Monthly Archives: October 2016

‘Symbols and signs…’ 

I search my days for those tell tale signs that my beautiful brown eyed boy still surrounds his family with love and protection from afar. So many things hold secret messages in them as they appear throughout the day. The random sighting of a car number plate COB (his nickname is Cobby), numbers 222 – the Angel number, the numbers when you happen to glance at a digital clock 11.11 the opening hours to send a personal message to Heaven and 9.11 being a very spiritual number, if a white feather appears at your feet, butterflies, dragonflies and significant songs that come on the radio at random times that contain messages in the words. 
I feel very connected to the beach and ocean since Jacob is now a part of that space. I relish in looking at all the creations of colour that live under the sea – in the shells, the fish and all the colours. At Jacob’s celebration of life we read out the story of the water bugs/dragonflies and now I have a string of solar powered dragonflies hanging near the window in the family room where he passed away. They have a great significance to me now. I will share with you the story here called ‘water bugs and dragonflies’ by Doris Stickney:
Down below the surface of a quiet pond lived a colony of water bugs. They were a very happy colony, living far away from the sun. For many months they were very busy, scurrying over the soft mud on the bottom of the pond. They did notice that every once in awhile one of their colony seemed to lose interest in going about. Clinging to the stem of a pond lily it gradually moved out of sight and was seen no more. 
“Look!” Said on of the water bugs to another. “One of our colony is climbing up the lily stalk. Where do you think she is going?” Up, up, up it slowly went…even as they watched, the water bug disappeared from sight. It’s friends waited and waited but it didn’t return…
“That’s funny!” Said one water bug to another. “Wasn’t she happy here?” Asked a second…”where do you suppose she went?” Wondered a third. No one had an answer. They were greatly puzzled. Finally one of the water bugs, a leader in the colony, gathered it’s friends together. “I have an idea.” The next one of us who climbs up the lily stalk must promise to come back and tell us where he or she went and why.” “We promise,” they said solemnly. 
One spring day, not long after, the very water bug who had suggested the plan found himself climbing up the lily stalk. Up, up, up, he went. Before he knew what was happening, he had broken through the surface of the water and fallen onto the broad, green lily pad above.
When he awoke, he looked about with surprise. He couldn’t believe what he saw. A startling change had come to his old body. His movements revealed four silver wings and a long tail. Even as he struggled, he felt an impulse to move his wings…The warmth of the sun soon dried the moisture from the new body. He might end his wings again and suddenly found himself up above the water. He had become a dragonfly! 
Swooping and dipping in great curves, he flew through the air. He felt exhilarated in the new atmosphere. By and by the new dragonfly landed happily on a lily pad to rest. Then it was that he chanced a look below to the bottom of the pond. Why, he was right above his old friends, the water bugs! There they were scurrying around, just as he had been doing some time before.
The dragonfly remembered the promise: “The next one of us who climbs up the lily stalk will come back and tell where he or she went and why.” Without thinking, the dragonfly darted down. Suddenly he hit the surface of the water and bounced away. Now that he was a dragonfly, he could no longer go into the water…”I can’t return!” He said in dismay. “At least, I tried. But I can’t keep my promise. Even if I could go back, not one of the water bugs would know me in my new body. I guess I’ll have to wait until they become dragonflies too. Then they’ll understand what has happened to me, and where I went.” 
And the dragonfly winged off happily into its wonderful new world of sun and air….
I like to think that the dragonfly that visited me on a trip to Cairns with my husband and followed my daughter Amy at Alice Springs was a special visitor from Heaven. ‘When spying on a dragonfly dancing on air, your guardian angel is hovering near.’ 

‘Surrender and embrace…’ 

I think I am doing all I can to surrender and embrace the grief of losing Jacob. Grief is the price you pay for love. A boy do I love that boy! Before you lose a child you tend to think it happens to others, the stories you read about in magazines while you wait for your appointment with the doctor to pass the time. But when you’ve joined the bereaved parents club you begin to find out that there are even more people and families out there that would fill several hundreds of magazines with their stories of loss. We are not exempt from the sadness of loss and neither is anyone else. Death doesn’t discriminate who’s family to tear apart. As I have continued to read those magazine stories at random times I have learnt that the tragedy of losing a child touches famous people too. Famous people that we envy their lifestyles, but you’d never think in your worst nightmare we’d be connected by the one thing that holds an incredible hurt. Here are some of the celebrities who have lost a child:* John Travolta – Jett at 16

* Sylvester Stallone – Sage at 36

* Mike Tyson – Exodus at 4

* Keanu Reeves – Ava – born sleeping

* Mia Farrow – Tam at 19

* Eric Clapton – Connor at 4

* Led Zepplin – Robert Plant’s son at 5
I was tagged in a piece of writing on Facebook by a friend of mine who thought of me when she read it. I loved every word this person wrote – another celebrity sharing a candid private message on how to deal with the loss of someone special in your life. I will take on the meaning of his words as I continue to surrender and embrace my grief of losing Jacob. Quoting Christopher Walken’s wise words for all grieving parents –
“Someday you will be faced with the reality of loss. And as life goes on, days rolling into nights, it will become clear that you never really stop missing someone special who’s gone, you just learn to live around the gaping hole of their absence. When you lose someone you can’t imagine living without, your heart breaks wide open, and the bad news is you never completely get over the loss. You will never forget them. However, in a backwards way, this is also the good news. They will live on in the warmth of your broken heart that doesn’t fully heal back up, and you will continue to grow and experience life, even with your wound. It’s like badly breaking an ankle that never heals perfectly, and that still hurts when you dance, but you dance anyway with a slight limp, and this limp just adds to the depth of your performance and the authenticity of your character. The people you lose remain a part of you. Remember them and always cherish the good moments spent with them.”


‘Beautiful mystery…’ 

I am forever grateful that I have been Jacob’s mum for 20 years. But I long for more. I wasn’t ready to let go. I wanted to see him fall in love, get married, become a famous cinematographer and get his name in lights, become a dad, travel with friends, watching his mum, dad and siblings get a bit greyer in colour of their hair and to celebrate many happy birthdays. I saw his first breath and I saw his last although it’s not meant to be like that – parents shouldn’t outlive their children. 

I know he would have written several blockbusters, even better than the already brilliant ones we already have on his YouTube channel to watch. If you’d like to see creative talent in action tune into his two YouTube channels – CobbyFilms and JDScreens. I’m not sure how he created all those little skits on his camera that I’m trying to use in the ‘capture your grief.’ I really need to learn what all the buttons and settings are. I need him to be here and teach me. There’s so many reason for him to still be here. 
He would continue to become a beautiful new-age sensitive man, a man with good work ethics, a smiley faced adult who sees the positives in life. A sharp and snappy dresser – I remember his oncologist commented how she like his dress sense and he always looked really nice. I’d take him to see a James Taylor concert as he had lots of his songs on the playlist on his phone. I’d cherish more of those impromptu breakfasts and coffee catch ups on the weekends. I wouldn’t even mind being woken in the middle of the night to pick him up from a night out with mates after having that bit too much alcohol in his system to drive behind the wheels of a car. 
He has my smile, his dad’s dark complexion, the same curly hair as his sister’s Amy and Rachel, shares the same warped sense of humour as his brother Ben. We will forever have this connection. 
Our future has changed without a doubt and new adventures can’t be written down in Jacob’s page but in Lexi Behrndt’s words – ‘tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?’ I’m going to live the rest of my life living it in ways that would make Jacob proud and honouring his memory and keeping his spirit alive. He was here and he should be celebrated and we will gladly keep saying his name in everyday conversations – Jacob x 


I’m a day late with writing my passage on ‘myths’ in the Capture Your Grief project. I was too emotional to put my finger on the keypad as it was the first anniversary of our beautiful boy’s passing. I’d been thinking for a long time about how I’d be on the day when it came around. I did think that it would be just like any other days as he is constantly in my thoughts on any given day on waking and before closing my eyes at night. I went to work so it would keep my mind active leaving less time to let sadness seep into my existence. I was conscious of the time on the clock when I got home as he passed at 4.33pm in the afternoon. We had planned on having a gathering with family and friends to acknowledge this significant time in memory of one’s life. I had the house to clean and vacuum, stuff from the shops to buy as I’d forgotten to get a few things that we may need for the afternoon/night, then I had to shower. But when I looked at the clock that moment in history, the ceasing of his breath, that time had past. I had missed it – the opportunity to pay respects to my beautiful brown eyed boy x

A brief moment of guilt washed over me before I began to get things ready for everyone’s arrival. Jacob’s sister Amy bought a game to play during the night – a game that was a favourite of Jacob’s on tv, ‘The Chase.’ He would have loved the banter of answers being called out in the confusion of who was meant to be answering that particular question. We laughed with him and for him as we played. As the sun slowly disappeared the solar fairy lights twinkled into action and proudly became a beautiful backdrop to his life size cut out of his 6ft 2inch frame that we get out of the box at all the family celebrations and get-togethers (others may find it strange, but that’s how we roll). We ordered pizzas as we sat around together, sharing laughter, tears, food and we rang his drink bell at his memorial bar to have a toast to him.

I topped off the night with a late night spa contemplating what life has given us throughout the first year of his absence – including all the myths of grief:

* the pain will go away faster if you ignore it

* It is important to be ‘strong’ in the face of loss

* Grief should last about a year

* If you don’t cry, it means you aren’t sorry about the loss

I’m sure there are many more. The pain of loss never goes away. You can’t hold out being ‘strong’ all the time – let the tears come freely, at all the random times they come. Grief has no time limit – I will grieve and miss him for my lifetime. Grief has changed me, sculptured me into another person, one who cries more easily, thinks deeper, my outlook to life has changed. With Jacob’s love from afar he is helping me to ‘smile’ – see miracles in life everyday and be thankful for everyday I’ve been blessed with and in James Taylor’s song lyrics line – ‘shower the people you love with love…’
A mum’s hug lasts long after she lets go. I hope you can still feel my arms around you Jacob x



Jacob’s empty size 13 shoes


Em-pa-thy ~ noun

‘The ability to step into the shoes of another person, aiming to understand their feelings and perspectives, and to use that understanding to guide our actions.’ As I look back over the past months since Jacob’s passing I can honestly say that my support circles showered me with empathy, choosing their words of comfort carefully. It helped to hear the phrases –

* I’m sorry for your loss

* You’re in my thoughts/thinking of you

* He was a beautiful person

* I will miss him

* This must be so hard for you

* I love you

* When your ready, I’d like to get together to catch up over a coffee and a chat

* Sharing a memory of him

These words tended to leave a bitter taste in your mouth –

* I know how you are feeling

* He’s in a better place

* How are you doing/holding up?

* Now you can start moving on in your life

* I don’t know what I’d do if my son died

* At least the death was quick so there wasn’t any pain/slow so you had a chance to say goodbye

* Don’t worry, you’ll feel better soon

Choose your words wisely x

Empathy is simply listening, holding space, withholding judgement, emotionally connecting, and communicating that incredibly healing message of ‘you’re not alone.’ I’m lucky that I’ve never felt alone through my grief – thanks to my support circles, thanks for helping me deal with with all. I hope you guys are in for the long haul as the grief will last my lifetime. It’s just a part of who I am now.


Jacob filling his size 13 shoe in his favourite converse

‘The unspoken…’ 

No one ever thinks that they’d ever belong to the infant/child loss club and no one ever wants to be part of it and I wish I didn’t belong to it – but unfortunately I do. Although Jacob wasn’t technical at the age of an infant or child when he passed, he was still my child. A wife who loses her husband is called a widow. A husband who loses his wife is called a widower. A child who loses his parents is called an orphan. There is no word for a parent who loses a child, because there are no words that describes the raw, emotional pain of grief and loss you feel. 
No one knows how they are going to handle the grief of losing a child. I’m not sure if I’m doing it right – if there is a wrong or right way. But I just know it’s right way for me. It is as individual as DNA and a thumbprint. Unique to that person. I don’t like bursting into tears while I’m shopping as I come across one of his favourite things to eat or when a particular song comes on the radio. I don’t want to cry in front of others making them think I can’t handle it all. But I have a right to shed tears because it hurts, and they usually come when I’m driving in the car by myself. I feel guilty when I cry and I also feel guilty when I don’t at the times when you start to enjoy the moments of happiness. Why should I have moments of happiness when his life was cut short? Because he would want me to be happy and live my life. He wouldn’t want me to be sad for him 24/7 and he wants us to live our lives to the fullest in honour of him. Making him proud as we muddle through. I don’t want to replay the last month of his life as his disease took over his once athletic strong 6ft 2inc frame – that’s the hard part. These sad memories always come before the good old days of when we were a family of 6. I always start thinking ‘I didn’t do enough to seek a second opinion to get him cured – the what-if’s start to fester. But I have to stop the mind ticking over the negative stuff as nothing will bring him back. 
“Grief is like the ocean; it comes in waves, ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim.” Lucky I can swim, pulling myself through the water with over arm movements and gentle kicks. But you can’t keep the swim up for too long, you get too tired, too heavy, it’s then that I give in and float on my back, bobbing up and down like a buoy that guides the boats in to the harbour in all sorts of seas. I chose to describe my grief in relation to the ocean because that’s where we scattered some of Jacob’s ashes. He’s a part of Hawaiian and Australian waters in his true form of the Pisces fish that he is. I feel drawn to be part of the ocean, particularly snorkelling. I look for him in the all the beautiful colours of the sea, in the fish, the sparkles on the top of a smooth horizon, the coral, the shells, the letters of his name I make out in smelly seaweed. ‘Life is like the ocean. It can be calm or still, and rough and rigid, light and dark, but in the end, it is always beautiful. I used this photo when completing ‘illuminate’ – Beryl Ayn Young’s online course, lighting the path to photographic healing and I thought that this photo would suit this passage of writing. These two photographs side by side capture the light and dark of the ocean. Just like in grief we deal with the light and dark. ‘We’ve all got both light and dark inside of us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are’ – Sirius Black. I choose ‘light.’ And just just Dory said in ‘Finding Nemo’ – just keep swimming, just keep swimming – in the beautiful ‘light’ blue waters and I will find you. 

‘Support Circles…’ 

‘Capture your grief’ day 4: support circles

‘Hugs are like boomerangs, you get it back right away.’ Jacob is in a group hug in this photo with his nanna, brother and cousins, baring his beautiful smile. Sometimes a hug is all we need from a family member, friend or even a stranger with a similar story to let us know they are with us and they ‘get’ where I’m coming from. Sometimes it’s having the opportunity to talk over a well deserved cuppa or watching a new blockbuster movie at the pictures to take you away from the situation for just a brief moment – anything to take your mind off the sadness and heartache of loss. As the first anniversary of Jacob’s passing approaches in 3 days time I look back and think how did I get here, to this point and I honestly can say that it is because of my ‘support circles.’

My support circles –

  • family, friends and co-workers have provided the most valued guided and helping hands to healing just by physically being there.
  • the Facebook family – supporting us by communicating and leaving comments and making connections through cyberspace letting us know that ‘I am here for you’ as I felt the need to vent *
  • the inspirational healers that I will be forever grateful for sharing their beautiful words and talents to help bereaved parents – Francesca Cox ‘facetsofgrief’ who inspired me to write my thoughts down as a way to help heal and my blog ‘wieckling’ was born. With her creative guidance giving us ideas of how to deal with so many emotions through many creative outlets has been wonderfully helpful. – Lexi Behrndt – ‘scribbles and crumbs’ her words I have quoted in my blogs as they speak out to you and tug at the heartstrings. – Beryl Ayn Young’s photographic online course ‘illuminate’ – gave me a new love of photography looking at nature and ornate objects to find beauty in such emotionally charged times of grief. I used Jacob’s camera throughout the 4 week course. – CarlyMarie ProjectHeal. Her absolutely beautiful art works as she writes your children’s names in the sand on Christian’s beach and the projects that connects bereaved parents on creative levels like the Day of Hope Prayer Flag Project and the current ‘Capture Your Grief project for this year which we are now on day 4.
  • There are other support circles that I have tapped into as well and I can’t recommend them enough. The Compassionate Friends and Redkite are grief support services that have been valuable in the ways they connect you other parents going through a similar situation as yourself.

Times have changed when talking about children that have passed. There’s no stigma attached to speaking up about losing a child nowadays. Our children should be celebrated and spoken about and shared with the world. The loss of a infant/child shouldn’t be a taboo subject and swept under the carpet. I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for my ‘supportive circles’ helping me with my own grief, loss and heartache of losing Jacob.
‘Good people are like candles; they burn themselves up, to give others light.’

‘What it felt like…’ 

It’s very hard to describe in words the one moment that changes everything in life as we know it. It’s like being in a dream wondering whether you heard the doctors correctly saying ‘there’s nothing more they can do to cure Jacob of the disease.’ Pinch me quick I want to wake up with the realisation that it was just a dream – but we did hear those words. It wasn’t a dream. We sat in silence after the medical team had walked out of the room, stared at one another as mum and son and cried together. Phone calls to family were made after – tears and words intertwined like strangling vines flowing through a jungle swamp reaching for the tops of the trees to find sunlight, to freedom, to be able to breath in it’s survival for life.

‘Whenever we begin to feel as if we can no longer go on, hope whispers in our ears to remind us that we are strong…’

Once we were home after hearing those words Jacob had said to me ‘mum I think we’d better post a status on facebook.’ I will share with you what I wrote…This is by far the hardest post I have ever had to write on Facebook. Jacob has asked me to write a message to share with our much loved family and friends near and far.
While Australia was fundraising for much needed cancer research on Daffodil Day 2015 we were told the worst news anyone could receive 😦 unfortunately Jacob’s disease (Ewing’s Sarcoma) has spread to the point where his oncologist has told us there is nothing more they can do to cure him. He has fought so courageously since his diagnosis and he is our superhero. I hate this awful disease with every inch of my body – it is such a relentless attacker rearing its ugly head even more during the fight with chemo and radiation. We will enjoy everyday we have been blessed with and wrap him up in love with family and friends.
So cherish every minute of every moment with the special people in your lives – enjoy the simple things with them – sand between your toes, the warmth of the sun on your face, fish and chips down the beach, watching that special movie all together, dancing and being crazy to that particular beat. We won’t worry so much about the dishes in the sink, or a messy floor, these things can wait. We will live in the moment, and celebrate today.
We will make many more fun memories to cherish, just like the one’s he has given us already. If you’d like to see Jacob’s funny, creative and talented side, please look at these YouTube channels to check out his movies he’s made in his spare time with cousins & mates: JDScreens & CobbyFilms (suitable for mature audience only – not suitable for children, mild course language lol) enjoy them. So please pop over to see us, we will have an open door policy (except if you have the flu or other sickness) and we will enjoy the company. If you happen to shed a tear or two, that’s totally fine, we will know he’s truly loved by you all & that it sucks big time that he has to suffer.
“Stay golden, pony boy” (from the movie – the secret life of Walter Mitty)

‘Who they are…’ 

Capture your grief -day 2: ‘Who they are’ 
I could write for a lifetime about my children. I’m sure other mums can do that too. Thoughts, memories and feelings can be written down everyday on pieces of paper that would cover the world with the writing of ‘who they are’ – Amy, Rachel, Benjamin and Jacob. I’m not going to get any new memories with Jacob compared with his siblings future. What I have is all I’ve got and it will last me my lifetime as I hit the rewind and replay button in my mind. All these memories will help to shape a vision of ‘who they are’ – Jacob Connor 13.3.95-7.10.15 ‘forever 20’ – youngest child of 4, the only brown eyed child, cherished son, brother, grandson, nephew, cousin and friend, a ‘smiley’ baby/toddler/child/teen/adolescent, a new-age sensitive man, an upcoming cinematographer, a softy, great sense of humour, creative talent, 6ft 2inch tall, big feet (size 13), beautiful hands, loved his saxaphone, great work ethic, a nrl tigers fan like his dad and sister, great taste of fashion, knowledgeable of all things ‘movies’, fast swimmer, had a great play list of various wonderful artists on his iPod & phone – particularly the song he introduced me to, that became my song, the one he took his last breath to – ‘it’s nice to be alive’ by Ball Park Music. 
‘Heaven and earth may separate us today, but nothing will ever change the fact that you made me a mum’ I hope you are holding close the baby I lost in between your sister’s Amy and Rachel, keeping you company till we all meet again. And don’t forget to wish your dad a happy 60th birthday today  x