Read Time: Approx. 3-4 Minutes | Less than a minute for highlighted sections

This is a post I wrote just before leaving for Thailand. I had no intention of ever posting when I wrote it but maybe in doing so it will help someone.

Why Read

Unfortunatley death comes to us all at some point, it is a part  of life. This article is a selection from my writings on my mother which help me come to terms with her death and remember what is truly important in life.

Dealing with Grief

It’s 12:34 am as I write this. Three hours ago I was standing at the foot of my mother’s grave and now I sit alone listening to to the soft tones of a young woman’s voice sing to me from the record player in the darkness. It has been over a year since the cancer claimed her.

How does one deal with grief and the loss of a loved one?

How do you move on…or do you ever, really move on?

True Sadness

I do not believe that one can ever really know true sadness until they have lost someone dear to them. You can have a bad day, a bad week or a bad year – your business can collapse, you can lose the championship game, you can blow it big time on any matter of things, but all these things are temporary, they are passing like the wind and they will be replaced. Unlike death, they do not hit us at the core of what it means to be human.

How can you replace a life? Something so unique, so mysterious and so free.

I don’t have any answers, just questions.

The Irony of Humanity

My only thoughts are that I would trade everything I have now and everything I might ever have  in the future, for the chance to spend just one more day with my mum.

It is a bittersweet irony that we, as humans, seem incapable of realizing just how blessed we are and what wonders we have before us until they are gone.

Although I would never wish the death of a loved one on anyone, we that have loved and lost share an understanding of sorrow that no-one outside of our circle could understand and one that should, in theory, place both the beauty and the frailty of life right at the forefront of our thinking – ahead of our personal plans, goals and aspirations – to where we focus on what is truly the most important aspect of any life – relationship with one another.

To be loved and to love in return, there is nothing more important in life than that.

What’s Important In Life?

I was fortunate to know that I was truly loved by my mum and that that love was returned, as her love was with each of my family. This is something I can hold onto in life – to take with me through whatever lies ahead.

There is nothing more important in life than your family, your relationships and love. Never forget this truth and make the most of every moment that you are fortunate enough to share with those that you love and that love you back.

Set your sails to the wind and smile, appreciate the wonders of life and never let it just pass you by without wrestling the fullness out of it. Share the journey for you cannot man the ship alone. Angela Christina Gibaud understood this and pursued the very essence of life with an unrelenting passion. We would do well to follow her example.

….Let the winds blow.


  • September 24, 2009 Reply

    Sorry to hear about this.

    • September 24, 2009 Reply


      Thanks pal

  • September 24, 2009 Reply

    I’m 34 and still haven’t lost anyone close to me yet. I know it’s going to happen one day. Hope I will cope okay.

    • September 24, 2009 Reply


      You are fortunate my friend. Love the ones you have close to you.

  • September 24, 2009 Reply

    P.S. Very sorry for your loss. My condolences.

  • September 25, 2009 Reply

    This is a beautiful piece of writing Jonny. I’m sorry for your loss. I lost 2 of my very best friends both by the age of 22 and that was a very difficult experience to live through, but it gives you a certain appreciation for things which you wouldn’t otherwise have.

    • September 25, 2009 Reply


      Thanks. I am sorry to hear about the loss of your friends.

  • December 9, 2009 Reply


    Jonny… what a beautiful soul and voice you have! As I was reading along, I kept thinking, “I need to copy this part so I can tell him in the comments that it was my favorite.” But then I’d read the next section and think the same thing… and the next, and the next, and then I was at the end.

    In other words, every bit of what you wrote spoke directly to my soul.

    I read this from two different views, simultaneously. One was as a daughter who lost a mom FAR too soon. Like you, I would give anything for another day with her and can only take comfort in knowing she loved me, and I loved her.

    The other perspective was as a mom. Some would say I spend entirely too much time with my son… I lavish him with love, and praise, and support, and kindness, and anything else I can think of. “He needs to learn independence.” Or, “He needs to learn the world doesn’t work that way; it’s cruel and indifferent, and he needs to toughen up.” Or, “You won’t always be able to be there to hold his hand.” (These are the things I hear from time to time.)

    But, ask me if I care what they think? I don’t. I have one job in this life, as it pertains to my son: to make him feel loved. Every day I plant as many seeds of love as I can into his little heart because I don’t take it for granted that I have 70 more years to spend with him. I may die tomorrow, or in a year, or in 30. But whenever it is, sad as he will be, he will KNOW that he was loved… and that is the one thing that comforts me in my loss.

    It sounds like Angela Christina Gibaud did a wonderful job planting seeds of love in you, and I can’t wait to see what they blossom into.

    Thank you for sharing your story so openly!

    • December 9, 2009 Reply


      All I can say is thankyou Lisis. Thankyou.

  • December 18, 2009 Reply

    Jared |

    Thanks for sharing your experience. My wife lost her mother when she was 20 years old, we had a discussion about this not too long ago, her words: “After my mother died, nothing in life was ever as good as it could be. Don’t get me wrong, things are good and even great, but when something great happens to you, the first person you want to share it with is your mother.”

    Letting difficult life experiences take us to where we’re supposed to be and not just where we’ve ended up is important. Sounds like you’re doing that. Acceptance is crucial, but just because we accept something doesn’t mean we have to like it. It is a process, and thank God. I do think the sad thing, sometimes, is that process can often rob us of the precious time we’re living in now, where life IS happening.

    I have not lost a parent, yet. I did loose a close friend to cancer. Firstly I numbed it and dismissed some guilt I felt for not being there in the end like I said I would. I lost that time to regret and guilt and eventually reached a bottom (caused by a multitude of things).

    Life is a gift, and I wasn’t always good at accepting gifts. I wake up each day and get into serious gratitude for being alive and having my family. I make a point to tell them how much they mean to me. No matter how uncomfortable it makes them feel to hear it. I tell them anyway.

    Glad I found your blog, I’m inspired by your travels. My dream too is to be location independent (I’m a programmer/analyst now) and move to someplace sunny where my wife and I can scuba dive and help others every single day!

    • December 18, 2009 Reply


      Hi Jared, Thanks for you words.

  • February 17, 2010 Reply



    I was at school with your mother, and her sisters. We met when we were both eight. How long ago is that?!

    She wore my wedding dress when she married your father. She was god-mother to my older son. But somewhere along the way we lost touch.

    I was sad to see that Angela had died and sorry that I left it too late to try and get in touch again.

    I am sure that all the Neville’s (and Gibaud’s) will have been truly supportive to each other. They always were an amazing clan!

    Very best wishes to you and your brothers and sisters.

Leave a Comment

Error: Please check your entries!