About this blog

My only daughter's name is Clea. Clea was six years and nine months old and she was enjoying a family holiday in Samoa when the ocean surged as a wall, ten metres high, and drowned her. Many other people died that morning of 29 September 2009.
The other four members of her family survived the tsunami.
Life has never been the same since. It will never be the same. This blog features memories, reflections, poetry, etc...
Just let me stay with her under this moon,
hold her in my arms, spin her in the air,
with my dear daughter in some timeless swoon.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

New Life

In April 2009, while in Spain for a work-related trip, I bought several CDs, among them Ojos de Brujo’s Aocaná. Clea took an instant liking to the music – I had got her used to the music of this eclectic Barcelona-based band earlier, so it was no surprise to me that she liked the new tracks.

The CD sleeves included the lyrics (in Spanish) and some quite competent translations into English. At the time we used to drive around a fair bit, and Clea would sit at the back of the car, between her twin brothers, and carefully read the words as the music played on. Her favourite song was this, Nueva vida:

Nueva vida was the final song that was played at her funeral. We chose to play a few tracks from this CD. I know not what people thought of our choice of music; it may have seemed unpredictably cheerful for a funeral. In any case, it was not about them or even us, but about Clea. This was her favourite song at the time death took her in the form of a tsunami.

Even a six-year-old can develop certain musical tastes and follow trends. It was indeed unusual for an Australian girl to like a Spanish band. But Clea was perfectly bilingual and had developed a taste for other things.

I can vividly remember seeing Clea in the mirror, intently reading the lyrics of Nueva vida in the car as the song played and I drove on. It was late September 2009 and we were on our way to Sydney Airport, from where we were to board a Polynesian Blue plane that would take all five of us to Apia, Samoa, where we were going to have a wonderful holiday, the first overseas holiday since we had been to Spain, when she was only two.

Clea would ask to play the song over and over again. She loved the looks of Marina, the singer, her unusual hairdo and clothes. She would say she wanted to look like her when she grew up. I sent Marina an email a few days after Clea’s funeral, thanking her and the band for having filled Clea’s life with music. I never got a reply.

Why did she like this song especially? It is of course a catchy song, probably the most commercial one in the whole album, but there must have been something else that appealed to her.

We will never know what that something else was.


  1. We loved hearing the song at the funeral. It was such a precious memory of such a vivacious and cheerful little girl. One of Laura's favourite memories of Clea is of the times that Clea tried to teach Laura some spanish words. Spain has a special place in our hearts due to one very special little girl. xoxo

  2. Thank you for sharing Clea's favorite piece of music. Do you find it difficult to listen to it now that Clea is gone or do you find it makes you feel closer to her?
    At this time, I can't bear to listen to all the classical and jazz pieces that my son played on the piano and keyboards. I am reminded that he will play them no more. Perhaps someday I will enjoy them again, but at this time they break my heart.

    1. I hardly ever listen to 'Nueva vida' without tears filling my eyes. In fact, I avoid it, I skip the track. The CD is somewhere.

      But I think there will be a time in the timeless swoon, when I will be willing and able to listen to it, when Clea and I will listen and sing along together, one more time, the last time.


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