Monday, August 31, 2015


By Seren Shutte

As a nurse I experience loss, death & grief as part of my job. Helping my patients and their families in such a personal time can be confronting, intense but always an honour. 

Last week I said goodbye to my Nana.

Dear Nan,

I am grieving the woman who taught me patience with sewing and mindfulness with baking, without you I would still be using staples on my hems. You will be so happy to know I have finally perfected your ANZAC biscuit recipe and added a twist of my own.

Without your influence I would be void of sentimentality. Your candid wedding poratrait is pride of place amongst our growing photo wall.

Thank you for showing me the wonder of writing and receiving post cards. The excitement I would get from reading your thoughtfully written letters and cards is unforgettable. It must have been heartbreaking for you when your hands could no longer hold a pen.

Thank you for giving me your blue tea pot. I reminisce afternoon tea scenes, the brew sitting between us as we enjoy fresh-baked biscuits or S.A.O.s with Vegemite. I also have your cake tin, baking rack and wooden handle grater. The practical woman in you would be pleased to see kitchen items being used reguarly.

Your seaside village where you raised three children is now a regular camping spot for my own little family. When I am chasing my kids along the tide line, I picture you sun- kissed and sandy, doing the same.

I wear your compass pendant because I feel close to you when I travel. As a young teen, I longed for your return after months on the road as a grey nomad. Thank you for encouraging me to have my own adventures.

We used your doilies and glass ware to decorate our wedding tables because you could not be there in person. The congratulatory video you made for us was the best. 

I am so glad you were able to meet my daughters. I am so glad your humour and mannerisms live on in them, it means you are with me every day.

Thank you for sharing your daughter with me. Before you passed I only ever saw her as my mum. I now see her in such a different light. Being your support and carer has given her amplified confidence and strength.

Love always,
Seren Annie

Seren is a sentimental, suburban free ranger who blogs vicariously via Beetleshack. A critical care nurse by trade with a passion for photography, camping and Hermés scarves. Two girls and an awesome husband complete her family, collectively known as PEGS. Join her as she shares camping capers and inspiring journeys.


  1. This is beautiful and so moving. xo

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  3. Such beautiful thoughts and it sounds like she left a wonderful legacy.
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Thanks so much for your words of encouragement, advice and solidarity.

xo em