I don’t cry myself to sleep

I can’t. I just can’t.

I’m scared that if I start, I’ll fall into the giant chasm of despair, that’s waiting for me ever so quietly, patiently, and I’m not sure I would have the strength to claw myself back out.

I can’t think much about my new reality. I just can’t. How can I acknowledge the fact that the kids are going to grow up without their Dad? How can I even contemplate the idea that Darby and Julius will have absolutely no memory of Frith? And that Quinn will only have snippets and stories and photos? And that Chance’s heart will always be a bit sad and heavy with the absence of such an amazing Dadda.

I just can’t.

You say that I’m being brave and strong. I feel neither courage nor strength; it’s just my survival and Mama bear instincts getting me out of bed every day. I do it because I can’t bare the thought of the kids losing me to the grief that simmers just below the surface.

Don’t make me imagine my life without him. We had plans. We had dreams. We had ideas. We had choices. And we made them all together. Don’t ask me to now make them all on my own.

Don’t tell me my husband is gone for good.

I’ll tell you I’ll deal with it another day.

10 things on the 10th

10 things I never got to tell/ask Frith

1. That his best mate bought a Kia family car. I knew Frith would have given him so much curry over it and it would have been hilarious.

2. That he was enough. Right there and then. That he was enough.

3. I never got to share my awesome password that I made up for my main password list that is the MOTHER of all awesome passwords.

4. That I would have done anything to make him happy. If I could have.

5. That his mate and I had talked about sending him on this awesome medical camping trip in Tasmania this year.

6. I would have asked him if there was anything he thought he might like to do differently in our life.

7. That the school the kids now attend is “allergy aware” instead of “nut free”.

8. That we could have had a simple life and been perfectly happy.

9. I would have told him to be a teacher for a few years. Like an actual teacher in a school.

10. Could I have ever thought to ask him if he had ever ever thought about ending his life? I don’t know.

These are not regrets, or things that keep me up at night. Some of these things do weigh on my mind a little, but I’m trying not to feel regret over them. It’s just how it is.

Frith in his natural habitat ❤

Flashback Friday

This is waaaaaaay way back! Circa 1980. I’m the teeny tiny bubba, maybe a month or two old? And that’s my brother, about 18 months old, with Grandpa and Nanny.

If you’re new to the blog, you may not know that Nanny, who was my Dad’s mum, was very special to me. She and Grandpa both passed away in 2011. I’ve blogged about them a lot over the years, but this post  probably gives you the best idea about what kind of amazing lady she was.

I can just imagine, when Frith got to heaven, Nanny marching over and saying to him in her thick Russian accent “Come here I shmack you.”

Give him one from me too, Nanny. Then take good care of each other xxx

Today I went to the dentist

It seems like such a dumb thing to do. My husband died two months ago and it occurs to me that I’m due to go to my dentist for a check up. Frith used to make fun of the fact that I would book dentist visits when I came to Brisbane on holiday.

But he’s my dentist. He’s the only dentist I see. Sure I’ve tried other dentists but no one measures up to mine. I’ve been going to him for over 20 years and he’s the best.

So I made an appointment. Life goes on doesn’t it? I thought it best to get it out of the way before health insurance premiums change next month. I still think about practical things like that, even though I think it’s crazy to be thinking these things at this point in time. It’s just who I am. Mrs Practical.

I guess that’s why Frith always found it amusing, but he wasn’t surprised. He knew who he married.

I had to get a filling today. My first one in years. I didn’t want to talk about Frith and why I am living with my parents, and thankfully he didn’t ask. He’s a good dentist but/because he doesn’t do small talk. I just had to keep it together for the needle and not start crying.

Mission accomplished.

The last time I booked a dentist visit on our holiday, Frith came in to town with me and Chance and Quinn (about 18 months ago) and took the kids for a wander around town. While he was making fun of me, instead of getting defensive I joked that I’d also booked a pap smear and a colonoscopy while I was at it. Just to really cut loose on my holiday.

That was in July 2016. We were all down here for Frith’s PhD graduation ceremony and I think we stayed for over a week. It was such a good week too. Seems like a lifetime ago.

Life goes on.

I’m feeling sore and sorry for myself so I’ve also booked a spa pedi this evening thanks to a voucher from my gorgeous friend. That’ll cheer me up a little bit for sure.

This is the photo from that week, at Frith’s grad ceremony ❤❤❤

2 months today

I don’t do boots, but I do do Docs. (ha ha. do do…)

And Docs be Docs.

And I be in love. I bought these today and thought of Frith the whole time.

Honey, you were the king of boots and the king of cool, when you weren’t being the king of the nerds. We bought these RM Cuban Heels at the local Lifeline for $20. (Yes, $20, not $200). And you rocked them for three-and-a-half years. I still have them now.

May 2014

You are always in my heart and soul. Of my shoe.
Keeping it punny just for you.
And rhyming too!
I love you xxxx

Tonight I had the end bits

Frith’s favourite part of any cooked meat was the end bits. Juicy yet crispy, meaty yet fatty, and just all delicious goodness. I would always serve them to him, to show him in a small way that I was thinking about him and that I loved him. He appreciated this small gesture, and devoured those end bits with a big cheesy grin.

While we lived at college, after a few months the cooks got used to him asking for the end bits of roasts, so they would put a pile of them aside just for him. It was really the sweetest thing. I remember one time they piled his plate so high with them as a bit of a joke. I can’t remember if he ate it all, but he would have given it a red hot go.

Tonight I cooked a roast lamb and decided to serve myself the end bits.

I can totally see why they were his favourite. I devoured them myself and started thinking about all the meals we shared over the years. SO many meals. SO much food. And so many people we shared them with.

I still can’t believe he’ll never eat with us again. That doesn’t seem right to me. I found his BBQ the other day and wondered if it would ever be lit up again. The kilos upon kilos of meat that he cooked in that thing is immeasurable. It’s times like this that I just want to ask him what on earth was he thinking in that moment of pure madness. There were so many more good times to be had, and now I’ll have to have them without him.

The numbness and shock is wearing off, and what is left is frustration and sadness and anger and desperation and everything in between. At the end of the day I have nothing left to give, and that’s when the kids need me the most. Thank God for my parents being able to step in and help with stories and bedtime, and for my wonderful family and friends who are helping out in many other ways. I hate how frustrated I get with the kids when they take ages to go to sleep. It was hard enough when Frith was around; now some nights it seems impossible.

I wish I could say I was doing better, but I feel as though things are going to get worse for a while, before they improve. It’s like I’m slowly thawing out and things are hitting me in a much more real and permanent way.

Like those end bits of meat. And finding his boots. And looking at photos of him with the kids. And not knowing how or when to tell the kids what actually happened. I’m tired of talking about it, but don’t feel like I have anything else to say, or the energy to say it.

So instead I will write. I will make plans that, even though they don’t include him, would excite him and honour him. I will make photo books for the kids. I will keep his memory alive, as there was so much good in him and so many wonderful things that will never leave us. And I will say goodnight to him every night, wherever he is.

But most of all, it just occurred to me, I will give myself a break, and time to just be with these feelings. Yeah. Just be.

Flashback Friday

Frith with Darby in our temporary accommodation in Rockhampton before moving in to our new house. January 2015.

I sometimes wonder about posting these sorts of photos. I know it can be sad and painful, but we had so so so many wonderful times together. Not enough years, but so many moments, and I want to share those memories here. I want my kids to know how much he loved them. Truly. He was completely in love. With all of us. He felt so deeply and I want that to shine through when I share these memories.

We think of him every day. Some days it feels like every minute. Is that even possible? Is it possible for me not to think of him? He’s always there, somewhere, in some way. He truly is unforgettable and for that I am grateful.

He’s everywhere, but he’s not here

This is how I felt when I went to the house in Rocky. I saw Frith sitting at his desk, studying or playing video games; I saw him in the kitchen making his tasty BBQ sauce, I saw him on the deck having a beer with his friends; I saw him in the Lego room building something awesome with the kids; I saw him in our bedroom sleeping soundly.

He was everywhere, but he wasn’t there.

I feel that way every day when I look at the kids. When I see him in them. I feel that way when I pick up our Contigo water bottles, when I take the kids in the Croozer bike trailer/pram, when I see photos of him everywhere.

He’s everywhere, but he’s not here.

And it’s how I felt when I spent over three hours in ED tonight. (I slipped down my friend’s stairs just after it had started raining and it was wet and I was wearing thongs and I was holding Darby and my forearm took the full force of the blow. And my butt. I’m fine by the way, and so is Darby.) I could see him in the Doctor who made the child next to me feel at ease; I could see him in the Doctor having a joke with the nurses; I could feel his calming presence in the room where a patient had to have her should put back into place after a dislocation. I could see him typing up notes and scrolling through test results in the middle of the chaos of Emergency.

When I got the good news that there was no fracture, I could hear him in my head saying “it’s really hard to break that bone, honey, so it’s probably just a bruise.” It’s what he would have said. I’d put money on it. I would have insisted that I get an x-ray, and can just see the look on his face when I told him he was right.

He’s everywhere, but he’s not here. And it’s a hard reality to face. And I thank God every single day that I don’t have to face that reality alone.


In the past I’ve read about people who have found themselves in my position. Mothers who have lost their husband/partner, whether it be suddenly, unexpectedly, after a long illness; it’s irrelevant. They have been left to raise the kids on their own* and manage life without their beloved.

My heart has ached for these women; I have been brought to tears thinking about how their babies would no longer have their Dadda around; and I have struggled to understand in any way how they must be feeling after losing the love of their life.

Now that I have found myself in that very circumstance, all I can tell you is that it feels nothing like I could have imagined. It’s unreal. And not in the denial sense of the word. Not in a way that I can’t accept it. Just in the way that I never could have imagined. It’s a whole new world for us and it feels so incredibly strange.

My heart still aches for my kids and my guts still feel ill a lot of the time. I feel so sad that my kids won’t have Frith around to teach them the million things he should have. I’m devastated that our “til death do us part” was only 10 years of marriage. I cry for the unfairness that we won’t get to go on the crazy adventures we planned. I feel for  the interns and medical students and colleagues who respected Frith so deeply, and all that knowledge that won’t be taught by someone who was a born teacher. I feel sick at the thought of his parents losing a son; his siblings losing a brother, his friends losing a fantastic mate, and the world losing a damn splendid and unique human being.

I’ve had so many offers of help over the last 23 days, and it’s hard to think of things that people can “do” for me. But I’ve just thought of something. So here it is: Do something unique. Do something in a different way to everyone else. Do something outrageous. Do something unexpected. Do something kind. Teach someone something. Look up a crazy fact to bring up at your next dinner party. Download a full 20 minute episode of Adam Ruins Everything and tell me which one you watched (we’ve seen most of them). Then tell someone else about it. Buy something off Gumtree or at a garage sale or op shop instead of buying it new.

I’m not going to tell you cliches like “live every day like it’s your last” or ” you just never know when your life might change so appreciate every moment.” It’s unrealistic to live that way. But do something every week or month or year that’s just a bit different; see the world with Frith-coloured-lenses and try something new. He never did anything because “everybody else does it that way.” In fact he avoided doing what everyone else did. So branch out from the norm and let me know how you go.

One last thing. Listen to “Wake Me Up” by Avicii (sorry no link), listen to the words and think of Frith. He may not have been here for a long time but my goodness it was a good time.

Who needs an expensive baby carrier when a chesty Bonds will do? Just a suggestion 🙂

*I know I’m not even close to being “on my own” but in this context I mean as the sole parent.