Grief is a funnly old thing......

 I just found this post I wrote on the first anniversary of my Mum's passing.  I thought it might be useful to publish it.  Hope it is:

In my very Australian Anglo culture, grief was something you "got over".

Growing up amongst Italians and Greeks, I could see that the women wearing black for sometimes years, was a sign that grief wasn't something that came and went, something like a common cold.

Living amongst Indians, I realised that great sadness was reserved for youth death and gaiety and celebration was the order for someone who lived a long life.

Visiting the Balinese, I realised that the day of your death was celebrated instead of all of your birthdays.

Living with my Maori family, I learnt that a stone is laid on the grave a year after the loved one has passed and the close families all come together again to share their feelings and remember their loved one.

Today marks the first year of the day my mother died.  It also marks 21 months since I returned to Australia to visit my mum for a couple of days and then deciding that I had to come and be with her as her cancer slowly took her 94 year life away from us.

It also marks 14 months since my wife brought our son to live with me here in Australia after we lived separately for 9 months.

These days are really useful to put a line in the sand.

The line in the sand for me is that my official period of mourning is over.

Have I mourned completely?

I have done the best I could have.  Each day has been different, each day has been influenced by my mother's passing in different ways, each day has had it's own unique mix of sadness, joy, insight, heaviness, depression, happiness, success and failure.

There's some special people to thank.

My little sister has been absolutely amazing and has been there all the way with me, even helping me plot how I would entice Rose and my son back to me.

Rose has been there all the time, on the phone for six months, patiently fitting in with my daily schedule of wake up | go to work | talk with Rose | work | Visit Mum | get home | eat | shower | Talk with Rose | sleep | wake up | go to work | ring Rose |..... my nightly phone calls mean late nights for nine months.

My son's beautiful hands on healing and big smile has helped me through heaps.  His progress since coming to a big city high school has also been very encouraging.

And thanks to all the people around me who have given me the space to grieve and who went out of their way to help me through it.

My beautiful mother in law, Norma knows all about grief.  She allowed my son and my wife to leave her to come to me.  She has been honest with me about how she feels about that and I am appreciative and respectful of her sacrifice.

My nephew Max, has not only allowed me to keep coaching him, in person, while I was going through my emotional roller coaster ride, but has actively and financially supported me as well.

My good friend Kevin Lohan, we share the same birthday, not only opened the door for work for my first 12 months, but also looked out for my back, showing concern for my well being even in the midst of his own personal challenges.  How lucky am I to have a friend like you Kevin!

My friendship with Leigh Paulden has deepened through our support of each other through mutual adversity.  The depth of the friendship was forged when we put behind a painful business separation with us both showing that we valued each other more than the business venture.

My East End buddy Mark Willson rang me yesterday and this morning.  We aren't in each other's pockets, but we both look out for each other and respect each other strengths and know each other's weaknesses - Thank you Mark for your concern about me and always bringing up how I was feeling about Mum's passing this year.

Thank you to all my clients - you all have been amazing and for me to be around that amazing-ness has helped me stretch and strive for that same awesome-ness!

Thank you to my Christchurch clients.  You guys have been through hell and I wasn't able to support you though it, but everyone I have spoken to has understood my situation and told me to get off my guilt trip.  How great it is to be around great people!

Thank you to Evi Perlmutter - you have helped me get into my own helicopter and look down at what's been happening. I've been in great shape since the new year and you continue to give me your dancing support, appropriate to whatever I'm going through.  You are the perfect therapist for me!

Thank you to Antonio and Zac - you guys have been so patient with me, keeping a roof over my head when I was down, below zero.  You really made me feel your belief in me.

Thanks to all the women at Beyond the Ordinary Tea house and Healing Centre - you were always brimming with love and encouragement.  You all are dancing with the wolves!

Thank you the Australian Government and the system of social security - you were there when I needed you.

 Thank you to Najah Alameddine our fast paced and compassionate bank manager - along with Ralph Norris whose amazing success in turning sleepy giants into top performers you both inspired me to do great things here in Sydney town.

Thank you for our good friend Barry Mehinick - you have been around me for many of my family deaths and you are a good friend of our family.

Thanks to all the people, many of you don't even know who you are, but you touched me and my family in large and small ways in this time.

I thank you all and thank all my ancestors, all the angels and guides and our creator - you have helped me more than ever before!

After today, I am walking a new part of my life, a new fresh start.

This is only the beginning. Get to know clarity. Email me, Mike Kennedy...

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