Tuesday, 26 July 2016

The peaceful night

I love the quiet of the night time.

The Fellas sleeping, with their rhythmic breathing (and occasional snores).

The still, and the sense of peace that sometimes comes.

I should have been in bed and asleep an hour ago, but I revel in this period of peace tonight.

So many things can happen throughout the day, and today hasn't been a great one.

But tonight I can let it all go.

I can remember the love I'm surrounded by each day and the joy I have of being with my Fellas.

I can smile as I remember my crazy Little Big Fella's happy face after a swim in our freezing pool, and how grumpy he was when Uncle Wazza woke him up from a good dream about a chocolate donut this morning.

I can feel the pride of my Big Fella as he and his uncle have worked through a list of construction and repair as long as your arm.

I can laugh at the "holiday" Uncle Wazza is having at our place, and the plans for another one around this time next year so he can "direct" the new roof extension at the back of the house.

Life is not perfect.  It never can be.  And horrible things happen all the time.  People are mean, or rude, or frustratingly stupid.  Tragedy hits and a friend's world is torn apart.

But in the still quiet of the night, I let the peace wash around me and restore my soul.  I allow the hope and the light to refresh me.  I see the joyful moments in my mind's eye and let the pain and bitterness be swept aside.

I wish I could create a formula so that this could work for me every night!  I would love to be able to let it all go at the end of each day and start fresh every morning!

Alas, I am human!

So tonight, I will steal away some of my precious sleeping time to enjoy this sense of peace, and to pray for those dear friends in my life who I know are suffering.

And I will hope that tomorrow's sorrow is less, and that today's lessons are remembered as I toil in tiredness, kicking myself for not going to bed!

Friday, 1 July 2016


I think about death pretty regularly.

Not in a morbid or suicidal way, but in a practical and caring-for-others kind of way.

When we'd been married less than a year, the Big Fella was told that his chronic kidney condition could mean he had 5-15 years to live.  Thanks to modern medicines, he's still alive and kicking along very well, with no obvious sign of the end in sight.

But that sudden shock at such an early part of our relationship got me thinking about what I would do if I was suddenly widowed.  And I think about it briefly every few months still.

Would I stay where I am or move closer to family?
Would I need a different job?
How would the Little Big Fella go and would changing locations and schools be a bigger upset?
What would I do with all the mechanical stuff the Big Fella owns???
Could I bear to live in our house without him?
Who would look after my car???

After my Poppy's funeral in November 2014, I also started thinking about wills, and who knows I'd like to be an organ donor, and that I'd rather be cremated and sprinkled in a beautiful garden somewhere than buried, and what the purpose of a funeral is, and how could I help my loved ones go through that if I died?

Tonight while doing the dishes I was thinking about it all again, and wondering what the best way to communicate how much I love people would be.  I've always wanted to write a song, and I could imagine doing that and having it played with a montage of photos of all the people I've loved throughout my life.  It would probably make people cry a bit, but hopefully also laugh, and feel at peace.

I'd want my Fellas to know that I love them both so much, and even if our last words were angry, it couldn't take away from the love of a lifetime.  I'm so exceptionally proud of my son, and my husband is so unique and talented that he could never be replaced.

By the way, I hate bagpipes at funerals.  They're an instant tear-jerker for me in that environment!  It's okay to cry at funerals but to do things that make people cry on purpose, that is a no-go for me.

The Big Fella has said that he wouldn't want a funeral because he'd be dead and wouldn't care.  But I think a funeral is actually for the people left behind.  It's time and a place to allow grief, and acknowledge that someone you've loved or admired has gone.  It's like a line in the sand, a point in time that validates your loss.

But I also agree with him that funerals should be personal.  If someone tried to play hymns at the Big Fella's funeral, I'd almost expect him to come back from the dead and deck them!  He's NOT a fan of hymns.  I'd imagine something from Disturbed or Five Finger Death Punch, or possibly Stone Sour would tickle his fancy a little more.  If he died being hit by lightning, I'd guarantee he'd want "Thunderstruck" by ACDC!

It's funny.  In Australia we don't deal with death very well (as a generalisation, of course).  We're predominantly separated from death, and have a small window of opportunity to grieve socially when we lose someone.  Everyone moves on with their lives, which is okay and normal, but then when the person who has suffered such a big loss remains in grief, we generally don't respond well because we don't know how to.

And then there are the platitudes and hurtful things people say without meaning to be horrible.

"You'll get over it"
"It could have been worse"
"I totally know how you feel!  My cat died last year and I was devastated"
"There's a greater plan for your/their life"

Any of those things could be true, but they don't help the grieving person.  They actually invalidate their pain and make them feel worse.

Wow!  This has gone in a totally different direction to how I started!  And now I'm not sure how to round it up and wrap it in a bow.

I guess I started out thinking about people I love, and all the different places I've lived and the people I've known, and what an impact they've all had on me.  And I want you all to know that I've appreciated you!  I've loved laughing with you, eating with you, playing with you, even crying with you.  My life is infinitely richer for the people who are and have been in it.

So thank you!
Thank you for the long and short haul friends.
Thank you to my wonderful family, near and far, close and not-so-close.

You are the best parts of me because I couldn't be me without you.