122: Checking in with Kelly

This is the first of two special episodes of Straight and Curly. As many of you know, Kelly tragically lost her beloved husband Anthony in a freak accident in January. In this raw and vulnerable conversation, Carly draws on questions from listeners in the Straight and Curly Facebook group to check in with Kel to see how she is going navigating the biggest challenge life has ever thrown her way.

Some of the questions Kelly answers:

  • How are you really feeling? How do you get out of bed each day?
  • What gestures from friends have helped most at this time?
  • What’s the most helpful thing someone has done?
  • What are some things people did or said with good intention but may have gotten wrong? What things should people say? What should they not say?
  • How has the personal development you’ve done over the years helped with the current situation?
  • Has what happened changed your beliefs/worldview?
  • How is the family doing?
  • What does self-care look like right now?
  • What are some useful hacks for getting through each day, especially when emotionally exhausted?
  • What’s something you’ve let go of and don’t care as much about now?
  • What are some of the family and financial discussions you and Ant had before he passed that have taken some of the worry out of this time? What are some of the things you are patting yourself on the back for having in place?
  • How has being organised on the life admin side of things helped in this awful time?
  • How on earth are you managing/juggling your businesses at the moment? Whose support and what support has been great?
  • Are you making major life decisions quickly and then making smaller organised steps towards them? Or are you taking small decisions daily as they are in front of you and while find out where you end up when you look back?
  • What are some things you’ve learned from watching others go through a similar experience?
  • How are you managing the needs of your kids against your own needs for self-care?
  • Have there been moments when you feel hopeless and what do you focus on to bring you back to center?
  • Has this sense of being very loved and missed on the podcast surprised you?
  • What has made you belly laugh?
  • As you and Carly are good friends at opposite ends of the emotional spectrum with your current life situations, how has Carly’s situation influenced yours?

Listen in

Read the transcript

A note from Kelly: The below transcript is a heavily edited version of the podcast audio. Mainly because I did a lot of ‘thinking out loud’ during this show and while the wanderings of my thinking out loud works ok on audio, it’s quite painful to read 🙂

Ben:         Welcome to this special episode of Straight and Curly. As many of you know, Kelly tragically lost her beloved husband, Anthony, in a freak accident in January. In this raw and vulnerable conversation, Carly draws on questions from listeners in the Straight and Curly Facebook group to check in with Kel and see how she’s going navigating the biggest challenge life has ever thrown her way.

Carly:       Hello and welcome to Straight and Curly. As Ben mentioned, we’re back for a catch-up episode with Kelly. So, Kel … how are you going today?

Kelly:        Well, Carls, that is an excellent question. And it’s also the question I do recommend people ask people in my particular situation because the obvious question to ask when people see me right now is, “How are you?” To which the answer is, “Well, not that great.” But-

Carly:       Yeah, dreadful, thanks for asking.

Kelly:        Yes, life is not the best right now. I’m a bit sad. Sometimes I just say, “Look, I am not in spiralling despair today, I’m just in regular old crushing sadness.” And people are like, “Okay … that sounds like an improvement.”

Which is why I will say an easier question for someone in my situation to answer is, “How are you today?” And how I am today is a bit up and down, but I’m definitely on the up now that I am talking to you because I have missed talking with you so much.

Carly:       So have I. So, Kelly and I caught up about a month ago and had a chat. And it was just so nice because every time we’ve ever chatted to each other really, I think 95% of the conversations we’ve ever had have been recorded.

Kelly:        Yeah. I think when I was talking to you, I was like, “Is this the first time we’ve ever talked on the phone?” I think it might have been.

Carly:       I think it is. But yeah, it was just so nice talking to you. In the past we’ve toyed with not continuing the podcasts because it takes so much time and money to produce. (Although, having said that, Patreon supporters, you guys are incredible. We’re not going to have to put our hands in our own pockets for a very long time for the podcast. So, thank you very much for continuing to support us. That’s just such a huge weight off our shoulders.)

But we’ve toyed with not doing the podcast because sometimes it feels like it’s such a big time commitment. So it was interesting to have this extended break and realise, “I really missed talking to Kelly and catching up with things and nutting stuff out.” And that was a really nice thing to discover out of all of this.

Kelly:        I know. I definitely agree. I think you said, “I miss talking to you.” And I was like, “I miss talking to you too.” And it was just … I mean, it was a bit like when I was doing the podcast with Brooke. It was just a beautiful chance to sit down and chat with a friend every week that you just don’t get normally. Like, I don’t speak to some of my best friends on a weekly basis.

Carly:       Same.

Kelly:        So, it was such a treat to do it. And it was … I felt really far away from you because first of all, you had baby Harriet. You let me know that you had had baby Harriet and I was so excited. But then you went dark on the web. And I was like, “You know what? She’s just in baby heaven right now.”

Carly:       Yeah.

Kelly:        And getting your head around that. So I was just looking forward to that first ‘public’ pic to let me know you had emerged from baby heaven. And it was just so nice to see that when it came late in December. But then obviously early in January is when we (my family) had the accident. And if anybody wants to know what happened, just Google Anthony Exeter and it’ll be there. I don’t really want to go through it on the show. But yeah. So, it was very early in January that we had the accident, and then I was in the funeral phase for the first week. And then the second week was where I just kind of lay on the couch and cried for a week. And then, I think it was the week after that that I wanted to talk to you, (because I couldn’t talk to anybody on the phone for kind of those first two weeks).

Carly:       Of course.

Kelly:        So it was just so lovely to be able to sit down and have a good chat with you.

Carly:       It was really nice. I felt so much better after talking to you about it because I really wanted to talk to you a lot, but I also wanted to give you space. And just, you know that feeling of helplessness?

Kelly:        Yeah. And it was so hard because most of our listeners may not know, I live on the West Coast of Australia, and so many people I know – like Carly – live on the East Coast of Australia, which is a long way away. Like a solid 3-4 hour flight away. So there were so many people in your position who were so far away and wanting to do something or just wanting to touch base or just to let me know they were there. And since I have been on the opposite side of the coin before – I’ve been that person who’s miles away just desperate to do something and just not able to, I really felt for all of you guys. And it was so great to be able to finally get a chance to talk to you. So, that was great. And then I reached out to you, Carls, last week because I was getting a lot of messages from people in the group or seeing chatter in the group. And our listeners feel like they’re our friends, and I totally get that because I feel like that with the people whose podcasts I listen to. And I understood that me losing Ant affected people really deeply, and that was really lovely.

And I understood that many of our listeners were in the position that you were in, where you were just wanting to check in and say, “Kelly, are you okay? How are you, really?” And I also knew that people were thinking a bit the same about you with having baby Harriet and going, “How are you Carly?” You know? So, we spoke to each other and we said, “Look, let’s try, no guarantees, we may not …” I mean, if you’re listening to this, it means we got to the end without bawling our eyes out or going to pieces. Carly may cry, and she’s freaking out about that. So, I’m going to try and not make Carly cry because she doesn’t like crying, especially on air.

Carly:       Look, I probably will.

Kelly:        But yeah, we just wanted to check in with you guys because we know you want to know what’s going on. And yeah, certainly when we put the call out in the group, people sent through lots of questions. So, thank you very much for the questions because we don’t suddenly have to try and figure out what everybody wants to know. We can just speak to the questions. So, that’s awesome. So, we’re going to do this in a kind of two-episode way because we were originally going to try to do it all in one and then we thought it was just too jarring to go back and forth between literally life and death.

Carly:       Yep.

Kelly:        So, we’re going to do my questions in this episode, and then we’ll do the next episode we’ll speak to Carly and welcoming baby Harriet into the world and moving to the country as well. It’s been a busy time.

Carly:       Yep. Well, let’s just jump straight into it because there are so many wonderful questions. And a lot of them came from people who have been through similar things to you as well. So, I really feel like this episode is going to be a really beautiful moment of connection for a lot of people, I think, because it’s odd, but I kind of feel like death actually really connects a lot of people and it’s sort of the one thing we all have in common, really. So, it’s … Yeah, I’m looking forward to talking to Kelly.

Kelly:        Okay.

Carly:       So, this question comes from Becs, and she says, “How are you really?” And really is in italics, so she means really, “How are you really feeling? How do you get out of bed each day?”

Kelly:        Well, so right at this moment, it is eight weeks since Ant died, or just over eight weeks. And I do feel like I’m a bit in that no man’s land of grieving. So, kind of for the first month of so, or maybe first five, six weeks, there was this lovely numbness that protected me. And that numbness has definitely lifted. So, the reality of actually having to live without him – that reality is really starting to take hold. So, I am kind of in survival mode, just trying to get through each day at the moment. What gets me out of bed? The need to show up for my kids and to be functional for them. I have a nine and a five year old. Also, the knowledge that if I do get out of bed, I have healthy distractions in the form of work at my disposal. And healthy distractions do make the day go much faster.

Carly:       The next question comes from Chrissy, and she says, “What gestures from friends have helped the most at this time?”

Kelly:        Okay. So, so, so many people have done so many things for us. So, I’m not going to be able to touch on all of them, and I wish I could. But the fact that two weeks after Ant passed away, the parents at school organised a meal roster where literally somebody drops off a meal for us every single day. And six weeks later, that is still going. It’s … I just have … like, I hate cooking, so-

Carly:       That’s why I was like, that’s literally the best thing that someone can do for you.

Kelly:        Honestly, for me personally-

Carly:       That’s amazing.

Kelly:        Yes. The greatest thing you could do for me is to keep me out of the kitchen. And yeah, so literally every afternoon, somebody from school rocks up on my doorstep with a meal for the night. And quite often because they know that I’m gluten free and dairy free, but the kids are not, quite often they’ll make something for the kids and something for me, which is like next level. So, that just by itself, I have no words for that. Anyone who has to prepare meals for their family, you know how much head space that takes up. And to not have to do that means I’ve got so much more head space for myself and for the kids.

Friends, lots of friends have had the kids over for play dates or sleep overs, which is great because it gives them space from each other because they do seem to need a fair bit of space from each other at the moment, or allow-

Carly:       Is that … was that typical before Ant died? Or do you think that’s increased since he died?

Kelly:        It was typical before Ant died, but he could share the load. And it’s definitely increased since he died and right now they both need me so much. And when they’re both there and they both need me, it’s very difficult.

Carly:       Yeah.

Kelly:        So, if one goes to their friend’s house and they’re happily distracted with their friend and I can spend time with the other one or take Jaden to basketball training or a basketball game. And then Mia doesn’t have to hang around a basketball stadium. Jaden’s had basketball carnivals and Mia’s been able to go to her cousin’s house and not have to be at a basketball stadium for four hours. And yeah. And also, just how loved my kids have been by their friends and their friends’ families, particularly Mia. Mia now just wants to go to all Jaden’s friends’ houses because she wants to hang out with Jaden’s friends’ moms and sisters. So, whenever we go to pick Jaden up, Mia walks in and she goes, “Hey, I’m just going to come in while you have a chat.” And just like owns the place.

Carly:       She’s just enjoying being spoiled.

Kelly:        She really is. So, it’s been so humbling. Our friends have just all really looked after myself and the kids well. One of my very best friends who lives three hours away, she took five days out of her life to come and stay with us in the very early weeks, which was amazing. And I was so grateful to her partner, who’s FIFO, so they’re particular-

Carly:       Far out.

Kelly:        You know, their particular situation made that possible for him to come in on his two-week off swing and go, “Yep, you go up to Kelly. I will hold down the fort.” It was just amazing and, again, humbling. But yeah, there’ve been countless tiny kindnesses. And I know people think, “I just did this tiny thing and it’s not really a big deal.” But all these tiny kindnesses have added up to something, even just the little messages of support, all the messages of support. People are like, “I just feel so useless because all I can do is send you a text or send you a message on Facebook.” And I’m like, “You just have no idea how nice it is to be so loved and supported.” And all of those things have added up. So, yes, big thank you to everyone near and afar.

Carly:       That’s such useful information as well, because I know a lot of people don’t know what to do in situations like this. I’m really keen on the meal roster thing. If that ever happens to someone, to a family at your school, take it from Kelly, I think that’s a really excellent thing to organise if you so desire.

Kelly:        Yep.

Carly:       This question comes from Tamsyn, which is a really great question. She’s really good at questions, by the way. She said, “What’s the most helpful thing that someone has done?”

Kelly:        I don’t want to have favourites on most helpful things, so I’m going to say a broader thing, which is everybody, like friends, family, strangers just respecting the boundaries that I have set to protect mine and the kids’ energy levels. I do think this is very rare in situations like this. Quite often there’s always one family member or one overbearing friend who just refuses to listen when you ask for space or time. And I’m quite proud because boundary setting is something I have only really recently learnt. Not like yesterday. More like kind of a year or two ago. And I’ve been quite proud at how good I have been at setting boundaries around our energy, but I’ve also been incredibly grateful that people have been really respectful of those boundaries. So, that’s just something nice that people can do. It’s a very simple thing and a very nice thing that people can do, and very helpful.

Carly:       I do think that boundaries is something that you’ve been talking about on the podcast quite a lot, sort of in the last year. And we’ve been talking about you setting those in place. And I think that kind of stuff, even though you say it on the podcast, you’ve got no idea who listens to it. I feel like stuff like that that you say on the podcast gets around.

Kelly:        I hope so. Yeah. Well, I just think if people are sending a message, listen because it’s very hard when you try to set a boundary with someone and they ignore it because you either second guess it and go, “Gosh, maybe that’s unreasonable what I was asking,” or you get really angry and go, “Come on. I made it very clear where my boundary was and now you’re stepping over it and now I’m going to have to call you on it.” Like, that’s really hard normally, but especially at a time when your emotional reserves are pretty low already.

Carly:       So, the next question comes from Anat and Amanda, they say … this is … I’m really into this question as well because I wanted to pre-apologise before we recorded this because I am shit at grief. I am horrible at it. I hate crying and I don’t like feeling sad. And I try to avoid it at all costs. So, I know I’ve said it on the podcast before, when people are very, very sad, I’m like, “Come to me when you’re ready to get your life together.” Obviously I’m not saying that to you now, that’s not what I’m saying. But I’m just like, I’m the, “Come on, let’s get your shit back together,” and you can’t do that with grief. So, this is a very important question that I’m going to listen very carefully to your answers. “What are some things that people did or said with good intention, but may have gotten wrong? What things should people say and what should they not say?”

Kelly:        Yeah, this is an interesting one because I haven’t found myself to be too ragey over things people have said or said with good intention but gotten wrong, maybe because I’ve been on the other side myself and I do know how hard it is, because you just really want to say or do something that’s helpful but you’re not sure what that is. Sometimes you get it wrong. Like, I had a friend message me the other day, she saw me at school and then she messaged me and she was like, “I think I was just a total idiot around you just then.” And I was like, “Honestly, no. You’re just totally fine. It doesn’t matter. It was all good.” And so, yeah, possibly people have said things that others might find insensitive, but I can’t really think of anything that anyone has said to me.

So, I’m just going to go straight to what things should people say. I’m a bit worried about speaking for all grieving people here, so maybe I’m just going to speak for myself, and maybe this will translate to other grieving people. I do think the most common and appropriate thing is, “You know what? I know there’s nothing I can say to make this better, but I just want you to know that I’m thinking of you.” And I know that sounds lame and ridiculously stupidly simple, but it’s true. There really is nothing that anyone can say to me at this time that is going to make anything better, other than, “Hey, it was all a joke and he’s coming back tomorrow.” If you can say that to me and it’s true, then say that. But otherwise, there’s nothing you can say-

Carly:       I think everyone wishes they could say that.

Kelly:        That’s right. So, given you can’t, just acknowledge that there really is nothing you can say, you know there’s nothing you can say, but you are thinking of that person. Probably don’t say, “Let me know if there’s anything I can do,” because that does put the burden on the person who’s grieving to tell you if they need your help, which is too much of a burden. And then, as I said to you at the top of this show, “How are you today?” is better than, “How are you?” Even though, “How are you?” is a perfectly logical and normal thing to say. But, “How are you today?” is just superior to that one.

Carly:       I almost texted you, “How are you?” a few times, but I stopped myself because I was like, “Obviously terrible.” Like, I mean, I don’t want to make light of it and make a joke about it, but every time I went to say it, I’m like, “That’s a dumb question, Carly. Like, that’s really stupid.” So, I ended up just being like, “Just thinking of you,” is what I went with.

Kelly:        But just on that, I will say do text people. Just, if you get this random thought to call them or to text, maybe don’t call because I know I don’t answer the phone a lot.

Carly:       Yeah, definitely don’t do that.

Kelly:        But do text them because there was a week where I was very, very, very low and one of my best friends just messaged me and said, “Checking in, how are you?” And I just said, “Not good right now, really not good.” And she was like, “Right, what are you doing today?” And I said, “Jaden’s got a basketball carnival, finishes at three.” She’s like, “Come over after that.” I was like, “Okay, I will.” And I really needed to go to her house and see her. But I did not have the energy to reach out and say, “Hey, can someone invite me to their house so you can talk me off the ledge, basically?” So, you know, 90% of the time you might reach out to someone and they might just say, “I’m okay,” or, “Thanks for checking in. I’m all right today,” but sometimes you might just catch them at a time where they-

Carly:       They really need it.

Kelly:        Yeah, they really, really need to talk and you’ve initiated the contact. Yeah. So, it takes a lot of energy to initiate the contact when you’re in a very bad place.

Carly:       It also doesn’t cross any boundaries as well.

Kelly:        Yeah, that’s right. It gives the person a chance to reply with something short and sweet. Or not reply at all. But it also allows them to say, “Look, I’m actually really struggling today.” And then that gives you the opportunity to go, “Okay, what can I do to help?” So just, yeah, that’s kind of a bit of a by the by. Back to the question of what shouldn’t people say? One thing I don’t feel people should say is, “I know just how you feel.” And I cringe a bit because I have said this in the past to people who have lost siblings because I have lost a sibling. I probably haven’t said, “I know just how you feel.” But I know I’ve said, “I’m so sorry, I lost my brother, so I kind of have an idea of how you’re feeling,” because actually, no, you do not have an idea of how that person is feeling because the relationship that you, Kelly, had with your brother is not the same relationship they had with their sibling.

So, yeah, a few people have kind of suggested to me that I reach out to other people who’ve lost their partners. And other than one of my close friends who went through this exact same thing 12, 13 years ago, I have not felt the urge to do that yet because yes, they’ve lost their partner, but they did not lose Ant. And you know, right now, I do feel very alone in what I’m experiencing, but I’m actually quite comfortable feeling alone right now because it is kind of special to know that nobody else has any idea of the complexity of what I’m feeling and exactly what kind of hole has been left in my life. And you know, that’s just where I am right now. I’m sure there will reach a point where maybe I do want to talk to other people who’ve lost their partners. But that moment is not right now. Sorry, I feel I went a bit tangential there.

Carly:       No, it’s all such great information, Kel. I mean … Yeah. No, sorry. I’m just really … Yeah, this is just incredible information.

Kelly:        Yeah. Carly’s experiencing emotions right now, guys.

Carly:       Ha. Yep. Okay, well, let’s move on to the next question before I show any emotion. This comes from Vanessa. “How has the personal development you’ve done over the years helped with your current situation?”

Kelly:        Yes. So, a lot of people have commented on how well I seem to be dealing with all of this. I’m not sure how to take that. But-

Carly:       You should take it as a compliment. Yeah.

Kelly:        I’ll take it as a compliment.

Carly:       Yeah, definitely.

Kelly:        You know, I don’t want to freak people out, but it does sometimes feel a bit like my whole life has been preparation for dealing with this situation, by which I mean I have experienced quite a lot of loss already. I lost my brother nearly 20 years ago. So, he was 18, I was only 22. So, it’s quite young to have to deal with something like that. I lost a close friend suddenly when I was 29. He was 10 days away from getting married to another close friend, the friend I spoke about earlier, the one who lost her partner 13 years ago. So, it was kind of a double grief situation because I was grieving the loss of my friend, but also hurting so much for my other friend who had just lost her husband-to-be. And then six years ago, another friend, someone who shared an office with us and who I saw every day, committed suicide. And right around that time, I was in the middle of having four miscarriages in an 18-month period. So, I know that’s all very harrowing and etc. But, you know, it’s life. Love and loss is part of life, and you can’t have loss without love, unfortunately.

And so, all those experiences exposed me to grief and loss. And I guess the main thing they all taught me was life isn’t fair, bad things happen to good people. So, kind of when I lost Ant, I didn’t need to spend any energy on being angry and upset at how unfair it was. I wasn’t doing the whole, “Why me?” thing either, because really, why not me? You know? I understand deep in my bones, it’s very arrogant to go, “Why should these things only happen to other people and not me?” you know? Especially given how much I’ve won the life lottery in so many other ways. So, yeah. So, in short, I’ve dealt with a lot of loss before. I’ve done a lot of work around those losses. And that work kind of sped up the processing of this current situation, which, to be honest, has almost been unhelpful because it kind of fast-forwarded me to dealing with the reality of living without Ant. And I almost would rather had all that stuff to work through first.

Carly:       Yeah, you didn’t get to hide in your anger for as long as you would have liked to.

Kelly:        No, that’s right. So, some other work I’ve done is many of you will remember that I had another podcast with my friend Brooke McAlary called Let It Be. And I often joke to Brooke that that podcast was like therapy. And it really was, because the biggest thing-

Carly:       Have you been in contact with Brooke?

Kelly:        Yeah, I got to chat with Brooke a couple weeks ago. I’d wanted to talk to Brooke obviously since the accident happened. But I didn’t have the energy to reach out to her because she’s in Canada. I didn’t know where she was, other than in Canada. I didn’t know what the timezones were like. But she messaged me one day, to say, “Hey, how are you going?” And it was one or two o’clock in the afternoon for me. We were going back and forth with messages and I said, “I so want to talk to you properly. This is the middle of the day for me. Is this a time for you that you’re normally awake? Because if so, let’s try and call each other at this time.” So yeah, we got to set up a time and it was great to talk to her.

Carly:       I’m so pleased. I know talking to Brooke really soothes your soul.

Kelly:        It really, really did. And I’m going to hopefully catch up with her next month in real life.

Carly:       That would be lovely.

Kelly:        So, that would be amazing as well. So yeah, so Brooke taught me that it’s okay to feel your feelings, especially bad feelings –

Carly:       I remain unconvinced.

Kelly:        Ha, yeah, Carly’s like, “I may need to do a podcast with Brooke too.” So, hear me out. In the past, if I felt bad in any way, I would try to squash that bad feeling or run away from it or paper it over with positivity. But after podcasting with Brooke, I just started to experiment with feeling the bad feelings. And yes, it was horrible to start with. But I did persist. And I learnt that when you allow yourself to sit with the bad feelings instead of pushing them away, they don’t build up in a box somewhere, which is kind of what used to happen to me. I’d build them up in a box somewhere, and then one day when I Ieast expected it, they’d jump out and nail me. And I learnt that if you can sit with them and just push through that initial, “This feels horrible,” phase, they do lose their power over you.

So, when Brooke took off to Canada, I joked that, “I’m going to have to see a real therapist now, now that we’re not doing the podcast.” And actually, I did have to go see a real therapist because I was experiencing quite bad anxiety at the time. And my therapist really built on that work that I did with Brooke. She identified that despite thinking I was a recovering perfectionist, I was actually still a raging perfectionist. And she kind of-

Carly:       I think you still are, Kelly.

Kelly:        I’m heaps better now.

Carly:       No, you definitely are. But I just kind of feel like I am also a perfectionist, and I kind of feel like it never actually leaves you.

Kelly:        Yep – you really just get better at managing it. So yeah, I was constantly fighting with life because I was always trying to make life how I thought it should be and always being a bit angry at life when it didn’t fit the mould of what I thought it should be. And kind of between the therapist and Ant, because he was always very good at taking life as it was, taking each day as it came, I did learn to sit gently with life as it was, instead of always reaching for what it could be. And I really feel a lot of that work came to fruition last year because the first half of 2018 was very, very stressful, very challenging, very crazy. But for the first time in my life, instead of feeling quite aggrieved about, “We’ve been working so hard for so long, and all this business stuff should really be easier by now,” and just being frustrated. I used to be low-key frustrated a lot, which might surprise people, but this is what Ant did for me, he really took that edge off of me where I was always fighting against life. And he was always kind of like just pulling me back gently going, “It’s okay, Kel.”

So instead of looking ahead to April and going, “Okay, by April, maybe things will have eased up, blah, blah, blah.” I just sat with how hard the start of last year was. And you know what? Things eased up in July and it was so sweet for the fact that I hadn’t been sitting around waiting for things to ease up, I just was working through things as they came. So, I do feel I cracked a very major life code last year, which kind of means when Ant died, if I believed in the universe or a higher power, which I don’t, I would say the universe has been prepping me for this my whole life and at least had the good grace to wait until I was in a place personal development-wise to best deal with it.

So yes. I have had a few people … Like, my friend, Ellen, who’s a psychologist, she kind of said the same thing to me. She’s like, “Kelly, it feels like you’ve been training your whole life to deal with this.” And I do very much feel like that. I’ve said to others, and I think probably I’ve said to you when I was talking to you on the phone that it’s the anxiety. This was always my great fear – losing Ant. It’s just the thing that dominated my anxiety for so long. There have been so many late nights where I’ve been up where he’s been out and I’ve run the full gambit of, “I can’t get hold of him. I don’t know where he is,” because his phone has run out of battery, which was always happening. So, I have run the scenario of, “Oh god, he’s dead.” So many times before. And you know, the anxious mind just goes the full gambit of, “Okay, so I’m going to have to give a eulogy at his funeral and then I’m going to have to do this, and I’m going to have to do this.” So, when I was giving the eulogy at his funeral, I was like, “Far out, I feel like I’ve done this before.” There are not very many benefits of an anxious mind. But that might be one of them in that I almost feel like, yes, I’ve lived this so many times in my anxieties that it almost feels like, well, here we are, this is a role I’ve been preparing for my whole life. And now I am executing that role. But really, I don’t know if that’s a good or a bad thing. It just is.

Carly:       Yeah. I’m really, really sorry that that had to be you.

Kelly:        Yeah. I know.

Carly:       It’s just … Yeah. The next question comes from Peg and Carly and they say, “Has what happened changed your beliefs/world view?

Kelly:        I’m not sure if I have a good answer to this question. I’m not even sure if what I’m about to say actually answers this question. And it’s such a good question that I want to do it justice, but maybe it’s one that’s better answered in a year’s time than now. But I will say that previous grief and loss experiences mean that I was already in a place where I know that bad things happen to good people, as I mentioned. I was already in a place of being very grateful for each day and never taking the people in my life for granted. I already knew that things don’t happen for a reason, they just happen. And you know, I believe the world is a beautiful place where shitty things happen. I believed that before. And even despite losing literally the most important person in my life, I still believe the world is a beautiful place, but unfortunately shitty things happen in it. And yeah, so I haven’t had any major revelations or shifts in my worldview. Like, everything that I believed before, I still believe now.

Carly:       That’s really lovely.

Kelly:        Thanks.

Carly:       Phillipa asks, “How is your family doing?”

Kelly:        Okay, so I don’t know if Phillipa means the wider family. And I won’t-

Carly:       Or just like Mia and Jaden.

Kelly:        Yeah, I’m going to presume … I wouldn’t presume to speak for everybody, so I’m just going to speak for myself and the kids. And I will say that we are doing okay, maybe even better than okay. And that is possibly because everything that other people could be doing for us, they are doing it. And that has … I just can’t even begin to say … like, literally everything that anyone can be doing, they’re doing it. And that has just freed me up to focus literally all my energy on the wellbeing of myself and the kids. So, the kids and I are very functional during the day. And if we get kind of cripplingly sad, it tends to be at night when we’re all very tired, which is understandable.

Carly:       Yeah, I can imagine that that would be. I imagine nights would be the tough times.

Kelly:        Yes.

Carly:       Juniper asks, “What does self-care look like right now?”

Kelly:        Mainly it’s protecting energy levels. So, it’s just the really bog standard stuff of getting good sleep, eating well, exercising each day, staying away from drama, setting strong boundaries around how much human interaction I have and how much work I’m doing. So, yeah, definitely I feel in recent weeks, there’ve been people who’ve been holding back and not wanting to push themselves on me, but they kind of need to see me and I do want to see them. And so I’ve made room to see them. But I’ve also learnt that there’s a real threshold where I get very tired after speaking too much to people. So, I’ve learnt where that threshold is. But yeah. Also, giving the kids time and space from each other. And also spending time with people who kind of boost our energy and make us laugh. We can laugh. We can sing along to good songs on the radio. We’re not kind of just running around moping all day. We have been able to find joy in moments and be happy. And it’s because, I think, we make sure the people we surround ourselves with are people who boost our moods and don’t kind of drain us. So yeah, that’s what self-care looks like right now.

Carly:       Just a question about that that just comes from me. So, all of your strategies for self-care are very wholesome, as are mine. But for me, if the shit really hits the fan, I tend to kind of drink a lot of alcohol and stop doing all of the things. Do you ever just kind of want to just sink a bottle of wine and just fall asleep under a tree or something? Like, anything destructive? Is that a weird question?

Kelly:        No, it’s not a weird question at all. There was a week there where I was like, “Wow, I can really understand why people take drugs or drink because both those things would be fabulous escapes from what I’m feeling right now.” But yeah, I have not wanted to drink. And it’s not like I never ever drink. I seldom drink, but it’s not like I don’t. I just haven’t wanted to, so I just haven’t. Yeah. I can see why people do it, and it’s kind of called to me a little bit. But I think also alcohol just makes me feel crappy the next day.

Carly:       Yeah, true.

Kelly:        So, I’m like, it’s probably not worth that little bit of release.

Carly:       And you’ve never really been a massive self-medicator anyway.

Kelly:        No, only with exercise.

Carly:       Yeah.

Kelly:        Only with exercise and over-thinking. Yeah, so, no, I haven’t. But I see why people do it.

Carly:       The next question comes from Jennifer and Annie. And they’re asking about useful hacks for getting through each day, especially when you’re emotionally exhausted.

Kelly:        The main thing I’ve found important here was to get back to a daily routine. So, Ant died during the school holidays. And I was very grateful that the kids weren’t at school for those first few weeks of trying to process and deal with everything. And school then did go back at a pretty perfect time, about two and a half weeks later. So, that first week where they went back to school was actually quite hard for me because usually when the kids were at school, that’s when Ant and I were at home together both working from home.

Carly:       Plus, you were probably used to having the kids around as well.

Kelly:        Yeah, well actually, I was quite craving them to go back to school because they were fighting a lot. It was the end of seven weeks of school holidays with emotional trauma thrown into the middle of it. So, they were craving that routine and that-

Carly:       That normalcy.

Kelly:        Yeah. They really were. So, it was good timing. And I was looking forward to it. But yeah, the first few days. I’d forgotten all the little routines Ant and I had built up around him and I both being at home. And so, I didn’t get my 10:30 hug anymore, things like that. Or I’d go to pick the kids up from school in the afternoon, and quite often one of us would go, but then the other would go, “I need a break from my desk, I’ll come too.” And then, yeah, the interesting thing about the school pickup as well at our school is lots of dads do the school pickup at our school. It’s almost 50-50.

Carly:       That’s awesome.

Kelly:        Yeah, it’s really, really good. But there was one day where I did the school pickup and I swear it was all dads and me. And I’m just standing there going, “Come on. Come on.”

Carly:       Just universe, cut you a fricking break.

Kelly:        Yeah. I reckon. But yeah. So, back to the routine. So, also the returning to the routines that we already had, and as any listener of this show knows, I had a lot of daily routines. They did, other than that kind of sadness thing, they did give a sense of normality and stability to our days. And really, I have found the best antidote to emotional exhaustion is routine because they take away the thinking. You don’t have to think, you just know when things are happening. And I did see that Amber asked in the group, “What daily routines set up before now have helped at this time?” And I would say all of them. Morning routine, exercise routine, work routine, writing routine, evening routine. All these things that we’ve set up previously, they’ve all made my life easier, they’ve all freed up head space, because when too many things take up my head space, I do get overwhelmed. And when I get overwhelmed, I get emotional and I just can’t deal with anything, I just go to pieces. So, yeah, anything that stops me getting overwhelmed is a good thing.

And then, Clare also asked, “Are there any routines or parts of life that you’ve kind of stripped right back?” And I’d say really the only thing I’ve stripped back is work because everything else I’ve been able to maintain, and I think that’s because we’d already set up our life as very simple. So yeah, I didn’t have to strip back too much from it to kind of deal.

Carly:       Alison says, “What’s something you’ve let go of that you don’t care as much about now?”

Kelly:        I’m going to say I let go of caring what people think, but my psychologist may disagree, so I hope she’s not listening to this. But-

Carly:       Does she listen to the podcast?

Kelly:        I don’t think so.

Carly:       That would be very interesting if she did.

Kelly:        That would be weird. She could get a bit of extra work. She might have to bill me for it. “I’m sending you notes on the things you revealed.” But yeah, no, I do feel I’ve not stressed too much about what people think when I’ve set a boundary. Like, I’ve set a boundary and gone, “Look, if you feel offended by this or if you feel hurt or something, I’m sorry, but I can’t deal with that right now.” I’m choosing not to spend energy worrying about other people, what other people think, because I am very much trying to save that energy for myself and the kids. So yeah, that’s what I’ve let go of. I think I’ve let go of caring too much what other people think.

Carly:       I think you have. Just from the few discussions that we’ve had, I think you’ve nailed the boundaries now, Kel. I think you’ve got them. Rebecca and Jessica asks, “What are some of the family and financial discussions you and Ant had before he passed that have taken some of the worry out of this time? What are some of the things you’re patting yourself on the back for having in place?”

Kelly:        Okay. So, I have mentioned before in this show, I can’t even remember what we were talking about way back when, but I did mention that we had wills and all the insurances. Like, we were insured up to our eyeballs. And knowing that meant that when we were in hospital with Ant, knowing that he wasn’t going to recover, I wasn’t worrying too much about the future, I could just focus all my time and energy on spending time with him. And then, in the week after the funeral, I did have a couple of days of worrying, like, “Okay, we set all this stuff up 10 years ago, is it still current?” But the guys that we use to help manage our finances, we check in with them every six months. We pay a monthly retainer, we check in with them about everything that we do financially with the business, but also personally and lifestyle-wise. And yeah, so because they review all our stuff every six months and all our life insurances and income protection and all that was part of that kind of six-monthly review, I was fairly certain that everything that should be in place was in place. But you always have that nagging worry that maybe something was missed or not quite set up right.

Carly:       Or you weren’t concentrating on it at the time because you were like, “Oh, we’re never going to have to deal with this.”

Kelly:        Yeah, honestly. I mean, late last year, when our tax return comes through each year, I just kind of go through where we’re spending all our money and just do a bit of a check in. And I just remember looking at what we were paying on life and income protection insurance and kind of going, “Far out, it’s not a small amount.”

Carly:       Well, because you either use it or you don’t. Like, that’s the-

Kelly:        That’s right. And it was very much … and I do remember thinking to myself, “If you never have to use it, how good is that?” Like, as long as you can afford it. We could afford it, what we were paying. And if you never have to use this, how amazing. But yes, unfortunately, we did have to use it. And so you kind of worry about insurance companies because you think they’ll just do whatever they … Sorry, insurance companies, I know this is probably a bit unfair, especially as everything was very smooth for me. But you can’t help but think they’ll do whatever they can to delay or make things a bit hard for you. So, it was very reassuring to find out that, yes, everything that needed to be in place was in place, all our paperwork was in order.

What did I pat myself on the back about? Like, I was patting myself on the back because we had a proper will and all that stuff. And then I realised that what I thought was the will, which is in a two-ring binder in our office in a section called wills.

Carly:       Of course it was.

Kelly:        Ha, of course it was. But it was actually a copy of the will. And I had no idea where the originals were. Long story short, I eventually found the originals at our bank. So, I will say that if you go to the trouble of putting your wills in a safe place like the bank, maybe leave yourself a little bit of a note that that’s where you put them, because again, this was 10 years ago. So, I did find a note in the binder from the people who prepared the will saying, “We recommend you lodge your wills in a safe packet at the bank.” And then I was like, “I have a very vague memory of doing this, but I don’t know if that memory is an accurate memory or whether it’s just because I want it to be true.” But yes, I went to the bank and after a bit of searching, they did find it. So, that was a good moment, because guys, a fully properly executed will – it’s worth paying someone to do it properly for you so you know it’s done properly. Have a will, it just makes things so much easier.

I’ll also say to anyone who’s wondering how much life insurance is enough. So, I’ll just tell you what our finance guys said to us way back 10 years ago. And they said, “If one of you dies and leaves the other one behind, you want to wipe out all your debt and then give the person who’s left behind enough to live on for at least a couple of years so that they can choose to work if they want to, but they don’t have to work.” So, that’s kind of the situation where I’m in, where I’m working because I want to and it’s keeping me busy and I enjoy my work. But if –

Carly:       Didn’t have the capacity for it.

Kelly:        Yeah, if I just couldn’t work or if the kids needed much more of me than they do at the moment, I can drop everything and not stress about money. And that is just an amazing thing in this scenario right now to not be worrying about that. So, it feels kind of really shitty to talk about money at this time. But it is-

Carly:       It’s such an important conversation to have. And you’ve seriously lit a fire under my ass, because I remember having that conversation and Ben and I didn’t have wills. And then Ben was like, “No, I’ve got a will.” And I’m like, “Well, I don’t remember you writing it, so I’m clearly not in it.” But at the time, we didn’t have property and we didn’t have a child. And now we have both. And now I’m like, “Okay, we really need to sort that out.”

Kelly:        Yeah, because what wills do is it just stops you having to fight for something that is yours. So, let’s say you guys are in theory in a de facto relationship, so in theory you do get everything because you do have a child with him and you’ve been in this relationship for years. But you will kind of have to fight for it in that you will have to prove your relationship and all of that stuff. And if somebody else in the family decides to be a douche bag and challenge this or that, you will have to fight-

Carly:       It gets expensive.

Kelly:        Yeah, whereas just a properly executed will makes everything easier. Yes, people can still challenge wills. But it’s a lot harder to do and it just makes everything simpler. So, yes. I really recommend everybody listening just get it done next week. Set up the appointment, get it done. Pay a bit of money.

Carly:       Do it for Kelly.

Kelly:        Yes. Do it for me so that I know that you are in a good place, and sort out your life insurance as well. Two very, very important things. And if you never have to use them, you’ve had an amazing life.

Carly:       That’s excellent.

Kelly:        But if you do have to use them, you will be very grateful just for the head space it frees up. I can’t even begin to tell you how valuable that is.

Carly:       The next question is from Ingunn. She says, “How has being organised on the life admin side of things helped at this awful time?”

Kelly:        A lot, because I know exactly what it costs us to live. I have systems and processes in place for paying things. I have good filing systems. And what all of that does is it makes it easy for other people to help us. And it also makes it easy for me to ease my own mind because I’ve got the spreadsheet of what it costs us to live. And when I take out that, “That doesn’t need to be paid anymore and that doesn’t need to be paid anymore,” and I can see that, “Right, that’s what it costs us to live. And this is the income I have.” And go, “Okay, I’m okay for now.” Like, again, it just eases mind, because what is the thing that most people worry about? Most people worry about money. You know, I don’t have to move out of my house. I don’t-

Carly:       Have to sell anything.

Kelly:        I don’t have to sell anything or anything like that. Everything is looked after. It’s a real privilege that I am enjoying right now because …

Carly:       I’m so grateful that you have that. It’s such a big weight of everyone’s mind for you, I think. That’s just a really lovely thing.

Kelly:        Yeah, because I think even for people who haven’t lost a partner, finances are a major stressor. And they take a lot of emotional energy. So, if you remove financial stress, life becomes simpler. You can focus your energy in the right place.

Carly:       The next question comes from Megan, and she says, “How on earth are you managing juggling your businesses at the moment and whose support and what support has been great?”

Kelly:        Okay, so we do have kind of three businesses or three entities, which would be the design business, a web hosting business and then my writing business. So, my sister, Robyn, took over the running of the design and web hosting businesses. And I just … I don’t even have words to describe how my gratitude to her and for her. So, she was working for us previously, and we had actually been kind of moving towards her taking over the design side of things, but she knows nothing about web hosting. And gratitude also to our web hosting customers and design customers who cut us a lot of slack in those early weeks because poor Robyn was dealing with her own grief, but also trying to keep things running and keep abreast of things.

Like, we have a team of … we do have staff. But Robyn was kind of the front point for everything. So, yeah, if I didn’t have her and if I had to try and manage those businesses myself, I would have been in hospital in two weeks myself. Yeah, I just wouldn’t have been able to do it. I’m also very lucky that my mom used to be the financial controller for both businesses, and she stepped out of that role when she was cutting back her hours because she’s trying to semi-retire. But she has stepped back in now to help Robyn. So, that has been incredible for me to know that the businesses are in their hands. And yes, they cannot run them the way that Ant did, but they are doing much better than I would have been able to do in my state of mind that I was in.

With my writing business, I did have to let one big contract go because I hadn’t started it and I knew it was just a little bit too much for me to be doing. But everything else that I had going on, my writing clients were amazing. They told me to take my time. I’ve been back doing that work for about a month now. And like I said earlier, it’s just been a really nice healthy distraction. So, yes, as I mentioned, the support of all the clients in those businesses, support of my sister and my mom, that is how I am managing juggling all the businesses at this moment.

Carly:       Chris asks, “Are you making major life decisions quickly and then making smaller organised steps toward them? Or are you taking small decisions daily as they’re in front of you and will find out where you end up when you look back?”

Kelly:        Yeah, definitely small daily decisions because I can’t look to the future at all, because when I look to the future, I just see that Ant is not there. And yeah, I cannot fathom how I’m supposed to do life without him, so I just go to pieces. So, I am just literally working through each day in small chunks and making only the smallest possible decisions for now. Like, I have never lived so much in the moment in my entire life. And Ant would be so proud of me because that’s how he lived. And I used to say to him, “You only get to live like that because you’ve got me looking to the future,” but I don’t know. I’m doing all right at the moment just very much living in the moment.

Carly:       Jessica says, “What are some things you’ve learnt from watching others go through a similar experience?”

Kelly:        So, as mentioned earlier, about 12, 13 years ago, one of my closest friends lost her fiancé, who was also my close friend. And I just remember her navigating that experience with great grace and strength. And while I haven’t kind of consciously tried to emulate what she did, I do feel kind of like my friendship group has a template for dealing with this situation. And I have drawn a lot of grace and strength, not just from my friend, but literally from my whole friendship group.

Carly:       Okay. It is so weird that you literally used the words grace and strength, because I didn’t read through this before because I was writing later about how you’ve been dealing with this, and grace and strength are the words that I used to describe the way … Like, literally those words.

Kelly:        Well, that is a huge compliment because … Yeah, I watched my friend carry herself in that way. And like I said, it’s not like I sat down with a goal of, “Right, that’s what I’m going to try and aim for, grace and strength.” But I just feel like I’ve been infused with that via my friends. So, I’m very grateful to them.

Carly:       Candalyn says, “How are you managing the needs of your kids against your own needs for self-care?” That’s a good question.

Kelly:        Yeah, that is a good question. So, I guess my own needs for self-care have pretty much always centred around getting daily exercise and getting a bit of time and space to myself each day. And I already had these daily routines in place, like where I get up ridiculously early. So, yes, for kind of the first two or three weeks, I did not get up early. Myself and the two kids were sleeping together in the king bed, and we just kind of woke up whenever we woke up. But once they went back to school, I tried to get back into that routine where I was getting up in the fours or maybe five and just have a bit of time to myself in the morning, try and make sure I get a little bit of exercise in. So, if someone was staying here, I would go for a run. If nobody was staying here, I’d be on the stupid rower, which I hate, but is still good exercise.

Carly:       I hate the rower too.

Kelly:        Yeah, it’s just … there’s nothing good about it. It’s-

Carly:       It’s really just an awful exercise.

Kelly:        Yeah, there’s no comfortable way to row. Like, running, you can go for a jog and it’s easy. But there’s no easy way to row. It’s just always hard. So, the rower sucks, but I’ve got it and it’s great that I’ve got it.

Carly:       It’s just like boobs and body and everything all in the way and you’re just like, “How is anyone supposed to do this?” Particularly women, because you carry a lot of your body on the front of your body when you’re a woman. And when you’re rowing, you’re just like, “It’s all there.” Anyway, sorry, I hate rowing too.

Kelly:        Ha, yes. So, anyway, yes, the routines I already had in place gave me the time and space that I need. And then, once I’ve got the space and time to just be, then it makes it easy for me to be available to the kids for what they need from me. And like I said before, my kids have also spent a lot of time with their friends and cousins, which has been amazingly great for both them and me. So, yes.

Carly:       Leanne says, “Have there been moments when you feel hopeless? And what do you focus on to bring you back to centre?”

Kelly:        Yes. So, as I mentioned, there was a whole week where I was completely drowning in hopelessness. And I will admit that I did very much want to check out of life at that point because the pain was way too much. I did not see the point of being here if Ant wasn’t here. So, I went to my friend’s house on that Saturday after Jaden’s basketball carnival. And then I saw another of my best friends on the Sunday. And then I saw another of my best friends on the Monday. And kind of collectively, they literally all talked me off the ledge. I also saw my psych on the Monday as well. So, kind of since then, I’ve been floating along in what I call the bubble of now.

Because I can deal with Ant not being here right now. Like, for example, I’m talking to you, Carly, right now. And I can deal with Ant not being here in this moment. But if I move outside of the bubble and I look into the future and it becomes apparent that not only is Ant not here right now, but he will never ever be here again … never again is just way too much for me to deal with. So, what do I focus on to bring me back to centre when I’m feeling a bit hopeless? I focus on the now. So yes, good old Eckhart Tolle and the whole power of now. And you can always deal with the now. Like, he’s right. You can. So, that’s where I’m at.

Carly:       Theresa asks, “Has this sense of being very loved and missed on the podcast surprised you?”

Kelly:        I feel like the modest thing is to say, “Yes, super surprised.” But the real answer is no, because you and I, we do chat with everyone in the Facebook group a lot.

Carly:       Yeah.

Kelly:        We’ve had enough people tell us over the years that they feel like they are our friends. When we’re chatting on the podcast, it’s like they’re in conversation with friends and they actually try to answer us sometimes. And I know how I’ve felt when people that I kind of feel like I know even though I don’t really know them have lost someone, it’s really, really rocked me to the core. So, it wasn’t surprising to me that people who listen to this show were really rocked by Ant’s death. I mean, I talked about him a lot on the show. And I feel like when I talked about him, it was very clear how loved he was by me and me by him.

Carly:       It was really clear, Kelly.

Kelly:        Thanks, man. So, yeah, I’ve just been very touched by … Yeah, so I wasn’t surprised by the sense of being loved and missed, but I was really, really touched by the outpouring of well-wishers. And I will say that everybody who remembered me making fun of how he hung clothes on the line and how whenever they hang clothes on the line, they think of him. Like, guys, that’s really cool. And just always yes, hanging clothes on the line, think of Ant, because I still do it, you know? Honestly, I do every time. A stupid place to think about him. But I really do. So, thank you for everyone who kind of mentioned that in comments here and there.

Carly:       Libby asked, “What has made you belly laugh?”

Kelly:        A few of my friends have a really keen sense of the ridiculous. You’re one of them actually, Carls. And can relate a story about the most mundane things and make me laugh. And I will say, I don’t answer the phone very often, so apologies to anyone who rings me and just goes through to message bank, it’s not just you, it’s pretty much everybody. But there are certain people I will always answer the phone because I know they’ll have some ridiculous way of relating whatever’s going on in their life right now, and it will just make me laugh and I will take every laugh I can get right now. So yeah.

Carly:       So, this one was for both of us. So, I don’t know how to pronounce this person’s name. How would you do it, Kelly?

Kelly:        Maike, Mickey? Mike? Make? M-A-I-K-E.

Carly:       Maike, if you can correct us, that would be great. “As you and Carly are good friends at opposite ends of the emotional spectrum and with your current life situations, how has each other’s situation influenced yours?”

Kelly:        Okay. So, I will go first and I will say, I have taken huge, huge joy from watching you become a mom. It has been very, very exciting for me. And you know, when we checked in with each other a few weeks ago, obviously we talked about me first and I cried a lot and blubbered. But I loved being able to kind of unload and get everything out and then say, “Okay, enough about me. Tell me about you.” I loved hearing about Harriet’s arrival. I loved hearing that you are enjoying motherhood. I loved hearing the decisions behind your move to the country. And I just … You know, you just sounded very content and chilled and happy. And that’s all I want for my friends in life is to be like that. I just love it when my friends sound content and chilled and happy. And so, yes, I do feel like you are all of those things. Obviously you’re hurting for me, but your actual life is as you would like it to be. And I am just really happy for you.

Carly:       Yeah, those things are definitely true. And that’s so nice of you, Kelly, that you can get joy out of other people’s joy when you probably just want to lie in a hole and cry all the time. But yeah, I actually avoided and continue to avoid talking about how I feel about your loss. I was and continue to be deeply affected by what happened to Ant. But I was too conscious of being a grief thief. And I’m so far out of the circles of grief here that it just felt inappropriate to talk to you or anyone about that. And that’s sort of an explanation as to why I didn’t say anything in the Straight and Curly group. I don’t think many people know this, but Kelly and I literally never post a thing in that group without asking each other first. And it felt weird to talk about Kelly without checking with Kelly.

And it just kind of ended up in this spiral of not checking with Kelly because I didn’t want to bother her. And I had lots of people reach out to me, and I thank you for that. But it just really wasn’t about me, which is probably why I came across as a little bit vacant during that time, and probably continue to come across in that way. I process sadness very quietly and in the privacy of my own home and circles. Obviously, I’ve been extremely devastated for you, Kel. Like, it was just-

Kelly:        I know, mate.

Carly:       It’s just awful. But one thing that I really took away from this is just what a warrior you are, Kelly. And I was saying this before, just grace and strength. It’s been a horrible thing and a beautiful thing to have to see someone do. And I think we’ve both spent a lot of time pointing out our flaws on this podcast, but I just think you’re an exceptional person and I’m heartbroken for you. I’m really sorry.

Kelly:        You’re going to make me cry now. Thanks, Carly. Yeah, that’s really beautiful. And yeah, appreciate those lovely words. Yes. So, I will say, I totally understand where you’re coming from on the grief front. And it does feel like you don’t get to feel the grief because it’s not your grief. But I just think even though you’d never met Ant, you obviously feel like you know Ant because I spoke about him so much. So, you’re not necessarily grieving him, but you are grieving for my loss.

Carly:       I am grieving for you, yeah.

Kelly:        And I know that. And I do appreciate it. And I know a lot of people are in your situation, which is fine.

Carly:       And you also grieve for the person you used to be.

Kelly:        Yeah, that’s right. And yes, I mean, that’s what I said to one of my friends. I’m like, “I don’t really know who I am without him. But now I’m going to have to find out.” So, you know. It’s hard. But everybody … People like you and my friends, you also make me who I am. So, Ant is a big piece of the puzzle to take out, but I’ve got so many other people helping me be the person I want to be. And you are going to help shape me over the coming years. And I’m grateful to you all to have you. So, I just know you’re probably going to cry now, so I am going to try and wrap up this show.

Carly:       I already did, mate. Just like at least twice, at least twice.

Kelly:        So, I will say, this wraps up this first episode in this special two-part check in series that we are doing. So, in our next episode, I am going to check in with Carly to see how motherhood and the move to the country is treating her. We’re not really sure whether we’re going to drop these two episodes at the same time or a week apart. So, I will just say that we look forward to being in your ears then, whenever then is. Thanks for listening.

1 Comment

  1. Gail on March 21, 2019 at 9:17 am

    Thank you so much for sharing your deepest thoughts and feelings.
    Love and a heartfelt thank you.💞

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