Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The 'Easy Button'

“We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.” ~Kenji Miyazawa

Last Friday in Australia, my gorgeous nephew Fraser participated in his school Deb. For anyone who doesn’t know what a ‘Deb’ is, it’s a Debutante Ball…similar to a Prom.

It’s when a girl and a boy are formally introduced to society through a night of dancing, Ball room dancing, like the waltz…and of course they get decked out in their finest gear. It’s a bit old fashioned, but in Oz, I think it’s an excuse for teenagers to party. :)

Fraser is my sister’s second son. He was only five when she was killed….he’s affectionate, always gifting me with the biggest squeezes. I adore him.

So when he emailed me, saying he wished I could be at his special night, my heart strings were yanked. I wished I could’ve been there too….but when you live on the other side of the world it’s almost impossible. And I hate that I miss out on these things for my sister’s children. 

On the night of the Deb, Fraser emailed me a photo of him and Laura, his pretty girlfriend….preened and oh so handsome in a black suit….and Laura looked liked she just stepped out of a fairytale book.

And I didn’t realize how much it would hurt to see the photo of him…beaming his beautiful toothy smile!

My eyes filled with tears instantly. And I couldn’t stop weeping…..

I was sad most of Friday that I couldn’t be there for him, that I’d let him down…and also that his mum, my sister wasn’t there either to treasure these moments.   Even though his dad, his sisters, his other aunt and my dad were there to support him, I still felt sad.

And on special days or occasions, these feelings hurt.   But there’s no easy way to block out the pain….sometimes, the only exit to safety and healing is through the inferno…through the heartache and the tears.

And whilst for me, that all consuming sadness isn’t there everyday now as it once was… it does have a habit of casting a dark shadow on my world, blocking out my sunshine…like a solar eclipse. Yes, nothing about grief is easy, I wish it was….

Which brings me to the weekend….

Peter, Dempsey and I did the rounds of our local shops, finishing off at Staples, which is a stationary store here in Southern California.

Peter disappeared down the aisles looking for printer paper while Dempsey and I hung around the front of the store looking at the fun stuff they had scattered around on shelves.

Dempsey discovered a big round red plastic button that said “Easy” …which of course she couldn’t help but push.  I was surprised to hear the button exclaim in a deep man’s voice, “That was easy!” Dempsey started giggling, thinking it was funny, hitting it over and over until people started staring at us.  Then the nagging began…”Please, can we buy it Mummy?”

So along with our stack of printer paper, the ‘Easy button’ made its way along the checkout belt and into our plastic bag. The whole way home in the car, Demps constantly pushed the “Easy” button, driving me C R A Z Y!!!!

And for the past few days’, all I’ve heard is….“That was easy” seeping down the stairs from her room. And it made me think about Fraser and grief and hard days…how if only we all had an ‘Easy button’ we could push to make the hurt go away….

But to heal you have to suffer the hurt….to let it into your heart, to taste your tears or share it with a friend like I did…and understand it isn’t forever.

The Easter Holidays are just around the corner and I know the day will be reflective for me because some of my family members aren’t here….especially Savannah who loved gorging on chocolate and finding colorful eggs hidden in our yard….

I usually try and do things that make me happy….like buying these flowers that were parked up at the checkout in Vons supermarket…..

They are just so magnificent!

Is there really anything more spectacular than the spring bouquets that are around this time of year? They come with a guarantee to brighten up my mood and of course our house….

And then there’s Dempsey, who has a lifetime guarantee of eclipsing my world with her magical dimpled smile and love…..

As well as visiting Staples we dropped in at the Pet Store where Demps almost squeezed the life out of this little Easter Bunny!

You can see the adoration in her face…mine was on the other end of the camera!

And today, on the cusp of Easter, a friend who is travelling in Europe emailed me to say her dad had been killed in a farming accident in Australia….a shock and a tragedy for her.  As I write this, she's probably on a plane back to Australia...

I know her journey of grief and healing begins today.  She said her dad is the first person she’s ever lost.... My heart aches for her and her family as I know the road ahead is littered with hard stuff….

On Easter Sunday, I may just have to steal Dempsey’s ‘Easy button’ ....continue to push it…like she does....and get through another holiday making some new happy family memories….

Wishing you sunshine if your cup is blue with the upcoming holiday.... x


  1. Did you see the photos on facebook of the deb!?

  2. Hi, Diana.

    I'm sorry to hear the photos caught you off guard, those moments are a pain. (Had one myself recently that I'm sort of still recovering from.) Holding you in my thoughts as we approach this supremely difficult time of year. A few more days and it will be over soon...or at least that's what I'm telling myself. I keep thinking it should be easier five years later, and 358 days a year I'm fine, but this Easter week knocks me back.

    Wishing you peace, strength and joy on your journey,


  3. Hey Katie!

    I just found them!! Love all of the photos...especially the ones of Dad...THANK YOU! I'm so glad you were there for Fras and Tone X

  4. Dear Casey,

    Thank you for your words...yes, sometimes we are blindsided by something, thats part of if I guess.

    I'm sorry to hear you are having a hard time...around the holidays though memories and longing are sometimes increased I've found.

    I don't think it matters how many years go by...5 or 10 or 20...I think that longing for the ones we love we aren't here anymore will always live in our hearts...as they do now.

    Sending you a hug for the upcoming week Casey..thanks for sharing.
    Diana x

  5. How wonderful that you are so close with your nephew! He looks very handsome!

  6. Hi lovely Candice!

    Yes, it is wonderful...I feel like both of her sons are like mine. And he is very handsome..I'm sure he'd like to hear that ha! :)

    sending a hug,
    Diana x

  7. What a compliment that your nephew wants you there :) I love the idea of making new happy memories. So important not to let the happiness we have slip past us.

    Love the button!