“We had three significant deaths in three years. We all had post-traumatic stress after Dad died as it was fairly traumatic and sudden. That was in 2003 and there are still moments and pockets of time where you feel like you’re back there a bit. Grief is a huge part of our lives and learning to live with it has been a daily journey. There were plenty of times where I felt like I was sinking but just when I felt like I couldn’t bear any more, I would rise up.
These experiences have made me stronger, much stronger. They’ve forced me to open myself up to feel more and to be healed.
I am a very spiritual person. I have had lots of spiritual experiences in my life, even before Dad died. I would barely talk about them because I have been afraid of what people would think of me. When Dad died, I had lots of experiences of feeling him, seeing him, things happening. Knowing we are not just a body and that our essence is energy and consciousness that continues past this life has helped me with my grief. Now I am passionate about helping people understand this and that there is more to us. That everything and everyone is connected by the one loving energy.
It gives people hope. This is not the finite version of us and this life is merely a place for growth and expansion.
I get teary talking about this, but my mum is my real hero. She has suffered immense loss in her life. She lost her husband, her best friend and her mother all in a space of three years. Then she lost her business and her home of forty years. She is on a pension and renting now but despite all of the loss, she still loves unconditionally and gives so much. When she went through her hip replacement, just before it she was in agony for months. Barely able to function. Yet she would get herself up, do her makeup, get dressed and go down to get a coffee with her walking frame. To me she is the epitome of resilience, forgiveness and love. She is very humble; she doesn’t think so. But she is my absolute inspiration. The night Dad died, she was on the phone to him when his car went off the road. She had no idea where and rang Annie and Ian Griffith and they found him. Annie was her soul sister; they had been friends for years. We all grew up together. When Dad died, she pretty much moved in with Mum and took care of her. Who would have thought that she would die suddenly that same year? It was heartbreaking; she was just 48. Our first Christmas was without both Dad and Annie and it felt surreal. Strangely enough, Annie had bought the cemetery plot next to Dad’s just after he passed because she said she always wanted to be connected to them. Little did she know she would be with him so soon. So now they are buried side by side and we can’t help but be reminded of the power of love and friendship every time we visit them both. Dad was actually the first person to be airlifted off the Island by the Rescue Helicopter in about 1980 when he had a severe head injury in football. It was quite frightening as I was just ten years old and I remember he was knocked out cold on the oval and his eyeball had popped out. Mum says he was never really the same after that.
Mum was also the one who introduced me to Steve. He had just moved over here and started doing the postie round. We went for a coffee and the rest is history.
I was married really young to a local boy here that I met at school, lived away for ten years and then came back to the island when we divorced. Because I was married so young, I lived my teenage ‘party’ years later in life, after we got divorced. Then when Dad died, things changed, my priorities shifted. Death changes you and traumatic death even more so. So, when I met Steve, it was perfect timing as I was ready by then.
Meeting Steve and having my baby Ruby has been the happiest times of my life. Especially when we were told we couldn’t have children but then, at 41, Ruby was conceived all-natural. She is our miracle child and I feel so grateful, every day, for both Steve and Ruby. I only wish Dad could have met them. He would have been a beautiful Poppi.”