Thursday, 15 May 2014

This is the Sound Of One Voice - The Final Verse


Those of you who have been reading this blog for the past several months will know that the wonderful and talented woman who composed it - my sister, Michelle - was in the end stage of renal failure after living most of her life with a dual eating disorder. You will also know that Michelle eventually stopped posting for a few different reasons - primarily because she no longer possessed the energy to write. But she had one post, composed five months ago, which she had reserved as her last, and which she asked me to publish for her when her journey finally ended.

Michelle - my beautiful, intelligent, funny, generous, loving "little" sister - died yesterday. Her passing was peaceful. She simply took a last breath, and then did not take another. Her last few days were calm, happy. She told Kirk, her beloved partner, that she was "happy every day" and that she had "so much to be grateful for" - the view outside her window, the loving people she had around her, her two "wee white pups" (Samuel and Daisy), the beautiful messages from family, friends and colleagues who sent so much love to her... She repeated those same sentiments to our mom and to me; she felt loved and cared for, and all was good in her world.

We are grateful that her final days were so free of the pain she carried with her through most of her life. She was an extraordinary person, with many, many gifts that, most of the time, she could not see in herself. But we saw them, and we are richer for having had her in our lives.

So - this is the sound of one voice - my sister, Michelle - sharing her last words with the world. I miss you so very much already, my wee one. I'll love you forever, my darling girl. xo

I don't know when or if this will be read - but I know someone else's hand will post this - hit the button that says "publish" and let it go. It will mean that this part of the journey - my journey - has come to an end. The powerful Indigenous writer Thomas King wrote "the truth about stories is that's all we are". This blog - my stories, my presence here - mattered to me in a way that is hard to express. I wanted more than anything to tell the truth - an experiment with no particular agenda or deeper meaning. And yet what I discovered was that it was possible to share the parts of yourself you have hidden from the world - even from yourself - and that transformative things could happen. People began to open up to me in a way I never dreamed possible. Far from letting me go - they just held on tighter.

I learned you could walk away from everything that defined you and discover something deeper - when whatever trapping of the working world is gone. That the downward journey - letting go of many of the things one surrounds oneself with to fill the empty spaces - brought its own freedom. That the moments that matter are the connection of people's stories and souls and other broken pieces that I have stumbled across - bringing their own healing power. It was worth the pain.

To my Mom and Dad - my sister Karen ( sweet angel Andrew) how can I possibly express to you what you mean to me - how much I will miss wrapping my arms around you? Know I will always be with you. Always with love. To my baby brother Murray - my precious angel - I love you our forever wee boy. To Aaron, Shannon, Aanji and Binaawke - for every joyful moment and the gift of you - my gratitude and endless love. For the privilege of being called "Nana" - which filled me with delight. To Miranda, Nathan and the new little soul joining your family - my thanks for the love - the light - the happiness you brought me. And to the baby I may never hold - you have shone brightly in my heart. May your life be a gift of abundance and joy. To those related to me in the family way, friends, colleagues and acquaintances who lightened my path and enriched me with your presence - may you be surrounded always with peace and love. And finally to Kirk. Tirkie. There are no words to describe what I might have missed had fate not brought us here. The gifts of your family, your kindness, your incredible heart. More than anything I wish you a full life - free of pain - surrounded by everyone who loves you (and they are legion) and in the beautiful words of Christine McVie..."For you, there'll be no more crying...for you, the sun will be shining...".

In the end, this has been the sound of one voice - one voice that may echo in your mind telling you I love you...I love you...I love you...


  1. My sincerest condolences. May we all depart so gracefully.

  2. Heartfelt condolences to you and the rest of Michelle's family and to her friends.

  3. Michelle, I was proud to know you and work with you. My sympathy to all her family and friends

  4. Sending out much love to Michelle's family & friends. <3

  5. This is MENTAL ILLNESS. Period. It's not beautiful and it kills people. I feel great empathy for her family.

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