Yesterday, on Thursday, I had some real quality time with some of my family too: We went for three hours to a beautiful park at Lake Illawarra with four children of our family! 🙂

There were heaps of other children there too, since the kids were still on their Easter holidays. Granddaughter Natasha was great in watching her nephews, aged 4 – 6 – and 8 years, as well as 18 months old niece. My daughter Monika had picked me up from home with my rollator. The two older kids are the kids of one of Monika’s sons, the two younger kids are the kids of one of her daughters. So all of them are my great-grandchildren! I enjoyed watching all of them playing to their heart’s content in this beautiful park area with lots of other children and lots and lots of playground equipment on a perfectly beautiful sunny autumn day. For lunch we had fish and chips from a nearby shop. We had brought our own drinks. I was so grateful to Monika that she had asked me to come along with them! 🙂

There was opportunity for some interesting conversations with granddaughter Natasha. She is a care worker. To be able to have some longer talks with her was very interesting! 🙂

The Virus and our Daughter Gaby

Peter and I had a daughter who caught the poliomyelitis virus in 1961, that is she became sick on her 4th birthday. She was soon totally paralysed, was given artificial respiration and was unconscious for many months. The doctors did not expect her to stay alive. So, when she woke up with her brain still functioning intact, it was like a miracle!

She had no memory of her previous life. However, when we were visiting her, she was soon able to communicate in German again. Also being in hospital, she learned English quickly. It turned out, she was able as a paraplegic with breathing difficulties to lead a productive life. She died just a few months before she would have turned 55. Initially, she stayed in the hospital’s respiratory ward and slept in an iron lung. She was tutored at the nearby hospital school and made many friends.

When she was ten and a half she was sent to our place, and we took care of her until she was 17. Despite some respite care, that was given to her at the hospital from time to time, we just could not cope with her care anymore by the time she was 17.

So, from age 17 till age 30 she had to cope with institutionalised care. Then she made friends with a man who was willing to be her carer. They lived in a three bedroom low rent housing commission home. Apart from David, her carer, quite a few extra people became her carers for her personal needs. Her fulltime carer, who lived in the house with her, eventually became utterly sick and could not be her carer anymore. But Gaby, our daughter, did not want to make him leave for he had nowhere else to go, and she felt, she needed to look after him. But he stayed alive and died one year after Gaby had died.

Towards the end of her life, Gaby became pretty desperate for she had no permanent carer anymore who would stay with her in the house to be there with her in an emergency. She could not depend on David that he would be of any help in an emergency. So, she was very afraid that she might end up in a hospital or some kind of institution.

We felt for her. When she died we thought that it probably had been lucky for her, that she had died in her own home surrounded by some lovely carers for she had liked to be as independent as possible. With 15 hours help per day she could manage her life adequately. She needed help three times daily! For lifting her in and out of her wheelchair and onto a commode or the bed there always had to be two people available. And someone had to do her cooking, cleaning and washing as well as reloading the battery for her electric wheelchair that enabled her to go around Sydney by using public transport such as trains and busses! But sometimes she also went out in taxis. Peter and I usually met her once a fortnight in a shopping centre to help her with her shopping of groceries.

And Gaby always enjoyed to meet our extended family on special occasions such as birthdays or Christmas or Easter. Some family members would also visit her from time to time at her home. Gaby also enjoyed very much to select little gifts for everyone. I have still a few gifts of her that remind me of her! Also, sometimes the family would meet Gaby in a beautiful park or a restaurant.

Gaby was a very good speaker despite her breathing difficulties. And she was very sociable. We were always amazed that Gaby had such a fantastic memory for names and faces of people. It is also memorable, that she collected quite a bit of money for a charity. Without doubt, she was able to make many, many friends. Even some Labor politicians and other people well known in public life were her good friends!

So, Gaby had died in 2012. Every day I am reminded of her how wonderfully she managed her life. During the day she was nearly always up and about. But during the last years of her life she had to spend most evenings on her own, that is until her carers would arrive to get her ready for bed. She often may have felt very lonely at this time of the day, for she liked to be with people. But she had her pets: A companion dog and a cat! Also, she was used to spend a lot of time at the computer when she was by herself in the evening.

More and more I contemplate, how much my life seems to resemble Gaby’s life now. Only, of course, Gaby’s life was much more difficult compared to mine. Strangely enough, there seem to be some similarities. Maybe, I should tell myself over and over again, that so far I am not so bad off really. Gaby’s carer, David, used to say to me: “Mama, you should not worry so much!” Dear David, he was at heart a very good bloke, but he had his weaknesses, like smoking and a lot of beer drinking and not looking after his health, not at all.

Here you can read something about David:

10 thoughts on “About Grieving”

Everyone grieves in their own way and their own time…no one way or one time frame is the “correct” way. We must be kind to ourselves taking one day at at time.
And those who love the grieving-ones should stand by them and bring comfort no matter how long it takes.
I honestly feel like the one who has died would truly want their beloved ones to help each other through the grief and move forward in life…finding joy…adapting to their new “normal”. I don’t think anyone who loves their family would want their passing to destroy their family or loved ones lives. So we must find ways to grieve, help each other, and continue to move forward. I still miss ALL of those who have passed on before me, but I’m trying to live a good life to make them proud. 
Those links offer some great truth and help, Uta. Thank you for sharing them.
My continued condolences, love, and prayers to you and all of your family as you continue to miss and grieve Peter.
Thank, for that, dear Carolyn, thank you very much! Hugs, Uta 
I agree with Carolyn, above. Grieving is different for each individual and the stages are not necessarily reached in the order expected and may even jump around and be repetitive in some cases. You and Peter lead such a remarkable life together. I think he would be very proud of how well you have dealt with the cards you were given and how you’ve navigated the loss of your best friend and partner. Your children will eventually reach a stage of quiet acceptance. It is one of the stages of life that we all (if we are lucky) must pass through. (The unlucky ones pass before their parents, which, as you know, is the most difficult and jarring grief of all.)
Yes, Linda, what you say makes quite a lot of sense to me. Great summing up of the situation. Thank you for that, thank you very much!
Today I thought once more a lot about the subject of serving and I looked up quotes by Goethe and Schiller about this subject and others, here:
Thank you for sharing, Uta!
Grief comes to all of us in some form and at some point in our lives, and we all respond differently. Losing Peter leaves a huge hole in your heart, Uta, and I’m so sorry. These are really good articles. Thank you for sharing them.
I just saw this very interesting blog, Debra, by Peggy Sweeney:
This is how she starts her blog:
“Adults frequently associate grief with the death of someone loved. However, this is not the only reason we grieve. We confront grief whenever we experience a loss or traumatic event: a divorce, retirement, a debilitating illness or injury, addiction, abuse, the aftermath of a fire, flood, or an earthquake. The list of grief-generating experiences is endless. Healing our grief is a life-altering event and a very personal experience. . .”
Debra, I guess, I have been in ‘retirement’ for many, many years. But never ever have I had to live on my own. When this isn’t life changing, especially with a number of disabilities due to my age, I don’t know what is. I guess, there are always changes, Sometimes there are just too many changes all at once. However, I believe I am still in a better position than people that have no other option than booking into a retirement home. . .
I am determined now to live in my present home for at least another 3 and 1/2 yeas that is until I turn 90!
P.S.: If I die before I am 90, at least I die in my own home the way Peter died . . .
I think it’s entirely “too soon” for you to overthink anything probably! You’re doing well that you can even write about your feelings, Uta. I have known friends who’ve been widowed and can barely move from one room to the next for a very long time. I just know it’s a very big shock, even if anticipated! I am so glad you have a lovely larger family who love and care for you. And I agree with Peggy Sweeney that there are so many ways that we experience loss and then grief. But losing a spouse is an emotional earthquake. Hugs to you, my friend.
Oh, Debra, your comment makes such a difference to my day! It gives me the peace I do need at this time. Thank you, dear friend, for caring so much!
HUGS from Australia 


The infection in my lower leg, well all the doctors think that there is no more to worry about. So I hope, they are right, and that I will be able to handle it a bit better from now on.

From the 14th to the 28th of March I had a lovely two weeks with my son in Benalla, Victoria. Before that, that is from the 7th to the 14th of March, Martin and his dog Millie were here with me in Dapto, and on the 13th of March we did attend the wedding of one of my granddaughters. During this one week stay here I first did get this itchy dermatitis on both of my lower legs which may have eventuated from doing a bit of work in the garden!

So, Martin drove me to the doctors for some prescription. Towards the end of my stay in Benalla, one of the sores had flared up into a pretty bad infection. Back in Dapto, I was prescribed some antibiotics as well as several more visits to the medical treatment room. Two weeks after that it was detected, I suffered from ‘hypertension’. Now they are working on it to get my blood pressure down!

Right to disconnect

The Business / 

By business reporter Daniel Ziffer


“. . . . a culture of being constantly contactable after hours has added to the draining mental toll of the work.

“It just causes undue stress for people,” Sergeant Dunkinson said.

“That’s not necessary when the job is stressful enough.”

Right to disconnect

“The right to disconnect – won in the union’s most recent negotiations – directs managers to respect leave and rest days and avoid contacting officers outside work hours, unless in an emergency or to check on their welfare. . . . “

About Grieving

A good friend of mine pointed out to me that the Grieving Process can take a long time. I googled ‘Grieving Process’ and ended up reading this article:


Avoid Making Big Decisions After Experiencing a Death

By Chris Raymond  Reviewed by Rachel Goldman, PhD, FTOS Updated on July 21, 2020

. . . . .

I find reading about the five stages of grief is worthwhile too:



The Five Stages of Grief

Learning about emotions after loss can help us heal

 Reviewed by Amy Morin, LCSW Updated on February 12, 2021Print Table of Contents

“When we lose a loved one, the pain we experience can feel unbearable. Understandably, grief is complicated and we sometimes wonder if the pain will ever end. We go through a variety of emotional experiences such as anger, confusion, and sadness. . . .”

The following I did write into my Diary recently after having visited my son in Victoria:

What Stage of Grieving am I at? And what Stage of Grieving about their Father are my children at?

Well, this is the question, isn’t it? Also, I’d like to know, how I, an 86 year old, can help my children at this stage?

Everyone knew already in March 2020 that Peter’s cancer was well advanced. So, it was only a matter of time, when his bladder cancer would spread into other areas.

By June 2020 the head oncologist at the hospital advised Peter, to bring his affairs in order. It looked to him, that the cancer had already spread to his bones. A few months later a nuclear test was done, that showed without doubt that the cancer had well and truly spread to his bones, which meant then, that in all probability Peter would have only a very short time to live anymore. It was obvious, that he was in the last stages of cancer and so was in need of some palliative care. . . . Soon, it was organised to give him palliative care at home with adequate pain reducing medication administered by Hospital staff who came to our home at scheduled times. To make the total care possible, quite a few family members were involved in helping to give this, plus we did get some subsidised respite care.

I would say, very often it was very difficult work for all the family. For sure it took a lot out of them, whereas overall I, the 86 year old wife, had not to do all that much physical work in looking after Peter. It was so amazing, how all the children did very lovingly look after their Dad! Also there was a constant stream of visitors by other family members, and a lot of friends were showing that they cared for him very much.

Somehow, all of us had finally to be prepared that is was highly unlikely that Peter would still be alive by Christmas. This prediction was close enough: Peter died on the 12th of the 12th 2020 and was cremated on the 21st of December 2020, our 64th Wedding Anniversary!

But now back to March 2020. By that time, Peter had enormous kidney pain. A solution was found, to drain the liquid around the kidney and his heart: A stent was inserted by an urology team. The stent went from the kidney to the bladder. The stent did its job quite well for a while. However we knew, the stent would have to be renewed after a few months. Finally this was done in August 2020.

On my birthday, on the 21st of September, Peter could hardly walk. I think he realised then that he probably would not last much longer. But somehow he may still have been in a state of denial. And I believe, one of our daughters and her husband were both in a state of denial too. The way they acted and looked after him once he did get palliative care showed to me a denial of very closely impending death.

I, on the other hand, I was already in 2018 convinced, that either his bad heart or his cancer would be the cause of his death. For instance, once the BCG treatment (Bladder cancer: What to know about BCG treatment)


was stopped, there was not much left, that could be done. It was said, that because of his heart trouble, it was not possible for Peter to survive a five hour bladder operation!

So Peter’s cancerous bladder could not be removed. That meant, Peter’s cancer would sooner or later be spreading outside. . . .There was just no denying it!

I think my sadness started already in 2016, when Peter first found out about the tumour in his bladder. I did not want him to die before me: He would have been able to cope without me so much better than I can cope now without him!

I was sad, that Peter developed a terminal sickness, of course I was sad. But for sure I was not in denial that eventually the sickness turned out to be terminal. I was just grateful, that we could still have a few good years together, for Peter was most of the time still pretty active and not in severe pain since he was always well medicated.

Yes, there was sadness, but we were also grateful that we were still able to enjoy a lot of togetherness! Really, most of the time life seemed to be still quite enjoyable . . . .

Come to think of it, the five stages of grief somehow may not have effected my life so utterly, since we had such an early warning, and I was never in denial of the situation and learned to accept it early on. The grief may have effected our children much more. So, I would like to know, how I can help my children!

Very recently I found out, that as early as March 2020 our son was extremely depressed and in tears about the condition of his Dad. This was the time when his wife decided she did not want to see him anymore. I think she had not seen his tears, but she saw his neighbour who had recently moved into the house next door. This neighbour is a very compassionate woman and willing to be a good friend to Martin, however she is due for some rehabilitation for she drinks too much. She keeps telling over and over again, that she had quite a lot of bad experiences and suffering, partly because of her mother.

This neighbour is divorced. However she has a very lovely daughter from an earlier relationship. The daughter is divorced too and has a new partner, she also has a very good job. The neighbour’s 27 year old daughter has a sweet little four year old daughter and shares that little girl with her ex-husband. And when she is feeling well enough, dear grandma can look after the little one for a couple of nights as well. I met the whole family. They are all very nice.

My son lives in Victoria and is already retired, whereas my two daughters still work full-time. The daughters live in NSW both of them close enough for fairly regular visits, and one of the granddaughters comes to help too, whenever her work schedule allows for it.

So, the son lives some 600km away in Victoria. But he’s come to visit quite often whenever he was needed for something or other and when it was possible to visit without having to go into quarantine!


We are in the midst of HOLY WEEK 2021. So tomorrow is GOOD FRIDAY, a holiday. Sitting in front of my house in the early morning sun – this is what I am looking forward to for tomorrow.

I am not looking forward to asking someone for a lift to the MEDICAL CENTRE. Do I really need a change of the dressing on my lower leg? We’ll see.

Sitting in the sun. This is all I am longing for . . . .

Last Sunday I returned from my two weeks holiday at my son’s place in Victoria. With the help of one daughter and one granddaughter I was able to go to the MEDICAL CENTRE on Monday and on Wednesday. I was able to use the ROLLATOR, which was really a great help. Right now, I do not feel confident to walk with my walking stick!

And anyway, I get some more visitors on EASTER SUNDAY. This is in only two more days!

I wonder whether I can adjust to be living totally on my own. My brother reckons, I sound alert on the phone, Then what about my mobility? Has it become better or worse? I would say unfortunately at present it is a lot of the time quite bad. But maybe this has to do with this terrible infection I had in my leg. And this infection may also have to do with my constant tiredness.

Yes, always feeling tired. However when my brother rang from Berlin, my tiredness soon became less and less. After a while it felt good talking to him and his wife.

I like living in my own home. Every Thursday I get two hours home help. There are a lot of plans, that I should get some more help in. Strangely, this makes me feel even more dependent!

Is this kind of dependency really better than living in an AGE CARE HOME? Living in such a home, how would that make me feel?

Maybe I should look into some kind of HOSTEL type accommodation? What a HOSTEL is like, I described in a blog I wrote many years ago.

I had a friend, who lived in a HOSTEL for many years. She died before she needed to be transferred to a NURSING HOME. I think, she was very lucky in this regard. She was 93 when she died.

Well, this was 17 years ago. Maybe what used to be called HOSTEL is now being called AGE CARE HOME. Why then do I have such a horror of ending up in an AGE CARE HOME?

It was acknowledged some time ago. that the house I live in needs a lot of changes and renovations, especially the outside area. I think it would be increasingly difficult for me to look after it even with some extra home help.

Why can’t I just organise everything myself? The two weeks away from home were good for me. I discussed with my son and his friendly neighbour that it would be good for me to join a SENIOR’S CITIZENS CLUB that organises outings and trips to holiday destinations. But since we are not out of the woods yet with COVID 19 maybe this is not such a good idea. Should I just stay as much as possible totally on my own?

What can I still do? I can still shower and dress myself, even if it takes a long time. I can still go for slow walks with my rollator. I have often trouble with my eyesight. However, I can still do some things on the computer and I enjoy some TV programs and listening to music. When I can get hold of a shopping trolley, I can still do my own shopping. I love cooking (mainly vegetarian meals), I have a good appetite and I do not mind doing the dishes. I definitely can do the dishes. I can do my personal washing. The home help on Thursdays hangs out the bigger washing for me and does a lot of the cleaning and sometimes drives me to the shops.

Recently some friends gave me a lift to go to Mass. But I have not contacted them yet since my return from Victoria. A while ago I took up joining my friends again for our Friday afternoon games: Scrabble and Rummy Cub. Well, of course for the last two weeks I was away, and this week on GGOD FRIDAY there won’t be any games.

For the next few days I’ll be sitting as much as possible outside to enjoy some sun, and maybe I can do a bit of walking too with my rollator. If I get sick of being by myself for every meal, I can walk with my rollator across the road to the bowling Club for some lunch. I do like their prawn cutlets!

Benalla Art Gallery

Thursday, 25th of March 2021

Today, Martin and I visited the Benalla Art Gallery, and we had lunch at the Gallery Cafe, the same one where we had lunch with the family in June 2017. I copied here, what I wrote in 2017:

To be writing regularly, oh, I find it is not so easy to get around to it at all times. I always intend to write, write, write. I seem to have lots of things to write about in my head but somehow before I have a chance to write it down, it is gone again. Maybe I should at least take some notes, that is, get into the habit to write some notes down. Maybe, what is a bit of a diary to me, is, when I take some pictures of persons and places. Looking at the pictures, it is easier to remember some of the things in my life.

Recently we have been visiting Benalla in Victoria.  Unfortunately, because of bad eyesight, I cannot drive anymore. So  Peter had to drive to Benalla and back all by himself. We were driving to Benalla to visit our son Martin and to see his new place. Door to door it was about 600 km only, whereas when the son lived in Melbourne (Essendon) the distance was about 800 km.

Since we are in the midst of winter now here in Australia, daylight hours are only about for ten hours, namely from ca. 7 am to 5 pm. Well, Peter had no problem driving the distance within daylight hours. However, I suggested that on the way back we could stay in a motel in Holbrook  for one night to interrupt the journey, and that would give us the chance to look around a bit and familiarize us again with some things in the area. But oh no,  Peter insisted on driving straight home. I like to call it ‘homeritis’!


On our last day in Benalla, a Saturday, all of us went for lunch to the Art Gallery Cafe. We were very happy that our Grandson and his wife and two daughters could meet us there.

On the way to the Cafe
Here grandson Tristan arrives with his family to meet all of us.
Son Martin having a rest in the park.

Son Martin took these pictures of Peter and me on the terrace of the Cafe.

View from the cafe’s terrace

It was a bit too cold to sit out there. It was better to have lunch inside.

Here is some of the food that we had.

This is grandson Tristan.
DSCN2959 (3)
DSCN2959 (2)

After lunch we had a look at some of the pictures in the Art Gallery.

It was lovely to see great-granddaughters Kia and Jaki again as well as Tris and Steph. And now I include some more pictures from another park nearby that we took on another day.

What I published two Years ago

Diary, Palm Sunday 2019

auntyutaDiaryLife in AustraliaOld Age  April 14, 2019

The week ahead, Easter week, is going to be rather busy for us, especially for Peter. He has an appointment with his dentist in Corrimal for tomorrow. On Tuesday he has to drive to Corrimal again for an appointment with the skin specialist. Sometime during the week we’ll go to Wollongong to pay the Hearing Clinic a visist. They did send one of his hearing pieces away for repair. Peter hopes that he can get it back pretty soon. He really needs it back urgently. His hearing is absolutely shocking at the moment!

So, on Thursday is my slow movement exercise class on. Peter drives me there and picks me up again an hour later. It would be nice if he could bring himself to join this class, but alas, he’s very reluctant to do this.

So comes Good Friday. This is a Friday where my friends and I won’t have a games afternoon. That means,  I may be able to help Peter a bit in the kitchen since Peter is planning to bake a few cakes for Easter, hoping this is going to attract a few visitors!

This leaves Saturday for us to do a bit of extra cleaning and probably some extra shopping as well.

Today, I already published a post with the pictures that Peter took on our last trip. I took a few pictures with my camera. I finally downloaded them yesterday with a bit of help from Peter. Now I see, that I can still publish some of my pictures as well.


Leaving home at 9 am our first stop was Moss Vale for brunch. So, here is the picture again that Peter took of our piece of cheese cake that we had at our much preferred cafe in Moss Vale. Before consuming this excellent cheese cake we had had an excellent ‘half’ breakfast each there at this great cafe. The ‘half’ breakfast consisted of two small wonderfully crispy pieces of bacon and one egg, mine was beautifully poached, Peter had a scrambled egg and toast, whereas I had Turkish bread that went very well with the poached egg. We also had delicious mugs of coffee to go with our meal.

I think it was close to 11 o’clock when we were ready to leave Moss Vale. With a couple more breaks we reached our motel in Gundagai by around 3 pm.

We stayed again in the Gundagai Motel:  http://gundagaimotel.com.au/

Of course we had our own Tea and coffee making facilities and stayed in the motel for a relaxing afternoon and evening. For supper we just had some cup a soups from Aldi with a few bread rolls that we had bought in Moss Vale. We had planned to go for breakfast to that heritage bakery in Gundagai just up the road. When we arrived there at 7 am, it was still closed. Not far away was a huge Woolworth Store that was already open. This Woolworth store had of course heaps of things. But nothing fresh from a bakery as far as we could see. We bought tubs of yoghurt and portions of cream cheese for our breakfast in our motel room. Since there were no fresh buns available, we just used the left over buns from Moss Vale. Anyhow on that Saturdy we arrived for a very good salad lunch at our son’s place in Benalla.

So this Bakery was still closed early on that Saturday morning.

I took a few pictures along Gandagai’s main road before we decided we’d buy a few things for breakfast at Woolworth.


This is where Peter took his sunrise pictures in front of Woolies.

On the Way from Gundagai to Ballina we stopped here: