Getting on


Yesterday I read this post written by my friend Eden who is currently going through the worst time of her life. Which is saying something, because she has been faced with some pretty tough times in the 40 years of her life. It’s heart wrenching. Awful. Graphic and raw with grief, filled with a story that no one would ever, or should ever have to deal with. I would love to make things easier or better for her and her family, and yet really, there is nothing that can be done…except be there.

Last night I managed to catch up with a twitter friend, Lisa, who lost her husband suddenly 6 weeks ago. He went out surfing, like he has done a gazillion times before, but this time something happened, and he died. They don’t know how, or why, but now she is a widow and has two boys to look after. She is strong, and amazing. It was an absolute pleasure to meet her and I am in awe of her strength.

When I was on my way to Sydney yesterday afternoon I was stopped on a side road to turn right across 4 lanes of traffic just before you get onto the Hume Highway to travel down to Sydney. It can be a tricky intersection because while the speed limit is 80kmh, cars are often going faster as they either come off the highway, or speed up to get on and the intersection is wide about 100 metres or so. You have to get a break across the first two, timed in with the other two lanes, all while flooring it. I sat in the car watching the traffic to my right when I spotted two ducks, and their 3 little ducklings, all standing on the edge waiting to get across the same 4 lanes. I watched them run out a little, then run back, their babies just following their parents, not knowing the dangers all around them. I got out I started to scream at the cars to stop…I was like a mad woman…I could NOT let those babies and parents die. It just wasn’t fair. I managed to stop the first two lanes without causing an accident and those ducks, they ran, I hoped for the best as they bolted to the other side seeing cars speeding up towards them.

They made it. They did.Β They got there. I sat back in my car and cried and cried.

We’re all those ducks I suppose, trying to across that road in our lives not knowing what could happen. What cars are just there or not there, blindly going by trusting those around us. Who knows why some gets hit, and others make it through. To me, there’s no plan, or fate, or reason, we are just here, doing what we can until our time is up.

Lisa was telling me about how she is on a grief study with a hospital for a thing called broken heartedness. It’s a REAL thing. People who lose their partners or parents that lose their children are more likely to die themselves from heart related problems. She is on medications and beta blockers to make sure her sad heart is as strong as it can be, because she needs to be here for her boys. I suspect Edie and her family have broken hearts too, I hope she knows that she WILL be strong, and get through this, because she has to. And she will. She has to.

I’ve been thinking about those ducks a lot. And Eden and Lisa for that matter. I hope those ducks can stay on that other side and not have to go back again. I hope they are safe. But it’s out of my hands isn’t it? Out of their hands. All of ours.


  1. Nicole Jackson says

    Beautiful post Beth – just beautiful! I hope Eden and Lisa can get through their tough times like those ducks – I know they’ll have the support of wonderful friends and family; just like you helping that duck family across the road xx

  2. This is a beautiful post, Beth. Life is precious. And Eden and Lisa are so strong. I haven’t met Lisa yet but we chatted on the phone for two hours the other week – she’s an amazing woman. I bought a dinner voucher and made her promise that she buys a nice dessert as part of her meal.
    I love the story of you letting the ducks live.

  3. Beautiful words Beth, goosebumps stuff xx

  4. Bree Di Mattina says

    Im the same I always try to help ducks when I see them. It’s a bit of a metaphor for life isn’t it .. we do a little thing like help the ducks and it makes a huge difference in their life or day. The same applies to humans.

  5. Cat_BeLoverly says

    Oh Beth. So much truth here. You are a good egg. The best kind of egg actually. I hope you carry the warmth in which you are held in your heart. Xxxx

  6. Ive been a grief researcher for the last few years and I spend my days interviewing people about the very worst days of their lives but in some strange way Ive never been more grateful. The common thing is that every single person said they never saw it coming – so I try to stay calm, be grateful for the little things and just hope each morning that today isnt the day where it all changes. Lisa’s tweet of the before and the after was heartwrenching – how lovely for her to meet up with her tw-support people x

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      That’s so interesting Sarah…I’ll remember that. And thank goodness we never do see it coming right?

  7. So true, Beth. I thought I might die of a broken heart when my daughter died five years ago. Some days, I think I still might. But I’m glad life has dragged me forward somehow. But of course you never forget. Or move on. Or get over it. You just learn to live with a new type of normal. That’s not always the normal you’d want or hope for, but you have to make the best of what is left, because we only get one crack at this grand old life. Eden has been in my thoughts so much. This was such a sweet post, and you are indeed a good egg x

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      Oh thank you, so much. I am so sorry that your daughter died, goodness me. I hope your normal gets better a little easier each year x

  8. Davina Park says

    Your post today just hit me in the guts! You get it. You articulated the feelings I’ve been having as I support friends and family around me who are dealing with too much shit PERFECTLY. Articulating it somehow makes it more manageable. Thank you!

  9. Oh Beth xx

  10. I guess we have to hope that when we face tough times in our lives that we are as fortunate as those ducks and have someone who cares enough to stop and help. T

  11. Chelsea Sutherland says

    I’m sending Eden and Lisa so much love right now.

    I really hate that life is so fragile. But as cheesy as it is, we just have to make each moment count. About 6wks ago my partner and I had gone back to our old town (we moved 4hrs away a little while ago) and had taken both cars because we were arriving at different times. We were driving back together though (separate cars, same time) and Nick had a horrific accident – he was about to overtake the same car I’d just done about 2mins prior. Checked his mirrors, put his indicator on, moved out and then out of nowhere another car came from the back of the pack to do the same thing. He had to swerve to avoid missing them and ended up running off the road and rolling his ute 3 times. I saw it all in my rearview mirror and I have no idea how long it was between when I pulled over and ran back to where he was but somehow when I got there he was fine (save for a couple of really minor grazes) and assuring the worried group that he would sit down as soon as he’d rung me and found his glasses (which also survived unscathed).

    My whole world came crashing down in that few minutes between when he crashed and when I found out he was ok and I don’t know how I would have coped if the outcome had been different. I suppose I would have somehow, but it’s just unfathomable. I am so in awe of the Lisa’s and the Eden’s and the people who have to keep going after losing so much.

  12. Lilyfieldlife says

    A beautiful post, I know that exact inersection you are talking about. Hate it! My dad just rescued a mother duck and her eight ducklings this morning and we have been caring for an injured crow and this morning he flew back to his mate. So beautiful to see them re-unite. Beth, life is so very hard at times and I think gratitude and kindness is the only way through it. I’m so sorry Eden has to face yet another trauma. Some people’s paths are so rocky. Thank goodness she has her husband and boys to help her through it. And sorry for your friend Lisa. You are a good friend to your friends. Fiona

  13. Oh this left me withe biggest lump in my throat! So beauritful, such heartbreaking times.. You are so lovely xxx

  14. Such a beautiful post Beth. I’m lost for words at the moment.
    Life throws us all huge curve balls that have the ability to devastate our lives and our worlds come tumbling down. Its hard to pick yourself up at times like this, but with fabulous friends and family for support, most get through. My heart goes out to your friends Lisa and Eden. Also you reader S H – as a mother I can’t begin to imagine her pain even five years on.
    And the family of ducks need each other too x

  15. Jay - Moodie Foodie says

    Beautiful post Beth. I love that you got out and helped those ducks across the road. A selfless act of true kindness. Love that. Big love and support to Lisa and Eden. Big hope that those ducks realise you won’t there every day to help. Keep being you xox

  16. Annie Reuss says

    Beautiful post. Life can be awful, unfair and absolute shit sometimes but then beautiful people remind us why we are here. I think you might be one of those beautiful people Beth. xx

  17. Catriona Smith says

    Beth, some incredible and tragic events occurred in my life in 2012 – things to make one realise that life is too short and definitely precious. Through such circumstances, including almost losing our son 7 days old to heart failure and the sudden tragic loss of my friend who died in her sleep overnight, there is the realisation that we can lose hold of life in an instant. However through such events I have found strength and resilience. But most importantly, I have found community. Community through friends, family, colleagues and even strangers who will be there for you no matter what, just in the exact moment you need them the most. You are the community Eden and Lisa need. xxx

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      Community is an amazing thing Catriona…I’m sorry to hear of your tragedy, I hope that your days have been a bit brighter this year, and that they continue to be xx

  18. You know what I take most from stories like this? I’m reminded just how wonderful the human trait of empathy is… and even though life is unfair sometimes, and even meaningless to a degree, the fact that each of us has a bunch of people out there who love us and actually care about us is a wonderful thing…

    We humans are so lucky that we can share our empathy, not just with the people we love, or even complete strangers – but also with the other beings we share this planet with… I mean, why should we even care about a couple of ducklings? But we do… we damn well do. That is so lovely! πŸ™‚

  19. Robyn Favelle says

    What a beautiful post Beth…..I so “get” the duck story, I travel a lot with work & I am often the mad woman on the highway protecting an echidna as it ever so slowly makes its way across the busy road….or a duck…or a baby goat…I am lucky my work car has lights & sirens πŸ™‚ comes in handy for slowing the traffic down. My heart goes out to your friends….I hope they can eventually find peace & love in their lives…I lost my son over 20 years ago and I know what it is like to actually feel like your heart is broken πŸ™

  20. Fuck Beth, now I’m crying at my office desk. I love you for stopping traffic for those ducks. We need more people in the world who stop traffic for ducks. Thank you xx

  21. I read somewhere that grief is the price we pay for love. I think poor Eden has paid enough. She should get an exemption from now on and it sounds like your friend Lisa should too.

  22. Melanie Ann Tarr says

    Yes it is out of your hands! Just like the time we stopped down south to show the kids a gorgeous race horse lizard that was crossing the road and some idiot coming the other way fully hit it. Parenting 101 Tarr style. Two traumatised children and an animal limping into the bush obviously never to return….

  23. Lisa Lintern says

    From sadness, somewhere deep down, there comes hope. And your post did that for me. Hope that as long as we keep caring for each other, we will be ok. xoxo

  24. I’m going to go kiss my daughter and my husband right now, and tell them I love them forever. Thank you x

  25. Emma Steendam says

    Empathy is such a funny, real, raw human emotion. I’ve been thinking of Eden too, can’t even fathom… Nobody should face what she has, but you’re right that she will be ok, she has to. Thanks for sharing x

  26. Lovely words about a gut wrenching topic, thanks for reminding me to sit back and realise how much I have to be grateful for πŸ™‚ Big hugs to those who need them…..

  27. I like to think and I have a strong belief that there is always someone out there somewhere looking out for me. Just like you with those beautiful ducks in that teeny, tiny, star exploding moment in this massive timeless universe. I get a lot of calmness and clarity when I think about that when things are a bit shit and sad… Though sad, this was a lovely post today. πŸ™‚

  28. Reannon Hope says

    I read this on my phone while waiting in the lay-by line. It made me teary. I think about death a lot. A LOT. What would happen if I died now? What would happen if my husband or kids died now? It’s morbid & I hate doing it but I think once death touches your life those thoughts creep in often. For me, far too often. But you are so completely right Beth, it’s out of our hands & I think that’s the worst feeling of all- the lack of control.

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      I used to think about it a lot too. There’s no point though, I don’t think. No point wasting energy thinking about the what if’s when there is so much good right nows. You know? x

  29. So special and perfect timing. I know that intersection of the HH you’re referring to, big task you took on there lady. Nice one!

  30. LIfe can just be so shit sometimes, those sayings of ‘everything happens for a reason’ just so don’t belong.
    Eden amazes me. She is so strong and has been served up so much if I was one to pray I would be asking God what he thought he was playing at.
    We can’t control it all but what we can do is take what we do have and cherish it x

  31. Maryandlil says

    I wish life had a pause button so you could really breathe in the joy and beauty when it is around us. Unfortunately bad stuff happens and it happens to US. We need to live each day as though it is our last and not take anything for granted. We need to find joy in the everything and we need to LOVE to the fullest. Never let things go unsaid and never think it can’t happen to you. You only get one chance…….

  32. Lisa Mckenzie says

    Great post Beth I am glad you saved those ducks lives,good on you babes I wish we could save Eden and your Friends Lisa’s Husband it is so so Sad.I have been thinking about Eden daily or more often and her Mum and I feel so sad for your friend give her a hug from me,life sucks sometimes and Yes it is out of our hands xx

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      I think everyone would like to give them all a hug, I’m looking forward to giving her a squeeze, a big squeeze soon x

  33. Oh doll, my heart just goes out to your friend C:

  34. I cannot even begin to imagine what Eden and your friend Lisa are going through. I was only thinking how shit it is yesterday, that life seems to pick on people. Dumps them with far more than anyone should ever have to deal with. As they say – don’t hold back with those you love, tell them now and tell them often and live life like there is no more tomorrows xx

  35. I sometimes think I care too much and feel too deeply, but I just can’t help it. I wear my heart on my sleeve and I just want to LOVE and CARE and GIVE. It’s stories like Eden’s, Lisa’s and your ducks that make me realise I have to keep loving and caring and giving. We all need that from time to time. You just never know when. Much love to all.

  36. Bethie what a beautiful post and beautiful comments. Thank you so much. Your photo is perfect xxx

  37. Unfortunately we all have to deal with death and some of us have faced tragic circumstances. My brother and his first wife were holidaying in Canada…… Last trip before they were settle and start a family. They were a few days into there holiday when they were driving along and the were hit by an out of control RV and my sister in law was killed instantly. It still tears at my chest typing this. It was such a sad and lonely time for my brother. To see him go through losing his beautiful was so tragic. It takes so long to push through but you have to deal with these things in our own way and arrive at the other end were the memories are happy moments shared and remembered with a smile.
    Oh and well done on saving the duckies x

  38. bbeingcool says

    Wow. This is such a powerful post!! Imma gonna have to think on this a bit…


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