The gift of life

Published: 28/6/2023
The gift of life
The gift of life

Doris is a Greek-Australian born author and poet who grew up in a loving and traditional Greek family in Adelaide, South Australia.   

Life threw Doris and her family's life upside down, when their eldest son Angelo Nickolas was diagnosed with cancer in late 2020. Heartbreakingly in June 2022, he lost his battle with the illness at the age of 32. Read his family's moving tribute here.  

Through this time of absolute grief, Doris put pen to paper and began writing poetry. Her words are comforting and heartwarming, reminding us that we are not alone in times of grief and sadness.   

"Through my writing I hope to bring warmth and comfort to those who have endured loss and heartache in life - and to bring a little Hope into their lives. Especially to grieving parents such as my husband and I, as there is no greater loss than that of a precious child." - Doris Falidis-Nickolas 

Read more poems by Doris Falidis-Nickolas here.

The gift of life - By Doris Falidis-Nickolas

To the beautiful mothers who have endured the greatest heart-wrenching pain ever to exist - the type of pain that evolves from losing a precious child.  

The ache carried so intense; it exhausts you of all the energy in your being. The twisted wound spiralling inside you invisible to the naked eye and all the while, the greatest battle you are fighting daily, is trying to keep your head above water.   

Your heart feels bruised; literally. It is as if you have received such a forceful punch to the chest that it has knocked you to the ground … and it is here, where you want to remain.   

The struggle to make sense of it all, consumes you. How do you keep going? Sharp sorrow glares at you fiercely, every day. For the rest of your days.  

No matter how bright the sun shines, it seems dull. No matter how vibrant the rainbow appears, it seems colourless. 

 It hurts to smile. A loss so profound it transports you to another world. A world you do not want to be part of. Beautiful mothers … I recognise your suffering.   

I am one of you.  I am a grieving mother.   

It has been the most difficult and saddest Year since my adored and dearly loved first-born son lost his battle to cancer in June last year. Angelo was only 32 years young and married to his darling sweetheart stacey for only eight short months.   

All I yearn to do is talk about my beautiful boy endlessly, say his name, talk about how kind and loving he was and how his smile melted your heart every time. How gentle, noble, and gracious he was. I want to talk his courage, his selflessness.   

I am afraid if I don't, he will be forgotten.   

My precious Angelo, I miss him with every inch of my being. When the thought of his absence hits me, I cannot breathe. All I want to do is cry. Though the tears that fall, heal my heart, and comfort my soul.   

As a little baby I held my beautiful boy to sleep, as a toddler I picked him up when he fell, and as a young boy I comforted him when he was sad. And now in his young adult years I could not save him from the ugly fate awaiting. I felt paralysed.   

Every single morning, I wake with a heaviness that overtakes me, my thoughts with my darling boy … Before I begin my day, I pray. I give thanks to God for my blessings and for allowing Angelo to give me the most precious gift of life - being his mother.   

I live my days in hope and prayer. It is the only way I can keep moving through the pitch-black tunnels.   

And in the darkest time of grief, as broken as I feel, I cling on to my faith. It is my faith that comforts me. It is my faith that  gives me strength to stand. It is my faith that gives me the courage to put one foot in front of the other. Without it, I am nothing.   

RELATED ARTICLE: A tribute to Angelo Nickolas

The gift of life
The gift of life

The days passed by. Months flowed into each other. The intensity of grief became stronger. Though in this time of uncertainty, I found myself navigating through life with the ability to see more clearly … towards a deeper purpose and intention.  

As a family unit we drew in tighter than ever, surrounded with each other's love as a means to survive and the right people stayed close, honouring our loss.   

We chose to celebrate Angelo's incredible life and even though grief is a part of our life now, it does not define who we are. We accepted our suffering and poured all our emotion and courage upon it.   

Angelo lived life passionately, with integrity and with pride. And in his memory, we will do the same.     

There is not a second in time I do not breathe in, my late son's existence. There are just no words to personalise the pain felt … none.   

Though in spite of all my heartache, once more, I have become conscious of the beauty of life. The way the sun's rays envelope my face with warmth. The way the band of pretty colours of the rainbow light up a dreary sky and when I smile, well ...  Although it still hurts, it is empathetic.  

Wherever I go, whatever I do, I know my Angelo is with me. I will carry him in my heart until the day we meet again.   

After all, the human spirit is boundless.  Life is a precious gift and should be celebrated every day. Especially, in the end.   

With all my love,  

Doris Falidis-Nickolas

Doris Falidis-Nickolas new book called Pimata (soon to be released) is a compilation of beautiful poems, a heart-warming reminder that you are not alone in times of grief. 

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