The Cresswell & Hall Gathering

screen-shot-2017-02-02-at-3-03-59-pmscreen-shot-2017-02-02-at-3-01-29-pmscreen-shot-2017-02-02-at-3-01-47-pmscreen-shot-2017-02-02-at-3-02-05-pmscreen-shot-2017-02-02-at-3-03-08-pmscreen-shot-2017-02-02-at-3-02-15-pmscreen-shot-2017-02-02-at-3-02-48-pmscreen-shot-2017-02-02-at-3-04-15-pmLast night we spent time at Wesley’s great grandma Isabelle’s house.  She regularly hosts the whole family for special occasions, where we all tuck in and enjoy a potluck meal together.  Whether it’s sending a cousin off on a new adventure or welcoming overseas family – we’ve been enjoying these gatherings the past year.

We were all brought together to welcome Mike’s sister Stacey and her partner Dan, from Melbourne.

The house was full to the brim with plenty of laughing children, Aunt’s, Uncles, Cousins, Grandparents and one Great Grandma… it was beautiful.  Being so far from my own family, it really helped to lift my heart.

John

screen-shot-2017-01-30-at-10-18-43-amscreen-shot-2017-01-30-at-10-19-01-amscreen-shot-2017-01-30-at-10-19-15-amscreen-shot-2017-01-30-at-10-19-33-amMy family spans the globe, from Arizona to Ecuador, New Zealand and Canada.  Whilst there are thousands of miles between us, we are all experiencing a painful, sudden loss.

We’ve lost an amazingly kind, gentle and loving man.  My Uncle John.

He had a hearty chuckle for a laugh, and a wonderful sense of humour.  I found it very easy to be in his company and always found myself laughing.  He and his late Jane raised two very intelligent and beautiful children, and brought me into the family fold as I connected with the family in my mid 20’s.

It was in the early days of knowing my Uncle as an adult that I fell in love with him and my Aunt Jane.  I saw two people who truly cared for one another.  In the tiniest of gestures I could see real love and compassion.  He cared for her in her final years, and bore the heartache of losing her to a devastating illness.  He was so incredibly brave.

My Uncle John, my friend – I miss you.  But I know Jane is so happy to have you back.

Jane.

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I’ve been away in Victoria travelling and at the same time suffering from a broken heart.  I have been at odds with my emotions the past week.  I feel bipolar in the midst of the holiday feel goods, I can quickly go from being holiday high to crushingly low in spirits.  Mike wasn’t able to be with me during the second half of my trip on the Eastern side of Australia (however he was very supportive through our conversations late at night when the day’s wound down).  I was spending time with my friend Emily and her family for the holidays, and often tried to hide my feelings around the family to keep people from absorbing my heartache.

It didn’t remove those sudden drops in my stomach when I focused my mind on what has happened. It didn’t stop me from spacing out and tuning out everything around me for moments forgetting where I was and whom was talking to me.

Some of you might know that recently, and earlier in February this year I flew back to Canada.  On both occasions I rushed to my aunt whom has not been in good health. The most recent visit I travelled to her to say my farewells, which took a lot out of me…as it was final, and one of the most confronting things I’ve ever had to do.

Last week I received the news that my dear friend and aunt had passed away on Christmas Eve.  While I know this relieved her from the long suffering she endured, I still feel pain knowing I’ll not be able to send her a note and receive a magnificent lengthy response (she was a wonderful writer, and would describe the little details in the day that might go unnoticed by some), or have a long chat and walk with her in her neighbourhood or talk about her life, travels, the trials and tribulations of raising children in a country that isn’t home, or the first time she met her amazing husband…

I feel like I’ve lost my mum.
I’ve always felt such an immense gratitude for her embracing me as one of her own even though she didn’t have to…as I was like a riff raff child just turning up at random, whenever I could. I just adored seeing her and my uncle together. I really admired the love between them.

I’ve lost a great friend who was also a compassionate, loving, mother and wife.  This news has been hard to process, but I know whatever pain I’m feeling must be multiplied tenfold for my uncle and their children.

Jane, I know you’re safe.
I will love you forever.

Toto – Africa

When grief manifests into illness.

Last night I returned from Canada.  I was away for just over a week.

I thought I was ok this morning, I began walking with a purpose toward the city and found myself weak, nauseous, tearing, anxious and scared.  I tried to eat some greens and drink water while sitting in the middle of a crowd of people.  I started to panic when that didn’t help.  I couldn’t reach Mike at work, so I called my sister.  She spoke to me with kind, soft words, and helped me recover… I let out a few tears and felt a heavy energy leave me.

I’m slowly loosing someone I love.  I’ve been losing her for a very long time.

I don’t want to say goodbye, I don’t want this to be final.  I’ve resigned myself to acknowledge the facts that face me.

She is preparing to leave us here.

My mind is fighting against my body, and my body will stop at nothing to remind me how hurt I am.

The past 9 days have taken their toll on my stomach and heart.

It’s not until I cry that I find relief from my symptoms.  My heart breaks not only for her, but for our families and all those who love her too.

Carbon Based Lifeforms – Refraction 1.33