09 September 2015

The World Keeps Turning

Waking up sucks so bad but at least I had a massage booked for 9am. My body is wracked with pain and that really is not cool when your heart is messed up too.

I cried my way through the massage. Thankfully my therapist is a very good friend and she just creates a safe space for me to come undone. My weekly massages may well be the key to a slow, gentle re-entry into my new life.

Aware that my day was going to hold many administrative challenges I decided to swallow my pride….and a tranquilizer ….. to get me through the horrors of red tape, long queues and 0860 phone calls. Phone calls that have me telling my sad story to people who don't actually care but have to tell you how sorry they are. And I have to be nice and say thank you for telling me how sorry you are.

Going out is still uber tough for me. It literally feels like I am walking around without skin on my body. I feel utterly raw, exposed and completely vulnerable. Simple things like noise, wind, voices or a stranger bumping into me causes a startlingly painful physical reaction. I know it sounds weird. In fact I googled it in case I was going nuts but apparently I still fall into the category of  'normal grief sufferer'. Normal is good. For now.

I started with a trip to the police station to get an affidavit to prove my residential address because I have nothing in my name and we all know how bloody fun FICA is nowadays.

Next up was the queue at the licensing department to renew my car license. Thankfully that went smoothly.

I then rushed to meet with my broker to discuss my financial future; true to form Russell took care of every detail and now it is up to me to take all the wisdom he shared with me over the years and make wise decisions for our tribe. This is a scary thing for a girl who never even had to check her own oil and water but he knew I could do it.

Tomorrow I will recover from today but still remembering that despite all the obstacles I got shit done. Yay me.

08 September 2015


People have been telling me for months how brave and amazing I am. This has never sat well with me. My retort was, without fail : ' I don't have a choice!'

I have come to believe that I was wrong about that statement. I did, I do have a choice. Each and every day I have a choice in how I approach what has unfolded in our lives.

I was running with a friend a couple of days ago and she was so upset by our circumstances and just venting about how messed up it all is. I agree. It is bloody messed up but in that moment I knew that I had to find meaning in all of this suffering. The alternative is not an option.

I have begun to read and research (as I do....!) the enigma that is grief, suffering and loss. The more I read the more I KNOW that there is a way to grow through this and not live in a place of bitterness and pain.

“I don't hold to the idea that God causes suffering and crisis. I just know that those things come along and God uses them. We think life should be a nice, clean ascending line. But inevitably something wanders onto the scene and creates havoc with the nice way we've arranged life to fall in place.”
Sue Monk Kidd (When the Heart Waits)

“In the secular view, suffering is never seen as a meaningful part of life but only as an interruption.” 

“Christianity teaches that, contra fatalism, suffering is overwhelming; contra Buddhism, suffering is real; contra karma, suffering is often unfair; but contra secularism, suffering is meaningful. There is a purpose to it, and if faced rightly, it can drive us like a nail deep into the love of God and into more stability and spiritual power than you can imagine.” 
Tim Keller (Walking with God through Pain and Suffering)

"...there is no map for the landscape of loss, no established itinerary, no cosmic checklist, where each item ticked off gets you closer to success. You cannot succeed in mourning your loved ones. You cannot fail. Nor is grief a malady, like the flu. You will not get over it. You will only come to integrate your loss,....... The death of a beloved is an amputation. You find a new center of gravity, but the limb does not grow back.  When someone you love very much dies, the sky falls. And so you walk around under a fallen sky."

"Tragedy and trauma are not guarantees for a transformational spiritual experience," writes Mirabai Starr, "but they are opportunities. They are invitations to sit in the fire and allow it to transfigure us."
Mirabai Starr (Caravan of No Despair)

Let me be clear. I don't want to sit in this fire and be transformed. I don't want to do the work with myself, with my kids.  I want Russell back here, next to me, to live out our golden years but that is not an option anymore. 

So I choose to find the best way forward. If not only for myself then for Russell to whom I made a promise. 

A promise to continue the amazing work he started in the lives of our family; a promise to use our story to encourage and inspire others to begin to see the eternal nature of our lives. 

A promise to never, ever give up.

06 September 2015

Beware the flares

I took the kids to the mall this morning. This is akin to me running a half marathon.
This simple act requires determination and a fitness of mind that defies description.
I took time deliberately to get dressed properly - each moment carefully and purposefully executed.

1. find your jeans Mel. find jeans that actually fit properly.
2. find a shirt, feel the fabric, tell yourself what that fabric feels like. breathe
3. shoes. you need shoes. not any shoes. find cool shoes. like your converse.
4. brush your hair. brush your teeth. at least attempt to fix your face and hide the dark circles.
5. breathe.
6. dont cry.
7. you CAN do this.

I took the kids to breakfast at the Mugg and Bean. A simple act that almost had me completely undone as I noticed that we now fitted a standard table for four. No more dragging an extra chair.

That. THAT is now my life. Moments that completely explode before me without any warning. Moments that have the potential to destroy me.

I did not cry. I did not even let my kids see the flare that ripped my heart in two.

I had breakfast. Or rather they had breakfast, I had coffee.

And they squabbled and I moaned at them.


It carries on regardless of the fact that on the inside I have already died just a little bit.