Preparing a man for death…it takes a community ~ ♡Russ’s Story

DAILY LOVE NOTE – Saturday June 21, 2014

Hello dear Friends♡  


For the month of June I am sharing  5 Things I am Grateful For each day on our 365 Day Being-♡LOVE-Zero-Negativity Campaign Facebook group page.

I am a strong proponent of creating the habit in our lives of being a ♡LOVE-Finder. Yet I can get sucked into and stuck in the mud of criticism and judgement and Fault-Finding…. and with all that has been happening in my life since the bushfires destroying our home at Warm Fuzzy Hill, I thought it was time for a bit of serious practice, hence the project.

In this post I share with you 5 THINGS I AM GRATEFUL FOR – DAY 21

1. Grateful for June 21st being the birthday of our precious ♡Russ.

2. Grateful for spending a large part of the day with my beautiful daughter ♡Freea. And grateful for daughter-mummy-snuggles-and-cuddles-and-♡LOVE and just hanging out together and for missing my ♡Zoe and being able to do it all with her too.

2. Grateful for ♡Russ’s life and ♡LOVE-ing and for the Gift of 25 years together before he died….. and that we created our 2 spectacularly beautiful daughters and magical Warm Fuzzy Hill plus a million other things.

I’m grateful for every. day. we shared together and all the birthdays and Christmases and holidays and fun and for the gazillion and one projects he/we always had “on the go”

14 years is a lot of years that we have been missing him.

image-4 crop

“Our life’s journey together.
So many huge steps.
So many blessings.
precious gifts
priceless treasures
He has given so much…”

4. Grateful for the documentary ♡Russ’ Story – One Man, One Journey, Many Colours that ♡Zoe made about ♡Russ’s dying and death and his life and living.

Tah Dah!! Drum Roll! I am over-the-moon excited to announce that her documentary has been chosen as one of the films for the Culture Unplugged Film Festival 2014 and is now available for viewing online on their website.

Please watch and express your appreciation for it at –—story—one–man-one-%20journey–many-colours


I watched it again a few nights ago and it reminded me all over again why I ♡LOVE and are grateful for my family and Warm Fuzzy so much.

If you wish to read more I wrote with much pride about ♡Zoe and her amazing talent and her documentary in my post –

reach out to your ♥Beloveds NOW….this moment will never return

Accepting ♡Russ’s invitation, central for ♡Zoe in telling ♡Russ’ Story was to honour her father and to tell his story. And through doing this, to increase awareness of the journey of  ‘a patient’, as well as their family and community, through terminal illness and dying and death at home, and to educate and show, quoting ♡Russ, that

Everyone Makes A Difference…

Whilst this documentary is very close to our hearts it has touched many others and has helped them to deal with the dying and death of those close to them.

Many have already experienced this. And everyone will!…

We all need knowledge and resources around death and dying preferences and assistance in caring for our Beloveds.

5. I am so grateful to ♡Zoe and her talent and inner resources in making ♡Russ’ Story. I have talked before about how an enormous amount of things happen many times a day which we usually just take for granted. This is how I see the A-M-A-Z-I-N-G amount of work and steps that go into producing such a documentary.

Most of us won’t even have any idea about the processes or what goes on behind the scenes to create the 64 minutes that this film is….and we will just take them for granted.

♡Zoe did most of the filming, interviewing, research, writing the script, etc….etc……and then spent countless hours over many, many months peering through all the video footage. As well she paid a huge amount of dollars to hire the editing equipment and editing assistance to create the well-oiled professional production that it is. All of this while working another job as she was without funding for the production.

When you look at the doc you will see how emaciated and wasted ♡Russ looks. I would warn people that he looked like ‘a Biafran Refugee’. He had cancer in both his lungs and a brain tumour and at 6ft was only 50kg. He could barely see, couldn’t stand up and was virtually paralyzed down the left side of his body.

I am so admiring and proud of ♡Zoe for spending all that time peering at close-ups of ♡Russ in that editing process as well as the innumerable hours behind the camera observing and recording him before he died …… Even now looking at his deterioration is a stretch for me.

Three months before he died I wrote in my diary:
“The challenge was to keep looking at my Beloved with the eyes of LOVE when every time I looked I was faced with the Horror and ravages of a disease that attacked every part of his body. I had to choose between closing down or to use Russ’ illness and dying as an opportunity to stretch and grow my heart…

Your body
so ravaged
all bones
and saggy skin.

My mind recoils
in horror
at the picture,
at the story,
of your wasting away.

I turn my mind quickly away
back to your beautiful full body
of so long ago now.
I caress your skin, your fullness
your beauty
with the eyes of my heart
and I let
my memories, so rich, so full
sustain me
nourish me
so I can
keep looking now
with the eyes of my heart
so I can
still see your beauty
and not just the Horror and the Pain…

6. I am adding a sixth THING I AM GRATEFUL FOR:


Many assisted us and supported us through this very poignant and sacred heart time with their deep ♡LOVE and caring. I will never ever forget or cease to be forever grateful to the many, many people involved. So many hearts and souls were linked through ♡Russ’s dying time…

It takes a community to care for and prepare a man for death…

In much the same way it has taken a community to support us in the grieving and recovery and healing process of this devastating and painful time P.F. [Post Fire]….. we are truly blessed.

And A Big Yes to:
“You make a difference…”
Your ♡LOVE-ing matters!

I am so grateful for you being here reading, LOVE Susie♡

You simply will not be the same person two months from now after consciously giving thanks each day for the abundance that exists in your life. And you will have set in motion an ancient spiritual law: the more you have and are grateful for, the more will be given you. ~ ♡Sarah Ban Breathnach, author of Simple Abundance.

♡♡DAY 172365 Day Being-♡LOVE-Zero-Negativity Campaign

About susiesheartpathblog

My aim with Susies♥HeartpathBlog is to connect and relate to you from my heart, mind and soul while sharing information and resources about conscious relationships, communication and ♡LOVE and FULL exuberant ALIVENESS…. My intention is to provide a space where you can engage with me and with the community of those who are ‘walking’ the ♥HEART PATH of conscious relationships….. people who daily make choices and actions about becoming and being more ♡LOVE-ing…….people who care that their partners and families and friends and the wider community feel ♡LOVE-d and lovable… people who are curious about and respect and validate the reality of ‘the other’ and who choose to create and live in a Zero Negativity Zone [ZNZ zone].... I am committed to teaching and sharing practical user-friendly communication ★TOOLS and Skills and processes that lead to growth and deep healing, connection, ♡LOVE and intimacy. I am a keen net-worker and committed to connecting people to the abundance of resources that are available. I believe much of what we need is out there, yet people don’t often know the resources are there or if they do where to find them. Putting people in touch with opportunities and possibilities is a high priority for me….
This entry was posted in 365 DAY Being-♥LOVE-Zero-Negativity Campaign, ♥LOVE NOTE, ♥Positive & Inspirational Quotes, GRIEF & SORROW♥, Warm Fuzzy Hill and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Preparing a man for death…it takes a community ~ ♡Russ’s Story

  1. What an amazing documentary that Zoe created of her Dad’s story. Profoundly touching Susie. The feeling of incredible LOVE was very obvious as I watched this story. Bless his Soul and that of all of your family for the care you gave Russ at the end of his life. I tremendously enjoyed seeing how you chose to celebrate his life after his death along with his many friends, family and community. Blessings!! xxo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh Suzanne♡
      Thank you. So glad you enjoyed the documentary.
      You are such a beautiful and caring person. You have been so present throughout this past six months P.F. [Post Fire] and your showing up and support has really meant a lot to me.
      I really value your heart-felt comments. LOVE and Blessings to you♡


  2. Chrissy Routley says:

    Thank you Russ, Suzie, Zoe & Freea for this most touching and heart-opening doco. I feel extremely blessed to have had the privilege of experiencing your journey through this film. I have learnt much from it and it has touched my soul deeply.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Chrissy♡
      You’re welcome! We are grateful for the privilege of you experiencing our journey…..
      It is heartening to read “I have learnt much from it and it has touched my soul deeply….” When I read that I am grateful as it is one of the main reasons it was made.
      Thank you for sharing the documentary – that helps us spread this important work. Much LOVE from us all♡


  3. Freea says:

    Gratitude is certainly an art. There’s a great ap called LiveHappy that I find helps me in today’s modern, digitised world. I did once try to write things I was grateful for each day for a year. That diary I believe is now ashes.
    I give thanks to you and for this blog and for Zoe’s care, attention, devotion and time creating Russ’ story. And to dad for being open and wanting to share it.
    Whilst there are many difficult memories in this story, there are glimpses of our beloved WFH and scenes from earlier days and photos that are now ashes returned to the earth. I am indeed grateful that some of those memories are preserved beyond my mind. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hiya Sweetie♡
      The LiveHappy ap sounds like a great help……..
      Tis sad that so many of your precious journals and diaries got burnt up. It is a huge loss.. ………I remember the beautiful and fabulous ♡Mummy’s Sparkle Book you made for me when you were just a little darling and that is heart-breaking……
      Let’s be thankful for ♡Zoe’s video and my blog that are beyond the ravages of earthly disasters……..
      Watching Russ’s video this time was also for me about “glimpses of our beloved WFH and scenes from earlier days and photos that are now ashes….”
      And a BIG Yes to some of those memories being preserved beyond all our minds…..
      LOVE you to the moon and back♡♡


  4. sarahlg1 says:

    I first watched ‘Russ’s Story’ about 6 years ago, when my own father had terminal cancer. At that time, I had already lost a brother to cancer and had – through the eyes of a child – watched my Mum care for him at home. Watching Russ’s Story then, reminded me of what I was about to experience again and helped me to prepare for what lay ahead, this time through the eyes of an adult.
    I have just watched the film a second time and once more, I am deeply moved. This time, I watched with the lens of hindsight, having experienced my dear Dad pass on at home, watching my Mum move the world to care for him at home and having witnessed the amazing and wonderful support of the Silver Chain nurses in the Perth Hills. I was surprised and touched to see that Val Duff was actually the principal nurse that helped my Dad too – I never made that connection until now. What an extraordinary lady and one of Australia’s unsung heroes with her compassion and respect to the dying and the bereaved.
    Aside from delving into the ‘unkown’ of dying and experiencing someone dying at home, ‘Russ’s Story’ also shows the absolute depths of love and support that family and friends can provide during the last months of a loved one’s life. In this instance, for Russ, Susie, Zoe and Freea – being at home enriched the valuable time they could have together, and I can say the same from my own experience too. I didn’t know Russ, but being so close to Freea and knowing Susie and Zoe as well, I can see now how much Russ lives within them all still. And what an amazing Dad/person that Russ was to continue to teach about life, through his death.

    To Susie, Zoe and Freea – you shared your most intimate and cherished times with Russ during his last moments. This is such a generous gift to help people learn about cancer and palliative care and hopefully, soften the experience so that people can make informed decisions to be with a loved one when time is limited.
    Zoe, especially – I’m sure your Dad would burst with pride for you having produced this film and now for it being selected for Film Festival. I am so very grateful to you, to Susie, to Freea and to your Dad – who I sincerely wish I had met – for sharing this experience. With love, Sarah xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you muchly gorgeous ♡Sarah for your beautiful sharing♡…what a lot of splendid points and pieces you have added…..It is special to hear how ♡Russ’ Story impacted and supported you both the times you have watched it.
      I appreciate you mentioning the “……amazing and wonderful support of the Silver Chain nurses in the Perth Hills…..” and especially about ♡Val Duff, who was the principal nurse for both our families. Your words are a great description: “What an extraordinary lady and one of Australia’s unsung heroes with her compassion and respect to the dying and the bereaved..” ……It was so touching that ♡Val asked to be with us after Russ died as part of the group of women who were cleaning up and preparing and blessing his body.
      And a Big Yes to Home being the best place for the “absolute depths of love and support that family and friends can provide during the last months of a loved one’s life…”
      I know that ♡Zoe making this doc, especially with ♡Russ’ openness in sharing, has helped “people learn about cancer and palliative care…..” and it has helped “soften the experience so that people can make informed decisions to be with a loved one when time is limited”.
      ♡Sarah, you are right on saying to ♡Zoe “I’m sure your ♡Dad would burst with pride for you having produced this film and now for it being selected for Film Festival…” He would have been over the moon about it. He was always so admiring and excited and rewarding of the girl’s achievements.
      Take care sweetie, hope all is well in your world in beautiful Paris, hugs with much LOVE♡


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