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Does everything really happen for a reason?

My husband woke at 4am last week and thought, the Queen’s died. He turned his phone on and sure enough, she had. He was surprised that he’d had the thought, he doesn’t believe in anything whimsical, there’s a logical explanation for most things according to him.


I, on the other hand, am very keen to believe that there’s something unexplained out there, that there’s life after death. When I woke up and he told me about the Queen I was really sad. I don’t believe in royal blood, that they’re any different to the rest of us to be honest, but she seemed like a woman who dedicated her life to helping people and that’s wonderful, it is sad that she is no longer with us.


I turned on the TV and scrolled social media for news about her and was particularly taken by the rainbows that appeared over Buckingham Palace. Because I really want to believe she’s been reunited with her husband, I really want to believe that, and I might let myself despite the lack of proof. Because the idea that death is finite is just so terrifyingly terrible.


And I am kind of inclined to believe in ‘something’. When my animal loving Nana passed, a stray cat appeared at the door of my mum’s house and stayed. And then when we moved another cat appeared at the new house. When me and my family moved to the Yarra Valley, sure enough, a cat appeared and stayed. The neighbours had never seen it before. It might be coincidence, but I choose not to believe that it is because I love the idea that my Nana is still with us. Not only do I want to feel the presence of my departed loved ones but I want there to be someone, some thing, to pray to at night, to feel that my children’s health is in the hands of, not only mine and my husband’s, but also of a higher being.


My greatest fear is that it’s not. That no one’s looking down on us and keeping us safe. Because really how could they be when such awful things happen to people every second? Parenthood is frightening like that. Pre-children I couldn’t really give a monkeys what happened to me and even now, while I must keep myself alive for as long as possible for the kids, I’m still not frightened of death for myself in the long run. I’m reading an excellent book called Circe by Madeline Miller about Greek mythology and the immortality of gods and I personally can’t think of anything worse than to live forever. How exhausting! If there’s anything positive to be taken from the Queen dying it’s that she seemed to choose when she went. And I don’t blame her for choosing last week. Yet another prime minister and all manner of idiots within parliament and the world and her family and, gooodnesssss, wouldn’t you just want to sleep for eternity. Or, even better, wouldn’t you just want to dance off over a rainbow to float about in paradise with your loved ones. Yes please, I’d like to believe in that.


I’d like to believe that everything happens for a reason too. People say it so much maybe they know what they’re talking about. When we went on holiday to Queensland recently I took some business cards with the intention of seeing if any gift shops there would like my art products. But I didn’t end up handing any out because they were selling local artist’s work, as well they should. But on the plane on the way home I was trying to occupy my 2 and 5 year olds when who should squeeze past us on the aisle but a famous television chef.


“Hold the kids!” I told my husband and dug out a business card, took a deep breath and went to talk to him as he stretched his legs at the back of the plane. I told him I was an artist from the Yarra Valley who painted native Australian birds and animals and had turned them into tea towels and aprons and if he’d ever like some for his restaurants I would be so happy to send him some. He was really lovely, he took my card and asked questions and we had a fun natter. When I got back in my chair I was very chuffed with myself, as were my family. My husband said, ‘I tell you what Holdsworth (he likes to call me by my maiden name), you’re gutsy!’


The plane landed, the chef and I waved goodbye at the luggage carousel and the family and I got in the car feeling really excited. ‘See!’ I thought, ‘that’s why I felt like I should take some business cards on holiday, maybe everything does happen for a reason!’


Never heard him from him again, lol.


I feel foolish for believing that I would now, he’s obviously incredibly busy. But I was disappointed, nonetheless. In him and in the universe. And then I thought, well I’m not really sure I believe in everything happening for a reason. But I bloody well believe in me. So my philosophy is a work in progress but for the time being it is this – I am going to hope that there is a higher power and an afterlife, and to hedge my bets I’m going to try and savour every living minute on this planet and keep cornering TV chefs on planes because, just in case no one else is going to give me a helping hand, I sodding will.


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