We recently returned from our first family holiday without my mum.

Coming back to what will come to be known as our normal life was exceptionally difficult.

Here, at home, while she is constantly in my thoughts, there are a myriad of things to distract me from what my reality now is, a myriad of things tearing me away from dark thoughts. On the ship, cruising in the middle of nowhere with nothing to do but think, read, sleep and eat, my thoughts were always with her, every minute, every hour, every day.

Pacific IslandsThere was no escaping them.

She would have loved everything about that holiday. She would have grabbed every show, every quiz and every activity by the hand and participated in the lot.

She would have indulged in the food, and eaten all the milky desserts and the cheese that was on display, despite being lactose intolerant – because who the hell cares when it comes to enjoying life.

She would have been immersed in the water, trying to escape the uncomfortable heat.

She would have scurried after her two-year-old grandson as he took control of the baby pool, declaring it his and his alone where no one else was allowed to slide down his precious dolphin slide.

She would have been the first on the sand, commandeering our spot before rushing into the clear, blue water to float on its surface.

But most of all, she would have relished in the fact that her beloved family was together, 24 hours a day.

Every moment, I thought of how we needed this holiday. How horrific the past two years have been for us all. How terrifying it is to settle thoughts of life without her. Yet every moment I thought of how she needed this holiday. I thought of how we needed this holiday with her.

I know there will be hundreds of holidays without her. I know there will be loads of memories that we’ll have to create without her. I know that there are a lot of things that are coming my way that I’ll have to handle without her on speed dial. And while ‘normal’ life here keeps me constantly distracted, there’s no running away from that.

I miss my mother every day. And I will continue to miss her every day for the rest of my life. Perhaps what was most hard about our holiday is that family holidays are meant to be taken together, with the whole family in tow. For us, someone was missing.


Whoever coined the phrase time heals all wounds obviously never lost a loved one.

I call bullshit…

I doesn’t get easier. Nothing about this situation will ever get easier. You just learn how to manage the heartache.

I miss my mother more everyday. Because every day the reality of life without her sinks in just that little bit more.

I can’t bring myself to take her number out of my phone. I have picked up the phone to call her more times than I can count – wanting to ask her a million questions. How long should I cook the beef for? What shoes should I wear with my new dress? Wanting to tell her a million things.

But I can’t.

And that hurts… every day. It will continue to hurt… every day.

In fact, the hurting gets worse. There are so many things I’m yet to accomplish in life. And I’m going to have to do it all without her.

There are so many things we planned to share together. There are so many things that are yet to happen – exciting things that I planned to share with my mum. So many things that I thought I would be able to lean on her for.

Now I have to go it without mum. And that hurt, that heartache, that horror will never go away.

Time doesn’t heal any wounds. I will carry my wound with me for the rest of my life.

I will learn how to deal with my wound. I will learn how to bury it when I want to and deal with it when I have to. Slowly, slowly I will learn how to manage the hurt and the pain, and I will learn how cope. I will learn how to patch my heart.

Occasionally the wound will scab over. But then something will happen, something amazing will happen, and that wound will start to ooze all over again. Because for the rest of my life, someone … someone who was my whole world … will be missing.


Capture the moment

I’ve always been fascinated with photography. That ability to capture one, single moment in a ‘forever’ image astounds me.

My sister recently gave birth to a little boy. He’s about to turn one and I can’t believe how time has flown by. So much has happened in the past year that it’s astonishing to think that December is already around the corner and our little boy is growing up so quickly.

I’ve been going a little (read: a lot) overboard with taking photos of him. Not because I’m the crazy aunt (well maybe), but because I’m terrified I’ll forget these very special moments with him.

My sister and I have been brought up in such a tight family, so I’m fortunate enough to see my nephew almost every day. I witnessed one of his first smiles. I made him giggle that beautiful giggle, and of course filmed it to share it around. I watched as he figured out how to roll over, sit up and most recently, how to do the worm (his version of crawling).

And every milestone has been captured and recorded.

I think back to when my sister and I were little, exploring the world and finding our way. Our dad would follow us around with a video camera capturing our every step, sprint and jump. And every day I thank him for that. Because now, I’ll have those moments to share with my children.

I guess the difference now is the ability to share these pictures and videos around. Every time someone takes a photo of my nephew, it’s shared with the family within minutes. So no matter where you are in the world, you feel part of his achievements, no matter how small.

His recently milestone has me chasing him around the house snapping photos as he navigates the 1980s breakdance move. It’s definitely a work out … and worth every breath!