Today I want my loud, laughing dad back from “death’s dateless night,” so we can guffaw, have a whiskey, eat too much food, carry on and argue. We’d have the cricket on and talk about the current parliamentary debacle, the Wallabies, travelling in Europe and the heartbreaking turmoil of the people trapped on Manus and Nauru. My dad would be wearing his heart on his sleeve, we would fight about something important, cry, forget about it an hour later and have another wee dram. I want to talk to my dad about his painful childhood, about growing up without a father, about how lonely he was and give him a huge hug because he survived and created a life for us that he could only dream of as a child growing up hungry.
I inherited your devotion to books, your sense of humour and your belief in the beauty of our fellow humans. It’s been 16 years and I miss you today and every day Jack Ernest. Wish you were here…
“Your love will live in my heart…”
Jenny McGregor makes me cry. She sings like an angel, has perfect skin and a gorgeous husband. Her children are so cute it is revolting. Jen’s beautiful smile could fool anyone into thinking that life has been easy for her. But when Jen’s adorable first-born son died suddenly at the age of 18 months she was broken. I still can’t believe that she could go through that kind of loss, and now she is so strong she can walk into children’s hospitals every week to cheer up sick and dying kids.
Jen and her husband have been through the kind of spiritual growth no one wants to experience in their lifetime. Music helped with Jenny’s healing, but she found that no one was writing songs that dealt with the death of a child in a profound way.
My beautiful colleague has been through every parent’s worst nightmare and now wants to help other grieving families. Jen is going to record an album of songs for bereaved parents but she needs money to employ professional musicians. Love and Let Go will be an album of great music with the proceeds going to the charity Red Nose, who provide free counselling for parents who have lost a child.
Jenny McGregor is very close to her fundraising target, but we need to help her get over the line. This woman is a shining star. Please donate if you can. Even $10 will help Jen realise her dream of supporting families who are suffering.
Today I’m celebrating four years of freedom.
Deceiving others. That is what the world calls a romance - Oscar Wilde
I am blessed to have many beautiful friends in this life. Today two brave friends went through a terrible ordeal and will need to find the strength to overcome vast pain. I am thankful for my beautiful friends and all they have endured. I will be there when you need me
This time last year Ingrid Poulson and I were speaking on the same stage. I was asked to speak (about Clown Doctors and using humour to relieve stress) at ‘Radiance’ as part of the Woodford Folk Festival in December 2010-January 2011. She spoke after me and told her story. Part of me didn’t want to hear her as I still can’t get my head around what she has been through and survived. But as she spoke I realised she was an incredible woman and the lessons she learnt needed to be shared. Ingrid Poulson wants the parents of Australia to cherish their children. “Hold your babies tight. Love them just a little more. They deserve it,” she was quoted as saying after her children died.
Later I realised that her tent was next to mine in the camping area and I met her. I’d been having an argument with my teenager but my angry mood dissolved after about a minute in her presence. She is a radiant, amazing human being (she must have been just pregnant at the time). She now has a baby boy with her new husband. Ingrid Poulson is living proof that we can learn resilience and recover from even the most horrific life events. I find her strength inspiring.