My name is Clare Smart and this blog is about my experiences of loss, grief, love and joy.
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?
This 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 it true to me)
This blog also shares ideas, quotes and reference points to all of my favourite authors, resources and tools that helped me through. And ideas on how to support someone going through similar circumstances.
It has now been almost 5 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 at least once a week. I have so many thoughts and draft posts that I want to share with you about the past 8 years and life now.
I hope this blog provides readers with insight, comfort and hope.
With much love
If you would like to start at the beginning of my story – start with this link. A curveball to our Conventional Life). Or if you are interested in other parts of my story or a shorter post – take a look at a post in “Grief”, “Life Now” or “Support”.
This is my writing space – can you see that the whiteboard is full of ideas?
P.S. 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, paddling on the harbour and snorkelling with fish.
- I love all forms of colour, especially colourful flowers and I have a crazy collection of colourful dresses.
- I am a celebrant as a hobby for family and friends. I value rituals celebrating birth (new life), marriage and death.