons, ‘as long as you’re not hurting yourself or anyone else.’ That’s in the perfect world of course.

Life’s too short to hesitate. Just do it. Go. Do what makes you happy.

I’m in Sydney on the weekend and that little whispering in my ears is far from softening.


The forever ache


He’s gone. A son has left this Earth. Dead. Murdered. And his parents must live on …

Here yesterday, breathing and eating, playing with his own son of two years old. Talking to his father where the chain of three – the son playing with the father who talks to his father – is strong and intertwines with those soul fibres we cannot see but only feel.

This morning, that connection is gone and the link is broken to swing wildly in howling gales as it desperately attempts to grasp at something to counter that missing link. It will swing forever, now that a son is gone to that land of somewhere else.

A chasmic abyss gapes, where a father and mother will struggle to manoeuvre the black hole within. Pining aches within hearts far heavier than all hearts together can bear, and so devastating and crushing that they will never mend or repair.

There is no end, just deep, dark grief. Blackness. A suffering beyond all others that grows emotion in the heart of any parent.

I sit by my son’s bed today, where those emotions swell in my own heart, for my own children who last night looked up at the ceiling of our dining room where we ate together, at the twenty plus tiny spiders that Harriet Huntsman has just given birth to … their awe at that life in its own ecosystem above us, of which we’re part of, and their reluctance to disturb it. Because it is life.

As I sit here and my son nuzzles the side of his face into the cup of my hand, preparing to wake for a new day of opportunity, his warmth exudes to fill me with an instant glow that no other can give. It’s a glow that can so desolately be wrenched from me without any notice.

The vulnerability to life is real. A flick of a switch or click of a finger can finish it, end it to give way to an avalanche of pining aches that swirl floods that want to burst.

Today, a son’s life is gone, snatched by another. Pining aches in hearts will last forever.

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