Womenfolk Series: Elizabeth McDonald – Meet My Mum

IMGP1039As most of you know, our family lost our Mum three years ago and we still feel her absence keenly. On Mothers Day in particular – not just because it’s Mothers Day, but because Mothers Day marks the beginning of the end of her life. Mothers Day was the last time I saw her at home. It was the last day we shared a cuppa, and the last day that we had a proper conversation. After that, for the next couple of weeks, it was just the hospital bedside, and Mum, asleep.

But I don’t want to dwell on the sadness, or how keenly I feel her absence. Or how much I know she would have loved my three-year old, if she’s had the chance to get to know her. I’m not dwelling on that, because it makes me sad.

I want you people to get a feel for the woman that she was. So today for my Womenfolk series, I introduce you to Elizabeth McDonald, my Mum. [Read more…]

👣October 15 – Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day 💔

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Image courtesy of october15.ca

For all the families out there that have lost a baby, October 15th is a day dedicated to you and remembering the babies that we have lost. 💔

It is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day. It was founded in America but every year it is growing and is fast becoming an international day of remembrance. This is because the pain of losing a baby is universal.

Too many families suffer their grief in private because our culture does not provide a forum for the grief that comes with a miscarriage, still born child or infancy loss. It is too terrible to talk about, more than any other type of grieving, this is shunned. It is extremely isolating and sadly, friends and families remaining silent compound that isolation. [Read more…]

Does Thinking About Death Make Our Lives Better?

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Death. It’s not easy, ever. I wish we could all live forever and for no one to experience loss. But that’s just not the way life works. Some people are gifted long and happy lives, and others are not. Some people’s lives are full and happy, but short; some are sad and short, some are long and sad. Whatever your combination the ending will always be the same. For all of us.

And only when people die do we reflect on the kind of life they had. Regret is part of grief. When we are in the throes of life, we don’t stop to consider how we will feel when death comes. Perhaps we should. But that’s not how life works. We are too busy living to be concerned with the business of death.

But I wonder, if death were more present in our lives, would we live fuller lives? 

[Read more…]

The most important lesson my Mum’s absence has taught me

It is a tortured life, the life of a writer. Or so the cliches will have us believe. Ernest Hemmingway said ‘Writing is easy. You just sit down at a typewriter and bleed’. I have identified with this a little; it’s a perfect alibi for procrastination and avoiding the hard stuff. There are many untruths around doing something you are passionate about. From my experience it doesn’t involve pain. It’s more about truly living. Living with your whole being.

Unfortunately, there are too many stories where people wake up and realise that time is running out. We all consciously know that our time on earth is limited and we only get one go at this, but do we really understand the essence of this? [Read more…]

How to save your own life.

I’ve been following the Belle Gibson saga intently and have wanted to write about it since it unfolded. I just couldn’t quite bring myself to – as a mostly well person, I didn’t feel that I was qualified to comment. I was just a consumer who’d been hoodwinked – and not for the first time. But I found her actions deeply disturbing.

I also followed Jess Ainscough, The Wellness Warrior, and when the email landed in my inbox announcing her passing, it took my breath away. The timing of it was eerie. I was in the car with my sister, on our way to the cemetery to intern our Mum’s ashes. She had died of cancer-related complications, eight weeks after getting the ‘all clear’. [Read more…]