29 December 2009

Grief within my art

I find myself clinging onto everything, not wanting to let any little thing go for fear of losing her completely. Stupid, because I know I won't ever forget her. A mother's love is so unconditional - I want to hear her - I want to hug her - I want her back.

So much is going on inside me, my head is constantly going over and over and over everything. I can't seem to stop it. I cry for her, I cry for me, I cry for my girls, I cry for everyone who loved her and misses her, I even cry for the sadness my own sorrow spreads upon others.

I sit atop a dark tunnel, waiting for it to suck me in - it's my own tunnel, a tunnel of grief. The exit sign is behind me, I cannot see it - I know it's there, but don't want to turn and look. I'm not ready - I hold my head in my hands. I weep.

Here I hang, dangling from a noose - the noose is loose and doesn't strangle me. It protects me from slipping into the tunnel - the black hole. I am dangling, hanging - I am restricted and cannot go anywhere or do anything. It has a hold on me, not so tight to kill me, but enough to paralise me temporarily.

It's a circle of life, I am half in and half out - contemplating in which direction to move.
I want to go back, start over and feel alive.

I am having bad days, they are strung together like a twisted vine, tangled and muddled and hard to untangle - I feel splattered, scattered and shattered. Everything seems to be falling apart and I feel helpless to change any of it. I don't know what to do.

24 December 2009


"Comforting Angel" Plaque by Faithful Guardians

My friend and neighbour Lynda came over on Monday with a gift - a beautiful 'comforting angel' plaque. It now proudly sits alongside the picture of my Mum. I am so thankful for the beautiful caring people in my life. Little gifts like this show the kindness and understanding that is around us.

Then, on Tuesday, Susan Sager Brown from Brokn Heart Art brought a little more joy and warmth into my sad heart. I came home from being out and about and I found a parcel delivered, all the way from across the other side of the world - Inside the parcel was a book - "Transitions" by Julia Cameron.

In my quiet times I will be devouring this and hopefully creating some 'therapeutic artworks' based on the coping tips I will be learning. Thank you again Susan for your thoughtfulness and your kindness.

21 December 2009

I don't feel real, nothing feels real...

What I was going to post tonight was just some pictures of my latest atc's, along with the techniques I used.

I wanted to have a happy post - I didn't want to bring any of my blog readers down with my woes and grief....... but I already don't feel 'real' and if I didn't write the truth - then what would be the point of blogging at all.

It's nice that I have some followers who like my blog, who visit for it's art or for how I write, or what I write.... for my self expression, my weirdness, my humour or whatever reason you may visit. It's nice that I receive comments that make me feel warm and fuzzy inside, they remind me that there is a lot of kindness to be thankful for in this often crazy world)


I reminded myself tonight (when I changed my mind about what I was going to post) that I don't blog for the sympathy or the comments - although they do make me warm and fuzzy inside and remind me of the kindness in the world!

I blog for ME.
I blog because I can!
I blog because its a release
I blog so I can express myself (and it's quicker to type and causes less RSI than writing a diary or keeping a journal - although I love art journalling)

If you know me at all, you will know there is nothing I hate more than lies or deception - so I am not going to sugar coat anything - I feel like shit, I hurt - physically & emotionally, I'm pretty damn messed up - I'm grieving.

I reminded myself tonight that this is my blog, and I'm blogging for ME and because I'm not feeling very 'real' lately, because nothing is feeling very 'real' lately - I'm going to keep my blog true and real.

This post will not have pretty pictures, or art - it has my feelings, my heart & my soul.
I am going to babble away to myself, and if you want to be with me, then you are welcome to stay - if you prefer to just see art, then scroll to the bottom of this post & click on a pretty picture


Today I listened to the first half of a cd - 'dealing with grief' - it made sense, and I could certainly relate to what was being said. All the 'what not to say's' to people who are grieving - and yes, I've heard them all already. It's not that anyone intends to be hurtful, or less helpful. I'm sure they have good intentions and just don't know what else to say.
There was some explanations of the bodies responses, the physical, mental & spiritual changes that grief can bring on. There were explanations of things that have been happening to me. Physically, emotionally and spiritually changes or subtle shifts have occurred.
For those that may not know me that well, I have been facilitating a 'spiritual development & meditation group' for over 15 years. Right now it's 11.11 AGAIN!!!!! All this 11.11 stuff is rather freaking me.......... I just happened to glance at the clock for the first time since 8pm!!
Bah Humbug It's supposed to mean I'm on the right path - so hard to accept right now.
All I want to do is hide away, cry and scream. I'm still somewhat numb. I'm sure Craig doesn't know what to say or do and he has been there for me, but I don't want him there sometimes - but I do at the same time - I know that's pretty damn confusing - but I'm pretty damn confusing!! What I mean is sometimes (often lately) I don't feel like him holding me or hugging me, but I want him there. Then there are times when I do want to be held. Now more than ever I understand the value of being held, WITHOUT any words being spoken!! Before my Mum died (fuck I hate saying that!!!) I wanted him to talk talk talk, to be able to express himself all the time. Right now I don't want him to say much of anything - I just need him to be there when I need him. Usually he's not - work obviously has to be done to keep the wheels turning. A lot of the time lately I don't want to be alone. I don't remember feeling like I don't want to be alone for a very long time. If anything, I have wanted to be alone. To have my own space, which often feels crowded, but I don't know why. When I have the space I don't want it. Maybe I'm going crazy.... maybe I already have!! I am trying to make it clear, but know it probably makes no sense to anyone else. Perhaps it's because there is still a 'wall' that stands quite tall and strong between Craig and I... the wall that I built brick by brick and cemented so strongly that it may never come down. Perhaps it's because I don't want to be vulnerable with him again, not wanting to be hurt by him again - But Fuck me, it's been 5 years and I still feel the same hurtful feelings. They are not as bad, no way near - time has eased them, or I have just given up - one or the other. All his so called efforts to re-build the trust etc etc just haven't worked for me. It's because he did what HE thought was best for me, NOT what I told him I needed! So go figure, of course it hasn't helped our relationship.
For some reason he still wants to be with me, and all I do is turn him away, time and time again. Then I am upset that I don't feel 'emotionally' connected to him anymore. How can I?? I block his efforts, because I am still either afraid that he might betray me again, afraid of his inner thinking - because he doesn't or CANNOT communicate his inner thoughts & or feelings and then I get all these negative imaginations of what he is thinking. The stupid thing is that when I am home alone, it's like I am just waiting for him to come home from work so we can DO something together - even just simple things like watering the garden, watching some tv or tidying the house together. It feels like we are friends, good friends with a lot of history and connections and two beautiful daughters (with the very occasional benefits) It doesn't feel 'real' enough for me, like a marital relationship or like it used to feel before I found out he had cheated on me. I used to feel like I was the most important thing in his life, I believed it. Then I just felt stupid, discarded. My mum felt like that when my Dad left her, at the time I didn't understand her feelings. I remember the day he went, I sat with Mum in her bedroom and held her as she cried for 7 hours straight... I ended up ringing the Dr and then I went to the Dr and got her some tablets to calm her down. I don't think I ever understood her loneliness - until recently. I am sorry for that. I cry when I think about the things I'm sorry for. I cry when I think about the things I'm thankful for. I cry when I think about the times I was there for her and the times I wasn't...... I just cry.
It's strange, because so many times my Mum told me I was 'tough' and didn't cry, there were times when she even said she didn't think I could show much emotion........ boy was she wrong there! I think she found out after Craig hurt me. We discovered a lot of things after that, because then I could relate to her more too. That's probably another reason (there are millions) why I feel so lonely now that Mum has gone. We had begun to understand each other more over the last few years. Even though Mum used to annoy me sometimes because of her tendency to see the negative first, Mum was the person I truly felt I could express myself to, she would listen to everything I had to say - and even if she didn't agree, she never ever negated my feelings!!
I know the unconditional love a mother has - I know that as mothers, we only ever want our children to be happy. I feel sad that my Mum saw me so sad and messed up. I know she loved Craig as a son even though she hated what he did to me - her love was totally unconditional to all the family and I miss that SO much.
What breaks me apart, is knowing that she wasn't happy, and that I couldn't even drag myself out of a hole to be able to give her some happiness by being a happy daughter. There were times when I was a little more contented and happy within my own self (not my relationship) These times were when I was being creative, painting, making my art cards or telling her about our store. Mum was proud of 'Scrappindipity' and what Bec and I had achieved with the store. Mum watched the store grow from a tiny stall in the markets to what it is now. She helped in the 'naming' of Scrappindipity. Then there was the times when I was published in a little zine or a website in our home country (UK) these things made her proud and happy, because she saw my enjoyment. I just wish I could have given her more.
Apparantly it's natural that Grief brings about feelings of guilt - I guess it's because we look at all the things we took for granted, all the things we put off, all the bad thoughts we had in our heads when we were frustrated or annoyed with each other, or the tiffs we had. It's all the things we think we should have done, but didn't make a priority.
Apparantly, after the guilt subsides I might find myself in a space where I can focus more on the positive, happy & fun memories - bring it on!! Not that I don't do that now, I do and I try to make that a focus - but those other feelings take over and I must allow them to be. I can work through this, I can, I can, I can........ cant I?

I have not been into the Nana Shack for two days - why do I feel bad about that?
I feel like I am neglecting my Mums things, her special things, her home, her life, herself.......
I want to go in there, to 'feel' her, to be amongst her things and all her treasures but it hurts so much and it just doesn't feel real that she is not there. I don't like going in there alone, I have for brief moments, but sometimes I think I should stay longer. Perhaps I should do some crosswords. Mum and I used to spend Friday afternoons doing the crosswords together.
I have also considered taking some of my art stuff in there and painting, or drawing or creating something and just absorbing it all - everything.

At the moment I don't feel real, nothing feels real.

15 December 2009

Meltdown & Etsy listings

Well last night in the wee small hours, I had a meltdown.
I cried and cried, I babbled to Craig - and the poor bugger didn't know what to say to me. He tried saying all the right things and it came out wrong. I jumped down his throat and bit his head off. Then I said I was sorry, it wasn't him, it was me - It was my pain, the grief and the unanswered questions that I might never get answers to now. He let me waffle away, and was falling asleep while I was doing it. I felt so alone. I felt bad for interupting his sleep when he had to go to work the next morning.... this morning. He was late - oops! Luckily he didn't get into any trouble with his bosses, they have been pretty understanding about everything. Although I do believe they took some of his 'holiday leave' from him instead of 'compassionate leave' - so that's something to sort later.

I still am feeling numb and shocked about everything. So many things are running around in my head like a movie on repeat........ repeat....... repeat. Many people have told me that over time my thoughts will move into a nicer area, thinking nicer thoughts and happier memories. I still do think the happy thoughts, and even can laugh about some funny things that happened while Mum and I had that week together before going into hospital. Sadly, mostly I find I am remembering the actual death moments, and the lead ups to it, the 15 days in hospital :(
It's almost like I don't want to forget them.
The wonderful Connie Holso sent me a journal page from when her Mum died, and it was SO accurate to how I feel, that it has inspired me to continue my journalling. I have done a little, during the hospital visits etc, but haven't done much since Mum actually passed. It all hurts so much. Thank you Connie for sharing your private journal and grief with me - it helped me to realise that what I am thinking, feeling & doing is all a 'normal' part of the grieving process.

Thank you to everyone for your beautiful comments here and on Faccebook - they really mean a lot to me, and sometimes it's those little comments and the support from everyone that helps me get through the day!!! So please don't ever be too shy to talk to me, to comment or to email me. I love chatting :)

Yesterday I bought a CD from a psychologist - "Dealing with Grief" - I have yet to listen to it. I bought it because I thought it might not only help me, but help me to help others too.

I don't think I told you about his 'freaky' dream the night before Mum passed away......... well on the previous night to Mum passing, Craig was home alone while Bec, Amy & I stayed at the palliative care ward (that was a sad night, and we didn't know it at the time, but it was our last night to be with Mum) Craig slept on the couch, waiting in case I called him. At 4.45 AM he woke up crying - He said he had a dream and saw Bec, Amy, Me & himself all standing around Mums hospital bed crying.......
Mum passed away at 4.45PM that same day!!

Two years ago when his father passed away, Craig dreamed that his Dad has passed away, he woke up at 3.20AM - yup, you guessed it his Dad passed away at 3.20PM that same day!!

I told Craig I don't want to know about any of those type of dreams - please! They are scary. I guess though, in both situations we were aware of the situation, and both My Mum and His Dad were in hospital at the time - So they would have been in his thoughts before his dreams happened. It's still very weird though how he got the time of death right BOTH times!

At the moment, we are strapped for cash - so I decided a few dollars here and there going into our joint bank account might help, as Craig is stressing about it a little bit too much about the money side of things. We had to re-draw from our mortgage to pay some bills. He is probably stressing more than normal because he is hurting too! My Mum was just as much his Mum for the 30+ years we have been together!!! Craig has also been having lots of dreams of Mum and weird things since she has passed away.

I have re-newed my ETSY store and listed some collage sheets and some images for sale. The jpg images on my etsy site are smaller images of the actual collage sheets you receive. (Please respect my compilations and do not copy or download these)

The sale items are high quality PDF downloads - that arrive in your email box very soon after payment is received. They are $2.00us per sheet, free postage of course. The individual images are $1.00us each. I will be uploading more of my personal image collection soon.

There are a few more items in my etsy store too, and it would be lovely to have a few visitors & maybe a sale or two there.

For those that like to get a free image to work with every now and then... here's one for you to enjoy (personal use only please)

Blackcreek Girls Group

8 December 2009

The worst mail ever

Pass the tissues please ........

Today I received a 'death certificate' in the mail - It's the worst mail I have ever received. I cried and cried and cried and I'm still crying 12 hours later!!!!

I can't believe how empty I feel now that my Mum is gone. In fact I really can't believe she has gone! - my heart aches so much it's indescribable. I'm actually shocked by how much I am hurting, I thought I was going to be strong, I told Mum I would be ok - and now I'm not and I feel like I'm disappointing her. ok Maybe not, and maybe she can feel my love because of my hurting so much. I know I did all that I could during the last few weeks, and I know that Mum knows that too. So why do I feel that I could be disappointing her? Is it because it's easier to feel guilty and angry than sad?? But I do feel sad...... It's all so confusing. Grief.... it sucks.

I'm crying........ It seems I've been crying all day today. I want to be strong for her, I don't want her to hurt anymore and if she can see me I'm probably hurting her now. (oops here I go again) I saw her hurt too much, it hurt the family seeing it. It hurt her knowing we were hurting..... it just all bloody hurt!!! I was grateful when her hurting stopped - but so disappointed, so broken, so worried about my girls, and even worried about Craig too. I saw his heartbreak, I heard him cry, I watched him cry at the celebration on Sunday - he didn't want to let go of the balloons that we released for Mum......... why would we want to let go? We haven't. I won't let go of my Mum, or what we had together I will forever hold the memories close in my heart. I let go of the balloons to hopefully signify some kind of release, for Mum, a way of 'setting her spirit free'

Every day is so terribly quiet. The Nana Shack looks lonely, I'm lonely.
My house doesn't feel the same.
Driving in the driveway and seeing the Nana Shack so dark, so empty - knowing my Mum isn't there is heartbreaking.
Knowing this feeling wont go away anytime soon, is so hard to accept.

I want to close my eyes and sleep it all away.

I know I must go on, that life goes on - I know I have 2 beautiful daughters to live for, a husband to share with and I know I have wonderful supportive friends - but that still doesn't change how I feel NOW.

I feel like a small child......... I'm 47 years old and feel 10!! I want to scream "I want my mummy" I want my girls Nana back!!

I want to curl up in a ball and sob for the rest of my life.

I want to do everything for her again....... and everything I didn't get a chance to do (or didn't do) while she was still here with me. I want to hold her again, hug her again, cry with her again, laugh with her again, massage her back again, rub her shoulders again, do crosswords together again, drink tea again, play cards again, go in the spa again, go fishing again, take her shopping again, eat salmon sandwiches together again. There are so many million little things.

I look back on that last 15 days in the hospital, and it all seems so unreal. Was that really us in the hospital all that time? Did we do that, visit every day, sit day and night holding her hands? Yes we did, and I know people are saying we are lucky we had that time in the hospital together - and Yes we were - but it doesn't change how I feel NOW. We had one week at home with Mum, one week - it wasn't long enough for any of us. Having to leave Mum in the hospital when visiting hours finished absolutely sucked!!! Then we went to the palliative care hospital... That was so hard, knowing we were going there to watch and wait for Mum to die!! Although it was so much nicer and we had a private room Mum had already started slipping away from us. We couldn't converse properly, she could hear us but couldn't speak back (apart from the occasional sentence or two - it was heartbreaking!! We had 4 nights there - 4 very long nights, painful nights for all of us.

There was one time when I was talking to Mum and tears were falling down her face, I didn't know what she was thinking, or would have said if she could speak. It was just so sad........ sad sad sad, all I could do was hug her.

I feel ripped off - I want to scream at the local GP who treated my Mum for a pulled muscle for 4 months previously, when it was cancer!!!!!! If we had known we could have done more together before the pain made everything too hard for Mum to do.

All I want to say to everyone I see or meet, is - make the time - don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today! Appreciate what & who you have in your life, make amends & build bridges if you have to.

My Mum touched so many peoples hearts. Even in hospital my Mum made the other patients smile - this was a cancer ward, a dark depressing ward with sick people all around. I also want to thank Trisha - another patient, who showed my Mum such kindness during her visit in hospital. Trish would run around pressing the nurse button, feeding mum her unwanted biscuits etc., and Trish all of us family (Bec, Amy, Craig & I) want to thank you for being so special and for caring for Mum while we weren't there. We hope you are doing ok now and that you have your headaches under control.

My Mum made Christmas cards for her local Coles shop assistant, for the girls at Bakers Delight, for the staff in the newsagency where she bought the paper from each week. My Mum bought a present for a stranger every year and put it under the KMart christmas tree.

Life can change in the blink of an eye !

Mum (in the middle) with other patients in Royal Perth Hospital - she got them smiling :)

Mum being such a good sport, she was always letting us dress her up!


Happier times, when the girls and I were leaving to go to Bali - Perth Airport.

Surrounded by angels, and now our own angel herself.

7 December 2009


My sadness today had a little interlude of happiness and gratitude.......

During my Mum's struggle with the cancer/pain, we received some gorgeous flowers and cards from family & friends. They were all so lovely and so appreciated. When the kindness arrived today from an online friend I haven't even met, it reminded me of how beautiful this world can be. It reminds me that there is love all around. For this I am so grateful. I hope my Mum is looking down upon my family and can feel this Love - I hope she can see the beautiful flowers and cards and I hope she knows that although we are all terribly sad, devastated and feeling broken, our hearts are filled with her love, her strength and happy memories.

The most amazing gift of 12 long stemmed beautiful yellow & pink roses, from my internet art friend Joanne arrived today - Thank you Joanne, you are the most incredibly thoughtful and generous person. I wish I could hop on a plane and come give you a big hug!

My Mum Loved yellow roses, they were her favourite!!

They arrived in a beautiful long box, with the ends of the boxes die-cut 'roses only', inside were the magnificent roses, a rose scented candle and a box of chocolates....... mmmm chocolate :)

Here's some pictures of the beautiful flowers from Joanne, sitting proudly in my home.

Saying I'm sad doesn't begin to describe it

My Beautiful Mum passed away on a sunny Sunday 29th November, 2009.........

It's all so unbelievable, things happened so fast! So much happened in a short few weeks.

I can't imagine my life without my Mum but know I have to keep going and I hold onto all the memories we made together.

It hurts so much, I feel really numb and unmotivated. I know my Mum would not want me to feel this way - but how can I not, when she was such a big part of my whole life??

I hold onto the cherished memories, especially the last few weeks we shared together. I was by her side, with Craig, Bec & Amy - just the 4 of us while she passed away. We were all holding her hands, telling her how much we loved her and will miss her. We told her she was beautiful and I stroked her face and placed my other hand over her heart......
The peace I saw & felt within her as she lay so very still afterwards, was a relief - as I finally knew she was not suffering at all anymore.

Tears constantly spill from my eyes and my life will never be the same. It's all the million little things that hurt so much. Like the times I would come home from my shop to find a batch of freshly baked scones sitting on my table - and a bowl of fresh cream in my fridge, or cupcakes.

Mum always put everyone else BEFORE herself - she was such a giving loving soul.

Today we celebrated her life - It was another beautiful sunny Sunday - We lit candles, and sent off balloons. We played Mum's favourite music. Heartfelt words were spoken. Tears flowed. We smiled as we recalled special memories and fun times.

The support & love we have received during this sad time is incredible, and for that, we are so very grateful.

My numbness remains - I will be taking one day at a time, moment by moment.