Grief

Saturday, May 24, 2014


I was stopped dead in my tracks yesterday when I walked past this coffee shop. That fellow up there in the red jumper with the distinctive hairline could be my dad. For the briefest moment I really thought it was him. Even looking at the photo now it is hard to believe it isn't. There was a micro milli mini teeny tiny second when the set of those shoulders caught my eye and my mind squealed 'dad!'. The following micro milli mini teeny tiny second when the universe settled once again into it's proper configuration found me bereft.
He died in 2004 so this bolt of grief was unexpected. I was thankful that I had Sweetie and the littlest duckling with me so that I could lean into the stroller to fuss over the baby and hide my tears. I was there for a while and couldn't stop myself from sneaking this photo. Perhaps I enjoyed imagining briefly that he was still here and that I could walk over to sit with him and see his delightful smile one more time.
I felt the warm breeze on my face, I stroked the littlest duckling's cheek, I listened to Sweetie's chattering and I spent a few moments missing him. The hurting hurts but it is right to miss him. Life is beautiful - the hurt is just as important as the bliss. I was lucky to feel this grief when I was not alone but had the sunshine and my two littles with me.
It was strangely comforting to watch this man who could be my dad finishing his cup of coffee. Mum and dad were very good at enjoying the little things and sitting in the sunshine on a warm autumn afternoon having a cup of coffee is exactly the kind of thing dad enjoyed and encouraged. He was a wonderful man and we miss him.
***
Breathe in.
Breathe out.
Heart full.
***

Pinks and Blues

Tuesday, May 13, 2014




Mother's Day was wonderful. A day of heartfelt, handwritten notes, the house cleaned by my beautiful G (she knows how much I like things to be tidy), lots of handmade loveliness, a long bushwalk in the afternoon and then all the regular laundry and grocery shopping in preparation for the week ahead.
Much of my day to day life is quiet and peaceful and routine. There are babies to play with, rooms to clean, homework to be supervised, paper planes to fold, songs to sing (again and again and again), storybooks to be read (and reread and reread and reread), meals to prepare and bills to be paid. I know all these things would still need to be done if we had adventured and set up our family and home further away from our childhood homes but I often wonder how I would be different. I romanticise what it would be like and daydream about packing up all the babies and starting afresh somewhere new where we are free from the responsibilities of extended family and all the streets are unfamiliar. I am very grateful for books, art and movies that encourage me to (vicariously) travel broadly and to think deeply. I read a lot and it is much more than just recreational. It is sustenance - I must breathe and drink and love and READ. It keeps my internal life humming along in tune with the day to day. It helps to quiet my mid-life restlessness.
And restlessness is all it is, dear reader. I am far from dissatisfied. I look at those photos above and know that I am surrounded by love. Although they bring a lot of responsibility and require a lot of work I am very happy with my big family and my little life.
***
Breathe in.
Breathe out.
Heart full.
***

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