Looking Inwards

It’s been a while. I haven’t been able to write because my first subscriber and ‘go to’ person to get honest opinions from about my designs, my father, has been taken from this world by cancer. It wasn’t until after he had gone that I realised I subconsciously wrote to him each time I scribbled a post (it made it easier imagining who was reading my words). I don’t want to be dramatic and I don’t want to say much more, I just wanted to say why I had not been writing or indeed visiting your blogs recently.

back to front

An interesting thing happened to me though. Towards the end of his illness every single one of my senses became razor sharp, fully focused and I was hyper-aware of every minute detail around me. I normally notice pretty small and often random (possibly irrelevant) things but this was different. I suppose it was a primal instinct telling me to be aware.

But as soon as Dad was gone I barely saw a thing, even beautiful things that I would normally feast my eyes on. Dark glasses, ear plugs inserted and an unopened camera bag was the new order of the day. Fragile.


However, good things happen too. Very, very good things. Friends. Friends bringing food, sending heart felt cards, telling me they were around but not invading. And a message from a supremely wise friend in Hong Kong who pointed out how lucky I was. She reminded me I knew it was coming, I could prepare my mind and most importantly Dad knew the most important people in my life – my husband and my children. I have a charmed life and so did Dad.

The world has begun to zoom back into focus and I’m noticing things around me again. I am also really looking forward to dipping into all your inspiring  blogs and hearing your news.

I hope you are all having a great summer and I look forward to catching up soon.


16 thoughts on “Looking Inwards

  1. So sorry for your loss…This is a beautiful post and I dread the day I lose my father, now 84 and healthy, who is a difficult but very talented man. He has had a powerful effect on me and my work, so I know what you mean here. I hope you enjoy what is left of the summer.


    • Thanks Caitlin, that’s very kind.

      Yep, I was dreading the day too, in fact it was one of my greatest fears, and now its happened and I have survived, I feel like I can conquer the world. The human body is so brilliantly designed it just leads you through the the difficult period in a surreal blur and then your friends pick you up once you’ve emerged, well that’s what seems to be happening to me anyway.

      Your Dad sounds brilliant and I am delighted to hear he is in great health. I think Father-daughter relationships are rather special, something to be cherished and like your Dad, my Dad was massively intelligent too and although he was a geneticist he was also very artistic and has certainly influenced my work.

      Lovely to hear from you and be in touch x


  2. I am so sorry to hear your sad news Niki, I wondered why you had not been on line but just assumed you were busy. I know a little of how you must be feeling having lost both my parents, I can remember dreading the day too but it’s something you get through, although I imagine we all experience loss differently. Your post and photographs are beautiful Niki and I do hope you can return to blogging soon. Thinking of you, Sandra xx


    • Thank you Sandra, x.
      Oh gosh, I am realising now all the things that people deal with on a day to day basis that are often not apparent to anyone else. I now see that most people have their share of dark thoughts and feelings of loss but just learn to deal with them and function as normal. Its made me think a lot about random people I make contact with on a daily basis, bus drivers, shop assistants, anyone I meet, I realise they may be having to deal with tough thoughts but they also have to function normally in this busy world. I like to think I have always been a fairly tolerant person but I am definitely seeing things in a slightly different light now.
      I would love to sit in a gallery cafe with you one day and hear your story x


    • Oh gosh, Patricia, thank you for your kind thoughts and we send ours right back to you and your family too, I am so sorry to hear this. We are on week 6, its very hard but it also brings out the best in humanity.
      Good advice I was given was to eat some nourishing food and do a little exercise, but only when you get to a stage when you feel you can. I’m only just back into Pilates now and it feels so good. x


  3. Niki, you are quite the artist – this post is a work in itself: restrained, heartfelt, and with the choice of images and just enough words you tell us so much, without baring everything. I’m sorry you’re going through this, but it can indeed enrich one’s life, as I think it will do with yours. And the comments about perception were fascinating – does the body just know what to do? It seems so!


  4. So sorry to hear of this tremendous loss. I am sad you have joined the club I belong to…..missing our dads. In moments of sadness, I always remember the good things in life my dad wanted me to enjoy. Tend well to yourself during this time…..


    • Thank you, that’s very good advice and most certainly what our Dad’s would want us to focus on. It’s kind of you to comment and I hope I haven’t opened up wounds for you. I have had lovely comments (and e mails following this post) and it is true to say that humanity is still very much alive and connecting us all around the world. Thank you x


  5. Oh Niki. That’s very sad indeed. I lost my mother just after my daughter was born 13 years ago and I still feel the loss most acutely. There’s nothing in life which prepares you to deal with such a gaping hole but you do learn to live with it after a while. I’m sure you’ll see him reflected in your children which will give you a little happiness: I certainly see my mother in mine. Sending a very large etherhug x


    • Thank you Claire, you are absolutely right, I see strong reflections of Dad in my two boys and focusing on the young generation is very definitely the way forward. He has also left us all kinds of edible and aesthetic goodies and surprises to enjoy over the year in his wonderful garden.

      What an awful time for you to have lost your mother that must have been incredibly hard, unthinkable. I can tell from your poetry though that your children will be taught everything about your mother and her genes will be well and truly evident in the next generation.

      Thank you again Claire, your support is truly appreciated x


  6. Oh, Niki,
    I am so, so sorry for your loss.
    And so, so glad to have you back. Man, oh man, you’ve been through a lot as of late.
    Were you able to travel to Sarajevo? I know how much you were looking forward to that.
    And finally, I’d like to say, I’m grateful you are my color colleague and my friend.
    Love, Liz



    • Thank you Liz, too much to tell you about so I’m about to drop you an e mail.
      I too am so grateful you are my colour colleague and friend and its times like this that you realise how crucial friends on the same wavelength are. x


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