The Little Whiles

74 sentiments shared


I’m asked quite often why I don’t post anymore.   In the normal World of a normal family, that would barely be worth mentioning.  After all, it’s just a blog.  To me though, this place is so much more.   So much that I can’t even really explain and when you ask why I don’t spend time here now, I can’t really answer.  I don’t know why.  Or maybe there’s just lots of why’s and when I try to come up with one it all becomes a big jumble of something. Or other.   So, here goes.

When I started blogging, back in the days of four children here with me, it was easy.   For the three people who read my posts, I was perfectly happy sharing tidbits from otherwise unremarkable days..parenting stuff, cooking stuff, shopping stuff.   Complaints about lack of sleep and juggling business with babies and yearning after Alannah Hill frocks.  I never gave it any thought.

Then life..that uncomplicated, regular run of the mill life, turned upside down and for a very long time blogging was where I chose to pour out my aching soul.  Sharing Ava, and sharing the sorrow, became so important to my grief process and the support of so many along the way made a difference.  On my bad and badder days, I would put pen to paper, so to speak, and bare the brutality of a most unexpected life in the new Universe.  Somehow, it helped.  All that missing and yearning and endless wishing hung out for all to see.  I never gave it any thought.

Then that life became familiar.  A place where I have three children beside me and one in the Otherwhere.  Five years.  Tomorrow, it will be five years.  We struggle to fathom.   And you know, they were wrong.  Time did make a difference.  The unbearable suffering eased.  The wailing quietened and then the tears fell softly.    And, just as I’d feared, the tears stopped.  I closed the door to her room.  It’s still shut now.

I cannot explain the intense feeling of disconnection I’ve had from not just grief, but Ava too, over the last year.  It’s so hard to admit that but it is the truth.   And I hate it.  For the longest time, I’ve been aware of my grief tucked up on the top shelf.  I can’t even see it, but I know it’s there.  I wish I could reach it.  I just don’t know how.

The logical part of me knows this could be ‘normal’.  Maybe the book says it’s what happens at four years.  And five.  And the rest.  But what if I don’t want that?    I miss my time with her.  I miss the days she was here and I miss the days I lay on her bed sobbing with the wanting, the desperate wanting, for her to be by my side.  I don’t feel I have a place for her anymore.  Yes, her physical things are here.  Her bed is still here.  Her books and her clips and her shoes..they are here.  But the space in my heart where I promised she’d stay?  I’ve lost the way to it.

So if you ask me to share my thoughts,  I feel afraid.  How do I say my grief feels distant?  That she feels faraway?  To admit she’s not right here, front and center, every day.  From a place of such pain and suffocating sorrow, how can that be?

For now, I will shake my head in disbelief, still.
I will know that some things can not be explained.
I will know that I could have done better.
I will know that it wasn’t my fault.
I will know that some days, it will all be my fault.
I will keep her pictures on the wall.
I will speak her name.
I will wait to dream of her.
I will try to write of her.
And I will keep searching for a way back to my darling Ava.


Tucked Away Under // Ava, Family

Say Something Sweet

8 sentiments shared

A week out from Christmas already? Wow! An enormous thank you to every person who has contributed to a wonderful year for Eye Candy.  Fran and I have had the busiest twelve months with back to back workshops, including the introduction of our new Enhance Post Processing Workshop.  Our lovely Eye Candy Community has continued to grow and we’ve spent time with some truly beautiful people..we feel very lucky indeed :)

We’ve had numerous emails asking for gift vouchers for actions and online workshops and I’ve added them to the store today.  For those looking for last minute gift ideas, these may just be the easy answer!  You can download a gift certificate for Our next Explore Workshop (Beginners) runs from Feb 01, 2012 and Evolve (Intermediate – Advanced) starts on March 12, 2012.  Please email Fran at for further information.

Finally, a small gift by way of $15 discount off any single or duo action set or workshop registration from now thru December 26.  Please enter the code joy-11 at checkout!

Wishing every one of you a peaceful holiday with your loves..

Sheye xx



Tucked Away Under // Eye Candy, Photography

Say Something Sweet

36 sentiments shared

Here and there.

Sunlight through the clouds and the last moments of day and dancing on crunchy Earth. Her sisters tutu.

Tucked Away Under // Ava, Family, Simple Nothings

Say Something Sweet

3 sentiments shared

Eye Candy Actions on Sale!

For three days only, Eye Candy Actions are on sale!
Enter CANDY15 at checkout for $15 off any pack! (Applies to both single and duo pack).

Images 1-3: Jo Bartholomew and 8: Fran Mackenzie

Tucked Away Under // General

Say Something Sweet

35 sentiments shared


Today,  like many a Spring day, the sun did shine.  And today, I got up from being inside and I went outside and sat in the warmth. I chose the sunniest spot and I watched her brothers and sister play in the pool and I listened  to them squeal while I inhaled the scent of freshly cut grass.   Today I thought of how she should be here and I thought of the days she was here and all the missing things I normally think.  And also, today, for a few brief moments I felt it.  Just a little excitement that Summer is around the corner and then I felt that funny mix of happiness and relief and a sadness that life does in fact go on.

I always was a warm weather girl.  As a child, I loved everything the sunnier months brought – bbq’s by the creek with family, hours spent on the slip n slide,  ice-cream.  At 18, when I moved to the Gold Coast (Australia’s answer to Miami), the warm weather meant the beach every day and parties at night.   I married beside the ocean in beautiful sunlight and as a mother, I loved watching my own babies play outside in Summer,  soaking up the sunshine and goodness.   As Winter rolled around each year, I’d miserably shiver my way through an unbearable three months, all the while searching for an alternative to Havianas.  The cold, it’s just not me.

And then came the Summer of 2007, beginning like every other Australian Summer and ending like nothing we’d ever known.  The loss of our darling Ava.  Instantly and dramatically, my love of warmer weather was no more.  It became the other 9 months of the year that I found unbearable.    Grief just brings such incredible sensitivity to the most normal of things and  when the sun shone brightly,   I struggled to even step outside.

To sit out in the sunshine today..a simple nothing that felt like a simple everything.  Like so many other moments in a strange journey.  When it’s hard, it feels impossible but sometimes easy feels impossible too.  Along the way, I want to share my days and my photos and my thoughts with you..and I want to tell you how the ordinary is still anything but ordinary but then I hesitate.  The truth is, I sometimes struggle to know how to include Ava.  Not in our day to day life..there she nestles comfortably in our conversations and memories.  It’s here, I wonder. Where I once wrote pages through the tears and shared without thinking, I now sit in hesitation wondering what even makes sense.  It’s hard when I share only random snippets of  life.  I’m not sure if it seems disjointed. Do my stories of life with grief seem out of place in the every day?  

The thing is, I can’t do smalltalk. If you know me in real life, I much prefer real conversation. I can’t make stuff up. It’s the same here. I want to keep it real but still share the everyday and then I’m back to the bit where my every day still looks different to most.   My every day is not like it was before Summer 2007 and it’s not like it was for a long while after. It’s something different again..and yes, it’s largely about the balance of sorrow and gratitude but it’s also about raising children and wanting more children and dreaming with my love and taking photos and time with friends.  It’s about everything that I knew with Ava and everything I’ve learned without her and trying to move forward but never wanting to forget.  If it seems disjointed, it’s probably because it is.   When your days and your relationships and all your waking thoughts are filtered with a different and sometimes complex perspective, it takes work to turn that into everyday words. I can’t take the filter off and I wouldn’t want to but still, sometimes it’s kind of hard to see out. 

Thanks for waiting on the other side.

Sheye xx

Tucked Away Under // Ava, Family, Simple Nothings

Say Something Sweet