Hi, My name is Clare Smart. I’m a funeral and marriage celebrant and IMG_1945this blog shares stories of my experiences

  • as a brain cancer carer, and then as
  • as a young widow and single mother navigating through a labyrinth of grief with many dimensions of loss, and
  • how I am living life now . Great loss and change provided me with an opportunity to evaluate how I want to live and further evolve in a way that is true to me.

It shares links to my favourite authors, resources and tools.

It might give you some ideas of how to support someone going through similar circumstances.

I also share some of my experiences losing my father to Alzheimers following the death of my husband.

Some of my posts have been published by Elephant Journal, Option B, Second Firsts and 

Some background:

In January 2009, when I was 34 and pregnant with my second child, my husband at the age of 35 was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.

The diagnosis knocked our young family off course – onto an unpredictable traumatic rollercoaster ride which ended after three and half years with my husband dying at home. It was June 2012.

When my husband died I became a young widow and single mother.

I was 37 and our children were aged 4 and a half and 3 years old.

Supporting their needs and their grief had to come first.

I was exhausted and rattled but I could not fall in a heap and climb under the doona.

I had to keep consciously living for them.

I had grief to process too. And I didn’t know what that really meant and what it would entail – physically, emotionally and mentally.

What would the grief rollercoaster, the young widow rollercoaster and the single mother (solo parent) rollercoaster be like?

I had hope and faith that one day I would heal, laugh and reconnect with the world again.

But how was I going to do this?


It has been 6 years since my husband died. I have emerged from my labyrinth of grief and I’m loving life.  I know that there are times and moments when I will be drawn back into my labyrinth but I have my groove back, feel wiser and truer to myself and more present in every moment.

The kids and I are not only living life with loss, we are embracing it. We find “rainbows” of joy and love in our lives every day.

And although my husband is physically gone he will forever be in the hearts and minds of my children and I. We miss him every day but we are participating in life with gusto and he is always with us.

I will be adding stories regularly. I have so many thoughts and draft posts that I want to share about the past 10 years and life now.

I hope this blog provides readers with insight, comfort and hope.

With much love

Clare xxx

If you would like to start at the beginning of my story – start with these links. 

Cancer – The Curveball to Our Conventional Life (The Diagnosis).

 Our Conventional Life – (Before Diagnosis)

Or take a look at a post in the Menu Categories:  

  • Top Posts 
  • Grief
  • Life Now
  • Support

A bit more about me!

  • I am blessed to be able to live near Manly Beach in Sydney Australia.
  • I love yoga, wriggling my toes in the sand, splashing in the waves, and snorkelling with fish.
  • I love all forms of colour, especially colourful flowers and I have a crazy collection of colourful dresses.
  • I am passionate about funerals and weddings being done well with choice, creativity and connection!

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