Archive for May, 2013



Two nights ago,  I lay down to sleep and cried for an hour straight.
I haven’t cried that hard for some time now.
I haven’t felt the immense unfairness of my loss so hard for ages.
That bewilderment that he SHOULD be here, but isn’t.

….and I went back to that locked room in my brain.
The room that contains the memories from of that afternoon when I found out that Greg had died 5 hours earlier.
I turned the key.
I unlocked that door.
…and was swamped by the intense grief as that pitiful wraith in my head was unleashed,
her screaming … no
….  her keening howls drowning all other thought
drowning all other feeling.

Her shrieks so loud that I am not entirely sure that my head can contain them.

I know her screams too well.
Her screams are the echo of mine from that day that is forever etched into my mind.
They are the ones that came from my every pore when the policeman tried to tell me that Greg had not survived the accident.
They are the screams that started that day and which have never really stopped.

Most of the time, the door is locked and those screams are muffled.
Most of the time, the screams are quiet.  Whispered screams….
Most of the time, things are OK.

But sometimes, I revisit that day and it knocks me down.

….yet I know that each time I am knocked down, I get up again,


Authentic Life

Authentic Life


Mothers day card by corymbia 
Mother’s Day card from my girl…

On Mother’s Day, Widow’s Voice alumnus writer Jackie Hannam-Chandler posted these words:

I… am an authentic mom. I am real person who makes real mistakes.
She lamented on her role as a solo Mum….. a widowed parent, muddling through this parenting gig alone, without her beloved Jeff,  trying her best for her kids that she can.
…. and her frank admission that she sometimes lets it ALL hang out  – her emotions, her frustrations, her feelings that are not always pretty  – made ME feel like someone else really understood the hard bits of this solo parenting gig. 
So I wrote back to her ….

Your mother’s day would describe my day before mother’s day – I lost my sh!t  temper at my kids because of the fighting and me having to tell them to do their chores every few minutes.
…and what you describe fits me to a ‘T’…. I worked in forestry for a while and picked up the dialect….. I elevate swearing to literary genre.

In other words – the F-word makes its appearance when I am stressed.
In our house, we don’t do elaborate holidays, or expensive presents.
We do home grown and home made.
And I lose my freaking shit temper at them more times than I think I should, but I would eviscerate anyone who hurt my kids. 

Jackie wrote: I hope that as they look back at their childhood and shake their heads at my mothering foibles, they also realize that it is okay to be themselves, to be real, to mess up, to be “authentic”. Their mama sure was.

Just like Jackie, I hope that my kids can look back on their childhood and not see the messed-up stuff that has happened since their father died, that they see my failings for what they are (grief and stress) and that they also understand that it is important to be themselves and feel their feelings.
Its OK to mess-up.
It’s OK to stress about things.
It’s even OK to chuck a tanty and swear your head off, so long as you back it up with positives and lots and lots of love.
That grief can change you and bend you, but not break you.
To live your life as a REAL person, and not a phoney.

To live an Authentic Life.

So I am putting my hand up as being an Authentic Mum (thanks to Jackie) …. with all of my faults.  …and after receiving my mother’s day card (above) I reckon that I am doing OK….
In fact, I think Greg would be proud….



I’m kinda struggling tonight (and this post is late).  I just can’t seem to catch my breath….
Last week, my daughter was sick so I had to take a day off work and look after her.  This lead to my class of kids Not Coping Well with my absence, so the rest of the week was spent calming and redirecting about 7 students and reassuring the rest of the class that order had been restored and everything was OK again.

Not to mention worrying about the sick kid at home with the temperature of 41°C (trust me when I say that is scarily high in centigrade).

Then my Mum had an accident on Friday afternoon – she was knocked down by some dogs, and long story short … she ended up in the ER with concussion and a memory loss that scared the living daylights out of me.  She also ended up with a broken tibia, but this wasn’t picked up until her GP ordered an xray on Monday.  She is now in a moon boot for the next two months.

Mum is my main support person.  She also cares for my Dad but I would have folded in a heap a long time ago if it weren’t for her. …and to see her so utterly confused and in pain was like a cold, hard kick in the guts.

As an added bonus to that drama, one of the paramedics was talking to me as the ambulance made its slow journey into hospital with Mum in the back, and I mentioned that  she was my Person now as my husband had been killed in a car accident….. which lead to him asking about Greg’s accident. I saw him pale as he tentatively asked if it was That accident with the Porsche.
…and so my brain being what it is, I spent quite a bit of Friday night contemplating just how badly a person can be injured when a seasoned paramedic pales when speaking of it 3 years later.  Its times like this when I wish my brain wasn’t that kind that always needs to know more, research more, find out what puts the “bad” in “bad accident”.  But you don’t get to be a research scientist from not wondering too much about stuff….

…and now tonight, the tiredness has caught me.  I am trying to catch up school work that was missed due to the Not Coping last week.
… the insanity of coming home to find my tack-sharp mother not remembering what day it was nor what she’d said 5 seconds earlier (she still has a memory loss of about 5 hours from Friday evening that she’ll probably never get back).
… the stupid, sleepless hours imaging what horrors are imprinted on that paramedic’s memory from Greg’s accident.

….and it all leads to the grief coming up to the surface.

…and I find myself struggling tonight.

But I will sleep soon, and I will wake tomorrow, and I know that like every grief cycle, the grief will ease off again and calmness will return.