April 2016, both my wife and my mother died from cancer within 3 weeks of each other. In a devastating 3 week cancer epidemic, my 7 year old son lost every important female in his life: his mother that would never see him grow up; his beloved Nanna whom he loved dearly, and his maternal grandmother who had to return to her home overseas. My father lost his sole mate to whom he was married for 45 years.
The few months since this date, have been stressful, traumatic, emotional, daunting, bewildering, perspective altering, life changing, interesting. From dealing with the grief of losing people so dramatically: the grief of a son, the grief of a partner, the grief of a parent. To dealing with the immediacy of the administrative nightmare that death leaves those that survive. To then dealing with the changed nature of reality, particularly the social element, where at the beginning everyone comes in offering help “anytime you need it”, to the time that life takes back it’s normal course, focus regains its centrality and everyone forgets. Possibly we become a topic of conversation, “Have you spoken to … recently? How is he/are they? I really must ring him/them.”
So we’re 3 blokes left, where asking for help doesn’t come naturally. But we’re learning. So, this site is part therapy, part attempted aid for people to understand what actually needs to be done when someone dies; and hopefully a sounding board for people to share their experiences. Death is not something people like to talk about. It makes people feel uncomfortable, like talking about it is somehow wishing it to happen. Yet, it is going to happen. And the big thing I’ve learnt this year, is that it can happen at any time, we don’t really have a lot of control around its timing. So, we might as well starting talking about it. Actually, I talk about it a lot these days.
Sharing our experiences, helps us realise we’re not unique. I want to try to get something positive out of our experience. If we can share, we might able to help, maybe we could even inspire. I really think those that left us would be proud of that; and I think we can be too. It doesn’t matter where you live, your experience could help someone in the next street or on the other side of the world. So please, get in contact, and I’ll post your stories, or your information, the emotional and the practical: let’s talk about it.