heart graffiti

Since the death of my auntie Zak ( I still can’t accept typing or even saying those words), I’ve noticed selfless acts of kindness towards me, everywhere. Perhaps the kindness was always there but I’m noticing more because I need it more.

I want to note recent events that have touched my heart.

The lady who saw me crying on the train and insisted I take a fairy cake her daughter made her, home with me. Readers who went out of their way to find my email address and sent emails on how to handle grief, or just to check I was sleeping as they knew I was blogging late at night. Facebook messages, tweets, blog comments full of support and love, mostly from people I’ve never met… Colleagues who offered soothing words when a shoot felt hard. Staff at a hotel I work with, who I was unaware even followed me, offering condolences and kindness at every turn and of course friends and family who have been rocks to me…People who truly cared and showed it to buoy me up and help me through the worst. I’m wrapping myself in their altruism. 

I’m an textbook empath so absorb people’s energy and light but also their darkness, I care about others and always have (my Mum remembers me crying on holiday after we gave money to a homeless family and I refused to leave them).

Being sympathetic means being able to read people and situations easily (which helped no end in my job as a director and made creating authentic performances on screen, a pleasure). I can spot inauthentic people, a mile off. It’s a gift I suppose although being blissfully ignorant, no doubt makes for an easier life…

I’m struggling hugely with the loss of Zak and find myself wading through the first stage of grief: denial, certain I’ll wake to find it’s all been some sort of nightmare, that Zak is with well and with us, still.  Every day I wake up disturbed, and angry. Grief has already taught me lessons though, life-truths on what and whom matters and strength I didn’t know I had.

I took a day off on Friday, filling it fit to burst with people I love in all of my favourite places which was temporarily enjoyable, a chance to pause and laugh again yet I returned home, exhausted and in tears. Grief catches up with you, whatever you do.

So I’m accepting my emotions and rolling with them as the cool kids say; I realise there’re no easy answers here, or ways to grieve.

I’m hoping the funeral and being around my family will offer greater acceptance. I’m dreading saying goodbye but feel it might help heal us more than this limbo period of grief we’re in.  We want to celebrate Zak’s beautiful life and the lessons she taught us. I’m a better person for knowing her and everyone I’ve spoken to has said the same, even those who only met her briefly. She lit up the room she was in and touched us all with her way of life: to embrace it all, to make it an adventure (and to buy the damn shoes).

Thank you all for your kindness. Kindness is contagious, it encourages us to be more generous with our time, energy and love. Throw it around selflessly as you don’t know how much it might be helping others x

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Being the Recipient of Selfless Acts of Kindness

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35 Responses

  1. Emma Thatcher

    Such a touching post. I completely agree with you that we notice kindness more when we are in desperate need of it. I was overwhelmed by the kindness of others when I had Cancer and also when i split from my abusive husband and moved house with the kids by myself. The world seems so full of selfish greed at times but then the altruistic among us come out and restore our faith in humamity.


  2. Emma Peach

    So sorry you’re going through a difficult time Vicki. I lost my auntie ten years ago and I still miss her. She really was a second mum to me all my life and I idolised her. She died suddenly the day before me and my mum were due to go on holiday which left us in a terrible dilemma. We did go away, with the rest of the family’s blessing, and in hindsight it probably helped. The lead up to the funeral is like being in limbo, and it hangs like a heavy cloud. Although my auntie’s funeral was incredibly sad it was also uplifting, being surrounded by family and friends who were also grieving. Sending you big hugs xxx

  3. Minakshi bajpai

    Feel sorry to hear about your aunt. Ans its good that all people around you are kind enough who are supporting you in your hard or emotional state. These words of kindness and huggs from others acts really very special at times when we actually need them. Personal touch and care can heal the pain of heart. #brillblogposts

  4. Meg

    I’m so sorry for your loss. You’re right, those small acts of kindness keep us going in dark times. It encourages me to be more kind #brillblogposts

  5. Catherine, Not Dressed As Lamb

    Oh Vicki my heart went out to you when you lost your auntie… having lost my cousin (far too young) at around the same time I knew a little of what you were going through. But you’re right about how wonderful and kind and understanding people can be. No – how wonderful and kind and understanding people ARE. I’m so glad you took a day out to surround yourself with things and people you love.

    Take care, I’m always around to talk to as you know xx

    • Honest Mum

      Thank you darling and I’m so sorry about your cousin too, I remember you saying at the time. Life is so cruel. Here for you too and thanks for the chat that day, helped me so much xxx

  6. Joana at Mind The Mummy

    Vicky it is so wonderful to read this and so important to acknowledge the good around us as the world slowly descends into utter madness. I am grateful for people like you who help us to see the positive and the beautiful in the world when the dark clouds gather threateningly. Keep being who you are, keep shining that wonderful light, absorbing the kindness and shining it back to all of us. It’s a gift. An on the grief front, know that even on the days when it looks like there is no way out of that all consuming well of sadness, there will be light shining down even if through small openings. It’s ok to own your grief. In fact it is essential to own it, bask in it, wrap yourself around it for as long as it takes to absorb it so that it doesn’t ultimately absorb you. In the end all you will be holding on to will be that light your dear auntie emanated and it will strengthen you and also help you to continue to be an inspiration for others. #brilliantblogposts

    • Honest Mum

      Crying Joana, thank you darling, you are a gift to me: your friendship, your words, thank you so much for being there for me. I’m always here for you, sending so much love xxx

  7. oldhouseintheshires

    I’m so sorry to hear you have lost someone close to you. It can be so tough losing someone close. Remember her for the lovely person she was and for the amazing things she gave to your life rather than how much you miss her. That’s the way I try to remember my Dad. (((hugs))) to you and your lovely family. I’m glad others have shown you kindness. I write about spreading kindness and positivity from time to time. It really is the only way to live a happy life. I’m so glad that some kindness has found its way back to you. Take care. xxxx

  8. Nico @ yumsome

    I seem to remember saying to you a few weeks ago that everyone loves you so much, and I suspect that during this most horrible of times, you may have now come to believe it!

    I have no words which will lessen the grief you feel but to use a cliché, time will ease the hurting, and you *will* be able to think of Zak without tearing up. Above all though, deep down you know that she is no longer suffering – if you can draw comfort from that, it’ll help.

    It sucks that when one person is released from their pain, those left behind have so much of their own to deal with… but perhaps that’s why we love so deeply… so that we can take on the pain of those we care about, when they are no longer able to.

    I continue to send you loads of virtual hugs and large glasses of wine! xxx

    • Honest Mum

      Thank you so much Nico, you are so loved too and I feel so lucky to call you a friend. Your words have brought tears to my eyes and have soothed me. Thank you darling and I hope to meet you in real life soon xxx

  9. Vicky

    Vicki, I have teary eyes writing this. Sometimes the universe sends us little rays of light. Thinking of you and your family xx

  10. Emma Amoscato

    The kindness of others really does make a difference, doesn’t it. We’re going through a tough time too and I also draw strength from others. I hope the funeral is a celebration of Zak’s life and helps you move forward, Thinking of you x

  11. Michelle Frank | Flipped-Out Food

    I’m tearing up and sniffling as I write this: mostly because (1) I, too, am a very empathic person and my heart aches for you, but also because (2) I chopped several habañeros earlier this evening, and while reading your lovely post I wiped my eye.

    Seriously, tho.

    How wonderful that you find yourself surrounded by love in your grief. Love and light to you, lovely.

  12. Katie

    I have, and continue to, send you so much love lovely. Losing someone who has been such a huge part of your life is incredibly difficult.
    Lots of love

  13. jodie filogomo

    It’s so wonderful that even though you are grieving, you are able to appreciate what other’s are doing for you, Vicki! That’s such a selfless trait!!
    Sending your lots of prayers and love.

  14. Katrina

    The Loss of someone you love so much actually makes your heart hurt hard doesn’t it? There are never words to make it better but there are hugs (albeit virtual ones) and I am sending you lots of them gorgeous lady. Your aunty lives on in you and will always be there to watch over you. I always think how lucky I was to be my grandma’s granddaughter or my aunties niece. Truly blessed aren’t we lovely? Hugs, strength and love. xxx

    • Honest Mum

      Aw sweetie, your words have touched my heart. You are right, we are so lucky. Thinking of you too love, let’s meet soon please for IRL hugs xxx

  15. Susan Mann

    Oh lovely. I am sending you a big hug. I know how hard it is to lose someone who was such a huge influence in your life. 13 years on and I still struggle. I am here for you and be kind to you too xxx

  16. Carol Cameleon

    I remember very clearly the emotional rollercoaster of emotions I experienced after an bereavement. It’s utterly exhausting. Look after yourself x

  17. Jody at Six Little Hearts

    I am so sorry Vicki. I haven’t popped by for a while because I have received personally devastating health news of my own. I wanted to let you know that I totally understand where you are coming from and what you are going through.
    I actually dreamt about you and your family 2 nights ago. You were visiting Melbourne and you were all happy.
    Please remember the sadness will pass with time amd that the sun will once again shine. Your Aunt is truly happy and at peace. Xxx


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