My beloved husband, Kent, died in January 2012, 3 years after diagnosis of a brain tumour. Our son was 2 1/2 and our daughter 3 months old. He and I were far too young. I am now hurtling through the black space of life without him.

Saturday, 27 April 2013


There's a great big, cavernous space in front of my body. My arms are empty.
The hole is so big it hollows out my soul.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Quotes for friends

These are for you, my dearest of friends. I see the tears well in your eyes, and I am grateful that you carry a little of the pain for me. The dark clouds sit heavily on my shoulders, and you are holding them with me. 
The second one is, to me, astounding. Perhaps one day there will be gold. 

"I see your sadness
eating you up inside
and it is slowly
killing me because
I can't do anything
except tell you
and I hope that
will be enough
              for now."


"Some days I wake up
and all I feel
are the fractures
in the flesh
that covers
the only me
I've ever known.
Some days,
it's those exact
that let the light
hiding inside me
pour out
and cover
in gold
that found enough beauty
in the cracks
to stand
close. "

Tyler Knott Gregson

Thursday, 18 April 2013


I stopped my car in the street a while back to let an old man cross the road in front of me. Well, he was crossing anyway, so I kinda had to. He was small, and he had long, grey, straggly hair and a long, beige, saggy coat. He was hunched right over and he shuffled his feet and carried some bags. I am willing to bet he hadn't showered in quite a while, and I'm willing to bet he didn't live with a roof over his head. And unconsciously, involuntarily I felt this surge of feeling towards him. My insides just filled like a rising tide with sympathy and care and sadness... grief for him, because this is not how it was meant to be. Once, perhaps way back in his youth, his life was not like this. This was not what he was heading for, this was not how it was supposed to turn out. And I know what that feels like.

I said once before that I don't particularly have a new found empathy for people in tragic situations, but perhaps sometimes now I do. I struggle to hear news of people dying, and my mind shifts quickly to the newly bereaved, to all that goes on around this news-flash death, and to the lives of those who have been plummeted in to the pit of grief. I know what it's like there and I am so sorry you are here too. I'm so sorry.

At kindy gym with the kids the other day I raced passed a man sitting on one of the crash mats. He, like me, was surrounded by kids flying everywhere, jumping, running, climbing, bouncing balls, chasing hula hoops, shouting, laughing. And he was missing a leg. In place of his lower right leg he had, not so much an artificial leg, as a metal pole with a piece on the end. And an immediate and again very involuntary thought arrived in my mind, "I know what it's like." You and I, we have something in common. All these people here are the same, but you and I are different. We're missing a part. You're missing a limb. I'm missing a husband.

Never could I really know what it's been like for him, and I won't underestimate it. He must have suffered pain and loss and perhaps even horror that I can't imagine. But I'm still pretty sure I'd give up my leg to have my husband back.

On a wall in Christchurch:

"You will lose someone you can't live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn't seal back up. And you come through. It's like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly - that still hurts when the weather gets cold but you learn to dance with the limp."

Anne Lamott

I think I like this. I'm not there yet, but maybe one day these words will be mine. I don't know.

Saturday, 13 April 2013


I sat under the bell tower on Saturday. Beside the brick wall, you know, where we had some photos taken. I could feel what you felt like in your suit, and what it felt like to be wearing my dress. I could feel your hand in mine.

I lay and watched the clouds flying across the sunny sky. They moved so fast that it looked as the though the tower was falling towards me. Crushing me. I tried to see past the clouds, past the blue sky and in to Heaven.

One day it will come down. The bricks will be smashed to the ground. The red carpet, the wooden pews, the smell of old wood, the beautiful windows, all pulled to pieces. Gone.

Last Saturday was our Wedding Anniversary. The church where we were married is less than 10 % earthquake proof and is to be pulled down.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Single and busy

Wow. Being a single parent is really hard. Really, really, very hard. So much work to do, so much bringing up of children to do, so many decisions to make without the one who loves them (or should ) as much as you do. Never, never, ever a sleep in. Thankfully I also have so much help. Parents who deserve a whole post - heck, a whole blog - dedicated to them. Friends who provide for me in a whole range of ways. Women from church (yes, they're friends too) who help with my cleaning.

I wonder if you know any single parents. Perhaps you can help them. Provide just a little of what they need. Whoever they are, whatever is going on for them, they'll be working very hard. But here's the thing, please make them your friend, not your charity. Be in their lives, be a part of their lives, don't be someone who just turns up occasionally then disappears. Know them so well they can cry with you. Know their children so well that you can help with disciplining them, and can sing them a goodnight song and tuck them in to bed. What a blessing you will be.