Archive for the ‘Grief’ Category

Dad’s Bouquet
December 1, 2019

My Dad died on 7 November at the age of 95. We held his funeral on 15 November.

When I visited my cousin in Ballarat last Wednesday, she presented me with this bouquet of flowers from her garden in honour of my father.




Among the flowers is this rose, Dainty Bess. My cousin included this rose because my mother was known as Bess. I never heard anyone call her by her registered name, Elizabeth.

Castlemaine Cemetery
March 23, 2018

In a previous post, I documented the Chinese section of the Castlemaine cemetery. This post takes a wander around other sections of the cemetery. The photographs were taken over a period of around 18 months.

Embedded in an embankment of the cemetery driveway are these broken pieces of headstone.

I like how they have weathered, blending in with the stony embankment.

The decorative elements are still visible.

The elaborate carving on this headstone is eye catching.

Here are three generations of women whose lives had been cut short.

How on earth did a grand daughter of Robert Burns end up in the gold fields of Castlemaine?

The ashes of my Aunt Anne are interred in a horseshoe shaped garden bed. In the spring of 2016, the roses were particularly fine.





This man’s dog continues to keep him company.

Among the eucalyptus trees, the graves are marked by natural stone memorials.

In rural communities, the volunteer firefighters are held in high regard. The captain of the Campbell’s Creek fire brigade died on active duty.

With a timber memorial at her head, this eleven year old girl continues to receive the love of her grieving family.

June 18, 2015


This crayon drawing is inspired by my thoughts and feelings about the executions of  Australian citizens, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran in Indonesia on the 29th of April 2015.


Collage: I Choose Joy
February 1, 2014


I awake

A heavy, grey mist enveloping me.

Slowly, slowly my mother is fading away.

My father struggles with pain

He struggles to remember the events of the morning

His grandchildren are strangers to him.

My uncle rails against the bitterness of infirmity

‘Oh Death, where is thy sting?’

My cousin, her father’s full time carer,  bears it patiently.

I reflect on the line

‘Old age isn’t for wimps’

In the mean time,

I choose Joy.

I  wrote this a few weeks before my mother died on the 16th of December 2013.

My father’s health and memory have improved since he entered aged care accommodation.



Collage: Dancing in the Rainbow
September 14, 2013


Dancing in the rainbow

Our bodies smile with joy

Our hearts sing their delight

Blissfully, we are united in the dance.

Dancing in the Rainbow is one of the Qi Gong exercises we do in the final 15 minutes of the Tai Chi for Arthritis class I attend. It is one of my favourite exercises.


In this picture which combines collage and drawing, I have depicted my old friend and companion, Spotty, who died on the 24th of July.



Perhaps one day, we will be united in the dance once more.


  A new canine companion has entered my life and so, I commence my journey with Katie.


I have included this card, which was given to me by a friend on my 60th birthday, as it has a rainbow and I laughed when I read it.


Pastel Drawing: Reflections
May 16, 2013

DSCN2380A golden ring of self containment and sufficiency

A fountain of life

Droplets rippling out, impacting on people in different ways

Calm, Serene

Water lilies reaching for light from the murky, muddy depths which nourish the roots.

A reminder that grief for one death can awaken past griefs for lost dreams, wounds, missed opportunities, disappointments, loss of others.

A reminder that our actions and words ripple out into the world we inhabit affecting others in ways observed and unobserved.

A reminder that our actions and words need to spring from a place of gratitude, compassion and love


If we can’t manage that,

At least a place of honesty and authenticity,

If we are to bring light and life to our world.

Thursday, 4th August 2011.

I drew this picture to honour Frances Folletta, the Volunteer Co-ordinator at Fernlea House, who died Wednesday, the 6th of July 2011.


Pastel Drawing: Grief – 14th November 2012
November 15, 2012

Grief for my aunt, Anne, and my friend, Enid, who both died this year.

Grief for my nephew, Alexander, a young man in early adulthood who is struggling with life. It all seems too much for him. What will his future be?

Grief for my unruly garden which will disappear under a new dwelling. The possums will lose another haven.

Grief for the death which needs to occur as I leave one stage of my life to begin another.

This is my final post published from my home in Ferntree Gully. I am surrounded by the chaos of packing and my mind is filled with a list of tasks to be completed by Monday when the removalists arrive. 

I am  grateful for the assistance and  support provided by family and friends as I undertake this major life change.

I will be in Bendigo, in Central Victoria, when I publish my next post. 

In Memory
July 24, 2012

The Glory of Life is Love

The Glory of Life is not that it endures forever,

 but that, for a time,

it includes so much that is beautiful.

It is a tree to those who grasp it,

and happy are all who retain it.

Its ways are ways of pleasantness,

and all its paths are peaceful.

We do not demand that the flower shall never die,

nor that the song shall never end.

Nor would we be angry with life because one day its beauty will be dust,

its music silent, and all its laughter and tears forgotten.

Life, the reality, is ours: we would shape it as nobly as we can.

We will not linger, like timid sailors in port,

but will live dangerously, devoting ourselves with vigour

to what seems to us good, beautiful and true.

The Glory of  Life is Love. Unending.

This reading formed part of the Fernlea House commemorative celebration held on the 8th of July 2012 to honour the memory of those guests, staff and family members who had died over the past 12 months. 

I dedicate this reading to the memory of my aunt, Anne, who died of cancer on the 16th of July 2012.

 Anne and I took great pleasure in wandering around gardens which opened during the Festival of Gardens held every two years in and around Castlemaine.

We lingered and admired the gardens lovingly created by their owners,

We sniffed perfumed blooms and picked dead heads from the irises,

We sat on garden seats, gazing dreamily into the distance deep in contemplation,

We chatted to the owners, patted their cats, dogs and alpacas and startled the goldfish,

We sipped cups of tea and sampled scones and slices.

Anne’s day was not complete until she returned to the car laden with the plants she had purchased.