How to live before you die

I first watched this video about 10 months ago when I was dealing with the death of a family member, suffering from the return of my depression and generally searching for something…anything. This video of a speech given by Steve Jobs just hit me. It made me sit up and really think about life.

The video draws ‘from some of the most pivotal points in his life. Steve Jobs, chief executive officer and co-founder of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, urged graduates to pursue their dreams and see the opportunities in life’s setbacks — including death itself — at the university’s 114th Commencement on June 12, 2005.’

It doesn’t matter what your opinion is of Steve Jobs…this speech is given by a man, a human being…and the message is one for us all.

Let me know your thoughts.


On the eve of the 1st anniversary

I sit here on the eve of the 1st anniversary of my Nan’s death, and the tears are finally coming.

I’ve always been a crier, and I’ve always been in tune with my emotions (sometimes too much), but since Nan passed I suddenly developed a tougher exterior, and I lost my ability to cry.

I admit, I actually did a lot of my mourning before she passed, as the cancer took hold of her and dragged her down so fast. It was shocking to see the effects on her body and her mind. It was scary watching her sitting there scared. It was hard seeing her make the decision to go nil by mouth – even though I totally supported and agreed with the decision. And then – sitting there by her bedside holding her hand, watching her as she slept. Her body wracked by spasms of pain, her mind running wild with dreams, her lungs struggling to breath, every now and then waking up and saying my name and slipping back into sleep.

By this stage she had moved home, and rested on a hospital bed looking out into the bush as the horses in the paddock next door ran back and forth, the birds sang, and the wind blew, rattling the branches of the tall gum trees outside. It was here that she passed, with my Uncle sitting next to her. I believe she uttered Grandads name as she went. I’m no spiritual person, but I like to believe that they are now reunited, and that she is driving him bonkers!

As I write this the tears are flowing, and I am happy for the release. I haven’t allowed myself much time at all to think about Nan since the funeral, and that is a real disservice, as she was the most amazing and special person.

I miss you Nan.


Your Granddaughter.

Loss at Christmas

Death is inevitable – ‘Just like taxes’ – or so I’ve been told numerous times this year.  But when you lose someone important in your life, it can affect you in all sorts of ways…days, weeks, months and years down the track –  with those special occasions being especially challenging.  I always heard that the onset of Christmas (and the actual day) was one of the hardest.  I guess that’s what my family is experiencing.

It’s been about 6 months since Nan passed on.  In a way it’s gotten easier, but the memories live on, and sometimes the thoughts coming trickling back, or – like yesterday – hitting me like a tsunami.

Nan and Me - Christmas 2009

I know I’m not alone though.  My dear Uncle, who lived with Nan for his whole life, still has the feeling that he will get back from his night shift with a beer waiting for him on the kitchen bench. A nice ‘night’ cap before going to bed.  My Mum has been walking around the shops christmas shopping, with a little tear in her eyes, at it was at Christmas we would always put the most thought into the gifts for my Nan (and her Mum).  Me. I’m also missing that.  I opened my underwear draw the other day – where I place a few special mementos (right next to the bed) – and remembered that’s where I had put what I gave Nan last year. Mum gave them back to me a few months ago.  It was an ornate, silver lipstick holder and a old-fashioned mesh jewellery pouch. Unfortunately she’d never gotten the chance to use them, as she declined rapidly after Christmas 2009.  I loved shopping for my Nan at Christmas.  I still go into shops and see things that I would love to spoil her with.

At least the people that are left can cherish these thoughts – the memory of that beautiful woman – and celebrate Christmas together.

2010 has been a hard year for so many people, but I think nearing the close of the year we should use this time as an opportunity to also come together, celebrate our friendships, family, successes, failures, life, trade a whole load of hugs, and most of all just have a laugh.