Life, Death and the messiness of Motherhood

I finally understand the sacrifices, sheer exhaustion and reality of balancing life and motherhood now that I’ve got a spirited 2.5 year old. In between, life and death happens. I didn’t realise I’d start losing so many friends in my late 30s and now 40s, it feels even more common place. We’re no longer young, foolish and invincible.

I’m still learning to accept impermanence as a way of life and practice the dharma and bodhicitta.

I haven’t time (or energy) to update the blog while trying to balance full-time motherhood and working freelance on lightweight projects with longer lead times for deadlines and few scheduled concalls.

Our lives has resumed some sense of normalcy since they dropped the compulsory mask mandate. Art Basel this year was interesting, many friends have flown in to visit since they dropped quarantine and slowly but surely it feels like Hong Kong’s energy is returning to its old self.

It’s been a game changer since my toddler started unaccompanied nursery classes in January this year and I’ve had 15hours a week to get work done without interruption. This is excluding the amount of time he’s fallen sick and can’t go to school, which means little to no work done, and no sleep either. And then falling sick myself. It’s like a neverending cycle and I can’t get off the struggle bus.

Ben could easily pass off as a Hong Kong actor and modelled alot for Fabrica projects.

In the span of the last 12 months, I’ve lost three very dear friends. Ben, whom I worked with in Fabrica, a Hong Kong native, the kindest, nicest creative soul based in Shanghai. We kept in touch all these years and saw each other often. Ben lived a rich, meaningful and very exciting life, traveling off the beaten paths, making super creative work as a commercial director. The last time we caught up in Shanghai was 2016 and he was happy with the direction life has taken him. I miss Ben very much and I regretfully didn’t reach out to catch up when I relocated to Hong Kong and was dealing with the PTSD and malarkey of cancer.

Then, I lost Kels, the kindest, nicest, brightest infinite light. An old friend, but we didn’t draw very close until we reconnected over cancer and our miracle sons born 9 days apart. The grief and loss has been heartbreaking, I cannot begin to imagine what Kels family is going through. It’s been devastatingly lonely on my end, losing a mum friend who truly gets me – there’s now no one at the end of the phone to call or update over whatsapp toddler milestones, interesting articles I’ve read or have random discussions. Survivor guilt.

I gifted Kels book of poetry from Jessica Urlichs who writes so brilliantly about Motherhood. Most recently, shortly after Kels passed she shared a poem that was requested by a follower – I reached out to inquire about commissions moving forward. It’s uncanny as the poem was commissioned by Kels herself. ūüíĒ When I read it, I immediately thought she would have loved it. I guess she sent me and Jessica a sign as we connected over this beautiful poem on love and loss.

So many people I love on the other Other side. A year since the passing of my dear friend Ann Lemons Pollack, who was steadfast, funny, kind and so nuturing – an inspiring loving mother figure to me and many others. I think of her often and her parenting advice, life advice and hope to do life justice by living it fully and meaningfully. Ann and I first met in London at a food blogger event in 2014 and have stayed in touch since. She knitted the cutest outfits and a blanket for my newborn, and sent me a birthday greeting every year. Ann, you’re deeply missed. I’ll be looking out for signs.

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