My IdeaLife: death

My Kingdom for a Kiss Upon Her Shoulder

It's been 18 years since his blood warmed our hearts and his, but his voice remains and still inspires...Read more...

The love of your life

Is it a man, is it a career, no it's superbaby!...Read more...

A lifetime of beauty in a song

Middle East (the band not the place) have somehow condensed the human experience into this soulful song: Blood...Read more...

Superwomen have it all by NOT doing it all

Superwoman really don't exist, it's more like Insanitywoman, so stop pretending and start outsourcing...Read more...

Showing posts with label death. Show all posts
Showing posts with label death. Show all posts

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

My kingdom for more life for you

My friend lost a battle today with a futile dysfunction that had no place occupying her body and her blood. It seems leukaemia is a determined disease and at last it has won, but to what end, other than breaking the hearts of everyone who has ever had the good fortune to know my friend. 

For no good reason this purposeless disease has left three beautiful children and a husband lost, and a mother having to say goodbye to her daughter, and this one friend bewildered and shocked at a world without her in it. 

I am new to this, I’ve been lucky so far, everyone has got well again, even she was well for four extra years thanks to her sister’s bone marrow. But here we are, the world seeming upside down and back the front. So many have been through this and lived with it, and I dare say I will too, but it is surreal and wrong and I wish it were a bad, bad dream.  

Kim Edwards, 16th July 1966 - 6th January 2018

I want her back and I didnt even see her every day, I can’t even imagine her family’s pain if this is how I feel, but thus was the depth of her. I know everyone says when someone dies that we almost canonise them, but she was always angelic to me. She was patient and kind, and generous, so generous. She didn’t judge or hold grudges, she was different to most. She was an extraordinary human being. And I feel so honoured that I knew her, if only for twelve short years. And they were too short, but I treasure the memories, the pragmatic and open way she spoke. Her laugh, her huge heart and the way she coaxed you off the edge with a simple ‘right?’ at the end of her sentences, gently pushing you towards a smarter thought. Thoughts that came so naturally to her. 



I am angry though, so angry that they couldnt save her, that “they” didnt deem her acute, she was acute to us! She was so acute whoever didn’t think so, so acute to us St Vincent’s, and your b/s about not enough beds! And hey, you think she may have been acute now that she didnt make it? I know she wouldnt approve of me being mad, it was not her style, but I would fight for her if she’d let me, and I’ll fight now, I’ll rage against the universe that decided this was a person that’s time was up. 

But you did fight my darling friend, you fought so hard, and now you can rest. And I hope you were at peace as much as this nonsensical proposition could leave you with. I miss you so bad already and we live in different cities. But I always relied on your next visit, our next wine under fairy lights, or you sleeping on our couch and being gorgeous to my boys, as only you, in your natural confidence could. You were so comfortable in your own skin, you put everyone you met at ease in theirs, even 7 year old boys were taken with your charm. 

I would do anything to have been able to comfort you as you did me, and save you the way you saved me. O if only, if only I could have brushed the hair from your face and made it all go away. O what I would give, what we all would have given to give you more life. 

There are no more words that can describe the hole you have left my darling, beautiful friend, Kim. I will miss you forever, I love you. I will try to live in a way that honours you and the inspiration you have been to me and to so many. Rest now, rest. 

Update: I am riding 40km in gear Up Girl to raise money for the Leukaemia Foundation, would appreciate anything you can give to support: please donate here and stop this senseless disease: https://give.everydayhero.com/au/nicole-does-40km-gearup-girl

 

Monday, 17 December 2012

What would you say to the parents in Connecticut?

I don't know what you would say but I am at a point where I would have to scream simply "what the f*ck?!". There is no normal explanation for this. "Some people are mentally disturbed" no longer cuts it when 20 six and seven year olds are the chosen target. This is not just a tipping point for the USA, it is a question for the world, especially the virtual world. There is something that we are missing when we hear of teenagers doing these things. 


The only thing I can remember that is worse than what has happened in Connecticut, is what happened to poor James Bulger, a 2 year old in the UK, lured away from his Mum by two ten year olds to be t0rtured and murd3red slowly. Two ten years olds now in their 20s with hidden identities for their protection so they can live their lives in freedom. Huh!? What are we doing wrong? Are we too busy to notice we are raising psych0paths? Are we too lazy to keep them off video games that make murd3r seem like fun? What are we not teaching them about the value of life that they take it away from people so small and innocent and in no way capable of causing any form of pain to them, that would warrant these kind of vind!ctive and cowardly att@cks? And worst of all when we find out through some horrific situation that involves innocent people losing their happy existences, that these young people are actually psych0paths, why do we as a society find it necessary to protect them from normal people who feel that maybe it's not cool to have obvious s0ciopaths living freely in society? 

I am so mad, there is no way around it, I am furious. I am livid with his mother for teaching him to sh00t and having semi-@ut0matic weap0ns just hanging around, for knowing instinctively that he was not right and doing nothing about it. I am horrified that somehow a bunch of morons have lobbied to allow people to freely own these weap0ns. I am incensed that he and his mother* are gone so we can't make them live with the consequences of their choices or grab them and shake them until we find out why, Why, WHY?????
From top right (clockwise): Noah Pozner, Emilie Parker, Dylan Hockley, Grace McDonnell, Victoria Soto, 27, Mary Sherlach, 56, Lauren Russeau, 30, James Mattioli and Olivia Engel, Jesse Lewis and Ana M. Marquez-Greene
Every beautiful smiling face I've seen on TV that I know now is no longer, looks like any of our family photos. The innocent unbridled joy of life still mostly unchallenged. I don't know what to say to those left behind without their beautiful little cheeky monkeys. There is no sense, nor hope I can find in this. It is a horror beyond any movie and over 40 people are not acting as they try to face something not even the most w@rped movie makers could think up. I suppose the only comfort is so many are grieving with you, not as deeply of course, but we are here too, feeling it hard and hating a world where this can happen. Something has to change, please, something has to come from these beautiful young things cut down so unfairly and far too soon. 



RIP
Charlotte Bacon, age 6
Daniel Barden, age 7
Olivia Engel, age 6
Josephine Gay, age 7
Ana Marquez-Greene, age 6
Dylan Hockley, age 6
Madeleine F Hsu, age 6
Catherine Hubbard, age 6
Chase Kowalski , age 7
Jesse Lewis, age 6
James Mattioli, age 6
Grace McDonnell, age 7
Emilie Parker, age 6
Jack Pinto, age 6
Noah Pozner, age 6
Caroline Previdi, age 6
Jessica Rekos, age 6
Avielle Richman, age 6
Benjamin Wheeler, age 6
Allison Wyatt, age 6

Rachel Davino, age 29
Dawn Hochsprung, age 47
Anne Marie Murphy, age 52
Lauren Rousseau, age 30
Mary Sherlach, age 56
Victoria Soto, age 27

*One mother's account of living with a mentally ill son sheds new light on what this man may have been putting her through and raises great points about the potential root cause and its solution. 

Monday, 1 October 2012

A Beautiful Beginnings End: RIP Jill Meagher

Street Art Tribute in Hosier Lane, Melbourne, Source: HeraldSun

Her dreams were those of any beautiful young girl, her vibrancy and light existence marred only by a shimmer of doubt that flashed through her mind when a stranger began talking to her on the way home early last Saturday morning. That doubt grew into unthinkable horror when Jill Meagher's circumstances conspired against her and a predator, a man so lost and damaged, thought nothing of ending her near perfect life. A life with a long future of love and adventure and moments. A lifetime of moments he felt were less worthy, than a vulgar, disturbed one made up of power and violence. 

Source: The Vine Live
I don't understand this man, not even close. What megalomania takes hold to not understand another human's huge and majestic existence? How could he not see her, and how she extended into the past, the future and into all those that know and love her in the present? Was it the brilliance of her that made him hate her enough to end her beautiful life? I don't know and like the thousands that walked down Sydney Road as a tribute to this senseless loss, I will probably never know what possessed the man that did this to Jill. 

Tribute March for Jill Meagher, Brunswick, Source: HeraldSun
All we are left with are questions unanswered, shock and grief. And a desperate scrambling to pull together, to reassure each other that humanity is not lost. That there are more of us who feel each other, empathise with and respect each other, than those that do not. I want to hope, I want to send thoughts of strength and love to Tom Meagher and the McKeon Family, but I am collapsed in grief at the absurdity of this life. That this can happen, and does happen more often than we know, breaks my heart. 

Tears replace the space where hope lived, so for now I cry with you in your great loss. And hope that maybe one day the lyrics of this song will make sense of the senselessness of Jill's end. 


"Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end"

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

UPDATE: The Burden of True Love: Dedicated to Marina Krim in her unthinkable loss

I seem to have an unhealthy obsession with death of late. It is quite disturbing and not really conducive to a light and smiling existence. Instead I have strange visions of myself being injured or worse one of my beautiful boys. I try to tell myself that living in fear of death is a waste of life and I know it is, I can feel it is, but now I have so much to lose, so much to miss in the growth of my two little toddler boys into young men and god permitting, adults. I watched Shadowlands tonight, and I knew I shouldn't but it is a beautiful story and a true one. Non-fiction is always more magnetic to me but unfortunately usually contains the real tragedy of the absurdity of our lives.

my idealife banksy

C.S. Lewis although a committed Christian and successful author had never really fallen in love. His life was perfectly balanced, clinical and in control. Until he met Joy quite late in life. Her massive IQ and wit derailed his limited existence and he fell hard and passionately in love with her. But by some strange fate it turned out she had cancer and died only four years after they were married. His life was turned upside down and back the front and was taken completely out of his hands. In spite of this he recognises that the happiness she brought was worth the pain. I love the part where he says to her on her deathbed "I love you Joy, you make me so happy, I never knew I could feel such happiness... you are the truest person I know." 

What is more devastating than their love cut far too short is Joy having to leave her boys, when still only boys very much still in need of their Mum, behind alone, without her. As a Mum I find this almost unbearable to watch let alone imagine for my own boys. 


I know that people somehow survive this kind of loss, the pain, although never completely gone, reduces and life crowds in to distract you. But I buckle in two at the thought, I don't seem to be made of the stuff that those that continue are. I feel like my insides are custard, probably soft and malleable through never having been through anything even close to this harrowing. 

I only wish that my fears will work to drive my enjoyment of the moments I am having this second, when my boys still love cuddles and kisses, and say things like "You are my true love" or yell with glee, "Mummy, Mummy" on my arrival home from work, running at me with arms splayed ready to be easily swung in the air, my face buried in their soft necks breathing in their innocence before bursting a raspberry onto their perfect skin, and drinking in the erupting giggles that this all imbues. 

Like C.S. Lewis, my nightmares will probably never cease, but if the worst were to happen and I end up broken by grief I hope I remember they were worth the pain, every precious second knowing them is better than a pain-free existence never having looked into their eyes of joy and wonder, and realising they are the joy and wonder of my life. 



Sending Kevin and Marina Krim the strength no Mother can imagine having,
as you face the most terrible of losses x

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Outliving Thomas Kelly: his parents nightmare

It's my Dad's birthday on Sunday and he'll be 77 this year, a very young 77 but 77 nonetheless. He has seen his two children grow from babies into teenagers and into adults. He has welcomed two grand children who adore him as much as I did from their age and lived a long, sometimes hard, but very full life. 

When you see someone you love grow older and see their body begin to age and cause them pain your first thought is to feel bad for them, I certainly hate seeing either of my parents in pain and would do anything to match their bodies to their active minds. 

But what I realised this week is they don't deserve pity, their situation is enviable. When I read Ralph Kelly's interview about what he and his family are going through, it became patently clear that people who don't outlive their children are the luckiest people alive. Like Ralph Kelly I have two sons. Before I was a parent I knew the bond between child and parent was strong from own love for my parents, but I had no idea the intensity of a parents' love. It is an out of this world adoration so intense that your heart breaks daily at the slightest hint of something taking this being, this extension of you, away. It is a haunting love not matched by any romantic entanglement. Once you meet a human that you happened to create you can forgo most things if you are granted one thing and that is to know them for as long as you can and see them happy and settled one day with their own family. 

Grieving parents ... Kathy and Ralph Kelly Photo: Steve Christo
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/tom-in-wrong-place-at-wrong-time-say-police-20120711-21v7h.html#ixzz20Jkkiseo
Thomas Kelly's parents said goodbye to their son after only 18 years on Monday. When I found out I was standing in a cafe waiting for my morning coffee and my heart broke. Tears ran down my cheeks at what I know would be the worst agony a parent can suffer. The strength to turn off life support and the selflessness to donate his organs make them stronger people than I can imagine I would be. His father said today that they don't know how they will continue and all I can hope for them that they will and they will receive the love and support they need to continue and survive the worst grief imaginable. 

I don't know these people, but I know that every parent in the world gasped with horror when they read what the Kelly's have been senselessly put through. When I look at the smiling face of Thomas Kelly with eyes full of hopes and dreams that have been stolen away by a sadistic and damaged moron, I am horrified that is murderer is still enjoying breathing in and out, while Thomas no longer can.

Sadly this is not a one-off horror, and victims of this type of mindless violence have inspired the charity Step back and think to be formed to educate young men about the danger of a single punch. You can read more here http://www.stepbackthink.org/ Unfortunately the message did not reach Thomas Kelly's killer in time to save his young  life, but maybe it will save my boys or yours one day in the future. 

From one family to another, our hearts goes out to the Kelly family. 
Love and strength to you all in your loss of Thomas. 
xxx

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

The Problem with Mortality: Jim Stynes gone at 45

On the day of Jim Stynes state funeral an edited version of this post was published in the Tele

"All those moments lost in time...like tears in rain...time to die"
BladeRunner 1982


I’m not in to watching sport, in fact when my husband turns it on, daily that is, I go kind of mental and loudly threaten a 24 hour Jane Austen marathon until he changes the channel. But tonight the not so random Fox Sports channel specifically selected to watch a dedication to AFL legend Jim Stynes sent me a different kind of crazy. Tears streamed down my cheeks as I took in the loss of an obviously great man with a rare mix of humility, drive and amazing character. My heart broke as I imagined his wife and children facing a future without what was obviously the backbone of their reality gone. And as I saw the helplessness we all share when the enemy of our time rears it’s ugly head, to cut short another young life at only 45, it was almost too much.

Last year Sarah Watt died of Cancer, a month before her, Steve Jobs, weeks before that Gavin Larkin, a few months before that my cousin, and the list goes on like a morbid game of Chinese Whispers that leaves only grief and sadness in its wake.

We are surrounded by death, a day does not go by in which we are not confronted by mortality. Whether it be a car accident, a suicide bomb or an illness, the TV beams it to us daily. Not surprising really, given over 150,000 people die each day. What is surprising though is how we manage to ignore it, mainly because it is not our own and for years and hopefully whole life times we carve a path through life without looking death squarely in the eye. We live as if immortal.

Even when my Mother was diagnosed with Breast Cancer I managed to shelve the situation in the “she’ll be right” category of my brain and luckily she was. Today though my delusion is showing cracks and I don’t know whether it is maturity or just that the people threatened and dying now are peers, but my "eternal" existence is being challenged.

Jim, Steve and Sarah had children, so have I, they were happy, so am I, they were in their 40s, so am I, they were needed, so am I. There it is, the unfamiliar face of death taking someone my age, at my stage of life. It is despicable, wrong and absurd. But most of all it is insanely confronting.

It is an understatement to say I am not happy about this happening. The injustice of it is driving me quietly mad. I am sad and angry and desperate at this interruption to such brilliant existences. “It is NOT fair! this is not how it is meant to be” I scream as I try to return death back to its abstract box, miles away from me. But as I spin hopelessly in my new world without infinity, I realise I need a new way to look at this or I would be of no use to anybody.

Then I remembered what I had heard last year. When it became apparent that Steve Jobs was gravely ill, I watched his speech to Stanford graduates. It left me a blubbering mess then and compelled me to write about his life, but his words were like oxygen for those grieving his loss after he died and I so I share them again as we grieve again today for Jim Stynes:

“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart…”
Steve Jobs, 2005

And when Jim Stynes was asked whether he thought what was happening to him was incredibly unjust he responded: 

“Life throws up challenges, life is unfair.
When you understand that, you can get on with your life”. 
Jim Stynes, 2010



He also admitted to being too busy to get a sizable lump on his back checked despite his wife urging him to go to the Doctor. Sound familiar? “Living” does gets in the way of life and if on the day we die we want to look back without regret, listening to those that have at last faced their own mortality is key. 

So maybe instead of seeing a seething monster when death reminds us it exists, we need to see a motivator with a light shining through our material and superficial trappings to our soul and heart. A filter that tears away the unimportant and uncovers what it is we want from our very finite life. 

Unfortunately these inspirational and wise words can’t reduce the intense pain of losing someone we love or the thought of our own self ceasing. But maybe if we accepted that one day our spirit will end with one final synapse firing in our brain. Maybe then and only then would we truly learn how to live, grateful for the things that matter, and looking for ways to find inner happiness and share it with those we love.

When life gets in the way and I forget what really matters I am going to stop and remember the great ones that don’t have the chances I have, to cherish their gorgeous family and friends and to stop sometimes and just be.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam Jim Stynes

Saturday, 31 December 2011

What will you remember about 2011?

This year has been one of those ones that stands out. I'm not sure if it's just my baby brain having a half life of six months and so I've completely forgotten everything about 2010, but this year somehow has made it pale into insignificance.



IMMORTALITY MEET FINITE LIFE
2011 will always be the year that I realised I will not live forever, it was like Death was trying to tell me something and for the first time I listened.

I never knew Steve Jobs but his words back in 2005 "have the courage to follow your heart" will haunt me until I truly take that first step towards my destiny. His death still makes me sad. What an amazing visionary that was taken from all of us far too early. At the same time his amazing thoughts and words inspired me to the point that I wrote an article about him that got published in a major newspaper, which ironically felt a touch like where my heart was leading me.

I met Gavin Larkin once, in a pitch situation. He was larger than life, vivacious, intelligent and compelling. At the time I didn't know that he had started RUOK? day for the prevention of suicide, and he didn't know that he already had cancer. His death this year was incredibly shocking, he was younger than me and left behind his wife and three children. His amazing life was captured by Australian Story, if you missed it I highly recommend you watch it here.

Ten years on we mourned again the loss of thousands of innocent people as we remembered 9/11. I had managed to not think too much about it since the shocking event took place, as I didn't know anyone who died. But with the gravity of motherhood I saw the grief of parents, partners and young children in a much deeper and clearer light, and one that cut me deeply. My heart still breaks for their loss.

And most drastically my immortal status quo was irreversibly challenged, when a beautiful friend with two kids the same age as mine was diagnosed with cancer in October. Something about someone so close to you, living a parallel life and it being disrupted so frighteningly has rocked my world. I'm sure not as much as hers and her gorgeous family's, but my heart broke when she told me and I know I will be in limbo until I find out she is going to be ok.

BRAND NEW EYES
In 2011 my two babies became little boys. Their personalities developed and my eldest started speaking and giving me a whole new insight in to the way he sees the world. My youngest also showed us who he is going to become with his unwavering determination and gusto for life. And I woke up from probably a couple of years of sleep deprivation to realise how lucky I am to know these two amazing little beings. Yes they are hard work, yes it is insanely stressful trying to constantly protect them as they totter towards stairs or learn to jump off fences, but they are my universe, my joy, my pride and when I feel their arms wrapped around me, when I see them collapse in giggles, when they look at me with wonder and love, I realise it is me that has been given new life, in the creation of theirs.

MY WORDS FORMED A SMILE
Thanks to the existence of said perfect little creatures, in February this year I was inspired to start blogging, which has lead me to realise that writing is a bit of a passion of mine and one I'm hoping will continue to change my life. All those inane years of journal keeping seems to have had some benefits, other than one day explaining to my ancestors why they are slightly insane. I have been lucky enough to have work published all over the place but what has been more exciting is meeting other bloggers. In them I have found friends who somehow get the insanity that is the need to write and overshare, I mean, contribute to the world. The generosity, wit, intelligence and comradery I have found is so brilliantly unexpected. There are too many to mention but I can't let go of this year without thanking some of you for your support, encouragement and friendship:


Maria Tedeschi of Mum's Word
Purple_cath of Precocious Lotus Jewels
Nathalie Brown of EasyPeasyKids
Danielle Uskovic from Lenovo
Brenda Gaddi of Mummytime and Digital Parents
Emma Ashton of Reality Ravings
Andrea Zanetich of Fox in flats
Bernadette Morley of So now what?
Denyse Whelan 
Yvette Vignando of HappyChild
Sharon of Twitchy Corner
Mary-Ann Harris of Mah73
Kathy from SmallKucing
Alexandra Carlton and
the worst until last
Joe Hildebrand (aka the online sensation)


and Happy New Year to all of you, 
thanks so much for taking the time to visit and 
I hope I've given you as much joy this year as you have me! xxx


What will you remember about 2011?