Many Australians celebrate Australia Day in a variety of ways. It can be quite a controversial day for our Indigenous Australians who mourn the loss of their sovereign rights to their land. For some it can mean a game of beach cricket or enjoying the great outdoors or it can just mean being grateful for this great country we live in.
For me it is the day that I lost my best friend. On this day three years ago I said my very last goodbye to my gorgeous husband. Every year my aim is to celebrate his life. There are moments that are difficult but in reality it is similar to every other day. Every single day there are components of joy and laughter and sadness and loss.
On this day I also wonder what the next year will hold and feel proud of how much the children and I have achieved since his death. Even though it is a day to somewhat reflect I also like to focus on a bright future filled with all different possibilities.
This year my daughter was invited to an Australia Day party with friends, which put me into a little spin. I was challenged with the possibility of not being together for this significant day. In the end she decided not to go as we went to the beach. However I was grateful to her for allowing me to examine what this day meant to us all. Grief is not just a one-day event, it is a daily process that you experience and work through. Next time I hope she can enjoy Australia Day celebrations with her friends. I don’t want to be inflexible on this day; as long as we enjoy some part of the day together then I am happy.
So, for Australia Day we went to the beach with my husband’s family and then we will share an Australian barbecue with my family. At dinner we always reminisce and share our greatest memories of a very courageous and loving man who we adore – John. He loved this day and always made it a fun filled day. It is very fitting and remarkable that we can now celebrate his life on this day and remember a remarkable man.
I hope you enjoy this day and surround yourselves with people who are precious to you. Having fun with those you love never gets boring.
Happy Australia Day 2014.