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2 December

December 2, 2010

dearest blogesphere,

I know my post today is very late and sorry about that – it is just the day for reading a little something (at least in Melbourne it is – rainy day).

2 December is a very special date but to be honest I totally forgot about it. My best friend in London texted me this morning to say she’s thinking of me. Which is lovely. Seven years ago today my Mum died. Some of you will want to stop reading now and that’s ok, others of you (perhaps those who have lost loved ones) will be reading on. And here we go…

And so I feel fine. Seven is my favourite number and whilst I wish today didn’t mean to me what it does, I think in terms of having lost someone, seven years is a lovely time where you’re through a lot of the real heart/gut-wrenching anguish, yet close enough to remember details. In some ways you think if they walked back in the door it would be just like seven years and one day ago, but to be honest in other ways you’re not sure how that person would fit into your life again. In any case, the likelihood of that happening is very very low.

My Mum was like many others: incredibly dedicated to giving her kids the best possible life. She showed she loved us, but she didn’t often say it. One of the last things my Mum did was to take each of the kids aside and have a chat to them, I was the eldest, and the youngest was 12. When I asked if there was anything she wanted to say to me, she said, “well you know I love you.” I think that was the first time I’d checked in with myself to ask, and yes, I guess I did know.

I don’t begrudge death its place in, ah, life. Although Mum was 47 I can’t honestly say I think she was taken too young. I have trouble dealing with the fact that my brothers lost their Mum at 12 and 13, but looking at them seven years later I think that that experience has made them what they are today. And what they are is brilliant, awesome, empathetic, caring, confident, wise-beyond-their-years and insightful. My sister who is a couple of years younger than me has taken lessons from the experience also.

Some parts of losing someone are truly awful. Anguish wasn’t something I’d taken time to consider the meaning of until I was back in my apartment, alone, processing the reality of losing the person in the world with whom I shared the strongest connection. It was horrible, and fascinating (in terms of the range of human emotion and resilience possible).

Some parts of losing someone are truly beautiful. There is a purpose, a weight to your actions and the time you have left that makes you treat it with more respect. There is a perspective which comes which means you don’t worry about things the way you used to. There is a closeness amongst your community which you may not have known was there. There is an honesty, for better or for worse, because if someone is a douchebag, you can be sure that in the darkest times, they will be a massive douchebag. And then you know for sure. I had expected perhaps that in the darkest times people would be on their best behaviour, I was disappointed, but that truth came with its own freedom. Conversely, angels who you never knew were around you step out of the woodwork and delight and support you. It is, somewhat alanis-ironically, experiencing death that makes you turn off the autopilot and feel as though you’re really alive.

As it is almost Christmas, and many of us will be held hostage in loungerooms eating cake with people who are meant to be loved ones, I will say, that one thing that comes to the fore once someone is gone is how little you knew about them, and that the opportunity to ask them questions is lost. You can ask their sisters, you can ask their friends, you can still get to know more about them, but it’s a poor substitute.  Apparently my Mum used to like to drink red wine and listen to Fleetwood Mac’s Albatross on a sunday afternoon. If you are stuck in a room with your relatives this holiday season, I reckon you may as well get to know them?

Oh, and I now finish every conversation with my brothers with ‘I love you’. Still makes them squirm. Genius.

Mum and I. Wow. I've really put on weight since then...

17 Comments leave one →
  1. Jacquie permalink
    December 2, 2010 5:26 pm

    Such a beautiful post. You made me cry, but in a beautfiul, good way.
    Take care. x

  2. December 2, 2010 5:29 pm

    Lou. I keep deleting words so I am going to keep it simple. I love… I love you. Xx

  3. loupardi permalink*
    December 2, 2010 5:36 pm

    J – oooh – sorry for the tears – but ta – and really, I was fine up until I thought about you crying. 😉

    C – I love you BACK. xx

  4. December 2, 2010 5:42 pm

    this is awesome and all so true. beautiful xx

  5. December 2, 2010 5:51 pm

    Your mum was beautiful Lou, just like you are.

    I love you.


    • loupardi permalink*
      December 2, 2010 11:26 pm

      thanks hon, love you! x

  6. Vicki permalink
    December 2, 2010 6:13 pm

    Hey lou, well said. You seem to be in such a good place in your life – an amazing young woman. That said, I also cried. Not just for you guys, but your post also resonated with my experiences this year. Still raw , and very much on auto-pilot, I know that calm will return one day. Until then I wait. x x

    • loupardi permalink*
      December 2, 2010 11:25 pm


      yes life is good – boys are well and happy (happy as teenagers in their twenties get) and I guess the gifts of the above perspective are landing…

      it shall return. especially to you. gets better, promise! shall be thinking of you. much love

  7. December 2, 2010 7:13 pm

    Beautiful xxx

  8. frisky librarian permalink
    December 2, 2010 10:47 pm

    I lost my dad just over 7 months ago. It’s still quite raw, but i was nodding my head a lot as i read this. So very true

    • loupardi permalink*
      December 2, 2010 11:22 pm

      hey lady. a million hugs to you.

  9. December 3, 2010 12:56 pm

    Lost for words… I’m sure your mum would be very proud of you though. I will have to go back and read your other posts, I thought you hadn’t set your blog up yet…

  10. December 4, 2010 9:07 pm

    That’s an amazing post, Lou – thanks for sharing it.

  11. December 8, 2010 2:49 pm

    I’m late to this soiree, but whatever. Just gorgeous. I just adore how you write.

    • loupardi permalink*
      December 8, 2010 3:39 pm

      Thanks lady! I just adore how you design. And you generally. x

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