These yellow bottlebrush were growing near my daughter’s Sydney home last summer.



These images are poignant because they were taken at the time of my granddaughter Kassidy’s funeral, and today would have been her first birthday. But they are, and remain, a symbol of hope and life in the midst of sadness.

Ash is Resting Now

Ash is now resting at Wartook, in the Grampians, in Western Victoria. I took him with me because I was working in that region and he deteriorated dramatically overnight. A humane vet euthanased him in the back of my car and the people on the property where I was staying buried him in a grave, under a pine tree, facing Mt Difficult.

I seem destined to keep looking in to the void. I know there is something within it but I am having a bit of trouble discerning what it is. Ash did trust me and you are right, I did not let him down. The vet injected him in the back of the car so he was in his own cocoon, his weary head dropped and he went to sleep. Facing Mount Difficult is full of meaning for both of us.

For years I had this numinous dream, which involved climbing and traversing something like Mt Difficult. I would come to a plateau, only to discover that I had to go on, that there was another peak to master. Having Ash succumb to throat cancer, watching him waste and decline in such a similar way to Darryl was particularly tough. The parallels wereextraordinary.

So now there is this emptiness again. Adoring eyes are gone. Ash was legendary when it came to watching over and guarding me. He did what so many could not do. He sat with me during tough times. What sort of universe removes him in this way? How is someone supposed to findmeaning in an action like this?

Yet, within the darkness there has been a glimmer of light. Being here, at Wartook, meant that I had very real support and was able to bury him in a particularly lovely place. He has not gone in to some landfill and I am not left with the ashes of Ash. I have some of Darryl’s ashes at home. I think maybe the children can scatter me with him here. It has all been just so difficult.