What I learned from Greg about Living as he was Dying.

I’m sitting in Greg’s chair looking out at the spectacular garden in my backyard … the garden that he never really got to experience. We moved into this house shortly before he died. I had wanted a larger house that was easier to nurse him in, one with big, beautiful trees. I wanted him to sit in this chair and watch his grandchildren climb those trees.

Why did we move house so close to his death? Well, I had no idea how close it was. I thought we had months, maybe a year left together. Actually, I secretly thought “Maybe he will never die. It’s Greg after all, the Man-Who-Lived.” I didn’t know that two days after we moved here, he would lose consciousness and never regain it.

It’s been nearly two years since he left my side.

And it’s his birthday today, Jan 24th. I celebrated it by walking alone along the beautiful Swan River that he adored and eating his favourite breakfast, (minus the bacon 🙂

Then I borrowed a pen off a nice waitress and wrote down all the miracles that have entered my life in the past year. I stopped at number 33 cos I ran out of room. It made me feel better as my sad heart swelled with gratitude for this life I now live, alone, and for the life I shared with that remarkable man for 27 years.

We didn’t have a perfect marriage. God, far from it. And you know what? For most of that time, he was bloody difficult to live with! And he knew it, too. Actually I think he kind of reveled in it. You see, Greg was amazing, passionate, charismatic, funny, brilliant, creative, faithful, inspiring, eloquent and oh so independent. He lived by a strong spiritual code, but within that, he was outspoken and outrageous. He saw life as an unapologetic adventure, one in which I often had to the apologising 🙂

Then in 2010 he received a diagnosis that triggered the biggest, most transformative adventure of his life… And mine. Stage IV Renal Cell Carcinoma with Metastases. Translation: Incurable Kidney Cancer with possibly six months to live. That ‘oh so independent’ man was a ticking time bomb, stuck in wheelchair and completely dependent on me.

But by the time he died, nearly four years later, he had transformed himself into The Perfect Man. When I realised this, I was angry for awhile … why couldn’t I have had THIS GUY all those years? (I’m not proud of how long it took me), but I got over my anger, and began to see and appreciate what was truly happening to the man I had loved for most of my life.

Greg didn’t ‘battle cancer’. He lived with it, and then, gradually, even as his body weakened, he thrived on it. He leaned into his creative practice as a musician, and showed me the power of using creativity. He leaned into his spiritual practice as a Baha’i, and showed me the power of faith. He drew people to him, sharing his journey with them with the meager strength he had, and he showed me the power of friendship.

He was keenly aware that he was changing. In fact he called himself the new ‘cancer-improved’ Greg 🙂

I have cried many tears over my silliness and regret that I didn’t appreciate what he was doing, or how he chose to spend his last days. My focus was on keeping him alive. His focus was on Living. So there were times I really resented that we had to organise yet another musical production or have yet another visitor! But I think I ‘got it’ towards the end. Especially that very last concert, From Our Hearts to Yours, when he shared his music publicly for the last time, and thanked us all by name. One thousand people stood as one to cheer his life and who knows how many thousands more watched his story on ABC TV’s 7.30 Report. He died six weeks later.

I realise now that I learned more from Greg as he was dying than I did in my whole life previous to that.

What did I learn?

In the way he loved everyone, including grumpy, tired and imperfect me … I learned what Unconditional Love actually looks like.

In the way he loved life, yet truly wanted to offer up his in exchange for the well-being of his daughters’, I learned what Sacrifice looked like.

In the face of his unswerving calm, his absolute gratitude that he was alive that day, every time we awaited the results of a scan that would tell us if he was going to live or die … I learned what Acceptance looks like.

In the way he leaned increasingly into prayer and meditation when he could have chosen regret, anger or fear, I learned what Faith looks like.

This list could be much longer, but I’ll end with a little story.

I could always rely on Greg to tell me the truth. At times he’d just stay quiet instead of saying what he actually thought, but Greg never lied, not even to save my feelings. This drove me to distraction at times, but not this time.

It was Wednesday May 14th, his last day of consciousness. I was stroking his hand and saying my goodbyes. His skin was icy and I found myself gently exclaiming,

“Your hands are so cold!”

And he replied, his eyes shut, his voice clear as a bell,

“Your hands are so rough!”

Aaah Greg. You made me laugh as you were leaving me. And you were Truthful to the end 🙂

Greg Parker in New Zealand, 2 years before he died

Greg Parker in New Zealand, 2 years before he died

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If you’d like to leave a comment, please do over here.

The SPECTRUM Blog Hop Giveaway is now closed, but you’re welcome to leave a comment anyway, cos I love ’em and I read and reply every one 🙂

 

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  1. There are so many things to love about this post.

    Suffice to say there’s a difference between staying alive and living. And it was honour to know Greg.

    Thanks for sharing your journey and your lessons

    ~ Samith

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      Greg thought you were a really good guy, Samith 🙂 And yes, you were right, he didn’t just stay alive. He lived. Right til the end. Thanks for taking the time to share.

  2. Thank you for sharing this post today, so spot on, as we are losing a loved one to pancreatic cancer probably at any moment and your words are so inspiring.
    I came to the blog to enter the chance for Spectrum, but come away with so much more.

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      Lovely to meet you Uli, and I am so sorry to hear of your difficulties. Pancreatic cancer is so challenging. I hope you find some peaceful and loving moments in the road ahead. All the best from me.x

  3. Hi Malini. Thank you so much for this inspiring post. What a wonderful way to honor Greg. What is it about the human make up that we so often fail to appreciate what is right in front of us until it is too late? I actually came here to enter the Spectrum giveaway – I’m so glad I did!

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      I am so glad you did, too Jacklyn! Thank you for your kind words. I wish you GOOD luck with Spectrum and all the very best for the future!

  4. Mal what can I say except that once again you have captured the essence of what your time with Greg was all about with such discernment. Today I posted on fb to Greg:the world seems a safer, more manageable place, knowing you are casting your benign eye over us all and encircling us in your love and protection.

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  5. Your brutal honesty gave me pause today. I see my own marriage reflected back to me through your words. This year we will be married 25 years, a perfect marriage? In your words, God no! This last year I have found it to be the most difficult not because it was any harder than the rest but because as I change and grow I find harder to settle. Our empty nest seems to amplify the imperfections. Your words remind me that perhaps what I seek is futile and I need to simply exist in the love that has seen us this far. Perfect, far from it but that may be alright. Thank you for this post today.

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      Hey Diva, there isn’t a perfect marriage, I think we make it as perfect as we need it to be, and along the way, we can choose to learn or not learn. Much of the time, I didn’t learn 🙂 I was fortunate to have those 4 years of intensive learning, and I guess so was he.
      I hope my post was helpful to you. It’s so important not to “dwell on the unpleasant things of life” or those of our partners. We naturally amplify their faults. It would serve us better to amplify their good qualities 🙂 xx

  6. You speak so truthfully about this journey. I can’t imagine what it must be like to live through losing your mate,your other half. My son was taken so abruptly from us, KIA IRAQ 2003 at the age of 21. It has been many of all the years following we process the thoughts and feelings and loss. I appreciate the ” we didn’t have a perfect marriage” paragraph. The honesty that he wasn’t perfect. It seems when someone close to us dies everyone remembers them as perfect and forget the faults that made them uniquely them. Life definitely isn’t easy but it carries us where we need to be, like it or not.

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      Oh Kim, I am so sorry about your loss. I cannot imagine what that would be like, losing a son. my heart reaches out to you. I hope that you find ways to heal and find reminders of beauty and love everywhere. much love to you x

  7. This post is so richly honest, raw, courageous and vulnerable. If we would only all learn to share from this place! I’ came to enter to win a place in Spectrum, and now it’s also a chance to learn from you. Blessings as you continue this journey of life to death to life. And thank you!

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  8. Heart touching sharing! Thank you for sharing so openly and honestly. I found this post in hopes of winning a spot in spectrum course… I was meant to find it. I learned very similar things being by mother’s side as she lived with ovarian cancer for 19 months and loved her 3 toddler grandchildren fully and deeply during that time… soaking in the love and the hugs and the rollercoaster of life/emotions. Blessings, Julia

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      Hello Julia
      Thank you so much for your kind words and I am so sorry for the pain you have gone through. We are all united by our experiences of love and loss… and finding treasures in the experiences. much love to you x

  9. Such a beautiful, soulful post – thank you for sharing such a heartfelt message of love and loss. I came to this post by way of the Spectrum giveaway, and found so much more. Thank you!

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  10. Your words touched my heart. Sorry for your loss. You are very fortunate to have grown so much through this experience. Love & light to you. Peace, Ronda

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  11. How beautiful, Malini. When I was first diagnosed with cancer a few years ago, I wished I could barter it away, but I couldn’t so I learned to be as present as possible with it and my heart opened in ways and spaces I never thought possible. I aspire to be like you described ‘perfect Greg’ (I’m learning).

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      It was a long journey for Greg, Joy, with much imperfection strewn amongst the perfection 🙂 I hope that you have an easier path, but cancer is not a kind Teacher, and no doubt you have suffered greatly. Go easy on yourself, and forget perfection. I am sure you are trying your best and that is enough 🙂 xox

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  12. What a way to start another week: such a beautiful and inspiring reminder of dear Brother Greg. I almost got through reading it without the waterworks…

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  13. It is truly wonderful that you can share your innermost feeling with so many people Malini,and for so many people to share back with you.From the time that I met Greg it was clear that he was an inspirational man and that you had a special love between you.It was very clear that Greg was participating to the fullest in his own life perhaps because he had the awareness that it was coming to an end.Is that full and enthusiastic participation something that we could all learn from Greg’s final years.
    Of course Malini we are also very aware that you are an extraordinary person overflowing with spirit and inquisitiveness.
    Love Bob

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  14. Beautiful Malini – at every level!
    And Greg was also blessed to have you loving him and caring for him during the last chapter of his extraordinary life and death.
    Our lives are richer for your honesty and courage to share something of your heart with strangers and friends.

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      I have no words to express how grateful I am for the gift he gave me, that I so grumpily received at the time (as you well know!). Thank you for helping us make those last 6 months more peaceful and honest, with your wise counsel. much big love to you dear friend. x

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  16. Wow…I have tears in my eyes as I read your post. My greatest fear is losing my husband but your reflection shows me how important it is to just be with him and appreciate the time we have together no matter how long that may be. Thankfully, we’re both healthy and have had almost 20 wonderful years together. You have faced his loss and and your own healing with such courage and open heartedness. I admire this about you as much as I admire your art. Thank you for sharing so openly and honestly. <3

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      I am so grateful our paths crossed, Kierstan, and I thank you for your kind and warm words. I am sure you will continue to bring out the best in each other for the decades ahead, and stay grateful for each moment. much love x

  17. This was just beautiful Malini! What courage and faith you both had, and what love, we all felt it and were enriched by it. Xxx

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      Aah, sweet Maggie, thank you for those kind, kind words. Greg’s faith was like Everest. Mine, a mere bump on the ground in comparison 🙂 But I am grateful I got to share the experience with him. xx

  18. Oh Malini…my heart breaks for you even as I’m cheering you on in the wonderful discoveries you are finding! This grief-journey is certainly not for the faint of heart, is it? Thanks for so openly sharing your path… (We are almost 8 years from the unexpected death of a teen son…so I comment as one who “gets” the mix of laughter and tears…)

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      Hello Jill, I am so very very sorry for your loss. It is a pain that I cannot imagine, and I feel for you. The grief journey is certainly a special one. Full of bumps and bruises and gifts also. Much love to you and yours as you continue this journey. x

  19. Malini – So sorry for your loss. It reminds me to be grateful for all the loved ones I still have around me…and too life now and fully…hugs to you.

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      Thank you Andrea. My loss has also ultimately been my great Gain, so I am grateful for the whole journey. It’s a good lesson for all of us to live fully in each moment. much love to you x

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    It makes me happy to know that others, like you, may receive something worthwhile that came from my musings. Thank YOU for sharing my journey, much love x

  21. Malini, I am so touched by your honesty and in awe of your ability to so eloquently express these most personal feelings and experiences. You and Greg were (and indeed still are) an awesome combination! xxoo

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      Thank you so much Moira! Your kind words are touching and I am grateful. I was (and still am) a fortunate woman indeed. Even though I miss him every day. Much love to you xxxx

  22. Hi Malini, I have met you once at your workshop, and have been reading your updates. Your very inspiring blogs amaze me at how much strength you have gained from all of the things life has thrown at you and your family. I went through cancer treatment myself shortly after your workshop. It can be a time for really learning to appreciate the short time we have on this watery, blue planet . Much love to you all . Tonia

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      Hello Tonia
      I remember you well 🙂 It was years ago! And I have been following your cancer journey on FB. It’s been quite a time for both of us, and I’m sure you have gained a great deal from navigating all that “life has thrown at you” 🙂 Hope the guitar lessons are going well! thank you so much for your kind words. Much love to you x

  23. Malini dear friend
    My comments won’t win me a place in your online workshop as much as I’d like it. However, you paint for me a picture in my mind of Greg and yourself as if you were water llillies that grow out of murky waters and blossom into pure and unsullied flowers that give off beauty and fragrance. These images that you paint for my soul, mind and spirit assist me and carry me to keep moving forward through my own little challenges Thank you
    Yvonne Dalby

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      Hey Eve, you’re in the running to win a spot in Spectrum just by saying “hi” over here 🙂 But your comment was so beautiful thank you! And you really saw those murky waters close up. I think you are a lotus.

  24. So beautifully written, you just never know what story is behind someone and what they have been through and to find the sunshine in your grief is beautiful I hope your words help someone else in a similar situation, this life we now live in almost everyone is touched by cancer

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      Thank you Stacey. You are so right, everyone knows someone who has been affected by cancer. I appreciate your kind words. And we can all share kind words every day and touch hearts all the time, as you have mine 🙂

  25. I feel so much love for Greg through your words. I never lost a loved person through cancer, but my first daughter died one day after her birth – and I learned a lot from her and for this, I am grateful. For me, it was important to see this and to accept that her death teached me a lot.
    Jorin

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      Oh my, I’m so sorry Jorin. That is a terrible pain to carry. I cannot imagine a loss of such magnitude. My heartfelt condolences and much love to you. x

      1. Thank you very much, Malini. You know, like you handle with the death of Greg, I handle with the death of Paula. We both are strong enough to carry this, I’m sure!
        Love, Jorin
        PS It’s not easy to write in english about my feelings because my first language is german. So if I wrote something “curious”, you know why ;-).

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          Not at all! I’m always AMAZED at how perfect my German friends’ English is. One of them replied, when I asked how come Germans learn English so well at school, when most people who learn a 2nd language at school really can’t speak it, she replied, “we’re German!” 🙂 🙂

  26. Wow…Malini – So sorry for your loss. I have tears in my eyes as I read your post. It reminds me to be grateful for the loved one I still have around me. My greatest fear is losing my partner. He has heartproblms since he was a toddler and electrocuted himself and a second time when he was een teen. At age 28 the doctors put him into a coma and gave him 7 electroshocks to get his heartritm normal again…but they failed. All they could say was, We can’t do anything for you. You wil have maybe one more year. But this year we hope he will cellebrate his 70th birthday. I met him end of 2006 and end 2011 I moved to him, the best thing I have done.

    Your reflection shows me that how important it is to just be with him now I still can enjoy his company, his jokes and little pranks, his honesty, his wise lessons. Your sad and at the same time wonderful story was a real eyeopener, to appreciate the time we have together… now and fully.
    So, this afternoon after reading your story, I needed a little break so we went for a walk, winter here is very soft and we enjoyed it a lot. I am always tired, chronic fatique because of the FMS, Epilepsy and Rheumatoid Arthritis and with not much enegy going for a walk isn;t great. But your story was a great and wise lesson…I still am able to walk with him right now, and I will enjoy every minute of it. Life is too short and to precious to let is slip away because of my illness.

    Thank you for sharing so openly and honestly. I too came to enter to win a place in Spectrum, and now it’s also a chance to learn from you. Thank you so much for sharing, Loads of love and Hugs, Riya

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      Hello Riya, I am honoured you shared a little of your story with me. You must have a special relationship with him … and he sounds gorgeous 🙂 To appreciate any little thing is a great gift we can give ourselves. Just to be able to walk is not something everyone can do. Greg was so happy when he could manage it.
      Good luck with Spectrum, I hope you win! much love x

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  27. I was looking for the space where to subscribe for SPECTRUM, and I’ve been called to read this article before searching for more informations. And there it was, : the gift behind this reading.
    Thank you for sharing such a precious wisdom from your life

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  28. I’m touched n inspired by yr sharing. I’m going through a rough patch in my life and Greg’s ‘acceptance’ is a motivation for me to drop my past and start living the life I’m blessed to live. Thank you for sharing Malini. You strength inspired me.

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    Hahaha!! Cindy, you know him well, even though you have never met! Thank you my friend across the world! I hope we get to finally meet in person this year. Thank you for your kind and warm words and for extending love and support for the past few years ! x

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    Aaaah, a kindred spirit! Creativity has certainly the power to heal and transform, IF we let it! Good for you! I hope you keep on telling everyone 🙂 Good luck and thank you for your very kind words. x

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      Thank you so much Soo. Peace comes and goes, but I know my life is richly blessed to have shared it with Greg and gone through the highs and lows that we did. Much love to you and thank you for stopping by,

  31. I got teary & goosebumps from this: “In the way he loved life, yet truly wanted to offer up his in exchange for the well-being of his daughters’, I learned what Sacrifice looked like.”
    Wow! That is truly powerful… Bless his soul… and thank you for sharing, dear Mal…

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      It was his heartfelt wish, to offer his pain and ultimately his life, for his children. His way of re-dressing the balance. What a mystery life is. “To sacrifice is to receive a gift” and I think he received a beautiful gift in his transformation and ultimately, to die with such honour. Thank you much for your kind words and for sharing this story,

  32. It is sad to hear about such a major loss at such a young age.
    It is also rewarding to hear about how time allowed was recognized and appreciated.
    An unapologetic adventure.

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      Yes, that is how he would have seen it. He actually was grateful for the gift of this calamity. Which he saw as Providence. The loss was ours. But thankfully, we have gained so much from his journey too. Thank you for stopping by, Laura.

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  33. Hi Malini, ”omg ” I had goosebumps as I read your story because it was so very like my own.I lost my partner in feb 2010 from Brain Cancer and like yourself I learnt more about life and unconditional love in the seven months he was ill than in the 56 years of being on this earth.There are no words I could write down that would comfort you, but all I will say is you were given a beautiful gift,when you met your partner,you will grow so much as a person,you will aquire compassion,empathy and a beautiful spirit.May God bless you,and comfort you. Julie xxx

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      Hello Julie, I am so sorry for great loss. We are sisters in this experience. Thank you for your wise words, I have found all of them to be true already. I hope I continue to grow and learn from this “gift wrapped in sandpaper” . All the best to you, and much love.

  34. Hi Malini,
    Thank you for your authenticity and honesty in recounting your story.
    Like many others I have also been on a journey of trauma, loss and gain and have wrestled with all the spectrum of emotions that accompany that journey.

    As a creative teacher, I encourage others constantly to use art as a healing tool, but cannot discipline myself to do the same, even though I know how beneficial art as therapy can be.

    I trust that this link to you, your story and your work is taking me closer to evolving into a stronger being.

    You are an amazing inspiration.
    Thank you.

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      Thank you, my soul sister across the miles. I appreciate your encouraging words, and I also share that inertia at times, when I resist making art even though I KNOW the joy and freedom it brings! Fortunately, there’s always tomorrow 🙂 Keep well, dear one. x

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  35. I am glad to discover your blog and look forward to reading more about us (what a touching article on Gregg). I also very much hope to win a spot in Sprectrum 2016 – I want to dive into my art practice with more freedom.
    Thank you!

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  36. I lost my beautiful most amazing mother just over three years ago. I think she and Greg would have been great friends. She lived her life with love and joy and an intestinal fortitude second to none and she died with grace and dignity. The last conversation I had with her she was worried about my sister and the house finances……..I promised her I would look after both and told her to relax and let it go knowing I had made that promise. The greatest gift she could ever have given me was the faith and trust that I would and so she let go and passed away the following day. To the very last she was giving me strength and confidence with her faith in me.
    As I said….I think she and Greg would have been great friends.

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      They may be great friends now, Mandy 🙂 I am so sorry for you loss, your mother must have been a light in this world. I am sure she continues to be one now, in the ‘World of Mysteries’. All the best to you and much love.

  37. Malini what a wonderful story..as I was reading I could feel the love, joy , sorrow that is within. I never met Greg but it feels like I have known him.
    We have worked together in the Professional Slimming Center ..long time ago. I was the RN and you the Dietitian..remember..
    Well, my Sister Ann who lives in Canningvale sent me this..and how she knew that we worked together is amazing.
    I live in Orlando, Florida and am an Oncology Nurse for the last 15 years till present time. Now I am at the Infusion Center and work with many, many Cancer patients..I love all of them..They are Soo special to me..we laugh, we cry and share stories when they come in for their treatments. Some say we are like a family to them.
    Mal..cling onto the memories and friendship u had together. It’s okay to cry when u miss him..he is by your side. My Faith tells me that we will meet up with our Beloved Ones again ..my what a joy.
    So dear friend, I will be thinking n praying for you n beautiful daughters.that GOD will give you all the Strength n Peace to go thru the difficult time. Hugs.

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      Oh MY GOD!!! Alvyyyyyyyy! Of course I remember you — you are UNFORGETTABLE! it was 30 year ago that I left Singapore! I am so happy to hear from you, and bless your sister’s heart for sending this to you! My faith tells me that I will see him again too. In fact I feel his presence daily. As you know, I am a Baha’i, and firmly believe that there are many realms that our souls traverse beyond this one, after death… an eternal journey.

      I’m so glad that those patients have your shining spirit and SPARKLE to accompany them during the difficult journey that cancer takes us on. Well done!

      I hope to see you again one day dear Alvie 🙂 xox

  38. Malini, That was a beautiful piece to honor Greg. Such a gift you were to eachother, and that bond will forever remain. I am thinking of you and sending you much love and light.

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  39. This was a very beautiful story. I also have a man who can be difficult as a partner, this story has really made me think about things. I came here to enter for Spectrum but wow – was not expecting this! I’m so happy you had time to be with him, in all his forms.

  40. Dear Malini, I am so deeply touched by your writing, and the lovely photos, and your honesty and bright spirit even in the face of such challenges. I will light a candle in prayer for you and Greg and your family and friends. I am grateful to have met you both in these words; you both are an inspiration. I just happened to come across your blog through “The Spectrum”. Thank you for so generously offering a free space.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind thoughts and your prayers. They are deeply appreciated J.B. What a wonderful thing to offer someone that you have only met in the virtual world. A kind soul. Good luck with Spectrum, I hope you win! x

      1. Thank you dear Malini for your sweet blessing ~ your light shines so bright, it is sunny here today, just like your spirit. I feel so lucky to see your offerings and meet so many lovely people through this Spectrum Contest. Sending love….

  41. I think that you are a very strong woman, and you ended up with a great man in the end.
    I think that I have a great life and in our journey towards the end of our lives, we changed the way we thought about life with a illness surrounding us.
    I know I did when I nearly lost my husband to an illness in 2003, and I changed a lot about myself.
    I don’t hang on to stuff anymore, we got a dog and he helped to change ourselves into who we are today.
    I like where our life has gone and we are loving every minute of it.

    1. Thank you for those kind and warm words Dale. I am sorry you went through hardship with your man, but it’s heartwarming to know that you came through it, enjoying your lives together to the full! That is a great gift…. it becomes clearer to me every day that Life’s Challenges are truly Gifts in disguise. But sometimes the disguise is so thick it is hard to see the Gift! All the best to you x

  42. Hi Malini, I admire your honesty and strength in sharing about the loss of your husband. I always enjoy reading what you share on Facebook. I’m happy to have found your blog 🙂

  43. Your writing is beautiful. I came to enter for a spot in spectrum but I can’t just leave. I will explore your lovely blog. Thank you for that.

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  44. Malini – thank you so much for this honest, eloquent & inspirational writing. I found your blog via Susheel’s FB page – I have known her for a long time although we haven’t seen each other for many years. Susheel inspired me to get in touch with my artistic creativity, although I had no confidence in my abilities – just an irresistible urge to be creative. I can see that you two have much in common.

    I lost my father last year – he was also a man who was larger than life 🙂 I completely relate to that challenge of moving from trying to keep a loved one alive to accepting their desire to live each day to the fullest. The two are not always compatible – we (my sisters, mother & I) got to the stage of acceptance quite late – he was always so resilient and we were always so optimistic…

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      I am so sorry, Sylvana about your loss. Hey, I don’t think I ever got to the stage of ‘acceptance’ even though I thought I did… I moved house shortly before he died, secretly thinking he would live forever. It’s not easy, is it?

      I’m so glad you were inspired by my inspiring sister Susheel!! She is quite a phenomenon 🙂

      And thank you for your kind words. Much love to you x

  45. That last bit made me laugh Malini ( rough hands – rough singing 🙂 So often people portray the ‘perfect’ life but I think your honest, imperfect life is like your paintings – rich, colourful, passionate, full of heart and soul – and maybe even a little rough around the edges 🙂 but to me that’s truly living! Much love and thanks for sharing your wonderful stories xx

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      Haha! That would have been funny if Greg has said my hands were ‘textured’ 🙂 thank you Carol, those are kind words indeed!! xxx

  46. I love your authenticity Malni. You tell it as it was without wallowing. You had the courage to step outside, ask for a pen and look for the miracles at a time when your heart must have had so many mixed emotions. You are a great inspiration as an artist and a very real person doing what humans do best – growing through adversity and serving humanity by living your truth. Love to you. xxx

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      Oh Jill, what you wrote was so heart-warming, it was very timely today when I feel a bit crappy at the moment 🙂 Thank you so much. Looking for miracles is the best type of hunting 🙂 xxx

  47. Thanks Malini. You are so wonderful at expressing everything that is perfect about imperfection and so allowing that in all of us. What a wonderful remembering of Greg on his birthday.

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  48. I would LOVE to leave a comment, Maline, but I’m lost for words. Your account is so beautifully worded and so ‘from the heart’ that I’m in tears. My own beloved husband is ill with a slowly developing blood cancer so he is increasingly frail. I cannot begin to contemplate being without him but know that time will come. Meanwhile, I make the most of every moment we have together. My beautiful daughter gifted me your Oct 18th Workshop last year, which gave us precious time together. When the time is right I intend to do further workshops – just not yet! Until then, a big THANK YOU for being there and being who you are and sending you loving thoughts.

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      Renee I am SO sorry to hear this. You are all on a difficult journey. In fact, a bloody hard one, no two ways around it. I hope you have all the support you need, and when the time comes, do feel you can reach out to me, happy to talk or listen or just sit quietly and look at the river together. And of course, you are welcome to get away from it all at one of my workshops, any time. Take care, and much love to you. xx

  49. this is so sweet. thank you for sharing. i have recently experienced a sudden family tragedy, although things are going to be okay, it has been a scary path and we continue together on a long recovery road. but i think it is so wonderful how you revel in the wonders that have happened since, the wonders of the times you shared, and the wonders of the times during your nursing. i am in the nursing times currently and they can be really hard, but also really special and open. thank you for sharing.

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      Oh Kelly, I am so sorry. This is a difficult path you are travelling. There’s nothing easy about it. I hope you find some ease and rest along the way. Much love to you.x

    1. I am so very sorry to hear of your loss, Mary Ann. These next few months and years will not be easy for you and i hope you are blessed with supportive family and friends, and that you take comfort from a creative practice. Much love to you.

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