On 25 January my beautiful sister passed away unexpectedly. Fiona was only 51 years young (52 this coming June). We are still waiting for the Coroner’s report.
When our dear dad passed away at 87 years young, about eight months ago from an ongoing illness, I saw life from a different perspective. I have always let my loved ones know how I feel about them, and the importance of not taking things for granted, but with Dad’s passing I did feel a little disengaged from the world around me. I became even more aware of the silliness of petty bickering, and the importance of enjoying what I have.
But with my sister’s passing there is now a gaping hole where my heart has been wrenched out, and it sometimes seems disrespectful to get involved in the normality of everyday life. As they say, life does go on, but it can be very difficult and surreal at times. Thankfully my sister and I were very close which does make it extremely hard because she is not here for me to talk to (not in person, anyway).
The reason for this post is not to go into any detail but suffice to say that the last five weeks have been a devastating, emotional and surreal time for my mum, my sister’s partner, and myself. I also know that Fiona’s passing has affected those who knew, loved and admired her.
I have always blogged about following your passion, and focussing on the journey, rather than on the destination. Although I don’t want this to sound like a sermon, I know that life can throw huge curve balls, and that one day your life can be going in a particular direction, to find that devastation can hit and your life is thrown into turmoil. It is as if you have been happily travelling on one train and suddenly gone through a tunnel to find that you have somehow ended up on a different train, travelling in a different direction and forced to associate with different people.
My sister had many passions but one in particular was her beautiful French inspired gift shop. She was extremely creative and knew how to instinctively dress a shop. I shared in her passions and she shared in my passion as a writer, and children’s story teller, and my other creative pursuits.
It is lovely to find your passion, but it is even lovelier when your friends and loved ones are taken on your journey, such as sharing your lows and highs or just keeping in touch with them. It is also lovely when you reciprocate and share their passions, or journey, even if just lending a listening ear.
So please enjoy your passion but don’t isolate yourself from your loved ones. Yes, there are deadlines to meet; thus you may have to lock yourself away for a while so as not to be distracted. However, when the deadline has been met, take a break, and immerse yourself in the lives of your friends and loved ones. Let them know that you are there for them. Give them a hug. Because you just never know what is around the corner.
And appreciate the simple things around you – the smell of coffee percolating, the taste of chocolate melting in your mouth, the sound of popcorn popping, the wonder of nature, such as rainbows, magpies warbling, kookaburras laughing at the world, the smell of your favourite flowers, the playful nature of your pets, and the smell of the earth after the rain.
Appreciating these can also help you to relax and unwind, as well as inspire stories, poems, or illustrations.
So enjoy that cup of coffee when you are taking a break from your writing, illustrations or other pursuits; smell the roses as you go on your daily walk, take time to play with your pets, and enjoy moments with your friends and family.
Even if you haven’t been thrown huge curve balls, things can still get a little overwhelming at times. Take a break and you’ll find out what you really do miss and what is really important to you.
Life is precious. Enjoy each moment.