Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Gratitude after grief for the new year! x


"The highest tribute to the dead is not grief but gratitude!” Thorton Wilder

Every new year I buy a diary.

In it I write important dates like birthday’s and anniversaries for the coming twelve months. It almost seems there are as many death anniversary dates as birthdays these days……..I always wonder where I’ll be in the pages ahead….who will be with us and IF we’ll lose anyone this year? That’s my reality! However, I think that’s a gift….to be aware that TODAY, the present, is a gift. To be enjoyed and never to be taken for granted.

January is a difficult month. It’s the month our daughter Savannah died. I do think of what we were doing on these days in January years ago as she got sicker and sicker and we knew her time was running out. And I try not to let my mind wander to the painful parts…….It was so sad and it’s hard not to think of what she endured. All of that is part of who I am now. I will be that person forever.

     Savannah a few months before she died..............

I am changed, there’s no going back.  However, now I look at life differently and live life fuller than what I did all those years ago……before I experienced so much loss.

I tell those people important to me how much I love them….and probably indulge in a bit too much red wine sometimes!  And as each new year converges on me, I feel a little bit further away from Savannah. And I hate that!

At this time of year, so many people are making lists, new year resolutions with hope’s and things they want to change about themselves. And it is a good idea to set a new goal……..my wish this year is to cultivate happiness! It’s all about choices and choosing to have the right attitude each day. How hard can that be?

   We bought this last weekend too....it's a lovely reminder to keep wishing and hoping........

And how can I not be happy when I have so much to be grateful for? I only have to look at Dempsey’s mischievous grin and soulful eyes to boost my serotonin levels. She’s a walking, talking example of how simple life is and how in truth, all we really need is unadorned love and mindfulness of what can be taken away in a heartbeat to become appreciative.

   My precious Demps!

Peter bought me a camera on the weekend, you know, one of those fancy, fan dangled cameras with buttons and dials that look like something out of a space ship! I can’t wait to learn how to capture memories and decorate this blog with tiny bits of my days that I am fortunate enough to enjoy……..so get ready to be inundated! I want to be able to illuminate the little things that can magnify just how exquisite the world really is!

I have the privilege of being alive, of being present……it is my responsibility as Dempsey’s mum to be HAPPY and notice and pass on to her the little things in this world. Just this morning on the way to her school we noticed the mountain Big Bear is almost covered in snow. It’s magnificent! How fortunate we are to have this view every single day, when so many are stuck in poverty and homelessness. Yes, grief has left its mark on me…..opening my eyes, that’s for sure!

     Big Bear Mountain in the background this morning!  Beautiful!

So fasten your seat belts! 2011 will pass us by before we know it!

Don’t forget to slow down, to smile at strangers, to grab the good out of every single day….to STOP and notice the little things that can feed your spirit, share them around. Set good intentions, dream big and hold on particularly tight to your loved ones around you. There’s no stopping time!

                                The card my lovely neighbor Renee gave me..............

Thank you to all of you who have read my blog this year.....you inspire me to keep writing if I know I've helped just one of you with my journey!  I appreciate your support...YOU fill my blue cup with sunshine! :) x
Happy New Year!



  1. Diana there is so much in this post; probably more than I can comment on indivually. I have found it to be thought provoking. I thank you for that.
    Dempsey, like her Mum, is a doll.
    My thoughts will be with you as you remember Savannah. When I think of those whom I have loved and lost, I like to see each day as one day closer to meeting in eternity.
    I like also the words on the card. I am a BELIEVER..
    Love the look of, what I think, is 'snow' capped Bear Mountain.
    In spite of the memories of grief, I believe you will continue to thrive and inspire those of us who love your writing.
    Trust you are, once again, settling into your life on the other side of the globe.

  2. Hi Chez,

    Thanks for this lovely comment and for your words of comfort for Savannahs upcoming Anniversary. I feel fragile the last few days as the date creeps up......just over little things like watching little girls in movies. So I'm trying not to over think it too much and just 'be'. I know you understand Chez.....

    I am settling in over here however missing my family in Oz already. It's comforting to have this connection with you Chez.

    with love always
    Diana x

  3. Dearest Diana,

    What a unfortunate bond we share. Both having lost a Savannah. There are no words on how touched that we share such a "beautiful" loss.

    I will be returning to read your Savannah's Story. Please feel free to return and share in remembering my Savannah as well.

    (I must say, you sure picked a GORGEOUS name!)

    All my love and prayers,
    Megan@ A Story Unfolding

  4. Thanks for stopping by Megan. I hope some of my journey can help you as you travel yours without your Savannah!

    I look forward to visiting your blog and reading your words......Savannah is a beautiful name, you are right! My beautiful mum chose her name!

    sending love to you
    Diana x

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