To Deal With Her Mother's Death, She Asked Others About Their Grief. Then She Animated Them.

There's something very powerful about listening to someone's raw pain. Especially when that someone is an adorable clay carrot.

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He used to call me Spangle. I don't know what a Spangle is to do this day and now I can't ask him. Spangle?

I've become someone who maybe isn't selfish but also a person that isn't selfless. I'm just a selfer. I'm selfing.

I had a motorbike accident. I was riding on a gravel road, came around a blind corner and there was a four-wheel drive in the middle of the road. It was only a narrow road. My right leg got squashed between the motorbike and the [ball bear]. Two weeks after the accident they amputated my right leg.

Ollie [SP] was a rabbit. He was a mega-giant.


Flemish giant.

He was a Flemish giant rabbit.

Our mom took him to the vet and I never got to say goodbye. We didn't get to bury him in the grave he built himself. Dug his own grave. I think he knew that day would come.

One of my best friends hung herself. Yep, that's what she did. Yep.

Dad was no surprise. He'd been sick for a very long time. It was quite a natural thing that he just deteriorated into heart failure. He was peaceful. It was comfortable. That wasn't so much of a shock. What happened after was that mum went in for a hysterectomy and seven days later she went into a coma and passed away in hospital.

I'm sometimes a bit harsh because you know, someone might say, "Oh, I've got a sore back." Well, stop your [whining]. You know, like let's get [fair now]. What are you complaining about?

Well Alex did this thing that was called "Bunniest Home Video" and we put Ollie on the skateboard. Yeah, it was very funny.

And I'm still going to put that on YouTube.

She researched it. There was all this research on her internet when I went through it. She researched it like a scientist.

We can all go tomorrow. You know? Everything can change in a heartbeat. I really find that a really good cry, and whether it lasts for half an hour or three days, it recharges you. I think it's a bit like lightning. You know, when lightning moves through the air it reverses the charges of the atoms and it's a refreshing feeling, and I relate to that.

It was like I was living in a dust bowl and someone just dropped a big mattress on it and the dust just went ... like this and it was just like everything just like was looking at me.

Money's just useless. There's nothing that it can do to compensate. There's nothing that it can do to make you feel better. There's nothing you can do to bring it back. It just somehow seems less important to me now. I care less for possessions. Relationships matter more.

We were standing there with the video. He said, "You can run down the [breezeway, the long breezeway]." "What, down...?" He said, "Yeah, off you go." Well he told me to run so I ran down and ran back.

And he ran really fast.

180 kilometers per hour.

No, no.

80 kilometers per hour. Yeah.

No, he just ran really fast along the garden.

And I was reading an amputee newsletter in the waiting room. It said they were having the [Victorian] State games. Oh, OK.

There were just times when I physically needed to be held up. It was like my anti-gravity muscles weren't working and I would just keep falling, you know?

It just kept going and then '88 I went to the Seoul paraolympics. The stadium was [choppers]. There wasn't a seat anywhere or it was 100% full. We were obviously running Australia. We were up the front because "A" for alphabetical order. So we're up the front. The crowd's going ballistic. They were going off. You really did get the hairs on the back of your neck were standing up. If I hadn't of lost me leg the reality is I wouldn't have represented Australia.

When our rabbit died no one really cared about...


Yeah. That's all.

I don't ever remember anyone asking me how it was emotionally. It's emotionally where you fall over.

I don't take things for granted anymore. I don't' take the little things for granted anymore. I think I try to live in the day, live in the moment. Things aren't as important as they might seem.

You know, my heart has opened up more and really all those people that saw me in that grief, that was an opportunity for them to see a side of me that they actually didn't know. I think I was learning another level of friendship that I hadn't fully experienced until that point, of receiving.

I reckon I've become more patient. You do because when you have a medical thing, you spend a lot of time waiting around in waiting rooms.

Should've spent more time with Ollie, but yeah.

We just didn't have the time.

And he weed in my room a lot.

And he weed on dad.

He did wee on this couch once.

You're sitting on it.


There may be small errors in this transcript.

The original video was made by, written, directed, and animated by Fiona Dalwood and published to her Vimeo page.

Apr 23, 2014

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