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Assorted thoughts on a month of missing Red Twin

Today is one month since Red Twin died.

Arthur asked me if I think I’m depressed. I’m just so sad all the time. But I said no. It’s not been the 6-8 weeks yet (the normal initial adjustment period to shock or trauma) so I think it’s too early to make a call anyway. But I eat, I sleep, I exercise. I get dinner on the table.

I still laugh. Tanzanian last names are your father’s first name. So I would be Tamie Peter. A colleague of Arthur’s saw the card from Red Twin’s funeral, which had her first and middle names on it, but not her last. (Her identity still needs to be protected.) Upon seeing this he asked if Australia was a matrilineal society. Because both names are female, he thought we took our mothers’ names. That made me chuckle.

I thought grief would be like a stabbing pain, but it’s more like a slow crush. So I do everything with a smaller range of motion. My capacity is significantly reduced. None of my normal routines work.

I’d like to keep busy, but my two mornings a week for research and writing yawn in front of me. I can barely make my brain function. I’ve been inventing errands to do instead.

I want to be around people, but I’m exhausted after 10 mins. Tanzanian sympathy visits are 3 hours minimum, but I don’t want them to stop. I want to be acknowledged. But on the other hand, I want to be left alone.

People ask me what I need. I don’t know. Well, I do. I need Red Twin back.

I didn’t realise how often I WhatsApped with her, or how whenever something happened, even if I didn’t tell her immediately, I knew I would download it into her brain later on.

Things keep trundling along. Children still need to be fed and hugged and have their squabbles broken up before someone gets too badly hurt. Why do they have so many needs when I have so much less to give?! But then, Callum’s soft cheek against mine is comforting (even if the constant tugging on my clothes and twiddling with my nipples isn’t!) And Elliot brought me a picture he’d drawn, “because you’re sad, Mama”. It was of me with my Mum and Dad and sisters in a caravan, which is how we went on holidays when I was a kid.

They keep growing even though Red Twin has stopped living. They learn new things, and have new issues, and I don’t have her perspective on them. That’s not a stab either. It’s more like a gaping hole, a vacuum that sucks all the air out of the world.

I tell my little boys that Red Twin is with Jesus, but the words feel like dust in my mouth. It feels incongruent that she could be experiencing the joy of being with Him, while I feel so sad. I am jealous of both of them, being with each other, enjoying each other without me.

I’ve been trying to remember the last conversation I had with Red Twin, but I can’t. She was delirious for her last days, so we didn’t know which conversation would be the last or if she would wake up again, and if she would be ‘there’ when she spoke.

She didn’t seem like she was passing from one world to the next, from our love into the arms of Jesus. It just seemed like she was gone. I keep thinking there should have been a trace of pixie dust, some tangible hint that there is another world. But there was none. There still isn’t.

What is so real for her does not seem at all real to me. It is an effort to believe. This is what it is to live by faith and not by sight I guess.

Categories: Written by Tamie

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Tamie Davis

Tamie Davis is an Aussie living in Tanzania, writing at

10 replies

  1. Big hugs and prayers for you, Tamie. I can’t even begin to imagine what it must be like. xox

    1. Thank you for your candour. It needs to be shared. Prayers and thoughts are with you. Keep sharing please. Yes I suppose “Faith is hope of things unseen”. We need to keep that alive. As you wrote before in another post even just the hope of being reunited and knowing Red Twin in heaven will keep you believing, is reason to keep the faith alive. xxxxx

  2. This is beautiful Tam. And expresses so much of what I am feeling too. You have such a way with words and an ability to let others into your world.


    Sent from my iPhone

  3. Thanks Tamie. I often don’t know what to say. What Meredith said. And perhaps the pixie dust was Red Twin’s faith? (And her love and joy and peace and laughter while facing death, the last enemy. Just her really.. she is the sign of the wonder that is Christ in us: the hope of glory: her testimony is ageless) I was meditating on what it was like for Jesus’ friends and family and onlookers when he died. Only in retrospect .. the perspective of the resurrection.. did they see the signs that death was being vanquished even as he died. Even though there were some pretty crazy things going on. Earth quaking, sun stopped shining, veil that had blocked God’s glory from view tearing from top to bottom, people rising up out of graves, Jesus’ compassion and tenderness and faith and prayers for forgiveness from the cross. Red Twin herself was a glimpse of God’s glory. Jesus also articulated the sheer agony of the grief of parting from the cross. Tamie I am sorry for this real grief of parting. I pray you know Christ’s provision of all you need for what he has for you now and in the completion of time that your joy will be complete and your aching needs fully satiated. Love proves to be stronger than death. Weeping lasts for the duration of the darkness and joy will come at the advent of the light. Much love.

  4. It’s so helpful to read your writing. I’ve kept very busy, very distracted these past weeks. But the essay was in and the pressure was off with a break from college and school holidays for the kids. So it’s been a teary and sad and flat week, so lacking in motivation to make any progress with any aspect of my life. Although I’m so very grateful for the memories I have I feel rebellious against being only grateful and ache with longing for new conversations with Red Twin. Thanks for sharing your experience of grief with others. xx

  5. +tears+ +hugs+ +sadness+

    +Proceeds to sit with Tamie for the next while until either of our little ones demand milk. Sitting in silence.+

    Love to you.


  6. hey tamie
    thanks for writing.
    I don’t have exceptionally profound words of comfort or encouragement, but I so appreciate your sharing and just wanted to say that your words are heard and important. I’m reminded of a beautiful little song by brooke fraser (ice on her lashes) which has been a friend to me for a while now. I sing it to myself when i’m caught by grief and the joy/frustration that life still continues:
    “Oh, Annie
    I will think of you each time I see the sun
    Didn’t want a day without you
    But somehow I’ve lived through another one…”

    sending love x

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