From Alisha – What I want you know

The past few weeks have been the saddest of my life, yet they’ve also made me realise that I am the luckiest person on earth. Lucky, because almost 21 years ago I received a precious gift in the form of a friendship with Bunny. Well, we were affectionately known to each other as Niggy, however, with no ill intentions, I’m not sure how politically correct it is in today’s world, so I won’t elaborate.

As we began our journey together in Year 8 at high school, we could never have dreamed what a wonderful bond lay ahead.

It was the type of bond that sisters share – the kind where you say things at the same time, finish each others sentences and laugh out loud at things together that others don’t find funny.

Throughout the years we shared so much, from family holidays to netball teams to working as checkout chicks after school at Kmart.

Bun was from a very close family with her wonderful parents, Orv and Celia and her brother David, and I became a part of that family, as she did with mine. My parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins all fell in love with her immediately and it became second nature for Bun to be involved in every family event. Her big beaming personality was always a welcome addition, she was the life of the party.

It was such a privilege for me to witness the relationship she shared with her mum, one that we can take comfort in knowing is continuing right now in heaven. She inherited many of Celia’s beautiful qualities, not to mention her absolute need for cleanliness, and I’m honoured to have been able to share time with the both of them together.

As we grew and created our own families, our friendship continued as strong as ever, standing beside each other while we married our husbands and Bunny providing such a wonderful support to me through the births of my children. She absolutely adored children. She was drawn to them like a magnet, as they were to her. Every time she went anywhere where children would be present, she’d always have gifts and treats for them. I’d ask her what they were in aid of and she’d simply reply “Because I love them, bless them.” Both of my kids have entire wardrobes supplied by Bun, not to mention the toys! Each day when I make Eden’s bed I have to replace the massive supply of soft toys he’s received from her…..She was just so giving.

Every time there was a party or gathering, she’d practically cater for the whole thing herself. She’d arrive with herself, Sean, Jade and Rhys loaded up with food and Sean was usually sent back to the car for a second lot…..She constantly put others before herself.

A perfect example of this was around 12 months ago when she was undergoing treatment. She’d told me that while she’d been out and about, she’d seen a dwarf. She said “Nig, I know I have cancer but I’m having treatment and other than that I’m living a normal life, but when I saw that dwarf, he just made my heart melt. That poor man will never reach the top shelf in the supermarket and he probably can’t even wipe his own bum. Who am I to complain about my situation?” Her attitude was outstanding and this was such a typical type of comment to come out of her mouth.

I have so many wonderful memories and I could stand here all day re telling them. All of them would have the same ending, they would tell you what you already know – that Bunny was the most caring, generous, compassionate, beautiful friend both inside and out. She was honest and fiercely loyal and could make you feel 10 feet tall. She was encouraging and complimentary, whether you’d just run a marathon or changed the colour of your hair, you knew she was in your corner. She was also very funny, quick witted and intelligent – although she gave herself no credit for that trait. In year 12 when doing our VCE she chose not to study maths, she said she wasn’t clever enough. Funnily enough a few years later, she started working at the Casino and Shane and I popped in to see her in action. There she was calculating her 36 & 72 times tables with split second timing, she was pulling numbers from everywhere – not bad for someone who couldn’t do maths.

Yesterday while I was catching up on Bun’s website, I read something that really stood out to me and showed a very important quality that Bun possessed. It was written by someone she used to work with. Her name is also Michelle, but Bun called her Youngie. I haven’t met Youngie but it’s obvious that we share the same view. Her words were “She knew who she was”. Those are the truest words spoken about Bun. “She knew who she was.” She was so secure in herself, she knew what was important to her and was steadfast in what she believed in. Bun never felt the need to conform to the opinions of others, “live and let live” was a rule she lived by.

Of all the years that Bun and I shared, the happiest and most content I have ever seen her, was when she was with Sean. Whenever I’d ask “How’s Sean?” she’d give me the same answer every time – “God love him, the big spunk!”. She loved him so much and it was so fantastic that they were able to create so many beautiful memories and share so many happy times together. They’d even invent words together! Quite often she’d come out with a word I’d never heard before and she’d tell me it was Bun & Sean speak.

So…I’d like to thank Sean for allowing me to share Bun’s final journey on earth with the both of them. That, along with the fact that I call Bunny My Best Friend, are two things for which I will remain eternally grateful.

David’s Eulogy

Thanks to David for sharing his eulogy both at the service and again via  Reading it again brought back good memories Bro, you truly delivered on the day.  I hope you all (David included) take on his advice.

15 years ago I stood in front of a crowd of people who had gathered to bid farewell to the closest person in my life, and a special part of theirs. That was a hard day and I never wanted, or expected to do it again, or so soon. Today is tougher though as one face from that crowd isn’t looking back at me today. It was the one face that looked at me like nobody else could, or will again. 15 years ago I knew those eyes had seem the same things I had, those cheeks had received the same kisses I had, her heart was filled with the same love as mine, and that the movies running in her memory would be much the same as mine. I knew that I would step from that podium into the arms of someone who was just like me, that we shared something that no others people in the world had. She was a beacon in my life, light and reassuring, comforting and constant.


Your faces have a similar expression to those in 1993. Sadness, sorrow, bewilderment, love and of course laughter lines, I mean with Niggy around I would expect nothing less. So I know that you are all just one memory of that special person away from a smile and a chuckle…..and that’s how it should be.  Lets face, the Bunton girls didn’t do sad that well…..not even if it was on sale. You know after 10 minutes Michelle would be giving it…I’m sick of these tears, I tell you I’m over it.


A couple of years ago though the tears were flowing for another reason, something that many of you were invited too, and there were a few cats that popped along for free….even U2 organised a concert just to get ring side seats for the wedding of the century. Now that was an absobloodylutely cracking day as she married her soul mate. As soon as you saw those guys together you knew little Niggy had her man, and the poor bloke didn’t stand a chance…..not that I think he was complaining….or game enough too. Cancer may have robbed them of the next step in their journey, but Niggy was never too far away from kids as everyone here with children would agree. I am so grateful that Archer and Julia had an aunt that always made them smile, was always there for them and loved them to bits…..Archer even had 5 different kisses every time he saw Michelle, while Julia miraculously had a fresh coat of nail polish on fingers and toes soon after Michelle arrived. So that is one of the happy memories I have of Michelle surrounded by kids and loving it gold.


So at the moment we all feel sad, I think it is ok to feel sad now, to shed some tears. But don’t cry for too long. Walk out of here today and let the sun dry your eyes, the wind wash away the sadness from your face and let the happy memories flood into your hearts and enjoy a life that can only be brighter for having had Michelle as part of it. Michelle radiated a lot of love, so it is up to all of us to put a little more out there to make up for the shortfall. So love your partners, kids and family that little more right now, and then love them a little more tomorrow. Don’t think your busy and will get around to it later, because you may not get the opportunity. If this life we are celebrating today tells you one thing, you don’t know how long you have, so live everyday like your arse is on fire.


God Bless ya Michelle, and all of us here today.

Back home, thanks for a great week Jade & Rhys

Back home after a great week away down at Phillip Island. We didn’t catch as many waves as we wanted but had a some fun every day. There will be more waves for us before the summer ends.

It is good to be home, we were welcomed home with a few Bunny roses in the backyard so we knew Bun looked after the place while we were away.

A couple of highlights that would have made Bun laugh:
– Watching a whole season of Survivor Gabon only to not have the reunion show to find out the winner! We checked the internet to find out, please no spoilers, others are waiting to watch it.
– Archie & Choppy visiting for one night, apparently now Jade is Jad according to Archie. It might stick Jade, I guess it’s better than being referred to as a boy 🙂
– Choppy looking for mermaids down at the beach then not sleeping to hearing a story. Thanks to the Soup Princess was a hit.
– Catching up with Martwell & the kids. Guys it was great fun to “go to the shops”, look forward to when Ronan “goes to the shops” as well.

The last one was a small hiccup that ended well. After nearly losing my dinner when the kids forced, I mean asked me to go of the Space Roller they went on a few other rides at the Carnivale down at Cowes. They both decided to use 8 tickets to ride in circles on ATVs they were doing fine and nearing the end of their 5 minutes when Jade took a corner the bike went right and she went left. In her panic and confusion she didn’t let go of the bike and it ran over her leg. There was some tears and some shock but after a close look at the leg everything was OK. After 5 minutes limping around I asked if she was OK, she said yes but I could tell something else was up. She was worried about the stains to her Elwood trackies & Elwood jumper. As I said her leg must be OK if that was her main worry, Bunny would have been thinking the same thing, fashion over pain always. Soon after she was laughing with Rhys on their last ride. On our way home we stopped got some stain remover, I’m happy to say all items are now stain free.

Thanks Rhys & Jade (thought I’d change it up Dan has a thing about always being the last mentioned, Thanks Dan) I had a great week. Just something as simple a singing along to “No Cars Go” was so much fun it was a highlight. I still need your hugs, that’ll never change, but you both make me very happy at times when I am sad. As Bun would say I love you both to bits.

Death is peaceful, life is harder

Can’t be around JL at the moment and know everything Twilight. I don’t agree with most of the movie, vampires don’t sparkle in sunlight they burst into flames. I’ll stick with the Buffyverse guide to vampires and demons. Anyway there is one line from Bella that I hope is true, “Death is peaceful, life is harder.” I can handle life if I know Bunny is at peace, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Step by Step

There you go Conor another NKOTB reference.

Couldn’t help thinking as I was walking through the rockpools how much it is like my life right now. You know when you are walking in rockpools without thongs, you walk carefully watching every step and treading carefully (as well as making sure the kids don’t get dragged out to sea). After so much concentration you look back and don’t realise how far you’ve come.
I’m just going to keep walking and watching the kids it’s working for me.


I am very proud to be making two sizable donations on behalf of Bunny to the McGrath Foundation and to NBCF from your contributions on Tuesday.

From the donations from the service and others that I know of we have raised $800 for the National Breast Cancer Foundation and $910 for the McGrath Foundation.

Thank you to all who donated even if I don’t know about it.  Generousity was second nature to Bun it is obvious she surrounded herself with her family and friends who are the same.

To quote Bun, “Bless you all!”

A long drive or two and the best Bunny gift

Sitting on the couch at home watching Survivor Gabon with the kids (Sorry Dan & Kristy, I’ll send it to you).
Had a good couple of days driving down to Rosebud (twice). Thanks Rhys for leaving your rashie & bathers, not sure if it was on purpose but it was a good excuse to catch up with Edey again. Makes me think how lucky we are, Rhys has found his BFF in Eden. The only reason those two boys know each other is Bunny. I am happy to call Shane & Lish friends but I am truly grateful of yet another Bunny gift given to Rhys & Eden.

Boys I know you won’t forget Bunny, but please remember she is the reason you know each other, it is the best Bunny gift of all.

My Eulogy speech…

Here is what I was trying to say on Tuesday, as you read pause for laughs and dramatic effect. It becomes harder to read as your eyes well up, but I was proud to get through on Tuesday as I was with all the speakers.

Note from Dan to help you read below: Remember COURAGE – Brown, Harvey, Crawford, Callanan

When I speak of Michelle I have remember that I am a universal translator for all her friends and family as she is known by many names, Bunny of course, Niggy, Pookie, Shelly, Chelles, Bubba, Hun and from Choppy in her Jar Jar Binks accent Meeeshelle.

My only explanation is that this corner of the earth could not comprehend the impact of Bunny as one person as she had the impact of multiple talented, funny beautiful women. It was only recently when I was reading a book about building business networks that I realised I didn’t need it if I watched my wife in action. Her ability to connect, communicate and integrate herself into people’s live was amazing. Just last week I got an email from someone who met Bun once at a party 2 years ago, she remembered her well and said we were the coolest couple there. I played only a small part in that many times the credit must go to the red/blond/dark haired women who lit up the room with her personality and smile.

It’s funny to hear people say we were together only 6 years. Only is the last word I would use to describe the time shared by Bun, Jade, Rhys and I. We packed a life’s time of terrific memories that we cherish. Bunny always took on life and made sure fun was had by all even if it meant crushing my arm as we flew in a twelve-seater plane over the Hawaiian Islands. The impact on my life and that of Jade & Rhys cannot be understated, we all now are lucky to carry Bun with us every day.

We were definitely all blessed by Michelle’s presence and if we didn’t know it she blessed us anyway. I think she may have blessed more people than Auntie Kath in her 34 years, keep up the Bless Yous Auntie Kath you may catch up.

Bless Ya Bunny

Thanks to all for a great day

Thanks to everyone who attended yesterday I could not have been happier with the support for Bun.

I don’t often quote the bible but I couldn’t have put it better myself.

Her husband says, “There are many good women, but you are the best!”

A big thanks to my family John & Lib, Matt & Bridget, Meg & Laz, Dan & Kristy. They were and are a big help to myself and Jade & Rhys. I say my family I include David & Cindy, Orv & Marie as well thanks for your support.

I was really happy to get some great hugs from my step God daughter Becky as well as Adam. I know Michelle would be smiling to see you guys laughing and playing with the kids late in the afternoon.

A big thanks to my two kids Jade & Rhys. Rhys you were great and knew just when to hold my hand. Your pencil sketch in the booklet caused quite a stir, many people told me they loved it. So do I! Jade you continue to amaze me I know you learnt a lot from Bunny I remember it wasn’t long ago you were worried about speaking in public at school but we both helped you get through. We are so proud of your reading at the service it was sensational!

Special thanks to David, Alisha & Alan who spoke from the heart and made us laugh, although not sure the church has had as many fart & arse references at a funeral.

Very tired right now but very relieved, the service, the party would have made Bunny (the ultimate party planner) very proud. Thanks for you help and for making it the day that it was.

Vale Bunny

Times like these

The Foo Fighters couldn’t have described my day better…

it’s times like these you learn to live again
it’s times like these you give and give again
it’s times like these you learn to love again
it’s times like these time and time again

What can I say but three words: Jade and Rhys.

They continue to amaze me, let me talk and make me laugh.

Just a simple trip to a shopping centre (didn’t want them the only ones without sunnies!) was a terrific experience. If Collingwood can tackle has hard as Rhys hugs then they’ll do alright. Jade continues to grow up before me her warmth and maturity gives me that quantum of solace.

We tackled a super variety bucket at KFC and ate way too much (you are right hun I am Carl Williams), but as Bun taught us we walked it off by shopping. JL went back for a Krispy Kreme, bless her! Bun is very much in our thoughts, Rhys mentioned that he and Bun still had the Northland to home record at 3 minutes, we tried to beat it but we think someone was fiddling with the lights to prevent us.

Cel it was good to catch up and see some great photos. The kids hadn’t seen shots of me dressed as Angel and Bun as a Can Can girl at my 30th, thanks.

We are headed surfing tomorrow, Bunny never surfed always threatened to. She will be tomorrow.

I know many of you are finding it tough, I can only talk from my experience here (doing my personal Doogie Howser – world’s first blogger) getting it out somewhere, no matter what you say. It definitely helps me.