Tuesday, August 7, 2012


I'd never describe myself as an "outdoorsy" person.

That's not to say that I'm a princess.  I am happy to get dirty in the garden or go fishing and smell like the sea all day.  I love the feeling of sand between my toes and the winter sun on my back.  I love to walk through the bush and I love to stroll along the beach. 

.... just so long as I can come home to a hot shower, a fresh coffee and a flushing toilet.

Perhaps it is because my first career involved days and days of walking along snake-infested tracks in the rain to measure trees in plantations.  It kinda takes the shine off bush-walking and being "at one with nature" when you HAVE to do it everyday.

Greg loved to be outdoors.  When given the choice, he would always rather be outside. He was from a long line of farmers after all, and lived for the days he could spend riding a  motorbike or tractor around familiar paddocks and lane ways.
He loved camping, he loved gardening, he loved bush walking (he climbed Queensland's highest peak in 1day when most people take at least 2 days), he loved native birds and insects.  A year after we met, he and his brother spent a month on dirt bikes loaded with swags and camping gear and rode and camped their way along dirt tracks and make-shift river crossings, right to the northern-most tip of Australia ....

He felt at home in the bush.

Lately, the kids and I have been walking around the local bushland area.  It is a very calming and grounding place to be.

...and somewhere I feel very connected to Greg.  To the point where I *know* I am not alone in my meandering along bush tracks.

...and while I am still not keen on camping, have no desire to measure a plot of 5 year old saplings in the rain during snake - mating season Spring, I am starting to realise that just *being* outdoors brings such a calmness.

A connection with the earth, with life, with love.

I feel as though my nature-loving boy is walking right alongside me. 
In fact I *know* my nature-loving boy is walking right alongside me.

....and I am better for it.


  1. Such an inspirational post Amanda! So true that the outdoors brings a calmness and closeness to those we loved so very much.

    Great Pic! Love the sun coming through your hair. Brings on a feeling of warmth! Thank you!

  2. My husband loved to work in our yard and I came from a family of gardeners. So we enjoyed doing yard work. My husband passed just 5 weeks ago and it is very difficult for me to go out and work in the yard. After reading your post I realized that I need to go out and feel him there with me. Thank you.

  3. Thanks, Amanda. I too, feel my husbands presence outdoors, especially when I am swimming this summer. We spent a lot of time on the water, mostly sailing, and just being around water and out of doors bring me closer to him. If you can't have him physically by your side, this is the next best thing.

    I love your picture, too, I look like a different person in photos these days, who is that staring back at me???

  4. To Anon above whose husband helped work in the yard. Oh at 5 weeks I can feel that pain and sadness. Hang onto those memories.
    My husband and I were big gardeners and we gardened together a couple of times a week. The spring after he died. Everytime I went in the yard i cried and cried. All of our work around me and yet he was not there.
    Now - when I go out there and I work I think of him alongside of me. Like Amanda - I feel him there and whenever I plant something new I talk to him and say "what do you think?'" Being outside in the fresh air is a wonderful way to help with the grief.
    Take care.

  5. This is my first post and I have signed up for Camp Widow East 2013. My husband of 39 yrs. (Aug. 9th) lost his battle to brain cancer May 4, 2012. We also loved the outdoors.I talk to him daily and only pray I can make him proud as I try to move forward. Our many trips took us through some of the most beautiful country one could only be blessed to witness. In two days we would have celebrated our 39th Wedding Anniversary and my heart has such a huge void. I am looking forward to getting to know how others cope with the loss of a soul mate, best friend and love of my life. Take care all....

  6. To Anon above!
    O how I understand some of your experience. My husband of 36 years died after 14 months with a brain tumour. It is not like "cancer" it is terminal cancer plus living with someone who is really brain injured. There is so much to face each day it is like climbing a mountain every single day.
    I send you so much peace and hope. I am at 21 months. It has been painful and desperate and a million things more but - it has also been slowly moving in small ways forward. My husband was the love of my life. My best friend. My work partner. My greatest love since I was a girl.
    I go on because I am still alive and he expressed his great desire that I live and carry one. Hang on tight. It will get better. Come here frequently.
    Wishing you moments of peace.

  7. To Anon above!
    A million thanks for your post. Its been a very long journey that began exactly one year ago. My life has been turned upside down but each day I feel a bit stronger. I do feel stronger each day and even though I'm 58 yrs. old this Sept. I know that my husband wanteds me to move forward as well. My heart goes out to you as well..one step at a time. My best to you.....

  8. Thanks so much. I am 54 this year. Such a long journey and those steps I think I have walked many of them. I haven't been to camp Widow. I am sure it will be a wonderful experience and one that will help going forward. I know this blog - has been a life saver. On many dark nights I came here and just read and wrote and cried.
    I have received so much wisdom and have been encouraged by the hope and the women (and men) who have posted and share their experiences. Each journey is a bit different. But when I read your husband died of a brain tumour - it resonated immediately with me. Because of the kind of journey that diagnosis begins. Yes, one step at a time. We have lived through the worst kind of loss. We can live on. We must find reasons to do so. take care.