A few weeks ago, about a month after my brother passed away, a friend and I escaped the city and got away for a child free weekend to Kangaroo Island, after what can only be described as an utterly devastating start to the year.
I don’t love that term, start to the year…”oh poor you, you had a shitty start to the year, there’s always next year” mmmm, nope. The start to that year will be shitty too, and the next, and the next. This isn’t going away. He’s gone, and nothing will change that. But, well, I guess this year is the worst of them all. It’s all so new and we just don’t know how to exist without him. I hear with time I will adjust, that it will never get easier, but I will learn to live with it. I don’t even know how that makes me feel right now. Numb, mostly.
I guess we saw the escape as an opportunity to talk things over, get some fresh air, and to perhaps clear our minds. My friend Alice lost her father only a few days after I lost my little bro, the huzz (Andy) was about to set off on a two week business trip, so some me time was so absolutely necessary. I had been to KI with the family (will add those pics here one day too! Great family holiday spot) but had always wanted to try the Southern Ocean Lodge retreat. This was a great opportunity to reflect, and start the (seemingly impossible) healing process, surrounded by some of South Australia’s most spectacular views and beaches. We laughed, we cried, we hiked, we ate, we drank, while breathing that crisp fresh air deep into our lungs. For me, all the while wondering why I was still here, watching, feeling, seeing this amazing world, breathing it in, and that my brother couldn’t be. The feeling was bitter sweet. Too painful to bear but I guess what I could feel for the first time since his passing, was that he was there, all around me. All of a sudden while away from the hospitals and the familiarity of home, the pain I felt around his belongings or when visiting places we had been together so regularly, well here that pain was dulled a little. While standing on these cliff tops the surroundings brought me a tiny little particle of peace. A little bit of reassurance maybe, that he was still here – part of the universe just like me, and that even though I can’t see him, he’s out there, he is all around us.
We only had time to get away for the weekend, so it was a whirlwind trip. Below are some photos of the absolutely divine Southern Ocean Lodge, the local walks, beaches and views. And some other hikes and restaurants we enjoyed visiting while we were there. I’m smiling in a lot of these pictures, I honestly feel a bit weird about that. Because I don’t think I’ve felt true happiness at all this year. But these moments were fun, and taking this step towards healing my now stone heart, it felt important for me. My family need me, the happy me, and slowly – somehow – I’ll work out how to get her back. We only get one life each, lets make the most of it. It’s nice to be back blogging. See you around here again soon. xx Claire
I do not even have the words to describe how amazing this restaurant is. Owned by the incredibly talented Hannford & Sachs it is nestled and completely hidden under the canopy of an ancient fig tree it literally feels as though you are walking into a fairytale. The beauty of the tree, the quality of the food, the magical experience is one for the bucket list that I can promise you. I will be back! And if you enjoy your G & T Pop in on your way home to the Kangaroo Island Spirits and purchase a bottle to take home – may have done that too! 😉
Stokes Bay & Snellings Beach