Trish McLoughlin: Healing from what has passed
There are times in life when there is a real need for answers. If you are lucky, you would be blessed with the same gifts that the thoughtful and wise Trish McLoughlin has: a capacity for compassion and passion, a fine-tuned intuition, and an especially attuned ability for healing communication. Among so many things, Trish is a healer and a medium; she recently retired from funeral celebrancy. It has taken me a long time to get this interview here, but thank goodness I did. I spoke with her long ago on a breezy, sunny day in Bowral, and she has helped my life change for the better. Thank you, Trish. And here she is.
Jess: Can you tell me a little bit about yourself? Where did you grow up and what were some of the milestone events in your life?
Trish: I was born in Newcastle upon Tyne in the UK, and I’m a twin to a boy. My mum had two lots of twins, and I have an older brother. So there were four boys and myself. There wasn’t a lot of money around, but we didn’t know that as kids. We never went without. We always had a nice home. My parents did say something about how one Christmas we had cornflakes. But who would remember that? Kids are not interested in the food. They’re interested in what Santa brought.
My childhood was just a normal childhood growing up in a loving household. I guess, looking back, as I got older, having four brothers no sisters was a bit of a challenge for me.
When I was 15, my father moved us from Newcastle in the UK where we’d all been born, to Leeds Yorkshire, because of his work. So from 15 to 19 my life was in Leeds again doing just the normal things. Going to work. I started off as a hairdresser but in those days you stood from 8 o’clock in the morning till 6 at night. If you had half an hour break for lunch you were lucky. After 2½ years my body just wouldn’t take it. So I went on to becoming a telephonist and receptionist, and that was the main part of my work for a long time.
I married when I was 21. The year after I was married, I was walking down the main street and there was an office with a big sign on the front: “10-pound poms. Migrate to Australia”. I can’t honestly tell you what happened, but the next thing I knew I was in there. My husband agreed. We were in London having all the medicals. Then I was on a ship in South Hampton going out to Australia.
We didn’t know anybody. We had 50 pounds in our pockets. And one of my aunty’s girlfriends was living out here with her family. Her husband was a managing director of a company, and they lived on the North Shore. They took me under their wing. I had my first daughter in Sydney when I was 23. Then I missed my family, so we went back to the UK. By that time my twin brother had come out, and I was back there two or three years when his marriage broke up. He wrote me this letter and there was this long yearning that I felt I needed to be there for him. So that drew me back to Sydney again. By then I had two children, a daughter and son. My marriage had fallen through, and through my brother I met his friend, John, who is now my husband. We have just celebrated 40 years together. So my life settled down here. My parents did come out for a holiday and, a few years later, they ended up living here.
There was a time when I went back again for another two years. In the time I was there, my father was already a spiritualist, and had been for a number of years. I have vague memories of being taken to a spiritualist church when I was 10 and then later when I was about 15. It didn’t really mean anything to me at that time.
Jess: That’s what it was called? A spiritualist church?
Trish: Christian spiritualist, yes, my father was a Christian. I went back with John for a couple of years. We had our third child, another daughter. It was then that I started to become more interested in what my father was doing. I went to church a few times. Never got a reading. Couldn’t understand why nobody ever came to me. Then I started seeing things and remembered that I’d seen things when I was a child. I had this particular dog that was like a golden retriever. It followed me everywhere, and it used to sit next to my bed. And I used to see other things. But I took it as the norm. I then got on with living my life, raising a family working, etc. But, when I was back out here in Sydney, my parents came out on holiday. By then I had set up my own meditation group. My father came and ‘sat’ with us. Not long after he’d gone back I had this dream on Remembrance Day—Anzac Day here.
I woke up at 6 o’clock. It was right on 6 in the morning. John was doing shift work at the time. In the dream, it was shown to me very clearly that I had a connection with Australia. I’d already been here once before. My parents today were my aunty and uncle in the dream, and my aunty and uncle—who I was very close to—were my parents back then. It was during the Second World War. So that’s how quickly, according to this dream, I’d passed over and came back again. So I knew then that I was meant to be here.
I think I was always destined to be here in Australia.
My father tells a story that his aunty, during the Second World War, had four boys. His grandfather, because she was divorced, didn’t want the shame on the family, and sent her out to Australia all by herself with four boys. The four boys did really well. One went back and said to my dad, “You’ve got to come out to Australia. The kids would love it.” My mum wouldn’t come. So my parents had had the opportunity after the Second World War to come to Australia. I think I was the forerunner, because had they come we would all have grown up here, and all put one of us has made Australia our home.
So I think I was always destined to be here in Australia. Unfortunately, by the time my parents came they were in their 60s. My father did meet people with his interests. By then, when he came out here, I was running this group. I was trying to practise a spiritual pathway with awareness. My father was often asked to speak on ‘platform’ in the spiritualist church, which just means being the speaker of the day for the service. He said, “The only way I’ll do it is if you allow Trish to get up with me.” So I did. I was terrified, because I was never a public speaker. I was actually quite shy. I wouldn’t even go into a coffee shop on my own at 19. But I had this immense trust in what I call spirit and spirit guides. I knew that if this was my opportunity then I needed to take it. And I did. And from then on we were asked to do ‘platform’ all over Sydney. Nearly every Sunday, actually, we were invited to speak, to be the guest medium.
Jess: So happened the first time you got up there on the platform?
Trish: Well, I was out the front of the church crying, first of all, because I was so terrified. There were two of us. My father never did readings. He said he couldn’t. So he always did what they call the address, the talk, and I did the readings. And I just trusted completely and went to the people I was drawn to, I do what they call overhead readings, so I don’t need an object, as in psychometry. When I was a child, when we lived in Newcastle, I used to take one of my younger brothers, one of the second set of twins, to church. I think I always had this connection with what I called ‘God’ back then—something greater than myself. And of course my dad, being religious, referred to that term ‘God’.
I think I always had a gift of clairvoyance.
I used to take my brother to church until one Sunday. I was only about 13. My brother was 8. Those were the days when the churches were packed. I couldn’t follow the psalms, and the man behind me pointed me to the right page. But, as I was leaving, the minister of the church pulled me aside and he said, “You don’t think you’d be better off going to Sunday school?” Well, I was disgusted. I never went back. It turned me off it completely.
I think I always had a gift of clairvoyance but because life took over when I was younger, and I had a change in marriage and was travelling backwards and forwards to England, it wasn’t the time to pursue any of that. Gradually, over time, when my father and I were doing our platform work in Sydney together I noticed that when it was my turn to get up to do the readings I was doing philosophy as well as the readings. Of course when my father died it was then my choice to continue on my own, which I did do, and still do.
Jess: So it was predominantly in a church setting for a long time.
Jess: It still is?
Trish: Yes, although I don’t do as much as I did, but I still do it because that’s the opportunity that comes to me, apart from my public speaking at weddings and funerals. I did once get invited to what they called a psychic fair. This was in the days in Camden when they were very anti anything like that. There was a protest out the front. I’ve never found an opportunity or an avenue to do it anywhere else except when I’ve run workshops, or do private parties for readings.
I’m not comfortable with the word “psychic” and never have been. I see myself as a healer and somebody who empowers other people.
Jess: To what extent are you using your psychic skills?
Trish: First of all, I’m not comfortable with the word “psychic” and never have been. I see myself as a healer and somebody who empowers other people. So I run a development group. The old term is spiritualism and development group. It’s meditation, teaching others how to recognise their clairvoyance, their clairsentience, their clairaudience—but through the connection that is from within themselves and being able to interpret that. And I see people privately. I also work three days a week in Picton and Camden at two different venues seeing private clients, and at home.
I guess over the years I’ve never been a big reader of books. Give me a fiction book and I’ll sit down for hours and read it, but this other stuff—the new age, spiritual stuff—I’ve never been a big reader of that. I do have lots of books in the house. If they’ve got a story to it, then I tend to want to read it. If it’s a personal story, I’m always interested in people’s stories. But I guess I know that all of the information or all the different perceptions that have come through me have come from within me. For instance, how I see our connection now is not something I’ve read in a book and I haven’t been told it. It has come from within me, through meditation and the connection with spirit, and life experience—a great teacher. Over the years all my work—as a receptionist and natural therapist, counselling, group facilitation—has all been working with people in a healing capacity. So, even when I’m up doing my readings in a public forum, I still see myself more as a healer. I do the clairvoyance and I do the mediumship, but I’m more interested in bringing peace into people’s lives through that work.
Jess: It is a bit of delicate balance, though, isn’t it, of turning into a performing seal and being authentic, really.
The best healers are the ones that work on healing themselves.
Trish: There is a lot of ego that takes over with this kind of work if you let it. For me there has to be a balance. You have to develop the spiritual side of yourself. I think that shows through in the quality of the work, whether you’ve actually developed that side of yourself. I’ve always believed the best healers are the ones that work on healing themselves.
Jess: You come across to me as quite low-key and modest, and perhaps self-contained. It sounds like you’ve tried to keep it under wraps in a way. Is it something that you reveal about yourself?
Trish: One of the things my father taught me early on was, “Don’t go around telling everybody because they’ll laugh at you.” And I don’t go around telling everybody. But in the right situation in the right setting I have over the years got better at saying, “This is who I am.” One of the things I teach people who are interested in getting in touch with a spiritual guide is this: in the Western world, we have five main guides. There is the American Indian, there is the Chinese, there is the monk, there is the nun and there is the Egyptian. When my husband started to sit in our meditation groups, he asked, “So, why is a guide not the shopkeeper down the road or the local miner?” And I had never questioned it, because that’s what my father had taught me and I believed it. So I decided to question it. And what came to me was that these five guides are symbolic. There are not hundreds of Indians running around up there. Their dress is all symbolic. The American Indian is symbolic of the healer within you. The Chinaman, the wisdom. The monk, the knowledge. The nun, peace. And the Egyptian, abundance. So if somebody gave you a reading and said, “You have a nun as a guide with you, that’s working with you,” that’s the aspect of yourself that is showing you that what you’re going through at the moment is teaching you inner peace.
You hear people in spiritualism talking about your guide going away. Then it might come back again. It never actually goes anywhere. It’s just a part of you, an aspect that keeps changing.
Jess: I don’t know much about the Christian spiritualist movement at all. Tell me a little bit about it, the best of what you know.
Trish: There is a Christian spiritualist and there is a spiritualist. I’m none of them now, because I don’t like labels. It was one of the things I dropped when my father had gone—not intentionally; it just happened. The Christian spiritualists still talk about Jesus. The spiritualists don’t. It is like any normal church service. They have a beginning prayer. They don’t have hymns, as such; they have uplifting songs. They have a guest medium. They have a reader. And they have tea and coffee afterwards. That’s the basis of it. And they have healing in between—hands-on healing. They have seven principles. It’s brotherhood of man, the communion of angels, personal responsibility for the here and after, retribution for all good and evil deeds done on earth, that kind of thing, they are not commandments just guidelines that they believe in. Spiritualism is a science and a philosophy.
It is open to anybody that wants to go. John and I ran the Campbelltown Spiritualist Church for two years. They had two services at the time. At that time my father had just died and I was still into the Christian beliefs. People had come from being, maybe, Catholic all their life, and they would come and say they felt like they had found home. Because there is no dogma as such. You take what you want from it and leave the rest. Most people that attend are initially looking for evidence of survival, and spiritual guidance.
Trish: Yes. It’s not really any different. I had this very naïve outlook when I first started going, thinking that once you’d got to the stage where you were on platform you’d solved all the problems and you knew everything. I realised that that is not the case at all. It is an ongoing process. But there are people that go not for the philosophy, which is a reading in itself. They go for personal readings. Because they want somebody to tell them all the time what to do, how to make the changes. When is it going to get better? When am I going to meet Mr Right? That kind of thing. They have psychic days when they have readers in and they raise money. Over the years more healing techniques have come through to me, as with all my knowledge, through meditation and the connection with spirit.
Jess: What healing techniques are they?
Trish: [There is]one in particular that I used for a long time, and I used to give it to my friends and clients. When an emotion comes up—say, a bit of anger or anxiety—get a pen and write it down straightaway, even if it’s just, “I’m angry, I’m angry, I’m angry.” Because it’s like the sediment at the bottom of a pond coming up. Somebody has put their hand in and stirred it up, whether it’s something you’ve thought about, something you’ve seen, something you’ve heard. It’s stirred it up. And now it’s saying to you, “You need to let me go.” So writing it down takes some of the scum off the top. The more you do it, the more you’re able to see a true reflection of who you are in that water. I used that for a long time.
Not so long ago, just 12 or 18 months ago, I was sitting outside and I got this thought that whenever something comes up, just ask, “When was the last time I felt this?” You might not get the answer straightaway, but if you get a picture of something or you get a feeling of something and you can put a picture on it, even if it’s just a word, hose it down as if you were hosing dirt off a wall. “I choose to let you go now.” It works instantly. It doesn’t mean it’s got rid of it completely, because it will come back. But the more you do it, the less it comes back. I have been using that one for quite a long time. I have to say, I really am at the best place I have ever been in my whole life. The affirmation “I choose to let this go now” instantly removes the feelings of discontent however you name it, anger, disappointment etc. But if you continue to use it whenever a feeling comes up it eventually takes you to a place of peace and of course makes the necessary changes in your life. I always stress that it’s not like a diet, start one day and then in a fortnight’s time stop because you haven’t shed the ‘weight’ you want. And we don’t go digging, if you dig a hole to find out where the feeling is coming from, you end up digging another until you’re in a rabbit warren that you can’t find your way out of.
As children we are taught how to attend to our hunger, thirst and tiredness because if we don’t we get sick. But we were never taught how to attend to our emotions that are associated with some experience from the past, so we bury them, and the weight we gain is all emotions stored in the body. We don’t need to ask where is this feeling coming from, the very fact that we are feeling something says the unconscious already knows, it’s just reminding us that we are still living an old experience and that we need to let go now. It can be used when you are engaging in an old conversation in your head, that is stressful, or when you are experiencing physical pain. The greater challenge is to be aware and keep doing it, it’s easy to revert back to old habits.
My father used to say to me, “Patience is a virtue,” and I never, ever understood what that meant. But I finally understood what patience really means. It’s not about being patient about something you’re going to get in a material sense, something that’s tangible. It’s just about knowing that everything’s going to come when it comes, and when it doesn’t, it doesn’t, and you just have to make peace with everything that’s around you. You kind of accept it, I suppose. Eckhart Tolle is one of the people that inspire me. I like to listen to him. His way of dealing with any emotions that come up is to notice it and to just breathe through it.
And my husband inspires me. He came from a Catholic background and, like a lot of men, didn’t want to know about what I was doing, but listened in the background. He has got to a place in his life where he is totally accepting now. Coming from a big family with even less money than our family had in Glasgow, they came from the scarcity mindset. He has changed all of that, and it’s just fantastic. We both say that if we ever had to choose a way of life it would be a Buddhist way of life.
Jess: Do you practise Buddhism in any way, shape or form?
Trish: I practise Buddhism in terms of mindfulness and present moment awareness. I taught mindfulness. I introduced awareness to this women’s health centre where I used to work for 10 years. I’ve run it for groups, families, individuals. Yes, I try to practise it as much as I can every day.
Jess: Do you have a regular meditation every day? Do you meditate every day?
Trish: No. I meditate when I feel like I want to do it, but the mindfulness, all the present moment stuff, is a day to day, moment to moment thing. So you don’t have to sit for half an hour. It links all of that up, if you like. While I’m waiting for you I might be just sitting here looking around. While I’m driving I might be just with my thoughts, or being aware of my breathing. I get a lot of my peace just getting in touch with this, and just being at peace means more to me than anything else, really.
Jess: So your husband is Buddhist?
Trish: No, not Buddhist but he definitely practises the mindfulness. He works in a job that can be quite stressful at times. He’s aware of the techniques. He practises in his way—which I think is fine. The fact that he is doing something with it is fine. All my three children are intuitive. They don’t practise it the way I do. They’ve got young families, and they know the tool is there when they want to use it. They just use it differently.
Jess: How were you doing it when you had young children?
Trish: At the time, I wasn’t doing it as well as I’m doing it now. My meditation would be through yoga and going to church. At night, I would sit down to write; get inspiration and write. Then in between times I’d just sit quiet. I worked full-time. I used to run my own massage and reflexology business, as well as full-time work. Then I had—this is when my children were a little bit older—two groups I was running a week, and I was doing platform at church as well.
Jess: Does it now make sense why you were drawn to Australia? I know there was that connection with your aunty and uncle. Is there anything deeper, something other than that?
Jess: You’re not quite sure?
Trish: No. I’ve often wondered. Is there something I’ve missed? No. I’ve thought about that myself sometimes. I’ve given up on it, really, because I think you can drive yourself round the bend trying to work it all out.
Jess: You might have to stick with the “patience is a virtue” mantra.
Trish: That’s right. It may be that I’ve had to meet certain people. I had friends down in Robertson, and, one in particular, her life has changed dramatically since I started teaching her. We and others sat together for five years, every week. Maybe that’s the reason. Who knows? Maybe if I hadn’t come back I wouldn’t have met John here. And of course—sorry, I missed this bit out—three of my brothers are living over here now. I always make the joke that I came over here to get away from everybody and they all followed me. I’ve got one brother in England. He and I get on really well. I saw him last year. I went over to surprise him. He is still happy over there. Who knows? I really don’t know. Whether it was just to get my parents out here. Whether it was to help us have a better life. I don’t know.
Jess: Actually, now that you’ve talked it through, it sounds like there are plenty of reasons why you ended up here!
Trish: One of my first jobs over here was as a telephonist in Australia Post in Martin Square. You know the big building there that’s now converted?
Trish: My father has a photograph of one of his cousins standing outside that building. There’s definitely been a connection. A lot of spiritualists believe that there’s another life, and you leave your body, and you go and live with your family. I don’t quite see it like that now. They believe that there’s reincarnation and you can come back and that your life is planned, it’s destined, that God will provide. My philosophy of God is just love. It’s not a figure. It’s love. My interpretation of the soul is just the essence of who we are that makes us feel what’s right for us. To know what’s right for us. To see what’s right for us. It’s that light that we all connected to. I often use the analogy of a candelabra, there is the centre piece, God, the universal light, then the individual globes that are us, but still connected to the centre piece.
Funnily enough, on my way down here I was listening to Richard Fidler. I missed half of it, but he was interviewing a Quaker teacher, and she said they’re very much like the Buddhists. But she didn’t believe that there was anything. “We’re just nature,” she said. “We’re born into this world. We live this life. And then we die.” That doesn’t quite make sense to me. I can’t see the point in that.
The important thing is that we live our life in a way that is bringing peace into this world.
Jess: I think in Buddhist belief there is not necessarily a soul, because we are interconnected. Reincarnation isn’t necessarily the way it works.
Trish: For me it is hard to know. I don’t think it really matters whether we know or not. I think the important thing is that we live our life in a way that is bringing peace into this world. Because for me the outer world—your environment you live in, what’s going on in your life—is a reflection of your inner world. That expands out to the rest of the world. We can’t sit back and say that what’s happening in other parts of the world has nothing to do with us, it has. I think we have to take responsibility to be here in the now and realise that what takes place in the world is a reflection of how we all live our lives, what we think, do and say. Enjoy life, but find peace and compassion and love. I don’t think that can happen when people are in conflict. That’s my mission, my passion… I don’t know where it will ever take me. But I put it out there. It’s my mission to help the people that cross my path—if they want it. I never push it on anybody.
Jess: So that happens in your private practice, it happens at the meditation groups and workshops?
Trish: Yes. I have a girl at the moment that’s only been coming six weeks. Where I am there are [only] one or two street lights, so it’s quite dark at night-time. She was coming with her aunty. She suffers anxiety terribly. I’ve known here for 13 years, and I didn’t know that she suffered anxiety. Two weeks ago when she came she had to come on her own. The other thing she doesn’t like is my drive. As you back out it sort of [curves] a little bit. She backed in so she could drive straight out. She’d been scared of doing that. I said to her, “Did you realise that you were able to drive out there in the dark, without much lighting, and back into the driveway by yourself?” She said, “Yes”. I said, “See how far you’ve come in just four weeks.” I just think that’s wonderful. Now she will pass that on, eventually. She has a son who’s very anxious. She’ll be able to pass on her learning to somebody else.
Whereas I know people who I’ve trained over the years whose vision is to be on the world stage and have a name. Hopefully they do. They work really hard at it, though. Because for them it is more about the name and being known. And, yes, at one time I thought it would be good to be more popular. But that is all long gone now. I can do as much sitting here as I can with a group of people. It’s nice to work with people face to face. It’s nice to be able to go out there knowing you’ve made a difference on the day. But, yes, I’m happy doing what I do.
Jess: One of the other things you do is the celebrancy work.
Trish: Yes. I fell into the funerals because of my public speaking, and friends knew me. I did a funeral for a friend. And then my father died, and I did his. Then my mother, and I did hers. Somebody suggested I do it as a profession. So I did a course to polish off the things that I didn’t know. I had my Certificate IV workplace trainer certificate. I then started working for a registered training organisation and was teaching celebrancy. I’m a teacher. I know I am. That’s inherent in me, whatever I do.
Somebody said to me, “Why don’t you do weddings?” I realised I had to do it because it got me a teaching job. I stopped after 13 months because I was away all the time. You do a lot of work outside of that, like any teaching job. My work as a celebrant now is mainly funerals, which again is a passion, I see it as an honour and privilege to be a part of a family’s life when they are going through so much grief, and entrusting you with such personal information.
Jess: Do you find that there is an overlap between the spirit work and the funeral celebrancy work?
Trish: It’s a very fine line, and I would never cross that line with families. Although I might be seeing you because your father’s passed over, if I saw him, I would never tell you that. What I can do is pick up is what they’re (the deceased) telling me about their personality, which helps me gain rapport with the family. They might say, “I was very dry.” And I will say, “Did he have a dry sense of humour?” They’d say, “Yes, he did!” And, “Did he love being in the garden?” “Yes, he loved the garden!” So it helps me gain rapport with the family in that sense. That is the only way, really. Obviously I use the opportunity to send them healing.
Jess: It’s another form of healing, isn’t it?
Trish: Of course. Yes, that’s right.
Jess: Giving people the opportunity to farewell a love one.
Trish: Yes, to say goodbye to them. The good thing about civil celebrancy services is that the family get the opportunity to create the service they want. The only downside to all of that is that a lot of them are at crematoriums. The time is limited, they only get a certain amount of time. If you want more time, you have to pay more money. As I say to my families, half an hour is long enough, otherwise you get people repeating themselves and families are going through enough.
Jess: How was it doing your father’s funeral and your mother’s funeral?
Trish: I got up to speak at my father’s and I felt and heard him behind me. My throat had gone so dry. My parents had only been in Sydney seven years, and there were over a hundred people there. He just said to me, “You’ve done this many times before.” What I teach people who are doing a eulogy tribute now is what I learnt back then. When you’ve written it, read it, reread it and read it again, until it desensitises you slightly, so you can do the job on the day that you’re there to do. Same with my mum’s funeral. The company that my brother works for, his boss came to me afterwards and he said, “Trish, where do you get the strength from?” I said, “I don’t know. It’s just who I am.” I have a job to do and I just get on with it. Then I’ll grieve privately later on. I think having the belief that they’ve gone to a better place and that I still have that connection is what it helps.
I actually wrote what I think is a profoundly beautiful verse from my mum after she passed. I can send it to you, if you’d like to see it. You might not like it. It’s fine. You don’t have to use it. It just came through me. It’s not something I could sit and put down on paper now.
Jess: Yes, I know what you mean. I’m very interested to see it [the poem can be read at the end of the interview].
Jess: Do you chat with your parents now?
Trish: No, because I have the belief that if you’re coming to see me and if you’re constantly getting told that your father’s around you then you haven’t detached emotionally and there’s still some healing to be done. So for me they’re part of me. I know they’re around somewhere. I don’t need them in the same way I used to need them. I’ve detached emotionally from that. So, in a sense, once you detach from those emotional past lives, they become part of you, and then you become more whole. It doesn’t mean that they don’t come around in times of need, and it doesn’t mean that once you have healed from that emotion that they ‘leave you’. They are part of you, part of the whole.
Jess: It sounds like you’re in a very good place.
Trish: I’m in a really good place, yes.
Jess: Is one of the brothers who are over here in Australia your twin? Is your twin brother here? Does he have similar capacities?
Jess: I’m just going with the stereotype stuff!
Trish: He does, but he doesn’t use it. I’m extremely lucky because I took the opportunity when it was there. I think because I had always seen as a child. But my brother … we’ll know when we’re going to ring each other. I’ll know when he’s sick. Usually when he’s sick I might have a bit of a cold or something like that. It’s very rare that I get sick. I have found so much peace at this time. Although I know that will keep changing as I let go of ‘stuff’.
Jess: Thanks so much, Trish.
Written by Trish McLoughlin at the time of her mother’s death in 2006
No restrictions—floating in space
Being cushioned, wrapped up in lace,
Not needing to talk, or even to listen,
Quietness, silence, memories I keep.
Nurtured and cared for, blessings abound,
New understanding and learning I’ve found.
Days are for living, night is for sleep,
All of those things in my mind will I keep.
Memories of loved ones, and times gone by,
All a part of me now, and soaring up high.
This is the freedom that comes with a loss,
Time and memorial cannot be cost.
If I could have one thing that gives me your face
It would be the encounter, yet to take place.
For now I will cherish your love and your life,
Now you are where you have chosen, somebody’s wife,
Take care mum, I love you—you will always be mine,
My mum, my friend, a keeper of time.
* Photographs courtesy of Hamish Ta-mé. For more information about Hamish, please visit www.shotbyhamish.com
* Interview very kindly transcribed by Jane Aylen. For more information about Jane, please visit https://accessediting.com.au