We all have a past influencing our ideas, a daily presence and a future journey to share… But what makes one feel a need to blog?
I can not speak for everyone else but writing this blog is truly an awakening of mindfulness that has transformed my spirit over the last few years. And like all new beginnings it began with loss…
The first loss…
At 35 years of age I was married to a loving and caring husband and raising a three year old daughter and a one year old son in the suburbs of Sydney. With a mortgage on a modern, tidy, small house and an established, fulfilling career as a primary school teacher. I was surrounded by a loving family and good friends. I was young at heart, joyful and busy.
One sunny Sunday afternoon in 2010, my father and husband were in the yard prepping materials for the weeks renovations on the house when my husband called out that my father has fainted in the driveway. I ran outside to see the man I had always admired, my strength and rock, lying lifeless on the ground. He was pale, bleeding from the nose and unconscious.
This was my father’s and our families introduction to his three year battle with cancer and sadly on my parents Wedding Anniversary, in February 2016, he passed away. I lost a loving father whose generosity, laughter, humour, guidance, playfulness, strength, wisdom and honesty is missed daily.
The second loss…
Grief is an individual, unique set of emotions that is experienced differently and at a varied timeline for everyone. And with the loss of my Dad, my grief in the first few months was a collection of emotions. Firstly, of shock and stress due to the traumatic reality of the way one dies with cancer. It went hand in hand with the feelings of duty and responsibility, that I felt being the eldest child in my family.
I had an inappropriate strength of character, which only came from the need to protect and care for my mother. Driven by love I went into organisation mode, cooking dinners for my mum, organising my father’s memorial picnic, comforting my family whilst continuing work and daily family life.
As the months passed I mourned in isolation, crying in the shower, before I drifted off to sleep or in the brief moments of stillness I experienced in the car on the way to and from work. It was such a personal and overwhelming sadness it was hard to share with my husband, children, friends and family.
In reflection I wish I took the time to share more, cry more and rest more as the stress of my grief triggered a major health scare…
In Oct 2017, a year and a half after my Dad passed away and at the age of 39. I was diagnosed with a 20cm cyst on my ovary. The Oncologist Gynaecologist informed me it had been there for over a year. I truly believe my physical body was stressed due to the burden of carrying the grief I had bottled up inside. I was angry at myself for being so busy and not being mindful in how I was feeling physically and mentally.
My first appointment lasted thirty minutes, giving the specialist enough time to examine me and look over my blood and CAT scan results. He didn’t hesitate booking in my operation for the following Monday; a 4 hour major surgery for removal of the cyst and a hysterectomy. I was to lose my fertility and I had a 50/50 chance of the cyst being ovarian cancer as my blood results had detected some irregularities. The surgery was successful, the cyst benign. And as sobs of relief left my body, I knew I was changed for the remainder of my days here in the physical world.
From the loss of my Dad and the loss of my fertility, I had begun a transformation. Slowly I added daily rituals into my life to keep depression at bay. I replaced the fear and anxiety with love and gratitude. My daily rituals consisted of daily prayer, meditation, a gratitude journal, visits to a spiritual healer, listening to spiritual music, reading spiritual books, walking bare foot on the grass, placing my hand on a tree to sync with the Earth’s energy, having deep mindful breaths, drinking only mineral water and eating only organic and mainly vegetarian meals.
Transformed, I am now motivated in minimising my life and creating a slower, peaceful household with less consumer consumption. It is a new consciousness, driven by my own mortality and the realisation that it was time to create an authentic life. A life I had dreamt of but was too fearful to practice. One of love and healing for friends, family, strangers and the planet.
I was awakening.