The Billy Years...


Four years ago today, I met this extraordinary human called Bill Walsh.

Little did I know how significant that meeting would turn out to be, and what a roller coaster we would both be taken on.

From this first meeting sprang a relationship that was the catalyst for the widest range of experiences for me (and for him).. from immense joy, laughter, deep deep love, longing, passion, anger, shame, confusion, musical connection, so much learning, bone-tiredness, the deepest grief, overwhelming gratitude, late-night talks, cold silence, heartbreaking pain and sadness, warmest affection, exploration of life’s deepest questions, hurt, loneliness, completion, satisfaction and enormous fulfilment. Knowing Bill has catapulted me into my life in a way that no other has done before. His loss is at times unbearable, though at the same time I know that everything is exactly as it should be.

As I reflect on his impact on me, I realize that his legacy (as far as I am concerned) goes beyond the glib assurances that “he lives on in your heart”.. for me, Bill now has expression through me; I live on forever changed. Now I’m Brose.. !

Is this the true meaning of legacy?

I marvel at this revelation, but it leaves me with the nagging question; When I die, what part of me will live on and in whom? Will anyone carry ME the way I am carrying him? Will I be so loved that someone will take me on into the world? And does it matter? It seems that it does; otherwise, what a waste! All that knowledge, experience, wonderfulness.. lost! Apart from mourning the loss of him in my life and the day to day living of it, I also mourn the loss of him in the world. All his wisdom, his knowledge, the unique contribution he made to his small corner.

This gets me to thinking that we don’t need to wait till someone dies to absorb and reflect their beauty, their magnificence.. how about we try every day to mimic those qualities and attributes that we find so compelling and loveable in others? That way, we can ‘join the dots’ till we’re all one gorgeous expression of the wonder of the human spirit.

Every day I’m grateful that he showed up; that he came to Mt Beauty to find me, for both of us to learn how to love, and how to set each other free.

I include now the Shakespeare sonnet I read out at our wedding.

Sonnet 116

Let me not to the marriage of true minds Admit impediments. Love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds, Or bends with the remover to remove: O no; it is an ever-fixed mark, That looks on tempests, and is never shaken; It is the star to every wandering bark, Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken. Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks Within his bending sickle’s compass come; Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, But bears it out even to the edge of doom. If this be error and upon me proved, I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

Warning; a couple of these photos may be a little confronting.

Humble beginnings, Feb 2016

He made it to 50 with great fanfare! The festival of Bill went on for over a week!

Maningrida, NT. Aug 2017

My birthday, 2017

Ash loved him...;-)

Immediately following neurosurgery, July '18. He was ecstatic!

How iconic is this photo?! <3

Final birthday..

My birthday, Dec 2018. My heart breaks all over again to see in his face the pain and trauma that the past few weeks had brought him, after 3 seizures in the space of 4 hours, only weeks before.

Shaved head ready for whole brain radiation, Christmas 2018

Feb 2019

On the way home from Peter Mac. A hard day, but a great day. It felt like we were saying goodbye to all the landmarks on that trip to Melbourne that we had made so many times. Like picking up all our memories and putting them in a box for safe-keeping.

Caught sneaking a piece of cake!

What a day..

This was Bill's contribution to the "readings' at the wedding..

Keeping vigil

I vividly remember this moment.. I was overwhelmed by the deepest gratitude for this amazing individual who had come into my life, and for all our relationship had given me.