Tuesday, November 7, 2017


What if life stayed the same?

If it got stuck like a scratched vinyl record and kept playing over and over--the same theme--the same moments--the same day? It would drive us insane.

We’d be bored.

We’d question our existence.

We wouldn’t value life lessons--our mistakes, our experiences or our successes, or what they teach us. How they build character—and resilience—and empathy.

Sometimes I’d love to be stuck in a day in the past. To relive some moments--like watching Savannah take her first wonky steps into my arms—or witnessing Dempsey’s first breath, screaming and red and beautiful.

But life’s not like that. There’s no way we can stop change, or life, or what a day will bring. And there’s beauty and hope in that.

As I watch Dempsey turn from a tween into a teen there’s so many gifts I didn’t get to experience with her sister who died. Like watching her at her concerts play her trumpet with so much pride as she taps her foot to the music—which makes me smile. Or seeing her rush into a café here in our small town and tie her apron up to help volunteer. I always sit in my car, watching her through the window and selfishy indulge in the warm feeling it gives me. Or even simply watching her giggle at a message on her phone, which she never shares.

After my sister died, and my mum, and my daughter so many changes happened with each death, I felt my life was out of control. The pain was relentless and the changes unstoppable.

 My nephews and nieces had no mother to kiss them goodnight. I had no mother to call and lean on and to help me get through my own daughter dying. And Savannah, oh Savannah, there were so many changes in my life that I lost my identity. I misplaced my life. But I also gained so much through these painful changes.

Grief builds character.

It makes us more resilient, stronger to face change.

And even though grief manipulates my life sometimes, I’m possibly a better version of myself because of it. And I’m sure if you’re reading and you’ve been through a life changing challenge then you are too.

You notice the deep pink in the sunset, and smile at seeing someone you love laugh, really laugh, or achieve, or try to achieve. Yes, grief is life changing, but sometimes it’s the yin to the yang, without grief in my life, I wonder if my joy would be as intense, or my determination as passionate or my mindfulness as present?

On Monday I took my sisters twins out for lunch. You see they’ve finally finished their schooling after thirteen years and they’re busy studying hard and sitting exams which will change and mould their direction in life.

As we sat in a booth at our local pub, with one of their brothers, I listened to them, talking over one another, laughing, happy, yet anxious about what the future and change will bring. Like moving to the big smoke and attending a University they know nothing about.

But their enthusiasm and happiness about change was contagious.

I smiled as I sat there listening to them grill their big brother about city life.

Change is a coming again.

I’ll miss my twins, it’s like they’re mine. Even though they’re not.  My sister would be over the moon proud!

In a few short months there’ll be big changes, for them, for me, for Dempsey and their dad. But I feel sure they’ll be okay. Knowing that grief has taught them too—to embrace change, to jump aboard the train of life and allow it to take them where it will and trust that all they’ve been through will help buffer them against any challenge they face, an invisible amour that will kick in when the chips are down.

And I know I’ll survive, and they will too—Emerald grabbed my arm and told me, “We’re so doing Sex in the City brunches with you in the city next year.” I smiled at that.

Life does alter and transform us, especially through grief.

But we adjust and we embrace—every day brings new light, new hope—and change x

**This post is for Matty's Mom who inspired me tonight x


  1. They are all growing up and beautiful young women!

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