Some of you may have noticed I haven’t been around these parts in awhile. The blog has been quiet, no weekly emails or social posts in 2 months (seemingly years in social media time)! I’m ok with telling you why. I would prefer to do that rather than skip over it as if everything is fine.
My mum was battling Acute Myeloid Leukemia for the last 3 years. She has always been so optimistic and positive about her situation, but reached a stage where the remaining option for a healthy life proved unsuccessful. The treatment had failed and she was tired. She decided to cease all blood transfusions and let nature take its course. This meant admission to palliative care in hospital where they would keep her comfortable until she passed away.
Darren and I were living in Melbourne, Victoria, and Mum was based in Brisbane, Queensland. When we got the news we knew we had to get there. I was 22 weeks pregnant at the time and the thought of flying + potential COVID exposure at the airport was not something we wanted to risk. So we drove. It’s about a 22 hour journey. We were going to take it slow, but we got word on the way she was deteriorating. That message turned out to be more important than we could have guessed. We picked up the pace and Darren drove the whole way in 2 days (rather than the 5 we were originally planning). He will forever be my hero for his strength and support during this time 💖
We were hours away from the Queensland border when the news broke there was a COVID outbreak in Victoria and Queensland was about to shut the border. Our home was in one of the Melbourne ‘hotspot’ suburbs. This had all escalated while we were on the road. We got to the border Sunday night, hours before they enforced the new quarantine restrictions. If we were even one day later, we would have had to quarantine for 14 days, missing saying goodbye to Mum and the funeral. I’m aware this is happening to families all over the world right now and can’t imagine that level of grief and pain. Thankfully this wasn’t our story and we made it through in time.
My sister, brother and I were able to take shifts staying with her day and night in hospital to make sure she was as comfortable as possible. She was fairly bright and talkative in the beginning, but things degraded quite fast. Within a few days she was waking often with a fever and pleading for help. I was with my Dad in a similar situation only 2 years ago, but this was much worse. I couldn’t do anything but wipe her brow and hold her hand. Those memories will be hard to forget.
After a few days like this, she passed away. People who have lost a loved one know this isn’t a time you can then retreat to process the event. There’s funeral preparations to be made and practical things to organise, as was the case for us. My family helped minimise this for me, so while there was a part to play I was spared a lot of it and able to rest.
It didn’t last long though, the night before the funeral I had some serious abdominal pain and cramping. I was 25 weeks pregnant by then and we were worried for the baby. I got checked at the hospital and thankfully it wasn’t preterm labor and the baby was fine. The pain increased and lasted 6 days. The doctor couldn’t say exactly what caused it, but she put it down to stress. You can trick your mind into pretending things are fine, but your body can’t lie. This made it difficult to mourn mum’s passing as I didn’t want to trigger any further issues with the pregnancy.
It would have been nice if our world slowed down at this point and we were able to digest the past month, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case. Darren is in Australia on a Partner Visa. We got notice it was about to expire and we had 3 weeks to submit his Permanent Residency application. This meant pulling together 2 years of documents and information to prove we were still in a relationship. While that was not fun to do and the timing was terrible, I feel like it’s a little time capsule into our life that our son will appreciate one day.
It’s certainly been a rollercoaster ride lately, but we always seem to land on our feet. I can’t help but feel someone is looking out for us. While things were hard, they could have been so much worse.
I’m so lucky to have this calligraphy business. I appreciate you bearing with me during this turbulent time. It allowed me the freedom to focus on what was most important. I know this is all quite personal and raw but it felt like the right time to share with you guys, especially after a long period of silence.
Darren and I are now ready to focus on the imminent arrival of our baby boy who is due in October! He has been the light at the end of this particularly dark tunnel and we are beyond excited to meet him. I’m so glad mum knew we were pregnant. Even though she isn’t here to meet him in person, I’m sure she’s watching from afar.
Have your say – Learn Copperplate on the iPad Course
I had grand plans to open the doors to the LCC course again in June, but fate had other plans. Part of the course is 5 weeks of Facebook live sessions and support. I could potentially open the doors early next month *without* the live component of the Facebook sessions. I wouldn’t be able to commit to the live sessions as I’ll be on maternity leave.
The course would be slightly discounted without the live sessions but all other content would be the same.
If this is something you would be interested in, please leave a comment or reach out via email.
50 replies on “A Very Personal Update [trigger warning about loss]“
Nicole, I’m so very sorry for your loss! I’m also so glad you had those moments with your mom and your family (hero award for hubby!). I hope this new little life inside of you and the love of those around you fill you will a peace in the hard moments. Hugs!
Thanks for your lovely comment Cara. Darren has definitely been my knight in shining armour through all this! So much love and joy in this next stage of life 💖
I’m so sorry to hear about your mother and I send my sympathy.
Take care of yourself.
Thank you Lolly, really appreciate it!
I lost my mom 5 years ago now, it was sudden and heartbreaking and it literally took me a few years to come out of the fog and start processing losing her. I still struggle with it all the time.
I’m so sorry you’re being barraged by SO much hardship. And being pregnant undoubtedly makes it feel that much more intense. BUT I have said, since my own mom passed… if you’re gonna have a guardian angel on your side, who better than your own mother to be that for you? You are infinitely loved by Spirit and every ancestor that came before you.
Thank you for sharing your story. Your mom is proud, I’m just sure of it.
So sorry for your loss Amanda. It’s such a life changing thing to go through. That is such a comforting sentiment to think of her as a guardian angel. I will definitely do that and am sure she will be with us. Beautiful, thank you so much
You’re so brave, and have handled the loss of your mum and the other stresses wonderfully. Your mum will be so proud of you. All the best, always x
Thank you Emma. That means a lot
wishing you, and your baby well.
Thanks so much Peter 😊
What a difficult time during an already difficult time. I’m glad you shared your story and I am so glad you’re baby is well and you have your son to look forward to. Sending healing love and vibes. Bz ❤
I am so sorry for your loss. I am happy you and the baby are fine and wish you many blessings to come.
Thank you Ursula, really appreciate it
Thank you Bz! We are thankful for so many reasons and can’t wait to meet our little guy 😊
So sorry for your loss! I also have a baby due soon, end of Sept, I can only imagine adding this onto an already hard time in the world. You are brave for sharing and sending love to you and your family!
Thanks so much Jen. Yeah it was a lot to take in all at once, but I’m lucky and have such a strong support network. All the best to you and your soon-to-be-arrived bubs!
I’m so sorry for your loss and the complex grieving process for you. I wish you all much luck, love, and peace. Thank you for your vulnerability. We can do anything, just not everything at once. Please rest and take care of yourselves.
Thanks so much Cali 😊
Loss of someone you love is hurtful to your soul. Loss is such an individual experience, no matter how much support you have, it is a road you must travel alone. You must allow the process to make your travel less heartbreaking. Your heart is broken, but perhaps God can mend the tear in your heart. God has graced your family with the coming of your son.
Such beautiful words Camille, thank you. Yes, it’s a very personal experience. We are lucky to have so much to look forward to 💖
My heart and prayers go out to you and your family! I can’t imagine the pain and heartache you are feeling, but I do know God is the Almighty God and able to heal and strengthen. Be encouraged. And thanks so much for sharing your heart.
Thank you Angenise! I appreciate it
I am so sorry for your loss. I am glad you had a chance to say goodbye. Take all the time you need for self care.
Thank you Fern. Yes, we were so lucky to get that time with her
Hi Nicole, so sorry to hear about your loss! I had just started to wonder what had happened, as you are prolific normally.
I know just what you went through getting to your mum. I was in Mexico when I learned that mine had suffered a massive stroke – in Wisconsin. We flew on the first planes we could, took a taxi to the (wrong) hospital, and ended up see her minutes before she passed.
My heart goes out to you and yours. Hang in there, and take all the time you need, we’ll all just wait in anticipation of more great tutorials – when you’re ready!
Hi Dic, thank you for your kind words. I’m sorry to hear about your own experience losing your mother. Glad to hear you made it in time to say goodbye though.
Sending virtual hugs and sincere condolences as I know that heartache
Thank you Bron 💖
Thankyou for sharing and being authentic. It is always tough for us who are left here.
Your mom is at least free from pain now and I’m sure she is around watching and helping you from her side of the viel…I wish you and your loved ones a beautiful birth of your baby boy to come and that everything will go as easy as possible.
Warm and prosperous wishes from a human being in Sweden <3
So beautiful, thank you Maria. That means a lot
Very sorry for your loss. Sending love.
Thank so much Hana 😊
Hi Nicole. I am so sorry that you have lost your mum (and Dad )to this awful disease. My Dad also died from AML. He took it on the chin. Said he had had a wonderfully happy and blessed life.
The world has gone so crazy. But our daily lives move forward in these unprecedented times. You can only try to do your best. There should be no extra pressure for you and your family to suffer. Take it easy. You will bounce back in good time.
Thanks Robyn. Sorry to hear of the loss of your father. It’s amazing to see how strong people can be faced when in the midst of an illness like that. Definitely an inspiration and makes other problems look small in comparison. Thank you for writing in and take care.
My condolences, Nicole. I know that pain. The loss of your Mom coupled with the anticipated arrival of your boy has probably made this a bittersweet moment in your life for both you and Darren. Kudos to both of you for enduring the turbulence, and thank you for sharing. All the best.
Thank you Lou, I really appreciate it.
I’m so so sorry for your loss. I know it’s not the same, but my grandpa passed away when I was about 25-30 weeks and I really felt like he was our guardian angel through the end of the pregnancy and even still. Maybe your mom is a guardian angel or something along those lines now? Don’t worry about us following along, we’ll cry and cheer along with you as you share what you’re able to.💗
That is a lovely way to think of it Ashley, thank you 💖
Very sorry for your loss and my prayers. I hope you and your baby are fine. Virtual huges.
Thanks so much Ana 😊
Hi Nicole – thank you for sharing this intimate insight into what’s been happening to you, Darren, and ‘Bump’ – I did wonder if you’d slowed down and taken a break (never thinking it would involve a dash across Oz and the loss of someone so dear). Thank you also for letting us see what a beautiful Mum you had – that’s a lovely, lovely photo. You certainly haven’t been having an easy time with one thing after another happening. Grieve in any way that suits you – don’t try to conform to ‘expectations’ or what others think. It’s a very personal journey. There’ll be ups and downs and laughs and tears. I lost my mum on the Queen’s Birthday weekend in 2006 – she loved all things Royal Family and so we have been able to chuckle at the timing over the years. We associate her with bright colours and strength of character and every day I find myself putting on lipstick ‘in case someone comes calling’ because that’s what she used to do. 😃 And every now and then I find a random white feather on the floor of my den or somewhere unexpected and it makes me believe she’s had a little visit (checking to make sure I’ve got my lippy on more than likely! 😊). You’ve got lots to look forward to, Nicole, and a wonderfully supportive partner in Darren. October will soon be here and your mum will be smiling from up above as you bring a new family member into the world. Keep safe. Lotsaluv .. Robby ❤
So nice to hear from you Robby, thank you. Yes, it’s been a pretty wild ride lately. Ha, yes I’m told I look a lot like her and that means so much, especially now. I love that about grieving in your own way. It’s an unexpected pressure that comes with a time like this. But you’re right, it’s a very personal experience and might not appear the way people expect.
I’m sure your mum was leaving feathers to let you know she’s stopped by. We were seeing butterflies everywhere in the days after mum passed 😊
So sorry for your loss. It sounds as though you have a wonderful guardian angel watching over your family. Take care of yourself. <3
Thanks so much Susan
So sorry to hear of the loss of your Mother. She will always be there for you as your son’s very special guardian angel.
Thank you Cynthia. I believe that too 💖
Klaudia van der Groef
Dear Nicole, .. so sorry you have to go true such a difficult time,.. wishing you all the best from Holland . And hope the new baby will bring you Love and joy so this dark times will be a bit compensated by this new life. Wishing you all the best and much strength 😘 A mam so lovely will be always there with you, in you, you did no lose her , you just can’t hold here anymore …..
Thank you Klaudia. Yes we are so excited to be welcoming our son soon and looking forward to happy times
Your story was very touching. I am so sorry for the loss of your Mother. Kudos to your partner for pulling it all together to get there in time. Wishing you and your family peace and hope all will be well with the new baby. I love your calligraphy and appreciate all you share.
Your comment means a lot, thank you Carol! 💓