Another Farewell


Excuse my absence but it has been a pretty tough few weeks.  Just 2 weeks after Mr Kitty’s death we had to make the heartbreaking decision to say goodbye to our much-loved dog, Harvey.  He had been a part of the family for almost 15 years.

We had known for a couple of years that the day would come when we would have to make a decision to alleviate his suffering.  When we came back from our holiday about a month ago, it was obvious that it would be cruel to prolong his life for much longer.  His crippling arthritis  had reduced his mobility to almost zero as well as heart failure.

Our kind and compassionate vet came to our home and Harvey was surrounded by those of us who loved him as he gently went to sleep for the last time.

We have wonderful memories of our special boy.  Here are a couple of the last photos I took of him on Thursday morning.

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Vale Mr K


Today has been a sad day as our adopted cat, Mr Kitty, died during the night.  He was 16, had lived a good life and was much loved by many.

He had become somewhat frail over the past 12 months but here are a couple of photos of him from a few years ago.

He was very placid and tolerant and loved nothing more than welcoming guests to our home.

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Goodbye to a beautiful boy.

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On Hold


I had several ideas for blog posts to write this evening but all of that has been put on hold.

Just a couple of hours ago I learned of the sudden and unexpected death of a friend.  I first met Carol through an internet forum 9 years ago.  I then met her in real life on a couple of occasions and we have continued our contact through various channels.  She was an avid reader of this blog and her comments were always considered and thoughtful.

To a kind and gracious lady.  Farewell, Carol and rest in peace.

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Real Life


I apologise for the absence this week and lack of response to your comments.

Just like real-life this blog is filled with celebrations, sadness, routines and the unexpected.

2015-10-03 01My mother-in-law passed away at the beginning of the week and my mind has not been anywhere near my blog.  Due to family circumstances we will have a memorial service next month so we have not had a funeral to attend but there have been many other details to arrange.  This will continue to be the case over the next few weeks but hopefully not to the extent of the past few days.

I am looking forward to reading your previous comments and responding and hope that you will bear with me during this time.

The Emotional Stuff


Firstly, I would like to say thank to all of you who have sent your caring thoughts and healing wishes for my mother.  She continues to improve and will be home again in no time.

Tonight I want to share some words from my friend, Patty.  She posted this on Facebook today and I immediately thought that it may be useful to those of you who are struggling with the loss of a parent and the possessions that are left behind.  Dealing with them can be a challenging and time-consuming process.

Some of us are struggling with our elderly parents; in our care, in their death; in recent passing. My garage downstairs is full of my parents’ lives, and every time I go to unpack it, and sort it, I am taken back to my childhood and the re-living of this emotion is draining and emotionally exhausting. As much as we loved our parents, there’s a lot of “stuff” to be dealt with, in a practical way.

I hope this might help you? The Amen is complimentary.  Light a candle, and say this out loud. Tears are optional. It’s all release. No rules.

Parents Prayer

To my parents, grandparents, and my earthly ancestors who came before me, thank you.
Thank you for your love and guiding wisdom.
Thank you for loving me, every day; in every way.
Thank you for all of your hard work, your concern, and your complete acceptance of me and my spirit.
Thank you for your precious gift of life and love.
It is received with gratitude.
Thank you for our family, for all of the good times, for your precious memories.
I am now able to live my own adult life, and walk with my face towards the sun.
I shall swing my arms with happiness and freedom, knowing that this is what you want me to do.
Mum and dad, I release you, with love. Thank you for everything.
I love you all, forever.
I will remember you with respect and gratitude. Thank you.
I release you all, back to the universe. I release you all; back to the earth and beyond. Thank you.
It is so.


2015-06-22 01Remember, it is the memories that are important and will sustain you.  The stuff is a separate issue.

Death and Destruction


No, it was not Nepal, Fiji or any of the other natural disasters that have happened all around the globe.  This was in our own little corner of south-east Queensland.

For a couple of hours last Friday a small area, including where I live was hit by torrential rain and significant flooding.  5 people lost their lives as they tried to drive through flooded roads.  Cars were washed away, people were stranded and public transport was disrupted.  Our road was almost impassable in places due to driveways that had washed away leaving large rocks and piles of gravel on the road.

2015-05-05 01A retaining wall collapsed and at least one residence was inundated with mud and water that cascaded down the mountain with unprecedented speed and force.  The lake which forms in our backyard formed and reached capacity within 2 hours whereas it usually takes a couple of days of steady rain to fill.  The force of the water moved large concrete blocks several metres and washed our recycle bin from its regular position.

The next morning was perfect – blue sky and not a breath of wind.  So strange.

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Wordless Wednesday


Not quite wordless and not my words or photo but worth sharing.  Photo is courtesy of Amnesty International and the words are from a Facebook post of a friend.

2015-04-29 01“It has been a terribly sad time recently, with the Bali executions, the deaths of the migrants in the sea off Italy, the massive death toll in Nepal, the death of young Freddy Gray in Baltimore whilst in the custody of the Baltimore police, etc, etc. I have prayed for them all.

I have also taken time today to think of the families, friends, neighbours of the 35 innocent men, women and children who were massacred on 28th/29th April in 1996 in Tasmania, by Martin Bryant who will end his days in prison, as he should.

Life is too short. Live it well. Humankind should be both: human and kind.”



Today we hear of another life snuffed out.


Luke Batty died at his father’s hand.  He joins Darcey Freeman who was thrown to her death from the Westgate Bridge 5 years ago.  Daniel Morcombe was snatched from his family a little over 10 years ago and now his parents are facing all of the memories as his alleged killer stands trial.

My heart goes out to the victims and their families.  I know there are others but these 3 are in my mind today.

Rest in peace.

Building Resilience


I have said it before and will say it again.  Life is fragile.  It can be snuffed out in a moment.  Cherish what you have and live for today.

As you can probably guess, I have found out that an ex-work colleague was killed in tragic circumstances last week.  He was younger than me with a loving wife and 4 children.  This is the point where people often say (or write), “he didn’t deserve to die”.  I find that statement offensive because it implies that some other people do deserve to die.

Death quote

Death is inevitable and we all face it.  There are close family and friends, acquaintances, connections through friends as well as those we ‘know’ only through the media.  It is important to acknowledge the passing of anyone but it must be appropriate to the level of connection or we will find ourselves overwhelmed and consumed by grief.

This also applies to people who are gravely ill or facing a diagnosis which provides an uncertain future at best.

A friend’s elderly mother is hovering between life and death after a nasty fall.  A well-known media personality is said to be gravely ill with possibly only days to live.  Another friend’s mother has received a diagnosis of cancer.  Each of these impacts on me and I am saddened but I need to process the information appropriately.  I have not met any of these people directly but I can support my friends with messages and perhaps phone calls.

Life and death goes on every day and it is possible to receive almost instantaneous updates on everything via Facebook, email, Twitter and so on.  In order to maintain your strength and resilience you need to take some time-out and recharge your emotional batteries.  In the current time of being constantly connected it can be difficult to step away from the never-ending bombardment of information.


Your emotional well is not infinite.  Top it up.  Take care of yourself and you will be able to provide an appropriate level of support to those you care for when they need it most.



Today is my father’s 84th birthday, however, we are unable to celebrate it with him as he died nearly 12 years ago.  While his death was sudden and unexpected, we are thankful that he did not suffer.


I miss my Dad but have many wonderful memories of him and cherish those today and every day.


Where do memories come from?  How do you create them?  What memories will your children and grandchildren have of you?

Picking strawberries

The shared experiences and activities of today are the memories of tomorrow.