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Monday Moment: Piecing things together

Emma Grey

My husband Jeff’s last words to our five-year-old son six weeks ago were about a jigsaw puzzle depicting famous pieces from the world’s museums.

He’d bought Sebastian the puzzle two days before he died. “When you grow up,” he had said, “Mummy and Daddy will take you to see all the cool things in those museums, all over the world”.

Over the couple of weeks that followed, while we were shattered in grief and shock (and sometimes despair), we put the 1000 pieces together. Everyone who came over to help us in the early days of our grief had a go. It became a focus, and a symbol of what we were going through.

I had it framed last week. We’ll always remember this puzzle as something that bonded our past with Daddy and our future — when we do visit the museums around the world, just as he would have wanted.

jigsawframed

I posted about this on my Facebook page and, in reply, had a beautiful email from the National Museum of Australia:

We were really moved by your recent post about how your husband and son had been working on a jigsaw puzzle featuring museum objects from all over the world.

We would like to give you a free family pass to visit ‘A History of the World in 100 Objects from the British Museum’, as a well a copy of the exhibition catalogue. We hope this provides some comfort for you and your family during this difficult time.

Two days later, while cleaning out Jeff’s office at the Australian Defence Force Academy, I found an invitation to the official launch of this exhibition…

The signs and synchronicity go on and on — and we invite them in. We create meaning where there doesn’t seem to be any. We look for ways to make things deeper and more special. Ways to make new memories and preserve treasured ones.

Yesterday, our first Father’s Day without him, we piled into a restored steam train and went for a ride into the country — something we’d last done with Daddy a couple of years ago. It was a beautiful afternoon.

Amidst our (frequent) tears, we’ll keep looking for chances to celebrate his place in our lives. Chances to forge new paths in directions he’d have loved to see us go.

We’ll find ways to piece together something beautiful. Always.

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Emma Grey

Emma Grey is the Canberra-based author of ‘Wits’ End Before Breakfast! Confessions of a Working Mum’ and ‘Unrequited: Girl Meets Boy Band’. She’s director of the life-balance consultancy, WorkLifeBliss and co-founder of a fresh approach to time-management, My 15 Minutes. She lives just over the ACT border with her two teen daughters and young son. More about the Author

  • That is a beautiful offer from the Museum and seems like kismet that you should go together with your son.
    Sending you all the love. Grief is such a personal and difficult emotion having said goodbye to my fiance 18yrs ago there is a Mark shaped hole in my heart everyday. Even though I have now an amazing husband and children they will never fill the hole he left.
    hugs Cat xo

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