From survive to thrive…overcoming the guilt – by Simone

Murray xmas.jpg


Wow, its 2020! And it’s been a while since I have written. I am normally fastidious about writing on the 1st of January, sharing my thoughts on the year, and my goals, but somehow this year felt more calm, less like I needed to take the year by the scruff of the neck and stamp my authority on it. Which is a good thing I think. We also had such a lovely December holiday together as a family, some really good quality time for us with so much fun and laughter and I guess I also didn’t want to break that bubble in any way.


2019 was a (relatively) calm, normal and uneventful year for us – what a wonderful gift!!! None of us spent time in hospital, things were fairly predictable, Murray had a great year at school and was very settled. I was healthy and well and managed to get fit and do the fitness stuff I wanted to. I took time out for me during the year and also worked on improving parts of my professional self and growing my leadership skills. In the latter part of the year I also did some work with Enneagram personality profiling both individually and with James and I as a couple, and this was hugely beneficial on so many levels.


Basically I think that 2019 can be called the year that we were able to move from just surviving as a family to thriving again. To moving forward as our embraced family of 3. After 3.5 years of holding on by our fingernails and trying not to drown.


But trust me, this also doesn’t come without its guilt. That I don’t do enough to remember Bella and Thomas every day. That I now have moments of happiness again without that very heavy sadness overhanging every single thing I do. Still not a day goes by that I don’t think about them, but my heart is starting to put itself back together again. I am able to look forward, and is this okay? I know that these feelings are not necessarily rational and I know that it’s good that we are accepting and embracing our new reality. But please know my darling children, every minute of every day, that you live in me always, forever loved and remembered. And because of what you have taught me I am able to appreciate life more than I did, embrace every opportunity and realise how fragile and precious life is. And I will continue to speak about you, remember you and allow you to impact on and teach people


It often amazes me how “real” both Bella and Thomas are to Murray even though he was so little when they died. He talks about them so often and wonders (as we do daily) how different his life would be with them in it. The other night we were doing our good nights and Murray said to me “Thomas died because when he was born he was too little to live hey mom? Is that why God took him to heaven?” to which I replied yes. He then asked “But why did God take Sissie to heaven, she was fine wasn’t she?” and I didn’t have an answer for him. We then did our prayers as he likes to do and in the prayer he said “God, I have a question for you, why did you take Sissie away from us?” and then turned to me and asked if God would answer him. I had no words for him. But what an amazing little boy your are my darling Murray.


So I hope that 2020 will bring more of the good parts of 2019 and that there will be more family and personal growth. So no huge things to tick off a list, mountains to climb and marathons to run, but more stability and thriving. I think that’s a pretty good goal right?



  1. Dear Simone,

    Thank you for the new post. You may recall that I am Michelle’s brother. Michelle and Peter lived opposite your parents in Grahamstown.

    I was very touched by the story about Thomas asking you the questions that he did while you were praying with him one evening. I have 4 grandchildren and the elder one asked me two questions which I could not answer with assurance and clarity. I asked our Pastor for advice and he referred me to John Piper who is a renowned Bible scholar. He has a podcast which I then used to obtain an answer to the two questions.

    If you look for “Ask Pastor John” you will find a reference to a few thousand questions and answers. This may assist you in providing Thomas with an answer to some of his (and your) questions.

    Thank you for the inspiring posts. Keep your eyes on Jesus. He will never let you down.

    With prayers..

    Ivan Donian

    079 952 2765


    Ivan Donian

    * The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever (1 John 2 vs 17) * He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight – David (Psalms 101 vs 7) * If your mind is blind and deaf; your eyes and ears are useless. * No level of success or popularity outside the home can compensate for failure in the home. * For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present and the life to come (1 Timothy 4 vs 8)


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