Grief and Homecoming

Today was your birthday

The 15th May was your birthday, Serena. You would have turned 41. This time last year, I was wrapping your gift, and my daughter was writing in your 40th birthday card. Tonight, we were getting ready to take you out for dinner with the kids. There was no indication that you were sick at all. Six months later, you were gone. I wish I had told you how much I loved you, how valued you were. I hope you knew. What would we do differently if we had known? I was grateful that my daughter had a science workshop. It meant getting up early, and taking a train and bus to Balmain. It meant escaping. 

We had breakfast in a dear little café.


I had wilted spinach and mushrooms on sourdough bread. It was spectacular. Serena, you loved Balmain. You loved the city. I took my daughter to her workshop, run by a wondrous educator called Luisa. Dr Karl Kruszelnicki was going to answer the kid’s pressing questions. My daughter gave me this look, as she ushered me out.

"You can go, mum!"
“You can go, mum!”

I was left to wander the streets of Rozelle and Balmain. It is such a happy place, filled with beloved dogs, families, musicians and art. When I was eighteen, I lived here, in an old stable. I  lived close to the wharf, and remembered my first home fondly. There I was, living in a stable, and my landlord was named Moses. I wondered what it was like now? I walked down Darling St, until I came to the series of stables.

My home.
My former home.
A beautiful idea for the base of a tree in Rozelle.

I moved one cold winter night into Balmain, and our neighbours greeted me the next morning with coffee and toast. They leant me furniture, and were so very thoughtful. I shuddered when I thought of the neighbour who had died after I moved out. She had been sitting up in bed, playing a computer game, when a person unknown had shot her through the window. I was devastated when I learnt of her passing. She had loved Balmain, been there all her life. She was her husband’s sweetheart, and he unabashedly told everyone he met. Grief, there it was again. Sorrow as I looked at the home in front of the stables, where she had lived for twenty years in a quiet street in a leafy suburb. She left a lasting impression with her kindness and warmth. I have told my daughter about you. Another neighbour, Sid, had hidden about ten wild cats in his stable, despite the fact we weren’t allowed pets. He gave me a television set he had fixed up because I was kind to his felines.

I wondered why I had ever left this gorgeous place. It still feels like home. I was uncovering parts of myself when I lived here, my fingernails cracked and dirty after digging through shattered fragments of my psyche. I remembered when I sat in the park, elated, after having gone to the shops by myself. It was a very big deal. Living in this little village had made me brave. I walked for hours, up and down Darling St, and through laneways groaning with greenery and flowers. I was trying to escape the heaviness in my chest. I knew it was only a matter of time before the heavy clouds released their burden.


4 thoughts on “Grief and Homecoming

Add yours

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

A Website.

Up ↑


Your Brain is a Radio that Does What its Told


art. popular since 10,000 BC

Mind Over Mood

Mental Health Advocate and Coach | Mental Health Support

I invite you to a wild, iconoclastic, intellectual ride - the likes of which you've never experienced before.

Read my short novel - Existential Tableau - and you just might find the answers/inspiration you're looking for.

Ms Frugal Ears 小氣耳朵

A frugaleer building abundance through the sweet and simple life – building abundance one dollar at a time

Inspiration and ideas on creating your dream life

Personal Development, Beauty, Style and general well-being

Emma Kelty

because life is too short to be anything else....

Kids, Cancer & Other Fun Stuff

My Life , My Kids, My Cancer - Uncut and Unsensored

Healing Hands Farm

Adoption and Reactive Attachment Disorder

Cinema Australia

Dedicated to the support and promotion of Australian made films through independent news, reviews, features and interviews.

madukovich's cogitations

Ignorance Is Bliss

wild joyful parenting!

...and free-range kids

Before that last Breath

Living my Truth ... One breath at a time

The Bipolar Writer

James Edgar Skye


Helping others deal with MS and Chronic Pain

Girl Empowered

Sensible school combined with heart led personal development for tweens and teens.

Care, Bliss and the Universe

Life, the Universe and Yourself

%d bloggers like this: