Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful Boy

noah beautiful boy

There are many things that make you so special Noah.

You’ve been a gift ever since you were made just for me. After struggling for several years to grow a baby, you were created to replace my maternal anxiety with love. So much love.

My dad’s said since you were born; “there is something special about that kid.” No one has ever doubted this for a second.

You have an energy about you that will make people’s lives around you better.

I love you, Noah!

Your biggest fan,


Close your eyes
Have no fear
The monster’s gone
He’s on the run and your daddy’s here
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful boy
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful boy
Before you go to sleep
Say a little prayer
Every day in every way, it’s getting better and better
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful boy
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful boy
Out on the ocean sailing away
I can hardly wait
To see you come of age
But I guess we’ll both just have to be patient
‘Cause it’s a long way to go
A hard row to hoe
Yes, it’s a long way to go
But in the meantime
Before you cross the street
Take my hand
Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful boy
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful boy
Before you go to sleep
Say a little prayer
Every day in every way, it’s getting better and better
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful boy
Darling, darling, darling
Darling Noah

My iPhone Serving Me a Notable Image This Morning


I cleaned up my iPhone home screen about two weeks ago so it only has productive widgets along with photo memories that the phone chooses to serve to me.

I really enjoy the memories and they make me feel good. When your phone has thousands and thousands of images there are some very fun and sentimental moments captured across the years.

I’m not sure where this image came from and I don’t recall saving it but it was alongside a cute photo of the kids in face paint (dated June 23, 2019).

While checking my daily diary, pondering the day, and feeling fresh, it was a nice little 6 am phone suggestion on a beautiful Sunday morning.

I thought it was worth sharing.


dream big

I’ve been accruing a number of goals (50 to be precise) and documenting them in preparation for massaging them into a plan and going after them.

In the lead-up to turning 50, it’s my ambition to thread these goals into my daily life.

I’m conscious of aging and I’m keen to hang onto my youth for as long as possible.

I have an appetite to minimize my regrets, I want to inspire others, I want to continue to achieve, always progress, stay focused, and spend more time outdoors and in the ocean.

I want to chase actionable targets that improve my base fitness, overall health, flexibility, strength, balance, fine and gross motor skills, and most importantly, brain function.

To learn new sports.

To continue with my passion for extreme sports.

To epitomize physical and mental discipline.

To include cultural goals that are part of certain social behaviors, languages, rituals, ceremonies, past times, and nature.


I will drip-feed my goals as I solidify them in the coming weeks but GOAL NUMBER ONE is to be a better person.

I’ve had this goal written down for a while alongside other goals that have the question beside them; “How do I measure this?”

My dad handed me the answer on Christmas day when he gifted me a book called; “Reasons Not To Worry” by Bridget Delaney. Essentially the book is about a philosophy called Stoicism.

Stoicism is designed to make us more resilient, happier, more virtuous, and wiser–and as a result, better people, better parents, and better professionals.

I’ve since read two additional books on Stoicism and counting, perused countless online articles and videos, and made a ton of notes. This is where my new measurable framework exists to become a better person. I am certain of it.


dominic byrne skiing perisher and doing a jump at four years of age

Didn’t that happen with ridiculous haste? Born in the family home, on the floor, in 1978, today I wake up in 2023, on an epic family holiday, with two swiftly-growing “big babies.” And me, a 45-year-old rapidly aging man.

Mum was rummaging through some dusty old photo albums and sent me the image above just two days before my birthday.

I remember this day as a four-year-old because I vividly recall the feeling of being weightless, having distance between the ground and me, a distance that I created.

We were visiting friends in Perisher, I found some skis in the lodge, put them on, and skied down the first hill that ran away from the lodge. Without any suggestion, I decided to build my own little mound of snow to ski over.

I walked up and down that hill multiple times, clicking in and out of my bindings. I don’t recall any fatigue but I have no doubt there was an early experience of muscle burn, all for serious reward.

With a longer run-up, I achieved more speed and more height.

I still love that feeling of being weightless in the air, creating that distance. I continue to search for it through a number of exhilarating sports and I count myself lucky to achieve it on a weekly basis.

How long can I keep this up in a safe manner? 10, 20 years? longer perhaps?

Four Years Departed

louise in greece

Four Years!! It feels like yesterday Noah and Evie gave you goodbye cuddles. I wish you could cuddle them today. You should see them now!! They have grown into beautiful little people, exactly the way you would have wanted. They keep you present every day Lou Lou. They are you. 


Happy New Year!

I’m excited to tackle the proceeding 365 days.

I had my first dry Christmas and NYE in about three decades, setting a standard to be HAPPY, STRONG and HEALTHY.

The reality in my life is that I’ve lived more years than I have left. It’s a thought that needs to be turned into action so that I truly feel I have made the most of what I have available to me or even more so, what I can make available to me.

I’ve been thinking about and documenting a list of tasks and achievements to attempt before I’m 50. Ambitious and improbable but potentially providing a life that may keep me occupied, focused, balanced and fulfilled.

Let’s Dust That Year Off And Start Fresh

let's start again | Healthy happy and strong

I’m attending a lunch today that has been running for >15 years. It’s a group of mates that get together and have a good laugh. Or even a good cry.

Most of the day is beers and banter but the lunch is somewhat progressive for a bunch of washed-up ageing blokes. During the course of the meal, everyone takes a turn and delivers their highs and lows for the past 12 months. The finest part about this annual end-of-year wrap-up is that everyone is candid when it’s their turn to chat. It’s not uncommon for one of the boys to shed a tear in reflection of what might have been a tough year for him.

I’ve had this lunch weighing on my mind as the year has hastily been coming to a close, not because I’m the nominated chairman and have to organise the location and the detail for the event but because I really didn’t want to stand up and say my year had been a disaster.

At least years lunch I kept my delivery positive. In reflection, I had nothing bad to say. I felt that I had been managing my family’s journey through grief extremely well. I was still an open wound but I was happy. I was extremely excited about 2022.

2022. My year started out great, It was on fire with optimism and fun, it went rocky around April and then by June it had gone to absolute shit. Everything I had envisaged fell apart.

When Lou died, I had a hole that developed in my heart. It made me fragile and vulnerable. It was raw and unhealed. I met someone at the conclusion of 2021 and the void was healing for me. Scar tissue was forming and I was feeling the warmth.

Life isn’t always what you foresee though. My damaged but healing heart was put in a blender and the blades were turned on slowly. I was overwhelmed and my emotional pain turned physical as I couldn’t keep myself together.

Every day is a frsh start. Dad catches the worm everyday. Inspirational 💪🏽.

But you know what? I bounced.

I am back and I am feeling like me and I love me.

I worked really hard on healing. Family and friends were there when I needed them most, I sought professional help and I got emotional support from an unplanned relationship that was a remedy in my mending.

Today at the close of the year and chairing a lunch of reflection, I can conclude that my life is good.

I am loving my newfound practices of holistic healing; breathing techniques, ice baths, meditation and herbal tea. I’m more fond of the ocean and its healing power. My diet and hydration are the best its been since I was an athlete. My exercise routine is consistent. I have created more me-time. I am exploring the literature of varied guidance. I am conscious of discovering who I am to myself, to others and who I want to be.

I’ve scraped by having better months than bad months this past calendar year so let’s dust off the broken ones and build from the rubble.

2023 is a journey for me to be young. To think about and do things that defy my age.

To be happy, healthy and strong.

To love life.

“And The Sacred Heart Award For Year Two Blue Goes To Evie Byrne!”

Evie Byrne getting the sacred heart award at school assemby

Little Puffin Rabbit. I have not felt any prouder. To see your peers standing around you today with your award in your hand. Any problems I think I have, just vanished.

Evie showing her award to her friends at school
Such a beauty, inside and out.

Your mum is proud of you every day but today she is dancing from star to star with an abundance of joy.

‘Mumma’ mentioned in her birthday letter; how much you have matured this year, sprouting into a big girl with confidence and the early signs of independence. Well, this is confirmation right here, sign sealed and delivered in your final week of year two. At the closing school assembly, on stage, for all to see.

When I got home from assembly and sent the pics around on the family chat. I got a little emotional and had a wee little cry. I felt so happy for you and I unashamedly felt so happy for me. I make you and your brother the centre of my universe and people’s positive opinions of you is all the validation I need that we’re all heading down the right path.

Sometimes that path may be a little bumpy but I will always shelter you so it’s a smooth journey to where you want to be. You and your brother do much of the walking on your own now but I will always be here to hold your hand and carry you up the steep bits. You don’t know it but when the path is bumpy for me, you carry me too. Today you lifted me up high above the clouds and the view was breathtaking.

I love you, Evie Byrne. You are a light that burns so brightly, you are my light, and you keep my fire going.

Well done today beautiful girl!!

Evie-Pops, It’s Your Birthday!

My Girl

My Little Girl,

Your Dadda’s heart just glows in your presence. I feel the warmth and affection where I rest. In the Sky. Watching. Adoring. Loving. You bring us so much joy.

Wow, you have matured this year, sprouting into a big girl with confidence and the early signs of independence.

👩‍👧 ❤️

Your development on the soccer field and basketball court is brewing some inner qualities that will form the base for the success of your choosing.

  • Self Confidence
  • Strong Sense of Motivation
  • Inner Desire to Succeed
  • A Natural Goal Setter
  • Self-Discipline
  • Optimism
  • Sense of Belonging; And
  • A Natural Leader

Maths and English are not your favourite subjects at school and academic learning isn’t flowing naturally for you at the moment.  It doesn’t matter one bit because your creativity is bubbling to the surface.  Do what you enjoy and do it with passion and you will always land on your feet.

Your Daddy’s eyes water with love as he observes you blossom. You are such a ray of light. You are my ray of light and you shine so brightly. 

I love you beautiful girl. I told you every day when I was by your side and I tell you every day from the stars.

Happy Birthday!!!

Your Mumma ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️


I’m A Good Dad 😌

Noah and Evie - Picnic Photo

Noah and Evie see their grief counsellors, Betsie and Kerri throughout the year. While the benefit truly lies with the kids it’s always been validation for me that for a family that lost its strongest pillar, we’re on the right path.

On arrival at The National Centre for Childhood Grief AKA A Friends Place, we have an open discussion with the kid’s involvement before they have their individual time with their therapist. On Wednesday, I told Betsie and Kerri that I’d had a few rough months and informed them of the detail.

⛷ ❄️ ☃️

Noah’s counsellor; Kerri, asked him during their session if he had noticed any change in me. Noah said, “yeah, Dad hasn’t been smiling and he’s been less productive.” When Kerri and Noah told me this at the conclusion of their time together, I found his remarks amusing, sad and beautiful at the same time.

Amusing because I thought his choice of words “less productive” were funny. Does a nine-year-old observe me as being unproductive, does he see me moping around or is he repeating something he heard me say? It’s a conversation I can explore with him to find out.

Sad because he observed me without a smile on my face for an extended period of time. I always try and smile for the kids but when it’s not happening naturally and it takes effort to do so then it happens less. It hurts that I projected diluted happiness when I was depressed.

Beautiful because he noticed. Noah has always looked out for me, he’s been blessed with his mother’s empathy. He has a remarkable soul, balanced with kindness, gentle confidence and understanding.

Kerri also said, “Noah is doing so well, you must be proud of him and you must be extremely proud of yourself?” And as her complement processed in my brain, I thought and contently responded; “yeah, I am.” Her complement sat in my tummy for the rest of the day like a healthy, warm cup of herbal tea.

I’m a good dad, I know I am. I’m always proud to tell other people how good my kids are but I’m becoming internally proud because their mother and I, along with close family build the foundations for them to be good kids.

My Baby Girl – So Much Love

Betsy always tells me how amazing Evie s doing. Betsy attempted a conversation with Evie that is part of an assessment survey about feelings of sadness. Evie just looked at Betsy with a puzzled face. “Sad, what do you mean? I’m never sad.” “Next question can we play a game now……….” in true Evie fashion.

Not Drinking Alocohol Forces You to Go Deep Into Your Brain

Not Drinking Causes You To Go Deep Inside Your Brain

I’ve been a massive binge drinker since I was a teenager. I’ve been through periods in the late 90s and early 2000s during the rugby selection process where I’ve exercised some control. Still, I have never had drinking and recreational drug use under proper personal management until this year.

It’s funny because I gave up drinking for someone else, I was never able to do it for myself. While that person isn’t part of my life anymore the relationship was a positive catalyst and massive shift in my thinking to commit to limited booze consumption and complete control in 2022.

When I say “limited booze consumption”; apart from a road trip/ car rally during the week of May, I haven’t had a single drop since I returned from the USA on February 12th. This is in contrast to huge weekly or fortnightly benders where I would drink well in excess of 20 standard drinks in a session.

As you age, the drinking recovery process after wiping yourself out takes several days or more, during this time, you are just surviving, especially if you partied all night and into the morning hours. When you are just surviving with a monster hangover you’re merely putting one foot in front of the other as the bare minimum focus is keeping your family and work intact so it doesn’t buckle. It blocks out time to think, reflect and discover.

By the time you are feeling really good, you cyclically self-destruct and poison every cell in your body all over again.

Partying is so much fun, it is entertaining and extremely enjoyable. It’s just such a shame that alcohol and subsequent drug use are evil. It is literally the devil.

Thoughts drowned out by Booze...

Not drinking for consecutive months has intrinsically created a lot more clear-headed thinking time than I’m used to. It’s been really disruptive and unsettling at times. When you start to unpackage emotions, review insecurities and evaluate your purpose you can find yourself very lost.

I honestly feel who I think I am, who others think I am and who I am may well be completely different people. This isn’t a negative statement at all, more a suggestion that there is much to learn about ourselves if you have the bandwidth to look inside.

So Who Am I? Well, I am still working all of that out. It’s crazy that I am me but I am not always sure of who I am. 🤯

🧐 🤨 🥺 🤯 😳 😱 🤔 🫣 🫠 😶 🫤 🤤 🥴

September You’ve Been Kind To Me 🙏🏽

Watching the fireworks in thredbo

While this month has been kind it’s also a feeling of reward because I’ve worked hard for it. I kept rolling with the self-help strategy that I shared and it turned over a mental profit for me.

I wouldn’t say I’m walking around 24 x7 with a bounce in my step but I’m not dragging my feet either. I’m sleeping well, eating well and having fun.

Three trips to the snow and two moto weekends squeezed into the month have been the perfect ingredients of thinking time, exercise / active fun, socialising and adrenalin.

It was quality to have a one-on-one holiday with Noah too.

I’m lucky. I have a beautiful family and some solid friendships. I feel the love that people have for me. ❤️

Life is good.

Cold Ocean Swims For A Month ✅

a funny story to tell - snowy river

I committed to a month of cold ocean swims as one of the self-help ingredients in my recipe to get me back to being me.

Immersing yourself in the beauty our Sydney harbour and beaches offer is therapy alone. The cold shock to the body is the bonus.

Good Morning Balmoral!

For the odd day in the month that I was too busy to access the ocean, I jumped in our pool which was significantly fresher than the salty sea. During the days I was in the Snowy Mountains I treated myself to a swim in Lake Jindabyne or the Thredbo River.

With my inherent all-or-nothing mentality, I haven’t missed a day.

Today there was a lucky beneficiary to the madness.

After a full day of ripping up the mountain and a post-ski Wim Hoff breathing session, my sister and I were strolling a Snowy River Trail when we came across a perplexed mother (Ingrid) and son (Noah) who had lost their frisbee deep in the River and were at a loss.

They couldn’t believe their luck seeing two exposed-skinned individuals in their cossies, barefooted, towels over shoulders and meandering the dirt track en route to their trusty swimming hole.

Wim Hoff Finding Frisbee
Saving The Day!!

With snow all around and the air matching the waters crisp 4 degrees, Ingrid was almost hesitant to ask us if we were heading for a dip despite our beach attire.

After an amusing conversation, the friendly mother and her son were joyed to get their frisbee back. Ingrid even asked if she could take a snap from the bridge while I was slightly motivated to exit the stream as It’s a challenge to reside in there for too long.

I’m hoping they will dine out on that story for a while. I will.

Father’s Day!

cheers, to Lou

The kids have never slept in their own bed’s.

This is Noah and Evie this morning, still dreaming about “candy” and playdates:

Am I made of velcro? 😂 🤗

And this is when they woke up:

Cuddle soup…

Lou Lou, I wake up like this every day because of the endless treasures you gifted to me.

When do you think they will want to sleep in their own beds?

No time soon I hope.

The best thing about fathers day is, technically, it’s every day.



Acceptance is a real mess.

Last year was a struggle, no denying that. Stages of grief are not linear however some literature will tell you that after being down in the dumps you should turn the corner to a more positive state.

As far as the “stages” are suggested to play out, the final stage of grief is acceptance. The reason this phase is a mess is it’s essentially the new reality.

In an attempt to heal, there is an opposing emotional tide of not actually wanting to feel better as this means there is a distance growing between you and the person you lost.

I will never feel ok about losing Louise but there is an overarching objective to accept that your new reality is here to stay. The new reality is a change to everything you do and everyone you meet.

How do I embrace the present and the foreseeable future when it wasn’t in the playbook? How do I garner good memories for positive growth?

I feel I have to take ownership. Embrace the new priorities. Attempt to normalise my life. Be open to new experiences and relationships.

It’s so hard though.

I feel better this year but It’s still very tough.

Accepting You Are Out Of Reach. I don’t Want to. But I should. ?!?!?

You Don’t Look A Day Over 40

louise and evie byrne

So in January, I decided to have three months off the booze. I had my last alcoholic beverage on Friday the 29th of January this year. I didn’t realise until many weeks into my teetotaling stretch that my three-month stint winds up on your birthday. There is no better day of the year to have a glass of bubbles than the 29th of April.

As my circle of friends and I all pass their likely halfway point in life, the ageing is apparent, the tangible features on individual faces “mature.” (That’s a nice way of saying, we are all looking bloody old.) As everyone’s youthfulness is fading rapidly, you’re the only person that doesn’t look a day over 40. 😉

Your face, your memory, your zest, is young forever.

Louise sailing off into the sunset.

As time moves forward and we age without you, I think about grief every day and what it means for different people. Until you lose someone you don’t have any idea what grief is. For me, before my loss, I would have explained it as a period of sadness that you have to endure when you lose someone. Which is way off the mark.

I believed this period of time is something you have to fight through until you reach the sunshine on the other side. I now know that you never reach the other side and there isn’t a destination or a journey that has an endpoint.

Grief is a massive adjustment to your life. It’s an alteration and new definition of what your life is, what your responsibilities are and what your purpose is. Grief ends only when we do too.

In the simplest of terms, grief is love. Grief is love with no place to go.

On massive milestones like your birthday, grief feels like all the gas between the cork and the liquid in a champagne bottle that will never be opened. It’s stuck, it can’t be uncorked and shared. It’s shelved.

Bereavement on your birthday won’t stop us from uncorking our own champagne bottles though and encouraging all that dissolved carbon dioxide to bubble over. To toast you. To remember you. To appreciate the time that we had with you. To love you.

Happy Birthday Crae Crae xx

Nine Years Married

Visiting Meroo Union Church

I don’t really believe in “signs” from those that have left this world. I wish I did but my gut feel is that they are simply coincidences.

A few weeks back I was driving past the charming little church Lou and I were married in. I decided to stop and wander around. A melting pot of emotions that’s for sure.

The wedding, what an amazing day. What a fucking great party!!

As I stood in the quaint little doorway where we walked out a freshly married couple, I was hit with a warm ray of sunshine that broke through the clouds and settled on the spot I stood. What a beautiful “coincidence.”

As I hopped in the car to continue home, “always remember us this way” started playing from a random Spotify playlist. Now was this a coincidence because Lou was infatuated with Bradley Cooper or was she simply letting me know, “when the sun goes down and the band won’t play, I’ll always remember us this way………?”

Evie loves talking about weddings. We will go through these photos tonights so we can talk about this very day, nine years ago.

Happy wedding anniversary Lou Lou. xx

Happy Birthday Noah

Noah and Dominic Byrne at the top of Mount Kosciusko, THrebdo

Dear Noah,

I miss you beautiful boy. I wish I could touch your precious face.

I don’t think you realise how important you are to Evie and your daddy. You have become a little rock for them. In many ways, they are anchored to you and it’s your courage and strength that carries them. You will become aware of this in the proceeding years.

Your enthusiasm for discovery, learning, friendship and life is a catalyst for them both. Your love for school will be a big guiding light for Evie. Be conscious of how much she looks up to you. Be patient, be kind.

I’ve noticed you’ve started thanking your dad for many of the small things he does for you. This appreciation you are learning is a big step in maturity, understanding and gratitude. This means a lot to your dad and me.

You must be proud that a popular news publication picked up and shared the amazing speech you did last year, pretty cool they did this in the week of your birthday. You are So brave. So strong.

I know it’s extremely hard that you can’t get to me. I am with you though, I am the foundation of your strength. I am you. ♥️

We had such an amazing bond. Six years together was not enough time, but it was the best time of my life.

You are a special boy Noah. You have some personality traits that are bubbling to the surface and sculpting you into a boy that I am endlessly proud of.

You are extremely intelligent. You are capable. You are curious. You are becoming self-aware and respectful.

You are an optimistic kid with the brightest of futures.

You are beautiful and you are mine. Forever

Love Mumma. Xxx

What Have I Lost?

louise and evie at home

Hey, where did you go?


I’ll wake up tomorrow and it will be two full years.

What have I lost??

I lost what we had, which was unrivalled.

But we lost our future too. I think this component hurts the most because the future was exiting. Especially with the munchkins.

Our future was unmapped. Hopefully unsurpassed, but still unknown. Undoubtedly something special.

Our opportunistic life ended on the 12th of January 2019.

I now carry the torch. Your torch of tenacious optimism and grit. And most importantly, LOVE.


Keep resting Lou Lou. Your legacy now beats in the hearts of your babies that I nurture with our combined love.



Happy Birthday Beautiful Girl

happy birthday Evie, love Mumma

Dear Evie, 

OMG, you’re such a beautiful girl. 

You weren’t even three when I was diagnosed with cancer. You’d just turned four when I sadly left your world. Now you’re six. Six years old, I truly can’t believe it. 

A six-year-old girl isn’t meant to have dealt with their own mother’s illness and death for half of their life. Nobody deserves a start like that. 

But somehow, you are thriving. Thriving beyond measure. 

If you keep blossoming like I’ve seen you mature this year then no setback will ever prevent you from being whoever you choose to be. You will shatter any goal you set. 

Your happiness and perpetual excitement keep my star burning the brightest in the galaxy. 

I burn bright for you. 

I know you often think of me as a star, a fairy or an angel. I am all of those things. I am the energy around you that keeps you smiling. 

You talk about me every day and you do it with pride. You are thinking about me all the time. That is all I need to keep my spirit glowing. 

I did fear you not remembering me in my final months but now I know you will never forget me. I am your mother. Always. 

I am so proud of you. 

Happy birthday beautiful girl. 

Love your Mumma. 

PS: I love your new room. Just so you know, I helped your daddy with that.


“Does Mummy Get Wet When It Rains?”

Evie Byrne Riding At Bike Territory Narrabri

My little rabbit asks the the best questions.

Well they are the best because:

1.) She asks them all the time, often daily. Which means she’s always thinking about her mum but most importantly she is talking about her.

2.) They are difficult to answer. Especially because they are often about where mummy is and what she’s doing.

On the way to school this morning sitting cross-legged on the passenger seat in silence, tightly holding my hand and curiously staring at the sky, she says; “Dadda, does mummy get wet when it rains?”

♥️ ♥️ ♥️ 💔

Here are a couple of social posts that I pushed out when I was lucky to catch a moment of Evie’s beautiful pondering 👇🏻 ♥️

“I Wish My Mummy To Come Back!”
“Dadda, Can You Do That So You Can See Mummy?”

Many of the questions are based around Lou being high up in the sky as this is often where heaven is depicted. Evie also talks about Lou being a fairy or an angel, I guess any supernatural being with wings is going to be soaring high.

I really want to believe we carry on in some way after death but deep down I think when you stop breathing then that’s it. 😞

None the less, I too now blow out dandelions and say “I wish Mummy to come back!”

Like Evie Pops, I Often Gaze Out Wondering Where She Is And WTF Happened! (Pic Taken Watching a Beautiful North-Western Plains Sunset in Pilliga NSW – October 2020)

What do you think happens to us after death? Where is Lou Lou right now???

“I want to be like my mum because my mum is my hero.”

Noah Byrne on he back of the ute in Pilliga

Noah had a public speaking project to prepare for and execute. When handed the assignment we discussed subject options. Noah favoured a “Potential Speech Topic” suggested by his school.

“My hero is……………………….(could be mum or dad)”

I was excited that Noah wanted to talk about his mum and why she’s his hero.

A week later when it came to the crunch of actioning the speech and brainstorming the topic, Noah swiftly changed his mind.

Noah: “Dadda, I don’t want to speak about mummy, I want to speak about Thor!”

Me: “Thor, the action Marvel?”

Noah: “Yeah, he’s my favourite superhero, I want to do it on him”

Me: “Ok buddy, sure. Why don’t you want to talk about your mum anymore?”

Noah: “I might cry in front of everyone.”

Noah and I conversed at length about the benefit of discussing his mum and that it would be healthy for him to cry, even in front of his peers. I sensed he didn’t want to tease apart emotions that murk below the surface.

I wasn’t going to push him into anything he didn’t want to do but I really thought this would be good for our grieving process. Noah is a little too stoic and has been talking less about his emotions as time goes on.

Me: “Hey Monkey, why don’t we prepare for both speeches, you can read them out loud and then make your choice. I will support you 100% on your decision.

Noah: “Ok dad.”

I was really happy with this direction because if he didn’t choose to do his speech on Lou, he and I could still talk about his mum in detail and a structured format through the speech preparation process.

I discussed the approach and considerations with both his teacher and grief councillor which was a validating experience.

We prepped for both speeches until late on Sunday night. It was an emotional process for both of us.

In the morning before school on Monday, he read them both out loud and promptly said:

“Dad, I know which one I want to do!”

I was all ready to support his favourite Marvel, which I had grown to like after learning about what makes this superhero tick. I was certain he would take this option and avoid exposing his heart and vulnerabilities to his colleagues.  

“Dad, I want to speak about mummy!”

As composed as I was, I could have lept out of my skin with pride. 

What a brave little warrior. 


In this world, cells make up all living things, including the human body.

With cancer, some cells grow out of control.

When I was five years old, my mum got cancer.

My mum’s bad cells grew out of control and formed tumours.

These tumours made my mum very sick and stopped my mum’s body from working properly.

My mum never gave up!

She said she wasn’t scared of dying but she was scared to leave Evie and me behind without her.

She fought every minute of every day to stay alive. For me.

My mum had many operations. She had lots of chemotherapy and radiation to try and stop the tumours. This treatment made her very sick and lose her hair.

She was still very pretty with no hair.
No matter how sick my mum was, she always smiled at me and cuddled me.

Evie and I made her feel better. We were the only medicine that made her feel good.

She tried everything possible to beat the tumours. She never gave up!

Unfortunately, some cancers can’t be stopped.

On the 12th of January 2019, my mummy died.

Everyone loved my mum.

My mum was always happy and smiling.

My mum shared her time with everyone.

My mum was very generous.

My mum was beautiful on the outside but even more beautiful on the inside.

My mum loved dancing and drinking champagne.

Mum wanted to be the best mum in the world.

My mum was the best mum in the world!

I want to be like my mum because my mum is my hero.

My dad says that I am his hero for how brave I am.

But that’s a story for another time.

Noah wasn’t aware I snapped this pic. I came in from outside today and Noah was perched on the floor gazing at the fridge. The fridge as you can see is a collage of his mum. Such a beautiful brave boy.

Leave a comment for Noah so he can read them 🤗……

Walking Through The Door

byrne family fun missed by louyise decelis

I regularly envisage Lou walking through the door. I assume this is a prevalent event for any individual that has tragically lost someone they love. It can often evoke a feeling of happiness as it depends on the stimulant for the vision.

Most often though, the vision of her presence brings a wave of sadness. This is simply a disappointment that the dreamy event is an impossible reality.

Of recent weeks the hallucination of her joining us has been a result of Noah and Evie’s fast-paced growth; physically, emotionally and mentally.

I’m getting it daily.

The catalyst of “seeing” Lou walk through the door is wanting her to desperately see Evie and Noah and witness much they are changing.

The vision then moves to the kid’s hypothetical reception to seeing their mum miraculously appear. I imagine the reactions of the interaction between Lou, Noah and Evie. The hugs, the kisses, the conversation, the excitement.

The whole thought process probably happens in milliseconds before I’m jolted back to the brutal reality that she won’t be waltzing through the door. No matter what special or insignificant event either of the kids might do.

The small positive in this wave of disappointing reality is that it highlights how proud I am of Noah and Evie. Proud of all the small things, the tiny stuff I previously would have taken for granted.


We’re on a beautiful family holiday in the historic Southern Highlands and the only thing that is missing is Louise.

Les, Lynda, Jboy, Liesy, JJ, Sadie Girl, Noah, Bill-Bill, Poppa, The G, Me (Daddy Dom) but no Lou.

We’re staying in a charming big house on the northern outskirts misty wintery town of Bowral. Drinking delectable wine and eating Jboy’s deliciously crafted cuisine. Lou would be in her element amongst this solid family time.

The Girls At A Park In Berrima – I Vividly Remember Being In This Cute Town With Louise

Once she finally arose from her extended sleep, she would be directing family traffic and running the itinerary that’s for sure.

We’re very fortunate that Les brings us together every six months through an exciting and relaxing experience such as this invaluable time away. Removed from the hustle-bustle of our hectic daily lives. A short break to relax, escape, unwind, reconnect, celebrate, rejuvenate and to enjoy each others company, to remember what we had, what we lost.

18 months without her. Has the time gone fast or slow? 🤷🏽‍♂️

Lou Would Be So Proud Of All Of These Beautiful Monkeys 🙈 🙉 🙊 🐵 🙈 🙉..

I looked back through past blog posts to see where I was and I what I was thinking at six months, a year and everything in between. What a rollercoaster!

Lou and I stayed in Bowral several times over the years,  such a pretty town modelled after a quaint English villages set amid green landscapes. Like with every location revisited, I see her in the places we’ve been. Smiling, happy, an excitable bounce in her step, enthusiastic and loving.

The Boys Smashing Up Some Oysters Before The Main Lobster Dish With The Fam!

We’ll have many more get-togethers in the coming years. Louise won’t be joining us physically, we are slowly attempting to accept this as the time ticks by.

We just miss her. Everyone does.

How I wish, how I wish you were here!

Missed You Today JBoy!

Where’s My Love??…

Louise DeCelis on her honeymoon in Capri

Cold bones, yeah, that’s my love
She hides away, like a ghost
Ooh, does she know that we bleed the same?
Ooh, don’t wanna cry but I break that way
Cold sheets, oh, where’s my love?
I am searching high, I’m searching low in the night
Ooh, does she know that we bleed the same?
Ooh, don’t wanna cry but I break that way
Did she run away
Did she run away, I don’t know
If she ran away
If she ran away, come back home
Just come home
I got a fear, oh, in my blood
She was carried up into the clouds, high above
If you’re there I bleed the same
If you’re scared I’m on my way
Did you run away
Did you run away, I don’t need to know
If you ran away
If you ran away, come back home
Just come home

“My Children Will Never Forget Their Late Mother”

Dominic Byrne Stellar Magazine

It’s always nice to have Lou’s storey revisited and some attention on the narrative that’s unfolding as we push ahead without her.

Last Sunday morning the kids and I walked up to the corner store so they could purchase a paper each and flick through the lift-out magazine in search of themselves.

Evie and Noah reading Stellar Magazine on mothers day
My Beautiful little Monkey’s 🙈🙉

It was a fitting lead-in to discuss mothers day even though I start prepping the kids for this day a month in advance.


👆🏼A little snippet of Noah reading the article from The Stellar Magazine. Not bad for a seven-year-old. Must be my COVID-19 homeschooling 😉.

Just as I did last year, I also read them a “letter from their mum.” Evie’ and Noah’s respective responses were:

Evie: “Read it again daddy!”

Noah: “No don’t, it’s too long.”

Chalk and cheese those two.

Aunty Liesy then hosted another craft session with the blended siblings creating special candles, each with a personal message for “Aunty Weeze” and “Mumma.”

Very Special.

Why Has This Year Been So Hard?

Dominic Byrne, husband of louise decelis, cancer blog

I’m in a mental rut. I feel like shit. Why?

Last year I focused on having more good days than bad days. I felt if I could achieve this overarching objective while still in disbelief and shock I’d be somewhat winning.

It was a given that I’d have a bunch of tough days and dealing with the grief would be a rollercoaster. As it was. However, I predicted that the better days would consecutively lengthen out and the struggle-street days would slowly be diluted. It’s been the opposite.

Over the last few months; my positive state of mind, my energy, my motivation, my happiness has all regressed considerably.

In March I touched on how over time, the rawness is replaced by reality, but I think my thought process was merely scratching at the surface of the bleakness that was brewing.

I’ve been hesitant to write about being stuck in a rut because every week I think I’ll be better.

Commentating on the positive elements of our journey, the children’s progress and ongoing testaments to Lou is easy and therapeutic. On the tougher end of the paradigm, it doesn’t feel natural to open yourself up to the desolate days, however, teasing apart the reasons why may steer me back to a more positive mental state.

Ruminating on where my head is at has presented itself with a collision of issues with each concern exasperated by COVID-19 and the disruption in its wake.

  • I mistakingly thought that once I got through ‘the year of the firsts’ I would instantly start to feel better. I’m not sure why I assumed this or put that pressure on myself to do so
  • The end of last the year was such a crash of celebration and bereavement
  • Having such an epic, although emotional holiday with the kids in The USA for seven weeks followed by the blunt adjustment of returning to reality
  • Sending Evie off to big school
  • Having a couple of work opportunities not go our way
  • Attempting to get my business back on track and build momentum and then having both kids at home in Isolation due to COVID 19 which generated additional obstacles
    • Homeschooling is both challenging and a pressure
    • My structure and routine was dismantled
    • I was getting into regular exercise which instantly ceased
    • No time on the motocross track to reset my brain
    • I wasn’t getting any work done which brings on financial worry
    • All of the above is managed through a collective period of sensitive milestones; Lou’s birthday, our wedding anniversary, Jon and Billie’s birthday, my brother’s wedding, mothers day……

I think with so much going on, so much disruption and navigating through it all when you are sad due to a loss, well it’s hard. When you do all that you can to ensure the kids are happy and cared for, sometimes there isn’t much left in the tank.

The feeling of flatness in debilitating. It’s like trudging up-hill, on soft sand, with a backpack full of bricks.

Love Mumma xx

Family cuddle

On Friday morning while waiting in the warmth of the sun for our takeaway breakfast, I was flicking through the newspaper while Evie was practising her cartwheels on the footpath and encroaching on everyone’s safe-COVID-space.  She stops overturning to ask me an honest question. 

“Hey Dadda, what do you want to be when you grow up?”

While being completely amused and charmed at the same time, I decided not to chuckle as she was gazing up at me for a serious response. 

“Poppa, I want to be the best daddy I can be and then I want to be the best grandpa. What do you want to be?”

“I want to be a mummy.”

Evie, like many young girls, is highly maternal already. The way she and her cousin; Billy, care for their dolls and imitate real mummies is endearing to watch. (Although the birthing scenes they were playing out in the bathtub the other night were quite advanced for five-year-olds, LOL.)

Evie has asked me a few times lately if we can “get a baby.” I explain to her that it’s not that simple and a baby needs to be grown inside a mummy’s tummy and then cared for with 24×7 undivided attention. Evie is extremely forthright when she tells me she can cover both of those problems. 

While its a few years away – I’m hoping a good 25 or 30, I know my little Poppa will be the finest mum, purely because she is her mother’s daughter and Lou was the best Mumma she could be. It’s embedded in Evie’s DNA, it’s in her memories and it’s in the mothers and grandmothers that are most influential around her. 

It’s mothers day today. Only the second for Noah and Evie to brave without their hallowed Mumma. As the calendar ticks over and the year’s progress, they would have had a mum for a mere fraction of their lives. 

It’s heartbreaking that my beautiful babies have to manage their forever days without the single person that was central to their everyday sense of security, identity and well-being. For me, this has always been the hardest element of Lou’s death to accept.

Noah and Evie are so brave!   

What would Lou say to the kids on this mothers day if she were here? 

In all honesty, she may have not needed to say anything at all, as her physical affection was always so immediate, all day every day. 

Huggles Non-Stop.

She did write a pseudo letter last year, so it’s fitting she checks in once again and puts pen to paper.

Dear Noah and Evie, 

It was such a pleasure to see you both bonding and joyfully playing together on your epic seven-week holiday in America.

You two will always fight while living under the same roof but you need to stick together and support each other through every trial and tribulation life throws at you.

Evie and Noah Byrne MOAB Utah
Moab Utah Hike ♥️ – Love You, Mumma!!

Have Aunty Liesy to tell you how close her and I were. Emulate what we had and you will never go wrong, as you will always have unconditional support anytime and anywhere. 

Your holiday looked incredible. Thank you for visiting all the places that were significant to daddy and I. These special destinations are now memories for us all to relive and build on. 

Thanks for spreading some of my ashes on my favourite ski runs. Wow, you two are such amazing skiers. Incredible to watch, I’m so proud of you. 

Evie, you never stop talking about me. I love this about you. I see you laughing every day, I see you dancing. In you I see me. 

You were so so brave when the doctor put those stitches in your chin on Wednesday. Do you know I have a scar in the exact same spot?

The Christmas stocking you placed in the window so I could see it was super special. I see everything you do for me. It keeps my light shining. 

You look so grown-up princess, especially in your big school uniform. My makeup always looks so pretty on you, even when you put my red lipstick in your hair. I love you. Keep cuddling your dad as you do, it keeps him going. 

Noah and Evie Byrne at home January 2020
Big kids Now.

Evie, I wanted to be a mummy too and it was the best thing I ever did.

Noah, you are the perfect boy. You are increasingly becoming more and more wholehearted, self-aware, courageous, responsible and kind.

Thanks for having a big cry for me the other day. It had been a while so it was good to see you upset. Please tell your dad when you’re missing me because he will be missing me at the exact same time. 

Look after your sister Noah. She thinks you are simply the best. Which you are. 

Kids, I’m looking forward to the mothers day cards you and the Conkies are making me today. Give your cousins a kiss and a big cuddly squeeze for me. You can’t see me physically dancing through the door when you are all together as a big blended family, but I’m there.

I know its hard without me but you are doing an incredible job. All the angels and fairies in the whole wide world are clapping you along.

Love Mumma. XX 🧚🏼‍♀️

It’s Mothers Day In Two Sleeps….

Louise, pregnant with Noah and with Josh

As mothers day approaches and I tactically prepare the kids for a day that will be a mixed bag of celebrations and sorrow. Sometimes someone else’s words are much better than my own.

Noah and Evie both see a grief counsellor from time to time at The National Centre For Childhood Grief. I have copied a few paragraphs from their last post, as Dianne has expressed the two sides of the mothers day coin so beautifully.

“Good mothers deserve to be celebrated, to be honoured and remembered. They are often the glue that binds family relationships. For many of us, our mothers provide our first experience of unconditional love, and our first experience of safe, physical touch. Our mothers are usually the first person to give us the kind of nurturing connection that creates in us a sense of belonging, and leaves us with a lifelong desire, conscious or unconscious, to recapture that rare feeling of intimacy without cost, of intimacy that is ‘us’ centred.

For those of us fortunate enough to have experienced good mothering, Mother’s Day provides an opportunity to focus on the role mothers play in our lives. They gave us life, a name, a place in the family, nurture, rules to keep us safe, values and beliefs. They taught us language, the way to conduct family relationships and how to build and maintain relationships with the wider community. They made us feel safe, understood, supported, encouraged, and most importantly, loved. No wonder many people look forward to and enjoy all that Mothers’ Day is meant to celebrate.

But life isn’t like that for everyone. Let’s think for a moment not only of those people whose mothers died prematurely, leaving vulnerable young children bereft, but also of the folk whose mothers were abusive, cold, punishing, narcissistic, abandoning, physically or emotionally absent. They may have grieved all of their lives as they longed for the mother of their dreams.

We may also wonder what Mothers’ Day celebrations might be like for mothers whose children have died prematurely? For women whose dreams of motherhood remain unfulfilled? For mothers of missing children? For mothers denied access to their children? For mothers neglected or ill treated by their children? For mothers whose children are imprisoned? For mothers whose children are lost in the fog of alcohol or other drug dependence, or of mental illness?

A Time for Celebration, Sorrow and Compassion
If you are one of the fortunate people, celebrate the day, treasure your memories, and make new ones. Then remember and show compassionate understanding to those less fortunate. Send a card, an email, a text message, flowers – show that you care. The gifts that our mothers have given us are multiplied when we use them to nurture, and to be other centred.

On this special day, let’s drink a toast to mothers everywhere, good or bad, for giving us life, and to mother earth who sustains it!”

The Birthday Girl

Louise DeCelis at her 40th 2018

The anxiousness that once unsettled me about ageing has returned. I haven’t sensed this fear for close to ten years. Louise mitigated this angst, it was the underlying reason that motivated me to marry and appreciate getting old.

I have a large tattoo on my left ribs that says; “Omne Vil Nihil,” which translates as; “All Or Nothing.” This statement could be no more applicable to the decision point I remember arriving at when I became excited to marry.

I was in no rush to get engaged and the pressure applied by family and friends had nill influence on my decision. I took my time. I needed to arrive at the decision with earnest clarity and personal RESOLUTION. When I was ready, I was “all-in” for the rest of my life.

I became extremely enthusiastic to enjoy the ride, travelling towards being a grandpa, living all the days proceeding to expected death, with Lou. I get emotional thinking about how much our children’s children would have loved ‘Grandma Lou Lou’.

I have now soared past 42 years of age and heading towards 43 like a bullet train with no brake. Louise will forever be a youthful 40 years, 8 months, 14 days old. Never a day older. So beautiful, so young, so energetic, so fun.

Dear Lou Lou,

Happy birthday!!

I no longer celebrate your yearly annuity as it’s now static, I celebrate the day you were born and I celebrate our individual worlds colliding.

I celebrate the time we had together.

I celebrate the family we made.

I celebrate all that you were and all that you would’ve been.

I miss you. Non stop.

Noah misses you.

Evie misses you.

We love you.


Eight Years Married Today

Louise's Dad, Les Decelis, walks Lou down the isle at wedding

It’s already been twelve months since the kids and I were road-tripping around the state.

I forgot how many celebrations we have to observe around this time of year. Jboy and Billies birthdays, today’s wedding anniversary, your birthday next week and mothers day around the corner….

Noah, Evie, Benson and I could sure use you while we bunker down in isolation. You would keep the home functioning like a Rolex timepiece.

You would be yelling at me substantially after consecutive days in close quarters, that’s fo sho.

I was making space on my phone last week, deleting unwanted files and came across a video that was over three minutes long, but the entire length of it was black. Knowing that it was obvious a pocket button click and unintended I was about to delete it and then I caught your voice muffled in the background.

The video ends up being you yelling at me for its entirety. We had people coming over that afternoon and I hadn’t mowed the lawn. Classic.

I miss being yelled out.

Anyway, I found a photo album on the upstairs computer that is labelled “print.” It only contains the below pics. I will get them printed for you during the week.

Happy wedding anniversary Lou Lou. Eight years married, I wish it could be 50.


Crazy crazy times right now. Do you feel like you’re in some kind in bizarre science fiction movie?

Personally, I feel remarkably fortunate. I live in an amazing house with more space than three humans and a stinky bulldog need, a massive yard with entertainment galore, plus the kids and I are drowning in toys and devices. The foreshore areas surrounding our postcode provide endless exploring hours and invaluable family time.

After 461 days without Lou and the trauma of trying to keep her alive. This Isolation mandate is effortless.

My work has definitely suffered, homeschooling is a serious challenge and sometimes I feel like pulling the arms and legs off my children as I would torturing a persistent grotty fly. But, all in all, I have nothing to complain about. I’m truly fortunate.

It takes just a micro thought to picture children in poverty, families in detention centres, people that are dying and those dealing with lost love ones during this global epidemic.

Right now I’m bunkered down with my two favourite people in the whole wild the world. We are healthy, we have each other.

Stay safe out there.

As Time Passes The Rawness Is Replaced By Reality

Louise DeCelis In San Fran

I wish I could say as the months have passed that life has become easier and the levels of anguish have subsided. It hasn’t.

You quickly learn how to manage yourself and the people you are responsible for but this is simply survival.

While I might not have fully accepted the loss of Lou’s life, after fourteen months I’ve accepted that she’s not coming back. I was obviously fully aware of this the day that she died, but the perpetual daily reminders make it hard. You still have great support around you but the raw reality of being on your own sinks in.

Upon reflection, attempting to understand where my emotions and thoughts lie, I may have put some false hope on getting through the “year of the firsts.” Once I passed the anniversary of Louise’s death, I thought this was a milestone that would reduce some of the grief that I uncomfortably carry around.

Those close to Lou have all had to endure many of the difficult “firsts” that grievers dread; birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, school events. But the one-year mark really only signifies that we’ve learned how to live in a world without her. The more time goes on the more you don’t want to live in this world without her. That’s the hard part, that’s the part that is hard to accept. Not wanting to be in this situation, alone.

I guess that’s why depression is always number four in the five stages of grief, (I accept the stages don’t necessarily fall in order though).

I’m really happy where Noah and Evie are at, they are little mini-Lou-warriors. Words simply can’t express how much I admire my (our) children. Without them, It’s a scary thought how hard it would be to stay on the rails, travelling in the right direction. My two beautiful little dependencies give me direction, they give me purpose.

I think I’m at one of those little humps whereby you need to listen to your emotions and accept the reality of the loss.

It’s ok to hurt.

I found this today in one of Lou’s notebooks:

Chase the yellow sunset…..♥️

Look at the stars
Look how they shine for you
And everything you do
Yeah they were all yellow

I came along
I wrote a song for you
And all the things you do
And it was called “Yellow”So then I took my turn
Oh what a thing to have done
And it was all yellow

Your skin
Oh yeah, your skin and bones
Turn into something beautiful
You know, you know I love you so
You know I love you soI swam across
I jumped across for you
Oh what a thing to do
‘Cause you were all yellow

I drew a line
I drew a line for you
Oh what a thing to do
And it was all yellow

Your skin
Oh yeah your skin and bones
Turn into something beautiful
And you know
For you I’d bleed…

Lou’s Eulogy: 25 January 2019

A love heart from Louise and Dominic Byrnes Wedding

A year on, I thought I would post Lou’s Eulogy. I actually haven’t been able to read it again, yet. I’ve uploaded it to preserve it for the kids and for anyone that wishes to read it.

Hi Everyone,


Thank you for coming today. I hope that if I ever die prematurely that I will get half this sized crowd out at my farewell. It’s remarkable. But such a sendoff is only fitting for someone that made zero enemies, was energetic, fun, caring, likeable, loveable and irresistibly beautiful, inside and out.

I’ve always prided myself on speeches and ensured that I am well prepared. Putting pen to paper at 4 pm yesterday when I had family and friends due at 5 isn’t ideal. To tell you truth, I couldn’t find the motivation to do it any earlier, as my time here now is essentially a goodbye.

Making the slideshow took way longer than expected too. That was emotional. I let Conks know the song I wanted and that I would fit some photos to the song length. Two days ago I was like; “Jon, can we make it two songs? I’m having trouble culling all these nice pics of Lou. At 3 pm yesterday I called John again and said “Conks, can we make it three songs mate?”

I came to conclusion last night, for my own benefit, we have an amazing singer in Reigan and her guitarist Rhys, and the photos of Lou accompanied by a beautiful voice is much more entertaining than me up here on a mic.

While Lou’s health spiralled in her last living week, we were very fortunate the right sequence of events occurred in as good an order as we could have hoped.

Her final days were filled with 24/7 love and care. Having my mum and sister in Germany helped us give Lou the attention she deserved. Lou’s parents were with her all day, holding her hand, talking to her and telling her that they loved her. I was able to do the same through the night.

Two days before she left us, I brought the kids in to see her. Both Noah and Evie kissed and cuddled their mum and told her they loved her multiple times. It was heartbreaking to watch but a much­needed event for Lou and the kids. Noah and Evie can go to their own graves knowing they cuddled and kissed their mum and expressed their love at the very end of her journey.

On that second last night, I kept telling Lou that her sister was on her way. I was even giving her updates by the hour. During the night she would have periods where she seemed a little stressed………………… Because she wasn’t conscious I was unaware if it was pain or she was going through an instinctive fighting moment.

Now in reflection, I think she was stressed that I was talking too much and being way too affectionate. She probably just wanted to rest.

I would kiss Lou and be like: “Lou, Elysia is going to be here in 12 hours, she can’t wait to see you, she loves you so much………………………………….. Lou, Elysia is going be here in 11

hours, she loves you, your mum and dad love you, Noah and Evie love you, I love you…………… and so on.

I have zero doubt that Lou made a final heroic charge to ensure she could spend her last living day with her sister and best friend.

That final night, as with the previous final days, I held her hand for eight hours straight. I would normally fall into a deep sleep when Lou did and then wake when she seemed stressed or potentially in pain. She was really restless for an hour or so around 4 am. While I was being a chatterbox and probably keeping her from sleeping peacefully, I did tell her I was worried she was in pain and if her pain and stress were unbearable, she didn’t have to fight for her family any more, she needed to do what is best for herself.

I felt her breathing pattern change while I was sleeping at 7:30 am. I propped up onto my elbow to look at her face, she took two more short breaths and then peacefully relaxed. I just cuddled her and cried. I kept her company and held her until her parents and sister arrived so we could all say our final goodbyes.

Nobody wants to say goodbye to their most important person in the world, but as far as goodbyes go, it was a nice end to a tragic story.

A story that deserved so many more pages.

So. On this EXACT day, 8 years ago, in fact, in just a couple of hours from now, I asked Louise to marry me.

Extraordinary coincidence.

For those that don’t know. I had a proposal­poem published in a local American newspaper paper and gave her the opened paper to read on­top of one of the most picturesque ski mountains, situated above Lou and I’s favourite little town, which is Telluride, Colorado.

The first 15 verses of the poem are about Telluride, its history and why we love the place so much. The last five verses are more or less the proposal component. The conclusion of the poem reads like this:

We are in many ways different, certain things evoke a disparate connect, for instance, you prefer a cruisy carve, further to the west, your favourite run, Prospect. Where I’m in my element, on the Gold Hill chutes, the mountains ever so steep; but it’s in these words of suggestion that I take a bigger leap.

It’s the dissimilar pieces in our exclusive lives that join us together, so time to commit, and pledge to take care of you forever. I love you all the flakes that cover the Western San Juan, although I never doubted it, you are officially now the one.

There will always be challenges that try to divide, but I have no uncertainty we will conquer, by walking together, step by step, side by side.

So it’s in this setting that I think it’s fitting, do you need to reposition? Perhaps you should be sitting; all I need is both ears a brief moment to listen, for it’s today, right here, right now I have an exciting proposition; if you treasure something, then it should be kept, I am expecting a “yes” here, so you better accept.

Without hesitation, I propose this question, in this magic place, our favourite destination, I shout out loud, will you be my companion? It is echoed throughout this surrounding box canyon. In our favourite little town, Louise Maree DeCelis, I do confide, I am asking you to be my bride, right here, right now, in Telluride!

Firstly, don’t think by publishing a poem in the paper that I’m romantic in any way. This approach allowed me to propose without having to utter a single word. Plus it allowed me to have my full face ski helmet on, as well as skis connected to my feet so I couldn’t take a knee. Ensuring the whole process wasn’t too personal and emotional. I could pop the question, get my “yes” and then execute a bump­run under chair nine.

The main point I want to make from the verses I just read is; the line:

“There will always be challenges that try to divide, but I have no uncertainty we will conquer, by walking together, step by step, side by side.”

Having an immediate family member with a terminal illness is going to be one of the biggest challenges to endure with the potential to divide. Louise and I didn’t have one frictional moment in the last seven months of her life, not one stoush. It may have been much longer than that but

I was very aware of the fact that when her cancer went metastatic, we were, even more, rock-solid. Several doctors or health care professionals specifically asked about my own strain and also about the health of our relationship, it was like they expected our union to be challenged.

When couples pledge their marriage, they promise to look after each other in ‘sickness and in health.’ We gave the “sickness” component of that commitment a good run for its money. The first time Lou stayed with my family in Newcastle eleven years ago, I had just been discharged from a couple of weeks in the hospital and unfortunately, we would continue this theme over the years. Eventually with Lou casting a big shadow over any of my accident/health­related issues, taking on more pain and suffering than anyone I know. And somehow always doing this as she stepped out of a fashion magazine, with beauty and style.

As far as forty­year­old couples go, the fact that we had to care, feed and bathe each other due to injury or sickness, and we only grew stronger was a testament to our committed and undiluted love for each other.

I am proud of that.

We also conquered side­by­side too. Her looks combined with her personality and heart ensured we got beautiful children inside and out. Our business (up until two years ago) was a north­pointing trajectory of success. We were happy people that made the most of our opportunities.

If you had asked me before I started working with Louise in our own business; “would you work with your wife?” I would have said “no thanks.” But when Lou was on bed rest for over a month with Evie, she was bored and asked if she could help with anything. I gave her a bunch of tasks to do and she ploughed through them way more efficiently than I ever could. I kept giving her more work that she did it with ease.

Within a month or so, even when Evie was fresh on the ground, I basically said; “you’re the boss of my business now, I will move into a functional role and you can be in charge.

Hey, I’d already done that in the family home many years before, so it only made sense to do it at work too.

In my wedding speech (and I thank Lynda for retrieving it from the bin at the reception on our wedding night, and I also I thank Jon for collecting it yesterday afternoon from Lynda’s so I could find some writing inspiration for this eulogy)

The majority of the speech was based around a key theme: ‘Family and Friends’:

And I will read a few sentences out from my wedding speech, verbatim: So this is what I said on the 20th April 2012.

“One of the biggest wins for Lou and I, is the assimilation of our own family and friends, the unification, gelling, integration and diffusion of both sides.

The biggest asset we have among our friendships, and as a group, is the support and encouragement we offer each other. Even when we are unaware we are giving it.”

My wedding speech continues with……..

“Unfortunately, life doesn’t always go to plan. Marriages may fail, people get sick, economies and poor decisions may bankrupt some of us or at worst we lose people close to us. We will be thrown speed bumps or mountains to climb, most importantly it’s not necessarily the material success achieved that mitigates such hurdles, it’s the family success that is the underlying strength. I have no doubt that this key ingredient is the core connector that brings quality people together, like this congregation here today. (which was the wedding congregation)

It continues….

I wholeheartedly thank all of my friends, my closest friends which is you, for your friendship.”


Now. I didn’t have all of you at my wedding but the message and the wholehearted thank you, to my friends and Lou’s friends is the same today, for this congregation of Lou’s village, as it was on our wedding day 7 years ago.

I have been getting genuine and overwhelmingly positive feedback from friends and family on the way I handled our ugly cancer journey, how I supported Lou and how I was even an inspiration through my supportive effort in her fight.

The truth is, I couldn’t have done it without you. I know I have thanked everyone multiple times in my blog and fundraiser video speeches but I would like to thank you in person today. The only reason I could put all the energy I could muster, into Louise and the kids while she went to war with cancer, is because of everyone here. The collective support of small and large never­ending gestures, from all of you, enabled me to give Louise, Noah and Evie the undivided attention needed to make our best attempt of winning.

Louise, the kids and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts. No matter how small or large the gesture may have been, the collective force of everyone’s love here today, truly carried us.

I will get around to thanking key people when time prevails. Some people have done some amazing things. For today, I’m just going to thank the McConkey family.

Another paragraph in my wedding speech that was addressed to John and Elysia, said;

“Who else would let me walk into their house, severely hungover, eat all their food, sleep on the couch for a few hours, not say a single word and just leave?”


Well, there are three of us doing that now (the kids drink less booze and they talk a little more) but we’re so fortunate we have a home and family that is an extension of our own. This is not just a thank you for the support of Louise and I during our fight but I am thanking you for the role you have already enthusiastically taken on board, which is bumping your immediate family numbers from six to nine.

Noah has already confused a lot of people, and this even before Lou go sick, when someone says; “do you have any brothers or sisters Noah? And Noah starts counting in his hands; Joshua, Sadie, Billie, Evie, Georgie…..

Thank you to John, Elysia, Sadie, Billie and Georgia for being the family we need to survive this tough time.

The only other person I have time to thank today is my wife, Louise.

Before Lou Lou got sick, I would question her ticker. The main reason for this is that she really didn’t like physical exercise. In fact, Lou has left us and I have never actually seen what her run looked like.

Lou had quite a unique walk. I never told her this, by the way, it wouldn’t have been worth my trouble. But I always wondered what her run would look like. I guess It’s something I will never know.

When she got sick she showed bravery and heart that I now emulate and have been inspired by. Any doubts I had on her mental strength were squashed. I knew she had strength in her when she chose to take on Noah and Evie’s birth without any pain relief.

But her fight against cancer was another level. While she fought so hard for all of us, I know her biggest motivator was her children. She did everything in her power to fight for them. Everything. She tried so hard.

I mentioned all the torture and suffering that Lou endured in one if my fundraising videos. It pains me today and I will forever feel anguish over the suffering she absorbed. She always kept fighting. She fought to the very last breath.

Louise never said, “why me?” She thought her situation was extremely cruel to the kids but she never questioned the unfairness of the ugly disease. She just got on with it.

Noah and Evie, you will probably get fed up with everyone here telling stories about your mum’s courage and how much she loved you and how hard she tried to stay on this earth to care for you until you had kids of your own. The love she had for you was impenetrable and immense.

Louise; You always told me that you wanted to die first and that you didn’t want to live any days without me. I know you didn’t mean it this early but I am so glad you are free from torment, pain, suffering and emotional torture.

I thank you for the short time that we had, the unconditional love that you gave me, the beautiful children that you gifted me.

I thank you for crafting me into a much more mature and sensible person. You somehow cultivated this by having me grow into a father I am proud to be, somewhere diluting my wild streak but still letting me be me.


Noah, Evie’s and my life will never be the same. You are irreplaceable. But the bravery we have inherited from the example that you demonstrated, will be enough for us to make it as a family of three (nine). To beat the odds. To not just survive but eventually thrive as individuals that are respected by everyone we come in contact with. Just as you achieved in your short but impactful life.

Beautiful warrior, I love you, Elysia and Jon love you, your mum and dad love you, Noad and Evie love you, your family, friends and village love you.

Rest in peace, my love.


You’re In The Mountains And The Mountains Are In You!

Spraying champagne on Seeforever for Louise Decelis

January 25:
In 2011, to the day, in Telluride Colorado, at the junction of Seeforever and Plunge, I asked Lou to marry me. Nine years on, we lay a portion of her ashes in the exact same location. Embedded in the breathtaking mountains forever.

By chance; This same day 365 days ago also happened to be Lou’s funeral, where we said goodbye, forever. Uncanny.

Before we celebrated an ashes memorial with close friends on Seeforever. Noah, Evie and I took Lou’s favourite run in Prospect Bowl, we sprinkled her ashes along the cruisy and scenic route.

We talked about the ashes, what they meant, why we were here and why we were leaving a piece of Mumma in the beautiful south-west of Colorado. It was an exquisite blue sky magic day and with the sun shining on our exposed faces, we left some of Lou in our trails, to ski an area she loved for eternal life.

The wind in her hair, the sun warming her body and a sense of freedom that evokes a stoked smile only a skier would appreciate. “Ski-on Lou-Lou, you can now make those soft ‘controlled’ turns forever.”

Scattering ashes definitely stirred up some disconcerted feelings in Evie that’s for sure as she attempted to grasp what mummy had become. Grey bone matter in her hands, falling through her tiny fingers and into the cold pure white snow.

Following this quality and memorable time together, the kids and I made our way up to the top of chair six, where we congregated with friends and conducted a short but bitter-sweet memorial. We made a love heart with Lou’s ashes, we sprayed her beloved Verve and chanted; “Lou Lou We Love You!!”

We struggled for good sound in the video so the transcript is here:

“I have very little experience with any kind of ashes memorial but I know Lou would have wanted to have a part of her remain right here. So with a small portion of ashes, I will conduct a short, punchy and bitter-sweet, ceremony, that I know she will appreciate.

Everyone, thanks so much for coming to this memorial for Lou Lou. It means a lot to Noah, Evie and Me. Hopefully, it has significant meaning for you too.

There is a very specific reason why we are standing in this exact spot on this day. Before I elaborate on that, I will read a short letter from Elysia, Louise’s best friend and sister.

I thank Elyisa for those words. Elysia, Jon, their kids and my parents-in-law have played a significant role in our management of both grief and continuing on in our lives as best we can.

Love Heart In The Snow!

Most of you are familiar with Lou’s and my engagement story. For those that need a refresh; I organised to have a proposal proem published in the local paper, the Telluride daily planet.

We went out for a morning ski, nine years ago to the day, give or take a few hours. It was a cold morning. Lou didn’t seem to think it was too odd that I was “reading” the paper on chairs, 4, 5 and 6.

When we got down to this location, Lou stopped to appreciate the view. I was like, “oh you should read this poem, it’s about Telluride, you would really like it!”

It’s funny that we stopped right here because it actually wasn’t by design. The fact we ended up at the junction of “Seeforever” and “Plunge” is very fitting and simply a coincidence and now part of a special narrative. The poem talks about Telluride, its history and why we like the place so much….

The poem is fairly long so I will read you just the last five verses because it is the wrap-up and proposal component, and it fits with the rest of what I want to say.

And it finished like this:

It’s the dissimilar pieces in our exclusive lives that join us together, so time to commit, and pledge to take care of you forever. I love you all the flakes that cover the Western San Juan, although I never doubted it, you are officially the one.

There will always be challenges that try to divide, but I have no uncertainty we will conquer, by walking together, step by step, side by side. So it’s in this setting that I think it’s fitting, do you need to reposition? Perhaps you should be sitting; all I need is both ears a brief moment to listen, for it’s today, right here, right now I have an exciting proposition. If you treasure something, then it should be kept, I am expecting a yes here, so you better accept.

Without hesitation, I propose this question, in this magic place, our favourite destination, I shout out loud, will you be my companion? It is echoed throughout this surrounding box canyon.

In our favourite little town, Louise Maree DeCelis, I do confide, I am asking you to be my bride, right here, right now, in Telluride!

Love Hearts To The Sky! “We Love You, We Miss You, Rest In Peace”

So she obviously said yes and the rest is history…….

But for Lou, unfortunately, the history is very short and as of Jan 12 last year, there would be no more chapters to her book.

So this morning I added four additional verses to the proposal poem, just for today. And they go:

It was only nine years ago that we stood in this very spot, and laid the foundation to tie an official knot. In the following eight years, our love only grew stronger, unfortunately, today we only think, dream’n’wish that you could’ve stayed, much-much longer.

With this special ceremony, you are now in the mountains and the mountains are in you, as we stand here, celebrate and reflect surrounded by this magnificent Coloadro view. With your sacred body poured from the kid’s hands, soaked into the earth amalgamated with the magnificent San Juans.

Your favourite champagne popped and sprayed as part of this memorial celebration, this moment in time, your ashes, these people are now part of your cremation. While the last twelve months have been a challenging emotional blur, not a day goes by that we don’t think about everything that you were.

Our kids stand here looking out to “Seeforever” with so many good things to come, with friends and supporters like this we will continue to cushion their everyday plunge, without their beloved mum. Sadly it’s now just the three of us together, but fortunately, you not only live in Noah and Evie, you live in these mountains, forever and ever.

Noh, Evie and Dominic Byrne spreading and ashes and champagne for Lou

365 Days

Louise Decelis in telluride, Main Street

I’m just staring at my screen with nothing creative or notable to say.

One year has painfully passed since you died. Dealing with your absence hasn’t got any easier. Mentally the last few months have been the hardest.

JBoy made a video of all the #BTOTW images that were captured. All 52 of them. He mixed some great pics of you in there. I haven’t really stopped crying since I watched his great little compilation and that was three hours ago.

My 52’nd #BTOTW – Last night in The Buck

Evie is looking after me. She got me a lolli from her hidden stash upstairs and she’s been cuddling me and rubbing my back. Noah’s playing on his switch and steering around the day so far.

Evie’s asked well over a dozen questions about death today. The little Poppa’s arriving at an age where she’s slowly comprehending you won’t be coming home.

The Three of Us Went Out For A Tasty Breakfast

I’m glad we’re and in your favourite place right now. There is no location or activity in this beautiful town where I don’t vividly see you. Always adding extra vivacious decoration to an already stunning setting. Some times it makes me smile, sometimes it makes me sad.

Memories I need to stimulate to aid the healing process.

I really hope there is a place you go after death and it has skis fields just like Telluride

It’s the sunniest beautiful morning we’ve been treated to on our trip. Elegant blue skies breaking through a couple of days of snow storm. Thanks for saying hi…

We just really miss you and want you to come home.

52 BTOTW’s

Louise and Elysia

As many of you know, each Saturday we celebrate a BTOTW.

Most BTOTW’s occur at the McConkey’s, The Courtney’s or The Byrne’s residence as we all, fortunately, live on the same street.

Jboy has collected all of the BTOTW images and added some great shots of Lou throughout the compilation.

Lou Lou In Telluride

Louise DeCelis and Tristan Byrne

Nobody knows how to say goodbye
It seems so easy ’til you try
Then the moments passed you by
Nobody knows how to say goodbye

Nobody knows how to get back home
And we set out so long ago
Search the heavens and the Earth below
Nobody knows how to get back home

Through the darkness to the dawn
And when I looked back you were gone
Heard your voice leading me on
Through the darkness to the dawn

Love is deep as the road is long
And moves my feet to carry on
It beats my heart when you are gone
Love is deep as the road is long

Nobody knows how the story ends
Live the day, doing what you can
This is only where it began
Nobody knows how the story ends
Nobody knows how the story ends


“Soon You’ll Get Better….”

Love my Tay Tay.

If you’ve ever cared for a terminally ill patient, this song will likely bring a tear to your eye…..😢

I never thought for one minute she wasn’t going to get better.

The buttons of my coat were tangled in my hair
In doctor’s-office-lighting, I didn’t tell you I was scared
That was the first time we were there
Holy orange bottles, each night I pray to you
Desperate people find faith, so now I pray to Jesus too
And I say to you Ooh-ah, soon you’ll get better
Ooh-ah, soon you’ll get better
Ooh-ah, you’ll get better soon
‘Cause you have to I know delusion when I see it in the mirror
You like the nicer nurses, you make the best of a bad deal
I just pretend it isn’t real
I’ll paint the kitchen neon, I’ll brighten up the sky
I know I’ll never get it, there’s not a day that I won’t try
And I’ll say to you Ooh-ah, soon you’ll get better
Ooh-ah, soon you’ll get better
Ooh-ah, you’ll get better soon
‘Cause you have to And I hate to make this all about me
But who am I supposed to talk to?
What am I supposed to do
If there’s no you? This won’t go back to normal, if it ever was
It’s been years of hoping, and I keep saying it because
‘Cause I have toOoh-ah, you’ll get better
Ooh-ah, soon you’ll get better
Ooh-ah, you’ll get better soon Ooh-ah, soon you’ll get better
Ooh-ah, soon you’ll get better
Ooh-ah, you’ll get better soon
‘Cause you have to

‘Cause you have to…

Some Travel Therapy To Assist With Our Grief

When you’re greaving for a loved one that has been unjustly taken from you, you’re heavy. Your mind is heavy, your heart is heavy and your body is heavy. The anguish is a debilitating weight that slows you down. You can move fast when needed but it requires more effort. The issue is that the effort causes more fatigue and if you’re not careful, it can cause compounding stress.

The tough days are unpredictable and without warning, they can be sparked by the tiniest of ideas, memories or activity. The good days don’t last long enough. You often think you’re managing but hastily come crashing back to a melancholy state without any time to prepare.

Best Pants On The Snow – Ever.

When you have grieving children, it’s an additional sorrow that leaves you perplexed as to why these pour little angels have been forced to endure heartbreak at such a young age. Grief is a reflection of the connection that was sadly terminated. What bigger connection is there of a child and their mum?

Just looking at a small child that has lost their mum is an instant emotional swift punch in the chest. A punch I feel every day.

Hiking In MOAB With My Mum And Dad

I talked about the five stages of grief in February this year. I made a point that depression is not a sign of mental illness in the case of death, it’s an appropriate response to a great loss. However, we can’t allow grief to destroy us. We need to use the extremely unfortunate situation to transform ourselves into better people.

This is easier said than done that’s for sure. While I’m honestly not sure if I’m on the path to be a better person, I know I am much more grateful for the people and good fortunes that I have in my life.

I’m happy to say that I’m proud of the way I have managed Noah and Evie this year. We’re fast approaching the anniversary date of Lou’s death and we’ve had to get through some big year-of-the-first milestones along the way.


From the day we left Germany I started to formulate the mental and physical plan to over-index the kids with my time, my energy, my patience and my love. I have succeeded at this.

Now we’re about to finish off the year and move into the next, spending six weeks travelling with Noah and Evie in the USA. We’ve been lucky enough to rent our home for two months to fund an overindulgent holiday that will be a real mix of emotion. Surely, the majority of that emotion will be weighted in fun.

Hopefully quality time away, as an unbreakable unit of three, will be a winning ingredient to help play-out the first year of our grieving process.

Family Ski – Evie A Little Too Young For Skis On This Trip…

It will be hard to be away from the McConkeys and Lou’s parents for big days like Christmas and the anniversary of Lou’s death but I think this lengthy time travelling together will help with our bereavement.

I have a lot of nostalgic destinations and activities planned from my previous holidays and memories with Lou. We can talk about Mumma every day on our journey and hopefully our travels will lighten our heavy hearts. All before Evie starts big school.

Some of Lou’s ashes will join us and remain in the San Juan mountains of Telluride.

We leave next Friday.

Dear Evie, Happy Birthday!!

Evie with Bille, mumma, daddy and Annabel

Dear Evie,

Today my precious “noonicorn”, you’re five 🖐.

You came into this world crying and you’ve never really stopped. 😭😂

You were such a pretty little puffin the minute you wanted out of Mumma’s tummy and you get more beautiful every day.

My Little Poppa

I get emotional just thinking about how much you’ve grown up in the last twelve months. You are a real character. You’ve counted down the days and today is the day.

After cuddling me all night or searching for me in the bed if we parted, you woke up so excited. You slept-in which is out of character but I guess that’s your Halloween hangover. A plastic pumpkin head of overflowing ‘candy’ all transferred to your tummy will do that to you….

You woke with a big smile and exclaimed; Daddy, it’s my birthday!” Then stood up and said; “look Dadda, my legs are longer.” There is always a funny story to tell with something you say or do. One of my faves this spring is:

As the seasons have been changing and the weather is unpredictable, it’s six in the morning, you decide its time to select your first outfit for the day.

“Daddy, is it cold outside?”

“Yeah It’s a little bit cold, I think you should wear pants and a long sleeve t-shirt.”

Then you march over to the dog door and stick your little hand out the swinging flap so your fingertips reach the outside of the house and say;

“It’s warm Dadda, I’m going to wear shorts.”

“Perfect. It’s nine degrees Celcius, why not Evie?”

I know you won’t take any of my council so my only choice is to pack a warm outfit in your school bag and hope the carers at daycare have more influence over your rigid decisions than I do.

Evie, this is your first birthday without your mum. I grapple to understand the cruelness of a five-year-old girl having to mature through the years without their mummy’s guiding light. The only saving grace is that your shores have admirable lighthouses either side in; Liesy, Grandma, Nanny, Aunty Egg, Aunty Boo, Aunty Emma……… friends and family, all channelling you and governing the route.

A mother’s love is one of the most powerful forces on earth, it is unconditional and eternal.

It’s now your warm human lighthouses that will keep the infinite flow of love that mummy created at full capacity to ensure you are carried to each destination.

Just like Noah, you are my hero. You and Noah are amazing, I have nothing but emulation for how you’ve handled losing the most important person in your life. You simply get on with it and lead by example.

Evie Pops, I can’t wait for our overseas holiday this December, to excite you everyday and create some beautiful memories. I will show you where your mummy and I made some of our best memories, events that were the building blocks to you. My favourite girl in the whole wide world.

I love you. I love you as much as your mummy did and you know that’s a lot.

Happy Birthday, Puffin.



Magnetic Island Family Snap Louise DeCelis With Noah and Evie

I thought I would post this song before it blows up on the radio.

Adam Levine was one of Lou’s massive crushes. I think he edged out Bradley Cooper and Johhny Knoxville, even if they were combined. Hopefully, I got a run in there somewhere too…… 🤔😉😂

Has Adam pilfered my hairstyle?

Love these lyrics…………

Here’s to the ones that we got
Cheers to the wish you were here, but you’re not
‘Cause the drinks bring back all the memories
Of everything we’ve been through
Toast to the ones here today
Toast to the ones that we lost on the way
‘Cause the drinks bring back all the memories
And the memories bring back, memories bring back you
There’s a time that I remember, when I did not know no pain
When I believed in forever, and everything would stay the same
Now my heart feel like December when somebody say your name
‘Cause I can’t reach out to call you, but I know I will one day, yeah
Everybody hurts sometimes
Everybody hurts someday, aye aye
But everything gon’ be alright
Go and raise a glass and say, aye
Here’s to the ones that we got
Cheers to the wish you were here, but you’re not
‘Cause the drinks bring back all the memories
Of everything we’ve been through
Toast to the ones here today
Toast to the ones that we lost on the way
‘Cause the drinks bring back all the memories
And the memories bring back, memories bring back you
Doo doo, doo doo, doo doo
Doo doo, doo doo, doo doo, doo doo
Doo doo, doo doo, doo doo doo
Memories bring back, memories bring back you
There’s a time that I remember when I never felt so lost
When I felt all of the hatred was too powerful to stop (ooh, yeah)
Now my heart feel like an ember and it’s lighting up the dark
I’ll carry these torches for ya that you know I’ll never drop, yeah
Everybody hurts sometimes
Everybody hurts someday, aye aye
But everything gon’ be alright
Go and raise a glass and say, aye
Here’s to the ones that we got (oh oh)
Cheers to the wish you were here, but you’re not
‘Cause the drinks bring back all the memories
Of everything we’ve been through (no, no)
Toast to the ones here today (aye)
Toast to the ones that we lost on the way
‘Cause the drinks bring back all the memories (aye)
And the memories bring back, memories bring back you
Doo doo, doo doo, doo doo
Doo doo, doo doo, doo doo, doo doo
Doo doo, doo doo, doo doo doo
Memories bring back, memories bring back you
Doo doo, doo doo doo doo
Doo doo, doo doo, doo doo, doo doo
Doo doo, doo doo, doo doo doo (ooh, yeah)
Memories bring back, memories bring back you
Yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, no, no
Memories bring back, memories bring back you

I wish the memories brought you back. ♥️💔

So many good memories though, it’s what keeps the kids and I going…..♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️

It Was All Downhill From Here

Louise DeCelis drinking a cocktail in Byron Bay

People that talk about losing a loved one and grief often mention ‘the year of the firsts’.

The first year enduring such a massive loss is likely to be the most difficult, especially as milestones approach. Birthdays. Christmas. Mothers Day. The fast upcoming anniversary of Lou’s passing.

I could be very wrong with the above comments though. I guess I’m thinking of the way it will play out for the kids and I. Grief journeys are as unique as we are. Everyone’s journeys are never the same. We will all mourne in our own unique way.

9 October 2018. Elements at Byron Bay. Just us, having a drink and watching the sun go down.

The only advice I can give is taking ‘one-day-at-a-time’. Do your best to listen to your feelings and mourn at your own pace. I’m still a newbie though so my advice is young.

I feel as though I have handled the big milestones reasonably well. It’s because I overprepare for them like its a grand final game. I smash through the day and think; “that wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be”, but then I seem to crash after I have succeeded the day itself like I’m coming down from a bender.

For me, often it’s the little things that catch me off-guard that rock me. Finding a message that expresses love. Looking at a picture that entails a memorable moment. The kids achieving something and Lou not present to be in awe. Desperately needing a back scratch and not being able to lay across Lou’s legs while she is reading a novel.

10 October 2018. Dinner at Barrio with the family. Having fun.

As the year has progressed, I’m often thinking about what we were doing this time last year. Unfortunately around this same time, things began to spiral into nothing but pain, suffering and emotional torture.

The hope never left. The fight never left. But the good days for Lou were over.

Addressing the unfavourable elements of the cascading journey towards death along with the awareness and unpackaging of thoughts into some form of candid expression seem to help with the acceptance.

10 October 2018. Elements at Byron Bay. Reciprocal love.

The photos in this post are Lou’s last happy moments.

This week last year we were on a family holiday in Byron Bay, hastily organised to take advantage of an anticipated window of better health. The first few days went pretty well. The day after these photos were taken, I don’t recall Lou ever authentically smiling again. She smiled for the kids for their comfort but it was an extreme effort.

This short holiday was off the back of some shit weeks. Our hopes were propped high on an Immunotherapy trial but in one week from now we would be informed it wasn’t working and we were out of options. By the end of the month, we would be fundraising to tempt fate in Germany.

It’s crazy this is all only one year ago. Crazy crazy.

From these last happy days that Lou got to appreciate life and her people in it, she would live (or suffer) just 94 more.

Louise DeCelis drinking a cocktail in Byron Bay
11 October 2018. By the pool at Elements in Byron. The last smiles from Lou. X

We miss you, Little-Lou-Lou. XX 🥰

“Lou Lou, Can I Please Build A Halfpipe In The Backyard?” “Absolutely Zero Chance, Dom.”

Noah Byrne's Backyard Halfpipe

This clemency post is my first big apology to my late wife.

Ever since we moved into our new house in 2013, I’ve been asking Lou every few months if I can build a skateboard ramp.

Noah, our first child, was born the same year we moved into our dream home. I thought the combination of having a future skateboarding son (motocross rider and skier), along with enough space, would be an instant approval for a ton of wood to be constructed into a halfpipe. I mean, why wouldn’t it??

Foundation Going In 💥

With Noah so young and yours truly balancing the other end of the age bracket, it was hard for Lou to warm to the idea. It was always a big fat; “NO!”

Lou wore the pants in our relationship. I’ve always been proud to say this. I loved the conformable dynamic and I miss it today. However as much as she was against a halfpipe at home, she would have eventually said “yes.” A combination of playing my cards right and her ‘beautiful innocent blue-eyed son’ getting on board with the requests, we would have eventually won-out. With a strategic double-pronged attack; Noah would be ‘front side tail grab nose blunt sliding’ on our brand new shiny coping before we knew it…….

Looking Good! Finishing Touches 🤙🏿

Dear Lou, you had some awesome renovation and landscaping plans for our home. I promise I will do my best to manufacture these ideas into reality, hopefully getting some of these dreams crafted this year. But right now, please don’t strike me with lightning because our home has an epic little halfpipe of fun. Sorry for going against the grain on this matter. I know you would’ve eventually recognised all the good reasons that outweigh the negative and approve such an important project. Also, sorry this letter is so brief, but………….. we’re going skating.

Love Noah, Evie, Benson and Me Xxxxxxxxx – We miss you like the deserts miss the rain.

Now to ensure Noah trades his scooter for his skateboard, any tips?

Thanks to Modify Ramps for putting this epic halfpipe together, onsite, in a single day. Arrived at 6:30 am, all done, even painted, by 5 pm. 👊🏽


Very manual time lapse 👆

Family Skate 🤗


BTOTW = Best Time Of The Week

Best Time Of The Week!

As Elysia explained in one of her recent posts:

For years and years, for as long as I can remember, at 5:30pm on a Saturday, Jonny would raise his first beer and yell through the house, “Best Time of the Week”… as fate would have it that is also the exact same time when our beautiful warrior passed away in the arms of her one true love earlier this year. So every Saturday at 5.30pm we cheers her, our village cheers her. Together. 💛 #BTOTW #strongertogether #ourwarrior #icanmovement #blendedfamily

Elysia McConkey 31 August 2019

When Lou’s tortured body finally stopped working, it was 7:30 am in Germany, right on the dot. An amazing coincidence for it to be 5:30 pm on a Saturday night at home. It’s so cool that Jon started a tradition before it was an extremely meaningful tradition.

I can remember Lou’s last breath as if it happened this very minute. While I clung to hope tighter than I would a liferaft in a rough swell, I’m pretty sure I knew she was on her way out, I just couldn’t accept it. I still havent accepted it.

I like that we have a very convenient time to celebrate Louise, every week, forever.

San Francisco....
🥂Cheers to Lou!

I encourage you to toast a glass for Lou at 5:30 pm each Saturday. There is a good chance you will have a drink in your hand at this time anyway. If not, grab one and raise it towards the sky. Cheers it to Lou, our beautiful princess warrior.

To Lou!! 🥂🍻♥️

louise decelis drinking wine on Amalfi coast
Cheers. To Me!!