By Renae Saxby

I’m stuck in a funk today… I have been since Monday. This weekend is my little brothers Memorial weekend – a big party we have in the hills with all of our legendary loved ones to celebrate his life and his vibrant and crazy spirit. In true honour of Daniel it is the best weekend of the year with camping, a cricket match, swimming in the river, live bands, drinking around the fire, mountain top sunsets and good hard belly laughs aplenty! But… for me the week leading into it is the toughest of the year. We put so much energy into it in the months leading up. So much love. Once the beginning of that week kicks in the harsh and heartbreaking reality of the situation takes a firm and frustrating hold on me – my little brother is gone. The fact that it’s memorial time again means its one more whole year to add to the tally of years he hasn’t been by my side on the dance floor, watching a band, on a road trip or just there to kiss good night and say ‘love you’. And my god it hurts…


Relaxed, strong, infectious energy: Daniel Saxby on the right

When you lose someone you love you feel broken. You feel empty and you feel helpless. A piece of you is missing. When you lose a sibling who you have loved and protected every single day of their entire life it feels like more than a piece of you is missing, it feels like most of you is missing – all the important parts. Your heart, your happiness, your faith in the world and what’s right and what is fair. All of the experiences you thought you would share together in your lifetime are stripped away. You can’t smile or eat or even hold yourself up straight. You struggle to breathe. You vomit. Your body is heavy and your world is riddled with anguish. You watch others you love fall apart around you and you can’t do anything to fix it. You believe you will never be whole again. That’s a hard deal to swallow, especially when you are offered no other choice.

I have all of the tools to deal with this and in general my world is a pretty bloody splendid place. It’s been 8 years now and I have done a lot of work on myself. I know that Daniel is still with me, I feel him and I see the little signs he gives me from time to time. I’ve had mediums pass on messages with details that would be impossible for them to know. I know that we will be together again in another life, possibly even in this life.  I’ve spent god knows how many hours focusing on self healing, attending workshops, immersing myself in retreats in various countries, praying in Nepal and releasing family Karma in India. I know that my healing is in turn contributing to the healing of all beings and that brings me great comfort. It’s all there. But in the end at this time of year there is only one thing that I care about and that is that I can’t see his smile or hear his laugh… That is all that I want and all of the other stuff just seems like irrelevant bullshit.


The afternoon before we lost Daniel I remember cruising down the road with him as the sun set on our way home. He was driving and I sat in the passenger seat looking at him and smiling and thinking how safe I felt with him and how in control and competent he always seemed. He was the ultimate at being relaxed yet strong and had an energy that was infectious. I felt like however fast we went on that road we would be safe, because he was just that kinda guy. Somehow he seemed invincible.

The next morning he was killed in a car accident.  He wasn’t going fast. He had just turned onto the road. We don’t really know what happened. What I do know is that my biggest gift in life is that every day my two brothers and I said to each other ‘I love you’. We had the best connection, had the BEST time together, were best friends and have no regrets because we were thick as thieves – and that is something that can never ever be taken away from us.

"love is all that matters. The rest is irrelevant bullshit."

“love is all that matters. The rest is irrelevant bullshit.”

I hope that if you are reading this you have the same relationship with your family. If you don’t I hope you can swallow your ego, find forgiveness for whatever it is that has pulled you apart and reconnect. I know there are extreme cases where that may not be possible and reasons differ but I hear so many stories of such petty little things tearing families apart. You never ever know what the day will bring. Let this glimpse into my reality be the motivation you need to tell your family that you love them. Life is full of light and dark. Don’t let the dark be filled with regrets. Look at the big picture and think about what and who really matters. Tell the ones you love that you love them and soak up their laughter and their beautiful energy. Hold them tight. After all, in the end only love is real.

About the author: Renae’s two all time favourite things in this world are travelling and photography. Thankfully her art takes her adventuring all over the world. She is passionate about being authentic in her work and and sharing stories she believes in. She strongly believes in real, raw beauty and experiencing other cultures.

To see more check out her website, Instagram and Facebook


Renae Saxby: globe-roamer, photographer, makeup artist, travel writer and renegade badass