Part 1: My Story | Part 2: Grieving

Part #1 My Story

My brother passed away from cancer at age 27 in 2003. It was a long time ago. I get it. Why would I bring it up now all these years later? Why drag shit up from the past. Well because I have to. I have to because I have never actually moved very far forward. I have carried this hard and awkward grieving process with me this entire time which, I realise, is too long and to move on I need to let go. Not of my brother but of my grief story.

The final stage of my brothers life was during a time that I was facing difficulties in my first marriage. We were partying too hard, hating each other too much and trying to raise two and a half kids on a very tight budget and in a house that was falling apart. Life was, to say the very least, shit. 

But my brother was dying and there was nothing harder and nothing that could prepare me for it. He was dying but he had overcome his first cancer diagnosis at age 14 so I kept telling myself that he would be fine, that he would bounce back, that I had more time to be better. In his final days, watching his shallow, slow breathing, I remember thinking that he would, still at some stage, jump out of bed and say “Just joking!” He was the family jokester after all. But he didn’t.

When he finally passed away in the early hours of the morning of the 28th September I wasn’t there. I had gone home to have a shower. I was 28 weeks pregnant. I had, that very same week that he’d been placed into palliative care, gone into early labour and been admitted to hospital. I was embarrassed that my body let me down and had made this traumatic time in my families life all about me and so after my shower I remember sitting on the edge of my bed. It was 5am. I just sat there and cried. I cried for my family. I cried for my brother. I cried for my baby who was hanging in there and I cried because I didn’t no what else to do with all these emotions I had. I remember, after allowing the tears to flow for awhile, that I took the deepest breath in and pulled my shoulders back. It was a very deliberate move physically to get myself prepared for the next part of the day. It was time to get back to the hospital. Look strong. Be ok. Be supportive. Be good for once in my fucking life. It was time to get back to the hospital because I didn’t want to miss his last breath.

But I did.

He died a few minutes before I arrived. My other brothers face said it all as he stood on the other side of the hospitals palliative glass door to let me in. His red blood shot eyes. His head slightly shaking. The look of despair on his face. I had missed my dying brothers final moment and to me this was the catalyst into my guilt. I wasn’t there. I wasn’t a good sister, a good daughter, a good person. I left at the most significant moment in my families life – the last breath of our brother, their son. Our family, the only one I’d ever known, was no longer six, well at least not on Earth together and the realisation of this was soul destroying.

My story began to unravel from here. Guilt ridden for not being there, for not being a better sister, for being admitted to hospital the same week as him – like an attention seeker would – guilt ridden because I didn’t actually, at any point really think he would die. But he did.

At the time I really did expect the world to stop. I expected my friends lives to stop. I expected people to understand what was happening to me when most around me had never been through anything like this before. But their lives continued on as normal. Which to me, back then, told me I was shit. I was nobody worth caring about.

And so the spiralling of my story continued. I remember at my brothers graveside funeral that I chose to move as far away as I could once the ceremony was done. I stood in the corner of the garden bed because deep down I didn’t want anyone to hug me. To say they were sorry for me. To give me any comfort. I didn’t want it because I felt I didn’t deserve it.

At his wake my friends asked me if I would like to join them in giving Reiki to a girlfriend going through a hard time – a nasty marriage separation. I was so hurt and it reaffirmed to me that my pain was insignificant. I remember thinking that this friends pain was more momentous than mine because those I loved only saw the importance of healing her wounds whereas my pain wasn’t worth healing.

I began to withdraw from here on in and then the final nail on my grief stricken coffin was two weeks after my brothers death. A friend came to give me a “talk” and told me that I needed to make more of an effort in the friendship, that it was time to get over it and that I wasn’t the only one grieving and that she, too, was grieving him. Again, I didn’t understand. Was I supposed to help her through this difficult time when he was my brother and she had only spent a short amount of time knowing him. Was I doing this grieving thing wrong? Was I selfish and unworthy of these feelings I was having because I hadn’t been a good enough sister? Were these feelings even real? Didn’t I have any right to be sad?

It was all a very confusing time for me. So confusing that it has stuck with me for over a decade. There were so many other moments to my story that confirmed my feelings of guilt, unworthiness and shame over the months and now years. I’ve become like a snow globe where the confused feelings would settle for awhile yet they are always there and it only takes something minor to shake all those feelings up again. Something big gets them going real crazy and crazy is the only word that can describe it. It makes me feel like I did something wrong in my grieving. That I am going crazy to think that I actually had the right to be upset during that time of my life.

But this has just been my story. A story that hasn’t served me well at all. It is a story that has extended my grief beyond belief and one that holds me back in life and relationships because of the anger, guilt and confusion. Letting go of my story is not easy when I feel so much injustice was done to me at the time. Then I feel guilt for having had any expectations on other people. Then I feel stupid and unworthy for being all high and mighty thinking others might care the way that I do.

As I come through a challenging year now, I feel that it is time to let go of my story. It is time to let go so I can heal. It doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen or that I didn’t have the right to feel the way I did at that time in my life but at some point you have to grow and move forward – don’t you? I’m really unsure of the process but by acknowledging that I’ve had enough of the pain I carry, the guilt I burden myself with and the frustration I feel towards it may just be the first steps in my own healing.

Part #2 Grieving

In telling my story I want to finish with something useful. Something that may help others when someone they know is grieving. There are so many cliches that people say. Most come across as hollow and insensitive. So I want to share, from my experience, what you should refrain from saying and of course what you could say – but it is really all about how you say it. The words won’t always be right because for everyone the grieving process is different but I can guarantee if you come from a place of love and a place where you aren’t trying to fix them then you are in the right place to be there for them.

Things you don’t need to say to someone grieving…

* What doesn’t kill you will make you stronger: no this is not true and is genuinely insensitive. When your heart is breaking into a million little pieces you are already dying on the inside and being stronger because your loved one has died is not a comfort nor a support.

* Everything happens for a reason: whether it does or it doesn’t this is not the time to tell someone that the death of their loved one is for a higher or greater good because right now in their pain all they feel is … oh yes that’s it pain!

* Only the good die young: well bring him back then! We’d rather he be ‘bad’ and still alive then good and dead! Someone grieving is missing their loved one – good or bad. The good die at any age. My Nana died in her 80’s which is, to me, a ripe old age but she was good… It’s a cliche don’t say it.

* Cheer up. He/she wouldn’t want to see you sad: we know, or at least we hope, they are up there somewhere looking down on us but for right now, in our pain, the last thing we need is a guilt trip. We miss them, we are heartbroken and we are entitled to feel sad.

* They are in a better place: Really? Because last we checked that better place was here in our arms. We have no idea what Heaven or the afterlife is like but don’t tell me at this stage of my grieving that there is a better place than on earth with us.

* At least they are no longer suffering: yes we are aware of that but please don’t place that heavy weight on our shoulders. Seeing a loved one suffer for years is painful enough. All the “what if’s”, “if only I’s” has placed enough guilt in our hearts. The younger they are the more questions you have and the unfairness of suffering and death.

* Be strong: we can’t. We do not feel strong and why do we need to be. Our insides are crumbling, every core of our being misses them and being strong is not high on our list right now. These are people who we’ve known all our lives who are no longer walking through our front door, sitting at the dinner table at Christmas and celebrating another birthday. When someone passes away we always feel like something is missing… because there is.

* You need to move on: no. No we don’t. Our grief does not have a time frame. It does not say 2 weeks, 2 months, 2 years. It says there is a hole in your heart where a person once lived. A person you miss with every fibre of your being. A person whose memory will have you heartbroken and crying one minute and laughing like a crazy woman the next. Grief has no rules, timeframes or explanations and you have no right to place them on someone.

Well then Superwoman what can I say? Why are you creating a dictatorship on what’s right or wrong? I’m not and there isn’t. This is just advice from someone whose been there. Who has felt additional pain from insensitive moments and I’m just giving a heads up.

Things you could say instead…

* I’m so sorry for your loss: yes it’s not much when you want to say more and it is also said a lot but there is a difference when it is just words said and when it is FELT. So feel it when you say it. Hand on your heart feel it.

* I am here for you: Like, right here for you any time of the day or night… BUT only say it if you really mean it because when you try to reach out to someone and that first person you try isn’t there then you rarely try someone else.

* I am here to listen: And then listen! Listen with ears and hearts open. Laugh at the funny memories, grieve with them during the painful ones, hold their hand, pass them a tissue and hug them when that moment is all over. Listening is the greatest skill human beings can acquire and we all can do it better.

* I wish I had the right words. Just know that I love you. Own it. We know you aren’t mind readers to be able to deliver the right words but the pain you go through when someone dies is immeasurable and love is the only thing that gets us through. So love us through it ok?!

* I remember when…: share your favourite memory of their loved one. A happy one. One that will remind them of love, laughter, happiness. Don’t force it. Don’t pretend. Just remember their loved one with tenderness so that moment of happiness fills their heart with joy for a little while.

* Say nothing. It is golden. Saying nothing but a gentle squeeze, a loving touch. But saying nothing doesn’t mean avoid at all costs. Saying nothing doesn’t mean pretending it never happened. There is a difference between a heart felt nothing and a I-can’t-deal-with-this nothing. Always lead from your heart.

REMEMBER: You can’t fix it. You cannot take away their grief or put a timeline on it. Everyone grieves differently and just because you see them laughing, momentarily, a week from death doesn’t mean they aren’t crying, in solitude, for the next 12 months. You cannot put your own grief on top of someone elses. You do not have the right. And remember… Grief is a process. There are many stages of grief and none of them can be solved with a cliche life quote from Pinterest.

Only support can help the process.

Only love can help heal the pain.

Much love.

DRK xxx

*** Aside from some editing this was written in 2013. It has sat unpublished because I wasn’t ready to let go of it. I wanted to so bad but I didn’t understand how to or even why I should have to. But I understand now. I understand that holding on and not forgiving people only hurts me. Only holds ME back and only makes my pain last longer and feel harder than it needs to – than it needed to be. 

I post it today not to cause trouble. Not to make people feel bad. Not to get responses. I post it because after much growth and self awareness I realise my story is just that. I’ve carried guilt and shame around with me for so long and it has affected me in ways that you can not believe. My Mum has her own guilt as I found out yesterday. My Dad, I’m sure has his too. But I don’t  know why because to me they were amazing parents who did everything in their power to help him. To prolong his life and to make the life he had safe, fun and as carefree as possible. It is clear that we all have our own versions of guilt and who hurt us during this time. 

I post my experience for others who feel the same because if I could just help one person grieving let go of the guilt, the injustice, the anger. To forgive quicker, to feel normal and comforted in their grief and to not allow these parts of our stories to hold them back for as long as I have then I’ve done something good with my life ~ one love, DRK xxx *** 

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two thousand and sixteen – a year of goodbyes

two thousand and sixteen has been a challenging year for so many of us. Obviously there has been a shift in The Universe’s energy or something ‘out there’ but I’m not here to speculate on that.

This year has seen so many ‘greats’ of our lifetime die. Carrie Fisher, George Michael, Prince, David Bowie and more. This year many family members and friends, our very own ‘greats’, have also left this earth. I’ve seen myself at six funerals this year… Most of them cancer related. Most too young to be gone already.

A year like two thousand and sixteen makes us reflect on life and death. It makes us realise that people can never die when they leave behind so much of themselves for us to remember. Their memories, their life walk beside us, every day, in our thoughts and in our hearts until we are face to face again. And we will be, this is my whole hearted belief.

two thousand and sixteen makes us question the things we’ve been taught all our lives. Things that society place importance on. It makes you question why we place significance on living in a mansion over a caravan when loneliness is the same. Why, if we still arrive at the same destination, does it matter if we drive a Lamborghini or a 1970 VW there. Why wear a Rolex watch over a Target watch if they both will tell you the same time.

A year like two thousand and sixteen makes you grow up and teaches you to let go. Let go of the importance placed on material possessions. Let go of the pain from friendships that hurt you. Let go of patterns of behaviour that keep you stuck in a rut because being stuck in a rut over small things keeps you living in the past and if my past is two thousand and sixteen then I will do anything to let that go.

A year like this makes you honour your true friendships, love your beautiful neighbours, embrace your wacky family and look forward to new beginnings. It makes you grateful of good times and learn lessons from the bad. It teaches you what is important, really, in the life we live and reminds you that life is too short to fuck around being self-absorbed.

two thousand and sixteen has taught me to be kinder, more aware of others feelings, to listen harder, to worry less about material things, to let the judgement of others be their burden not mine and to laugh harder with the ones I truly fucken love. It taught me that the only person I need to be better than is the person that I was yesterday.

This year was challenging. For others I know it was way more devastating than that. Challenging is simply a way to test one’s abilities. An opportunity to rise and to learn. That moment when you feel defeated but choose to stand up again. Challenging means we’ve been blessed with difficult times for how can we know the real beauty of fun times without them.

None of us have to wait for a New Year to start again when every day we wake up is brand new. But on the first of January two thousand and seventeen we get to start a new year. A year beginning with hope of good things and in gratitude for getting the opportunity to see it in when so many others around us haven’t. For most of us it’s where we can shake off the two thousand and sixteen dirt, step over the threshold and welcome a fresh, new beginning.

As two thousand and sixteen ends and two thousand and seventeen begins just be kinder. Kinder to every one you meet. Kinder to yourself. Kinder to the expectations you would normally put on yourself. I don’t believe it is the time for resolutions. Why set yourself up for failure? Why enter a new year with demands placed upon your days? Why weigh yourself down with a whole lot of pointless things when you can simple choose two thousand and seventeen to just be.

Be in the moment.

Be a part of life and living.

Be a part of your journey and in moving forward.

Happy New Year xxx

One Love
DRK xxx

Life is Short

“Life is Short”

I say this often, mostly to myself, but I’m not sure if I’m living it in the right context.

This saying first came about for me, cementing itself into my world when my brother passed away from cancer. I was around the age of 24 with two children, a third on the way and in a complicated marriage. I don’t remember being particularly mature for my age even with 2-point-5 children and a marriage under my belt. I was still making bad decisions and still very unhappy within myself for many different reasons.

When my brother died of cancer I was shattered. I was full of grief but also full of guilt and regret. Why hadn’t I told him I loved him? Why didn’t I spend more time with him? Why didn’t I realise how short life was. Especially once it’s up. Once it’s up that’s it. There’s no more of that person in your life. No more chances to say “I love you”. To hug them. To tell them who they are to you. I regretted not telling my brother I loved him for a long time. I know now that I was scared to tell him because I thought if I did then it would be an admission that things weren’t good. That he wasn’t going to make it. I honestly believed he would just jump out of bed one day and yell “Just joking! I’m all good! Tricked you all!”

I was wrong.

Love

Recently, in November 2015 my Pop became ill. I made a pact with myself to spend as much time with him as possible. I didn’t want him to feel alone. I wanted him to feel safe in the last few weeks/days of his life here on Earth. I told him I loved him. I said goodbye. I was there as he passed. I have no regrets.

7 weeks later as my Nana quickly deteriorated. I made sure I stroked her hair, held her hand, put my hand on her heart to immerse its beating in my own and looked her in the eyes when telling her I loved her. I loved that she still managed to say it back to me, I’ll never forget it. I’ll never forget the sparkle in her eyes. She wasn’t scared. I hadn’t frightened her with my words. She just felt loved. A few days later she passed away too. My heart broke but I have no regrets – she knew I loved her.

Then only a few weeks later we lost our neighbour to cancer. Our neighbourhood isn’t just a regular neighbourhood we are all close and his loss is deafening. When I’m hanging out my washing or playing with my kids he is no longer in his backyard talking to his “girls” (his chickens) or fluffing about in the garden. He is no longer climbing over the fence to have a beer with my parents. He is no longer on the other end of the computer two doors up asking me for help on some internet issues always with his bad grammar and no use of capitals. I was going to see him the night before he died but he was already in bed so I didn’t. He was gone from this life the next day. On my daughters 18th birthday. I told him in one of our last Facebook messages that I loved him. No regrets.

I started writing this blog a few days ago but I was struggling to find the words. Then I’ve been hit today, like a slap of pin-pricked realities in the face, by two friends. One on a fucked up cancer journey and the other just about to have her 11th wedding anniversary except without her husband by her earthly side as he died 5 years ago. Both of their status’s to the world were different and unique to them but both of them had the same underlining content. Gratitude.

BE FUCKING GRATEFUL PEOPLE.

Grateful you have a partner to annoy you and leave his socks at the front door. Grateful that you have a headache you can fix with a glass of water and some panadol. Grateful that even though the kids are driving you crazy and the clean house is now a mess that you have healthy, active kids who love your love and presence… And fuck the house. This gratitude doesn’t mean guilt either. It doesn’t mean you should feel guilty for being frustrated or pissed off at these things from time to time. This is life and this is living after all but we should be grateful more of the time than we are pissed.

“Life is Short” can be summarised just with this one word. Gratitude. Being grateful. Being thankful. Looking for the good in what you have in your life and being thankful for it. Showing those you love in your life that you actually do love them. That they are your living, breathing world. Life is short because once it’s over it’s over. There are no second chances. But there can be regrets, which will for some turn into lessons. I spent 10 years regretting my brothers passing – regretting the lack of love I showed him. But I learnt from that never to do it again.

“Life is Short” has a new meaning for me today because when I first adopted the popular quote into my life I did so in a negative way but today it means gratitude. Happiness. Laughter. Love. Presence. It means saying it and feeling it and not being scared of it. It means showing my kids more presence and honesty. It means listening to my husband and learning more about him and what he needs. It’s about being there for people who need a part of me that I am capable of giving – love translated in any way, shape or form. I’m not perfect and I’m not going to ride the perfect bandwagon from here on in but I am going to give more of myself. More of the ‘me’ that is truly me. The heartfelt, sensitive me who loves deeply but has always carried a barrier for protection.

My protection is removed but perfection is not my status either.

To my family and my friends – I LOVE YOU! To all the people who have come into my life in a positive way, I love each and every one of you. You have touched me. You have honoured who I am. You have left an imprint on my life and in my heart and I am forever grateful for that. I love you. I really, really do.

My heart hurts today and my tears are flowing. Sadness? Still some regret? Missing those I love? Guilt? I’m not sure. Maybe just a heartache.

One love,

DRK xxx

Please don’t forget to tell those you love just how much they mean to you. Show them. This is the message my friend wants you to hear. To really hear. The message we all need to hear. Often.

Read her amazing, raw and honest post here on her Facebook page…. You’ll need to find the post “Water your own F**king Lawn!” Thank you Kym xx

 

Joie de Vivre

I had this tattoo imprinted on my right arm to always remind me of my mortality. It was a tattoo in honour of my brother. I have had it a few years now and become ‘used’ to it rather than moved by it. But it will now again remind me. “Joie de Vivre” ~ French; exuberant enjoyment of life

 

 

For My Nana

This is my reading from my Nanas funeral. I’m posting it here as a keepsake and as my promise to remember her for the rest of my life.

On the morning of the 27th January the world lost a feisty, stubborn, proud and loving woman – traits many of her family members have inherited – me included! A woman who fiercely loved and protected her family. She was a true nurturer and she was proud of us all regardless of the mistakes she witnessed throughout our lives, mine especially.

Her hugs were powerful, her stories often on repeat and just two months after her beloved husband, my Dear Pop, passed away she left this world to be with him. We all knew she wouldn’t be far behind coz since when does Nana give Pop any peace and I think it’s fair to say two months was long enough!

There are many things I will remember about my Nana and so would many of you. Kelly remembers the cheek pinches and how she used to say “I could eat you and suck on the bones!” But when I say it it just doesn’t sound as sweet.

I know I will remember her for the rest of my life. This is my promise.

Nana, I will remember those hugs you gave me where you squeezed me so tight know matter how old I got. So tight that I didn’t think I could breathe.

I will remember your smell – a mixture of roses and moth balls – on your clothes, in your home, on your soft porcelain skin.

I will remember how you always confused your only two granddaughters names in every conversation… I was called Kelly, Kelly called Cristy, and on an occasion Kelly called Evan. It didn’t matter what name you called us we always knew who you meant.

I will remember the bits of advice you gave me about love, about life, about children, about making mistakes and moving on.

I will remember your bright and colourful outfits and jewels that were always matching, your style was forever fancy.

I will remember the funny speech bubble stickers on all our photos and your creativity with scrapbooking and knitting – especially those sexy knitted socks that I wouldn’t dare to be seen in 15 years ago but would do anything to have a pair made from you now.

I will remember the squeals of joy as you cuddled a baby, any baby. I will remember your passion for your beloved Eagles and support for their Benny Boy. You were always keen to give a second chance.

I will remember how you taught me to play chopsticks on the piano which I never quite mastered as good as the other grandkids.

I will remember how your face lit up every time the great grandies came to visit, the littlest ones especially. You had a massive love for little babies, a trait Kel and I have inherited from you and considering between us we’ve produced 10 of your 20 great grandchildren I think we’ve done you proud in that department. You even tried to convince me that my babies just got cuter and cuter the more I had so I definitely needed a sixth! But that is one piece of advice I’m going to ignore.

More recently I will remember your eyes and the way they would open wide and sparkle every time you said “I love you”, even in your final breathless days. I will remember that I loved you fiercely in return, I have loved you all my life.

So today we say goodbye and we love you Nana. Don’t give Pop too much curry up there for getting there first, let him read his paper in peace and once you finish squeezing Jeremy in your biggest Nana-hugs give him another one from all of us. We miss him.

We hope Heaven is ready for you, our bright beautiful spark, Nana xxx

Five & Three Quarters

Tonight I heard my 5-year-old son crying in his bed. Actually, if you ask him he’s 5 and 3/4’s, which is nowhere near 5 at all I’ll have you know! It was passed his bedtime and I had assumed he was crying because a) he was overtired or b) he was in denial about even being tired. It was neither.

I asked my crying child, sternly, what was wrong… You know stern, right? Hands on hips, firm, deep (cranky) voice…. Yes stern and I did this stern-thing twice! I know, I know ‘parent of the year’ and my only defence is that I had already been in 5 times to his procrastinating two-year-old brother who had wanted a rug, he’d wanted a drink, he wanted another drink and another and then finished off wanting to tell me he loved me – in his not-so-verbal-way … Of course, this part only ever comes after I’ve gotten really cranky – always gets the mummy-guilt really activated! Well played son, well played! After the second stern-hand-on-hip-accusation to my upset child, I noticed he was sobbing more so than crying so I sat on his bed and asked more gently, like the good nurturing TV (and Facebook status) mummies do, what was wrong. He sat up and looked intently at me and I knew right then and there it was going to be deep. Deep for a 5 & 3/4-year-old and deeper for a 30-something-year-old who’d just trialled a new tequila drink in preparation for New Years Eve… It was sickly sweet by the way and tequila, no matter how you mask it, still tastes like the tequila slammers you had in your 20’s with lemon and salt at 4 o’clock in the morning. I drank it though, waste not want not – as my good mother educates me!

His crying wasn’t about missing his Daddy who was at work or about not getting a second turn on the Wii. It was about death. He didn’t want to die. He said to me in between his hyperventilating sobs that he had only just realised that when you die and you go to the hospital they can’t make you alive again. Argh… Insert heartbreaking sad emojis here!!! Seriously, my heart split into tiny pieces and I had to control myself so that I didn’t curl up in the foetal position and hyperventilate too. This is one thing I’m not good at… Oh and cooking. I also kinda suck at parenting too, along with sticking to diets, keeping my own secrets secret and keeping on top of my huge washing piles – I super exceed the suckiness at that!

But I managed to restrain my own tears and fears of death and I sat with him for a good 10 minutes to try to calm him down – with the help of his 2-year-old brother who had come to console him with hugs and kisses too (all together now… Ohh hh hh). Initially, I tried to console him with the idea of Heaven, something I have had to believe in regardless of my religion because that was the only way I could deal with the thought of death as a child. I used to cry myself to sleep at night grieving my parents or my brothers or anyone I cared about who were all very much alive simply so I could prepare myself if it ever did happen… My theory? Well, then it wouldn’t hurt as much… Strange huh?! Anyway, I told him that when we die we go ‘up there’ to hang out with all the people we love and miss now and we all have fun together while we wait for the rest of our loved ones to join us. But my description was vague and he, being the bright 5 & 3/4-year-old, wanted more info…

“What happens to our bones, do they come with us? I thought we died and got buried and we never moved our bodies again?” 

“No, it’s like magic Chevy. When you die your Earth body stays here but you are still you in Heaven.”

“Even my eyes?”

“Yes, even your eyes will go to Heaven.”

“What about my bones?”

“Yes even your bones, you lips, your tongue. All of you that makes you Chevy will go to Heaven.” Then he wanted to know if someone chopped his head off would his head still go too?

“Yes. No matter what happens to you or your body here on Earth you will still be Chevy in Heaven.”

At this point, he had stopped crying. *Winning* We had a huge hug and I finished with a prize winning speech about being grateful for being alive now, how we have to live life to the full and try our best to be good people. I should have recorded it coz I’m pretty sure it would have ended up on a Pinterest board somewhere but as with all good children and good advice it went straight in one ear and out the other before he had to clarify for a final time – chopping off the head would not mean no head in Heaven. Time to turn off all the dreadful news stories I think!

Poor bugger. I hope I helped the situation… A little! I tried my best to be inspiring and comforting. I think it worked seeing as he’s asleep now, with no more tears so I must have done ok!

It reminded me, even though I had complained all night about how loud they were, that I need to hugs those little ratbags tight more often. You too! Not my kids your own of course! Tell them you love them too and please, please don’t take any of my other heavenly advice on board! But feel free to share your own stories in the comments below!

One love,

DRK xxx

child at the beach

 

Seven Days

We’ve discussed this before. We’ve had this conversation. But nothing is more real about this chat then it is right now. Because over the last three weeks while we have worried about our weight, yelled impatiently at our children, huffed and puffed out at the series of frustrating road users a man I know has been counting down his days. Not his days til Christmas or days til his next holiday but the days of his life.

Three weeks ago he was told he had a month to live and while we all can’t wait to get into bed at night only to wake up the next day bleary eyed can we even come close to imagining how those nights and those mornings clicked by way too quickly for him.

Yesterday marked one week to go. 7 days or there abouts. How fucken unfair. How frustrating. How absolutely devastating. I cannot even fathom how this feels for him, for anyone dealing with this same mortality. I cannot put into words what each day drawing to an end would feel like to this man. And I can’t tell you how sad I selfishly feel.

How do you grieve the life you had, that life you have to let go? How do you do that? How the fuck do you do that! How do you sum up your life and ‘tie up loose ends’ when the biggest loose end is that you don’t want to fucken die! You want to live! You want to fall in love again and again. You want to explore the world. You want to hug every member of your family. Thank every one of your friends for every moment you’ve ever shared. Say sorry. Take your kids on a spectacular holiday. Boldly quit your job and train for your dream job.

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One week.

Seven days.

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What is really important in that moment of severely shortened time? What becomes the main focus in your life? Who would you spend your time with? How would you feel?

I don’t write this to bring on guilt for those who have just cried about a frustrating yet precious child. Not written to bring shame for the materialistic lives we lead. Not to instil fear in our own mortality. Just words written for a man I know with seven days left on his life calendar. His LIFE calendar. Just words from my heart because I feel so sad. For him. For his family. For the “what ifs”. For the challenges and unfairness of it all. For the fact he has just written his own eulogy which is not done for premeditated fun but out of a requirement to him and his final words of life. LIFE.

So I ask of you be grateful today, if even only for a moment. Be gracious over the next seven days in a compassionate way to all those on this similar and terminal journey. What we take for granted is a blessing to others. Less whinging, more hugging.

One Love,
DRK xxx

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