Shared by Kellie Curtain

On night three of our Mother’s Day series we hear from journalist, presenter and freelance writer Kellie Curtain.

She joins us from the desert: Abu Dhabi to be precise, where she’s living the expat life with her husband and four beautiful kids.

Kellie explains how a broken heart can also be a happy heart; wise words for those of you who may be struggling with the loss of your own mum or a confronting illness such as breast cancer.

It’s such a privilege to honour Pamela via her daughter…


Mother of a Day

by Kellie Curtain


It came just as I knew it would but not when I was expecting it, my new kind of normal.

The sun with a magnificent orange hue had begun to fall behind the sea on day one of a much-needed holiday and it framed a perfect picture moment of our young children dancing on the water’s edge of the mile long beach. I smiled enjoying the rare moment of sibling harmony when my new normal snuck up on me as suddenly as the waves they were trying to outrun.

It was the realization that I had no one to call.

Never again would someone be waiting for me to phone, wondering if I had got to where I was going, wanting to know I had arrived safely because that’s what mothers do. That’s what my mother did and she was gone.

In the three weeks since her death we had felt a little victorious. We were thankful to have been able to care for mum in her home, that her four adult children were holding her hand when she took her last breath and we celebrated her life with a beautiful send off. As far as deaths go it was perfect, except there was no happy ending. My Kodak moment on the beach dissolved and the permanency of her absence was revealed for the first time. It was a loneliness I could never have imagined.

My world didn’t stop on that day almost six years ago and whilst I paused to let the tears fall I didn’t stop either. No mother with young children ever gets to stop for long.

“It will get easier,” she had promised me and like with most things she was right. I now know that a broken heart can still be happy and beat strong, that my loss unearthed a resilience which allows me to get up when I stumble over motherhood or my first world problems. But I will never stop missing her. I didn’t always like what she had to say but there was no person in this world who loved, protected or wanted more for me. I know this because I am a mother.

This mothers day I will be thankful for the four smiling faces who will wake me up with handmade cards of love, the same ones who two seconds later will be squabbling or asking, “When is children’s day?”

I will send messages to my brothers because I know half a world away they will be thinking about the ‘helluva’ woman we called Mum whilst feeling just a little cheated that she isn’t around to enjoy her 10 grandchildren and have them enjoy her.

And I will feel truly blessed for the village of women in my life both in the East and West whom through their actions and words have made the hole my mother left feel a little smaller.

I will wear one of her many bright lipsticks, and without even noticing I will caress her wedding ring that sits on my finger and it will turn … and so will the world.


“Get yourself up begin the day,

It will start without you anyway.

Let tears fall into the cup of tea,

Then get on with what needs to be.

That loving voice you no longer hear,

Cuddle those babies to feel her near.

It’s not what is lost, but what was had,

She prepared you for the good times and bad.

And in a moment alone at days end,

My heart will break all over again.

Put your lipstick on and start the day,

You know she’d want it to be that way.”

by Kellie Curtain


 The authentic storytelling in this Engaging Women series is attracting a lot of praise, thank you to these writers for sharing.

On Monday night we published, “My first Mother’s Day without my baby” it is an honest, powerful read which you can find over here tap this link.

Coming up, one of Victoria’s most well-known faces shares her thoughts.

If this post has raised issues and you need to talk to someone, please head here Lifeline.

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Martine Harte is founder of Engaging Women, a platform for social good.
She is a dedicated voice in the advancement of women & girls. Contact

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