Power of Attorney and Guradianship

These are the other two forms that you will need filled out before you die or become incapacitated. Once again, these are not substitutes for seeking legal or medical advice, just general advice to help with getting your affairs in order.

The power of Attorney gives the person the rights to manage your financial affairs if you become unable to and the Guardianship allows the person to make medical decisions for you when you are unable to make them yourself.

Enduring Power of Attorney

This enduring power of attorney is made on the …….day of……….2017 by …name of person… of …address….in the state of (Western Australia under section 104 of the GUARDIANSHIP AND ADMINISTRATION ACT of 1990.) replace this with what is relevant to where you live.

  1. I APPOINT ….name of Power of Attorney… of ….address…in the State of (the state where you live) as sole Attorney.
  2. I AUTHORIZE my attorney to do on my behalf anything that can be lawfully be done by an attorney.
  3. The authority of my Attorney is subject to the following restrictions – NIL
  4. I DECLARE that this power of Attorney will continue in force notwithstanding my subsequent legal incapacity.

SIGNED AS A DEED BY………………………………………………………………………….

WITNESSED BY:…………………………….          ………………………………………………

Signature of Witness                                         Signature of Witness

 

…………………………………….             ………………………………………

Full Name                                                                      Full Name

…………………………………                …………………………………………

Address                                                                      Address

………………………………                  ………………………………

……………………………….                ………………………………………….

Qualification                                                                    Qualification

 

Acceptance of Enduring Power of Attorney

I, …(name of person listed as Power of Attorney)…, The person appointed to be the power of Attorney created by the instrument on which this acceptance is endorsed accept appointment and acknowledge:-

  1. That the power of attorney is an enduring power of attorney and will continue in force notwithstanding the subsequent legal incapacity of the donor.
  2. That I will, by accepting this power of attorney be subject to the provisions of (Part 9 of the GUARDIANSHIP AND ADMINISTRATION ACT 1990.) Whatever is relevant for where you live.

Signed……………………………………………………………………….     Date …………………………………………….

Name of Person accepting to be power of Attorney. (Donee of the Power of Attorney)

Dated the _____________day of ___________________ 20____

Between:

Donor: (Name of person making this agreement)

To

Donee/Attorney: (name of person who is listed to act as power of attorney)

 

ENDURING POWER OF GUARIANSHIP

This enduring power of guardianship is made under the Guardianship and

Administration Act 1990 Part 9A on the _______day of________________2017

by ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­_________________________________________________(Person’s name)

of_______________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________(Address)

in the state of (state where you live) who was born on ______________________.

This enduring power of Guardianship has effect, subject to its terms, at any time I am unable to make reasonable judgments in respect of matters relating to my person.

  1. I APPOINT my ____________(relationship)________________________

___________________________of______________________________

        __________________________________________________(address) in

the state of (wherever the person lives) to be my enduing guardian.

     2. I AUTHORISE my enduring guardian to perform in relation to me all the functions of and enduring guardian, including making all decisions about my heath care and lifestyle.

3. My enduring guardian can only act in the following circumstances:

_______________________________(if all, just put “all circumstances”)

 

  1. My enduring guardian is to perform his/her functions in accordance with the following directions: _____________________________________

____________________________________(specify or put “as she/he sees fit”).

5. I have/have not* made an advance health directive at the date hereof.

(*delete as appropriate.)

SIGNED AS A DEED by:     (Signature) ________________________________

(Persons name here) ________________________________

WITNESSED by:

__________________________            ______________________________

(Signature of witness )                                                            ( Signature of witness)

_____________________________________                __________________________________________

(Name of Witness)                                                                   (Name of Witness)

_____________________________________                  _________________________________________

_____________________________________                  _________________________________________

(Address of Witness)                                                               (Address of Witness)

_____________________________________                  __________________________________________

(Occupation of Witness)                                                          (Occupation of Witness)

 

ACCEPTANCE OF APPOINTMENT AS ENDURING GUARDIAN

I, ____________________________(name of person) accept the appointment of an enduring guardian.

 

Signed:________________________________   Dated:_________________________

 

Witnessed By:__________________________________              ___________________________________

Name of Witness_______________________________               ___________________________________

Address of Witness______________________________              ___________________________________

______________________________________________             ____________________________________

Occupation of Witness__________________________                ____________________________________

Generic will

A lot of people don’t have a will as they don’t know where to start or what to do, so I have added  an example of a generic will. This does not replace getting advice from a lawyer and is only a copy of what is used in Western Australia, so ensure yours meets the requirements of your country and state. I take no responsibility for the way this form is used or the contents placed therein.

One thing I would recommend you do if you are in a relationship, is to thing if your spouse died, what would you need to live on and work at ensuring that you provide for this in your will if at all possible.

We are often worried about children, especially in step family situations. If you want to leave something to your children while your spouse is alive, try to leave them objects that have meaning to you and if you want to leave them money when you die but not negatively impact your spouse then take out some life insurance that is to be divided among any children.if you don’t adequately provide for the spouse they can and may even be forced to contest the will so it is important that you attend to this first. Again, think of what the impact would be on you if you were left behind and your partner had the same will as yours. You can also add clauses so that when the surviving partner dies the estate is divided between all the children from both sides, but I would highly recommend you seek the advice of a lawyer on this so that you know everything is legally spot on.

_____Day of __________, 2017

 

Last Will and Testament

 

____(Your Name here)____

I,  ….(name)….  of ..current address….. in the State of (put your state here), HEREBY REVOKE all former Wills and testamentary dispositions made by me AND DECLARE this to be my last Will and Testament (“my Will”)

 

  1. DEFINITIONS

In this my Will unless otherwise required by the context or subject matter:

“Duties” mean all death, estate, succession or other duties or taxes payable in respect of my death or the passing of property under this my Will including capital gains tax:

“my Trustee” means the executor or executors of this my Will and the trustee or trustees for the time being of any trusts arising under it.

 

  1. EXECUTORS

(a)    I APPOINT …name of person and relationship to you…. (“name to be used in rest of wil”) of ….their address…..to be my Trustee.

(b)    In the event that ..name of executor…. shall be unable or unwilling to act or continue to act as my Trustee, then I appoint, ….alternate executor…(“short name”) of ….address… to be my Trustee.

 

  1. I wish to be cremated/buried and my remains………………………………………..

 

  1. I consent/I don’t consent to organ donation.

 

  1. Gifts

I give the house and land at ….address…. to be sold and the net proceeds after sale of any duties and any other costs and expenses relating to the sale, including accounting fees regarding calculation of Capital Gains Tax if any, shall be divided equally between …….names of people to inherit….. as survive me and if more than one, then as tenants in common in equal shares PROVIDED that if any of ….names of people to inherit…. die before me leaving a child or children who survive me, then those children shall take and if more than one in equal shares, the gift set out herein which their parent would have taken had they survived me.

 

  1. REST OF ESTATE TO ………….

If ….name of person…. survives me for a period of twenty-eight (28) days I GIVE all my real and residual personal property whatsoever situate, not otherwise disposed of to ….name of person…. absolutely but if ….name of person….. does not survive me for the period of (28) days then if he has died leaving a child or children who survive me, then those children shall take and if more than one in equal shares, the gift set out herein which their parent would have taken had they survived me.

7. POWERS AND OTHER CLAUSES

(a) Except to the extent inconsistent with the terms and provision of this my Will, the powers conferred on my Trustee by the Trustee’s Act 1962-78 as amended from time to time are in augmentation of the powers conferred by this my Will.

(b) My Trustee will have the following powers in connection with my estate: –

(i) to retain the identity of any asset, to sell any asset at any time, and to distribute the assets in specie;

(ii)where any person at any time is entitled (contingently of otherwise) to any share or interest in my estate, my Trustee may apply the whole or part of the capital or income of such share for or towards that person’s maintenance, education, advancement, benefit or support with liberty to pay the same to the person in loco parentis or the guardian or guardians (if any) of such persons for the purposes aforesaid without being liable to see to the application thereof; and

(iii) without limitation and as if my Trustee were beneficially entitled to my residuary estate:

(A)          to invest, change or retain investments including unsecured interest free loans or any non-income producing asset;

(B)          to grant a lease or sublease of any property for any duration and on any terms;

(C)          to improve or develop any property;

(D)          to borrow money or raise money for any purpose connected with my estate, whether with or without giving security and enter into any mortgage, charge, bill of sale, lien or security over any part of the property that forms part of my estate.

 8. My Trustee

will not be liable for any loss arising out of the winding up of my estate or the conduct of any trust arising under this my Will in the absence of proof of dishonest or wilful breach of trust.POWERS OF

9. APPROPRIATION

IN EXTENSION of any power of appropriation conferred by lay, my Trustee may at any time in his absolute discretion appropriate any part of my estate in its then condition or state of investment in or towards the satisfaction of any legacies or any share in my residuary estate without the necessity of obtaining the consent of any person and for the purposes of making any appropriation, my Trustee may determine the value of any part of my residuary estate by such means as he in his absolute discretion take into account in such manner as he thinks fit the likely taxation consequences that the making of the appropriation may have for the person in whose favour the appropriation is made and also for any other beneficiary.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF ….Person making the will….. have hereunto set my hand this….. ….day of…………… 2017

 

SIGNED by the Testator the said               )

…name of person making will…as and for her       )

last Will and Testament in the                   )

presence of us both being present           )              ………………………………….

at the same time who at her request      )               name of person making will

and in her presence and in the                  )

presence of each other have hereunto   )

subscribed our names as witnesses.        )

 

Witness:………………………..                                       Witness:……………………………………

 

Print Name:………………………                                   Print Name:…………………………………

 

Address:…………………………                                      Address:……………………………………

 

…………………………………                                            …………………………………………..

Things to do before you die.

This is not my normal type of post, but I thought after all the events of the last year it was an important one, so here goes:

Most of us will know or have heard of a bucket list. This is a list of things we want to do before we die or colloquially, “kick the bucket”.

But do we ever give thought to the mess we leave behind for the people we say we love.

The greatest gift you can give your family is to work through the post below, preparing for death so that when the times come the family can focus on grieving and not having to spend all there time and energy trying to sort out the mess you left behind.

The good thing about this, if you get all your family to do this then it means you wont be left with the mess if perchance you are not the first one to go.

I would recommend you print this off and cross out each one as you do them.

I live in Western Australia so these are what are appropriate for here, you may need to make modifications for the country or the state you live in, but if you start with these you will be well on your way to getting everything sorted.

Before Death

Ring a lawyer if you live in another state or country and ask what documents you need to have such as will, enduring power of attorney, enduring guardianship. We thought we had everything covered with the Power of Attorney but when we checked with a lawyer they said we also needed Guardianship for medical matters, the laws had changed two years ago and we would have been in a pickle if we hadnt discovered this in time. Everyone I have spoken to since then did not know about the need for this, so it is worth a quick phone call.

  1. Make a current will that is witnessed by people whose address you know now. (see generic will form here)
  2. Also have Enduring Power of Attorney (for financial matters) (see  generic power of attorney and guardianship here)
  3. And Guardianship (for medical matters).(see link above)
  4. Also list and give to the person who you give guardianship what your wishes are re end of life. Do you want to be resuscitated, it so when yes and when no. Do you want to be left on life support, if so for how long?
  5. If you feel you can make a living will or a Health Directive, this just sets in place what choices you want made medically, so that everyone knows your wishes, including the doctors. You can download health directives, look for one for your country and state.
  6. Make sure you have Binding Death Nominations on any super or pension accounts. This is very important as it does not automatically go to who you have nominated, it doesn’t even go to your spouse, your children are offered it first, this takes time and can cause big rifts in families so fix it now.
  7. Put all documents in a folder with your will and have this folder in a fire proof safe or in the bank. Make sure your executor also has a copy of everything and knows where the original is stored. If you have a safe make sure someone apart from you and your partner have the combination in case you both die together.
  8. Do this for yourself and your partner and for anyone that you are executor for before they die.

Go to

https://ecourts.justice.wa.gov.au/ProbateOnlineForms/

Open an account and fill in the details for each person. At the end you can save it, it doesn’t send it anywhere, to send it you have to download it, print it out, get it witnessed by a JP and then post it.

When you are grieving you do not want to be sorting all these details out. Also it helps the estate to be settled quicker making it easier for the surviving party.

Have a list of all assets in the estate and list whether they are held in the state you live in or elsewhere. If shares or super then it is where the head office of the company that holds these is.

If it is a spouse doing the probate, you don’t have to list any joint assets as these automatically go to the surviving party and are not considered part of the estate. I would list all the joint assets on a separate piece of paper in the event that both you and your partner die together. Also list any superannuation that has a binding nomination as they will need to be contacted upon your death.

If you have a binding death nomination on your super funds or pension funds then again this does not form part of the estate.

Info you will need to complete the online application. Fill in all the details you can and the others will be filled in once you have passed. Once complete place a copy with your will and give a sealed copy to your executor.

Exact date of death:

Place of Death:

Suburb:

State:

Postcode:

Country:

Given names of deceased:

Surname of deceased:

Date of birth:

Last known Occupation:

Last address of deceased:

Address from Will:

Alias if one was used:

Address for service: (this is the address of the executor)

Date of the will:

Witness details: Full name:

Address:

List details of immovable property owned by deceased: House if not in joint name:

Description:

Full value:

Type of ownership: ie shared tenants in common, totally owned by deceased.

 

Details of Movable property: ie shares, super, bank accounts, motor vehicles, furniture and personal effects.

For bank accounts:

Name of Bank or institution:

the branch:

name and type of account:

account number:

balance as at the date of death.

 

Name of Bank or institution:

the branch:

name and type of account:

account number:

balance as at the date of death.

 

 

Name of Bank or institution:

the branch:

name and type of account:

account number:

balance as at the date of death.

 

Name of Bank or institution:

the branch:

name and type of account:

account number:

balance as at the date of death.

 

List all debts

Description:

Creditor:

Full value:

Type of ownership:

(Remember to include credit cards)

 

Description:

Creditor:

Full value:

Type of ownership:

If you are unsure of any of this as you are filling it out, make a note of it and ask a lawyer or citizens advice bureau to clarify it for you. Look here first https://www.slatergordon.com.au/wills/assets-not-controlled-will

 

Things to do.

Ask the bank you are with what happens to joint accounts if one person dies, also ask about credit cards, especially if one of you is the credit card holder and the other has a supplementary card.

I know that with ANZ the joint accounts revert to the surviving party and are able to be fully accessed. I am unsure about other banks and financial institutions.

Start a notebook for each person to be placed with their wills and place all the above information in it, as well as,

What they want to wear to their funeral:

Do they want to be buried or cremated:

If buried, where do they want to be buried:

If cremated where do they want their ashes:

Where would they like a plaque:

What songs would they like

What is your favorite flower and colour

Who would they like to conduct the service:

What memento would you like to give people: ie bookmark, order of service, stubby holder etc

Who would they like to do the eulogy:

{Get together with the person doing the eulogy, while you are alive and fill them in on some details of your life, especially the childhood years or the years before you met your current partner. If there if anything in particular you want included or excluded, mention this then}

If you don’t want to do this then get your partner to write a eulogy for you and you write one for them. You can then read each one and correct anything that is wrong or give more details if necessary.

ALSO

Write a letter to your partner, and/or your children to be sealed and placed with your will to be read after you have gone. This is a great comfort to those left behind.

Organize photos that give a snapshot of your life and put them on a USB stick.

Make a list of people you want contacted when you die and list their phone numbers.

List the dates of any previous marriages and the other persons name and where the marriage took place.

List the name and birthdate of all children.

List tax file number, social security number, your date of birth.

Set up a joint bank account with funeral funds in it, you will need about $4000 each to be paid as a deposit the day after the person has died and then the balance usually within 28 days. As at 2017 average funeral cost is $13,000. If you don’t have these funds available then look at funeral insurance.

Work out what you want done with social media accounts and email accounts. List these with passwords and user names but make sure you keep this in a secure location such as a bank deposit box or a safe.

You can go to settings in Facebook and nominate someone who can Memorialize your account when you die. It is a good way to let the persons friends know what is happening and allows them to leave condolences messages.

Make a list of all social media and email accounts.

Make a list of any online sites you are a paid member of as these will need to be cancelled.

If you have a website, list the details and what fees you have to pay and to whom to keep it active. Who is your web host and who is your domain name listed with.

Do you have a paypal account. If so put the details here and list any automatic payments that come out of your account.

Do you have any online shops or are you an affiliate of any companies, list these.

Do you receive money from Amazon or others for monetizing of your web page, Youtube, company facebook page etc.

List which automatic payments come out of accounts and especially credit cards.

Place all these or copies of them with your will: (Not all will apply, just so what is relevant to you)

Deeds, Titles, and Promissory Notes / Loans

Real Estate Property deeds (including any recent appraisals)

Mortgage documents (including promissory/loan notes)

Other Promissory or Loan notes (including loans owed to the deceased)

Vehicle titles and registrations (car, boat, RV, etc.)

Membership certificates

Insurance Policies

​Life insurance (including premium payment records)

Accidental life insurance

Veterans’ insurance

Employers or pension insurance

Funeral insurance (or other death-related benefit plans)

Mortgage and/or credit insurance

Credit card insurance (for balances)

Health insurance (including Medicare or Medicaid, “Medigap” insurance, private health insurance, dental, and Long Term Care insurance)

Property insurance (homeowners/renters insurance, car insurance, etc.)

Workers’ compensation insurance (and payment records)

Financial Accounts– Including most recent statements for all accounts and the list of Beneficiaries, if any.

Bank accounts – checking, savings, CD’s, etc.

Investment/brokerage accounts, IRA’s, 401-K’s, etc.

Stocks and bonds

Annuities

Credit and debit card accounts

User names and passwords for any online accounts

List of safety deposit boxes, where to find keys, and names of authorized users
Other Financial Records

​​Survivor annuity benefit papers

Employer/retirement benefit (pension) plans, pension/profit-sharing plans, etc.

Veterans’ benefit records

Disability payment documents (State, Veterans’, etc.) Income statements for the current year (Social Security, pension, IRA’s, annuities, employment, and other income records)

IRS income tax returns (for the current and previous year)

IRS gift tax returns (for all years)

Property tax records and statements

Business interests held, financial statements and agreements, contracts, etc.

Loan papers

Other – investment records, etc.
Legal Papers

Will and/or Trusts

Deceased’s Final Instructions, Disposition Authorization, and/or Designated Agent forms (sometimes included in an Advance Directive such as a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care, or in a Living Will)

Pre-paid funeral contracts

Organ/tissue donation record

Social Security card (or number)

Birth certificates (of all family members)

Marriage license or certificate

Military service papers, including discharge records

Domestic Partnership Registration

Court documents for adoptions and divorce (including any property settlement agreements, name changes, prenuptial agreements, etc.)

Community Property Agreements

Driver’s license

Passport, citizenship, immigration and/or alien registration papers
Personal Information

Names and contact information of closest family and friends

Names and contact information of all lawyers, accountants, doctors, financial planers, etc.

Family Tree, if available (especially if there is no Will)

User names and passwords for online accounts (including email accounts, financial records, social media accounts, etc.)

Passwords to access computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices

From <http://www.legalvoice.org/after-death-occurs-checklist>

 

Make a list of people you can ring for support after the initial wave of people have left after the funeral.

List any options of places you can go to stay, even if just for a few days, if you need to.

Organize for someone to check in on you each day at least once, preferably twice, once in the morning and once in the evening. You can just text them, “I’m up” ion the morning and “I’m home” in the evening. If you don’t have anyone then Red Cross have a free service where they will ring once a day, so contact them.

Article by Slater and Gordon

In Western Australia, only assets owned by you will pass into your estate and be controlled by your Will.

Jointly owned assets: Ownership of jointly owned property will pass automatically to the other joint owner(s) person upon your death, independent of your Will, if owned as joint tenants. 

This commonly applies to homes, home contents, bank accounts and personal effects, and other jointly owned assets.

The exception is assets owned jointly as ‘tenants in common’.  A person’s interest in such property will be controlled by their Will.

For planning purposes, joint tenancy can be converted to tenancy in common if appropriate at minimal cost.

Sole ownership:  Assets in your sole name, including real estate, cash, vehicles, shares and units in trusts, will form part of your estate and be controlled by your Will.

Unit trusts and companies: Assets owned by unit trusts or companies controlled by you will not become part of your estate. The shares or units however, will be an asset which forms part of your estate. 

Discretionary trusts: Assets owned by discretionary trusts controlled by you will not become part of your estate. They are owned by the trust.

Life Insurance: The insured person nominates the beneficiary of their policy, often their spouse or family member.

The proceeds of a life policy are paid direct to the beneficiary and do not form part of the deceased estate.

If appropriate for planning purposes, you must nominate your estate as the beneficiary of your policies if you want the proceeds of the policies to pass to your estate and be managed by the terms of your Will.

If the policy is owned by a superannuation fund, the proceeds will be received by the fund. Again the proceeds will not pass through an estate, but rather they will be managed by the trustee of your superannuation fund in accordance with the terms of the fund deed. 

Superannuation: Assets held by a superannuation fund most often pass to a dependant spouse or children, not your estate.

 

From <https://www.slatergordon.com.au/wills/assets-not-controlled-will>

I will do another post on what to do after death, for the person left behind or the executor. (see article here)

Tell them….

For those of you new to my blog, I am 54 and have just recently lost my husband. He was diagnosed with cancer in Oct and died in March although the Drs had given us much longer. He was fit and healthy, still working and neither of us had any idea he was sick, being on my own these last two months after being married for 25years has been the hardest thing to go through, but if I can remind others to look at the positives in each other and tell the other person what you see in them while you have the chance then something positive will come out of it.

Baby steps

Learning to live again

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No relationship is perfect but we can focus on the negative or focus on the positive. Choose the positive. I had a sign on the inside of the pantry door which read, “if I am upset with Colin, what is it that I am not doing for myself?”

We may think they should do this or that etc but when they are gone you have to do everything for yourself as well as feeling a huge empty hole inside you that feels like it will always be there.

When I first started saying to Colin how much I appreciated our life together and who he was as a person, he said, “bloody hell, it sounds like you think I am going to die.” But I said, “why do we have to wait for someone to die or be dying for us to tell the other person that we are thankful for them and what we have together.

i am so glad I did as if I hadn’t I may never had got the chance. So many people die of heart attacks, car accidents or other sudden deaths that we never get the gift of parting moments. How amazing to know we had already told them all the things we would have wanted to say.

I challenge each of you to let the people in your life know what they mean to you. It may be a husband or wife, but also include, your children, your parents, your brothers and sisters and even your friends.

If the list or the task feels overwhelming then put one person in your diary each week and send them a card or even a text if you cant do it any other way.

To each of you my readers I say thank you for being there, for reading my posts and making me feel connected even at a time when I feel so disconnected.

Digital Art – Photoshop Artistry

Ever notice how many most photographs start to look the same after a while

I mean, how many photos of flowers have you seen? How many butterflies? How many interchangeable landscapes? How many near-identical “street photos?

With so many photographers out there, and with great cameras and editing software becoming more and more popular, the whole field of photography sometimes feels as if it’s becoming repetitive in the extreme. At worst, so much out there just feels … trivial or boring.

Which is why I’m so excited to FINALLY see something different. Something that can make your photography stand out. And even make you feel more excited about being a photographer than ever. Go have a look at this.

This changes everything.

I don’t know about you, but I can see this reinvigorating my love of photography (and real photo art) in a big way. The possibilities are endless, and can easily become the one thing setting you apart from all of the other photographers out there.Don’t miss it, have a look here:

I had dabbled in digital art for a while but was frustrated as I knew the look I wanted, but just couldn’t quite achieve it.

I had a bunch of apps I used but it was very hit and miss….where could I learn more….

Fortunately at this time I heard about a course called Photoshop Artistry, so I looked into it and looked at the work of its creator, Sebastian Michaels and I started to get excited.

Not only was it what I had been looking for but it had its own Facebook site to safely share your work and get help but also tutorials and resources including images I could use.

Since then I have gone from strength to strength, I still have a lot to learn but I am loving creating my own work.

if you want to begin creating some for yourself then have a look here for more details and a very special price.

Click here

To give you an insight into what its like I have done a short video on how I created one of my pieces. Have a look here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bl50MJD7daY

 

This was starting image:

original image

farmhouse original for Trapped in Love

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the final piece:

final in Photshop artistry

Final Image Trapped by Love

 

 

 

 

 

 

or this one

another option

 

 

 

 

 

 

Look forward to seeing what you can create and I am also available for coaching and advise if you feel you need it…..Lets go and create and see what is possible….

My World Fell Apart

It’s been a while since I posted, the reason is that my world fell apart.

On the 1st March, my beautiful husband of 25 years passed away. We had been told in Oct that he had Leukemia and would have 2-5 years. So when he only had 5 months we were very unprepared.

Fortunatly for him it was a blood clot to the lung that took him out and it was very quick, he was joking with the nurses and an hour later he was dead. He had been very unwell for 2 days.

We were blessed with the the fact that we both realised on the last day that his time was running out, so got to say our goodbyes in the afternoon and I was able to be with him when he passed. I will always treasure this great gift that was given to me.

So as you can imagine it has been a hard time of adjustment and trying to find my feet in a world that looks the same to everyone else but feels so strange and unfamiliar to me.

I realised something yesterday, so thought I would share it with you.

When you love someone and are with them for may years, you see the beauty in them, not the ravages of age.

With Colin I was beautiful and loved, he didn’t see me as fatter or older, he just saw me as the woman he loved and adored and through his eyes I saw myself like this too.

I saw Colin as the beautiful, handsome man he was, I always saw him as handsome and young, he was my love.

He asked how I could still see him as handsome as the ravages of illness took their toll, but I told him I truly did see him as gorgeous and handsome. I saw the twinkle in his eye, the way his face lit up when he smiled at me.

Those twinkling eyes, those looks of love are gone, yet I remain, beautiful no more, the mirror on the bathroom wall reflecting back at me the ravages of age and time.

When you lose the one you love you also lose a part of who you were. I was part of a couple, I was Colin’s wife.

Who am I know?

Julia, who is she without that beautiful, loving, caring man beside her?

I look in the mirror and see the harsh realities of life. Who is this stranger looking back at me? Where did she come from?

When Colin died he took who I was with him as well, he took away the beautiful reflection of how he saw me and left me looking at the hard cold reality of what I see in the bathroom mirror.

Years ago when my Grandfather, died I felt I had lost the only person in the world who appreciated me for being me and once again I am left in this lonely place of feeling that while people do love and appreciate me, that I am all alone.

My daily challenge is to find the joy among the sorrows and most days I have been able to do that, occasionally it seems like there are none, but if I reach out, and this is so hard when you are so lost, then there are people waiting to help and I am reminded that there is still joy in this strange unfamiliar new world.

So many people treat you different or become awkward with you that it is hard to find your way, I am so lucky that one person, probably the most unlikely person, has been there and been a real friend, just coming around to spend an evening chatting or going to somewhere new with me so I am not too frightened to go alone. I know at times he has felt uncomfortable and not known how to react to my changeable moods and constant questioning of myself, but he has let me know it is okay, he is there as a friend.

Having someone treat me as a genuine person, being honest with me and wanting nothing but friendship is a rare and wonderful gift, a true joy among the sorrows.

This person has coped flack for being there for me as people have questioned his motives and yet we have been able to be open and talk even about this. (I am not his type and he doesn’t see me like that).

I am telling you this here so that if you are ever in the position to be there for someone in a time of grief, be honest, be open, talk about the hard questions and what others are saying. So much of life seems unfamiliar, strange and scary that being a real friend and being open and honest is the greatest gift you can give someone.

Having lost so much over the last 6 mths, from all our possessions, our house, my husband, total unconditional love and acceptance here on earth as well as having a home invasion, then 4 mths later my house being broken into again and my car being broken into and ransacked, I feel that even my sense of security has been threatened so to know that someone is there when I need them is so impotant.

As I have dared to reach out I have found many people who are there for me in many different ways, but at the end of the day everyone has their own lives, which are going along pretty much as they always have been. So I need to find a new way to be, a new life, new interests, friends who don’t have partners and kids that fill their life so they have little or no time for themselves, let alone anyone else.

I value and appreciate all my friends and am so fortunate and grateful that they have been there for me and I know they will continue to be, but I also have to find out who this new me is and how to find happiness, joy and purpose without my wonderful man by my side.

So let’s begin this journey of discovery together and see where we end up……

I want to start the journey with two images, one I created just after Colin died and one more recently.

Death

The pain of losing someone while in love https://artboja.com/art/s6w7af/

Baby steps

Learning to live again