Follow your passion but don’t isolate yourself from your loved ones.

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.


About Helen McKenzie Ross

Welcome to my creative world. I am an Australian actor, writer/ poet and have many passions; some of which I write about in my blog posts. I have a quirky sense of humour, and dance to the beat of my own drum. Thanks for dropping by and hope you visit again soon. I always have tea, coffee, wine and cake.
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15 Responses to Follow your passion but don’t isolate yourself from your loved ones.

  1. johnlmalone says:

    I’m sorry for your loss. The blog is very beautiful, It is a wake-up call to all of us with passions. I try to keep in loving touch with those who care for me. The balance is hard but it must be kept. I hope you find strength through this sad time. I too have been knocked sideways recently

    • Helen Ross says:

      Hi John. Thanks for your support. Yes, finding the balance can be a little difficult at times but as you say, it must be found. Sorry to hear of your news, and hope you find strength during this time. xHelen

  2. Carol Warner says:

    Sorry for your loss, Helen. Such a beautiful post. Fiona would be proud of you.

  3. Helen – this is so beautifully written and so true. Lucky for you that your sister did know how much you loved her and how kind of you, at this time, to remind everyone else the importance of letting those we care about know it. I have a favorite children’s book by Hans Wilhelm, “I’ll Always Love You.” A very simply illustrated book I found years ago. The story of a boy and his dog, but the message reminds us to tell those we love how much they mean to us every day.
    I am telling you, sweet Helen, how much you mean to me as a friend. Love be with you.

  4. Kelly McDonald says:

    Oh Helen I am so very very sorry to hear of your loss. I send my warmest thoughts and regards to you and your family.
    The words you have written are so very true. Everyday counts..
    x x x x Kels

  5. Tina Burke says:

    Helen, my thoughts are with you and your family. Thanks for sharing your thoughts in this beautiful post – you’re so right.
    Tina x

  6. Kelly McLean says:

    It is so good to see you back! This post is so true! It is easy in this modern world of deadlines to loose sight of those you love and life can slip away so easily.

    Last June my 14 year old sat down at school and his right femur snapped in four places, there was a tumour growing in it, (non-cancereous – phew!). Seven major operations later, a “frame” attached to his leg and many hours of physio and many tears – we now live on Bribie. The love for Michael was very apparent, we had friends, family even facebook family following his journey but it really helped us through.

    Helen, I missed you and my thoughts were with you, but I am so glad your sister passed away knowing how much she was loved by you and yours. This is one of the most beautiful pieces of work I have ever read!

    Kel : )

    • Helen Ross says:

      Hi Kelly, thanks for your thoughts. Yes, life is very precious and you just don’t know what is around the corner. Am happy that your son is okay and hope that he is still doing well. And Bribie is a lovely place to relax and enjoy family life and all that is important. xHelen

  7. Carol Cumming says:

    Condolences regarding your recent losses. It must be a sad time for you so thanks for the reminder to us all to appreciate the good people we have when we have them. I hope you soon reach a place where remembering your sister is a happy thing, without that backlash of pain tagging the memories when it hits you she’s gone. It does get easier. And writing helps.
    Courage. And cry when you need to.

    • Helen Ross says:

      Thanks Carol. Yes, it is still a sad time, and still very surreal at times. I have certainly shed a river of tears, and I know I have many more to come. And yes, writing does help.

  8. Pingback: My return from the dark shadows | Helen Ross writes

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