Past, present and future


The change of seasons is one of the wonderful things about living in Canberra. Four quite distinct seasons. I’m not a huge fan of summer, but even in the heat there are good things – summer fruit, swimming, living more outdoors, camping, eating outside….

But autumn blows me away each year. And yes, inevitably I fall into a small heap about now…for autumn is my time of grief, the loss of my sister 17 years ago in April, and then the loss of my brother in May 2 years ago. Loss doesn’t quite sum it up does it? One word. Four letters.

My sister Alison hasn’t been around for a long time now….it’s almost getting to that tricky stage of imagining what she would now be like. Right now. 17 years on. Older but the same. The same but different. Still horribly missed. Time heals…

Different with Jem. We had this special thing that I just don’t/didn’t get with either of my sisters. The talking things over and through. Sharing some of the same frustrations. Sharing the joy. Sharing those last few months of life so intensely. That’s the frustration. The loss.

Interesting article on the five stages of grief – BBC Future/Are there really five stages of grief

  • denial
  • anger
  • bargaining
  • depression
  • acceptance


  • disbelieve
  • yearning
  • anger
  • depression
  • acceptance

And we are all different, yet the same in ways, different times, different circumstances.

I think I swing most often between a real yearning (I miss those conversations, those phone calls!) and anger. Really pissed off that I am now thrown into the role of eldest sibling. Yearning is more pleasant and warming in a way.

And I have no funeral plans…really! But I do want music and light and sunshine when I do go….and I want the music to include Patti Smith singing ‘After the gold rush’. I love Neil Young singing this, but I especially love Patti’s version…

“The last song on the record, I performed live with my son, Jackson, and my
daughter, Jesse,” says Smith. “I wanted the album to end like dawn breaking, and
I thought of the type of song that I wanted to write. But then I was in a café
and I happened to hear Neil Young’s ‘After the Gold Rush,’ and I thought,
‘Neil’s already written it.'”

Read more:

So much to say. I have so many draft posts. I feel a flood coming.

3 Responses to “Past, present and future”

  1. Autumn in Canberra is my favourite time and place. The gorgeous colours, sunny days, crisp mornings and cool-so-you-can-sleep nights are almost perfect. The balance between that and your ever present grief is overwhelming to read about – walk lightly my friend xx

    • 2 strawberriesofintegrity

      I love it when you say- walk lightly- becasue that is indeed what I need to do. I stomp at times xx

  2. One of the things I miss most about no longer living in Canberra is the four distinct seasons. I was in Canberra last weekend and the weather was perfect. Canberra was looking particularly beautiful.
    After your grief remember to appreciate those siblings you still have. I’m sure you do.

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