Susie & Zac Cunningham

Zac and Susie Cunningham, Bluey, Boy and LeChat
Zac and Susie Cunningham, Bluey, Boy and LeChat

We all have a family. This is dedicated to all of us.

Family means something different to everyone.

It’s the first-time parents bringing their baby home from Beauy Hospital, the car full of kids and the old man who lives alone with his little dog.

It’s the empty nesters and the ones who never had little ones to fill their nest.

It’s the ones who’ve learned to be their own kind of family.

Family can be the ones who love each other best and hurt each other most.

Our families change shape over the course of our lives.

Family is something we all have in common, so it makes sense to share stories of family, to help us make sense of each other and ourselves.

Family can be a vulnerable thing, so the thought of sharing your family story might feel daunting. To start this series, I’ll share a glimpse into my own family.

Who’s in your family?

My husband Zac and I both have big extended families, spread across Queensland, South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and the ACT, plus a few abroad.

We’ve got beautiful nieces and nephews including our darling goddaughter Ella, who’s four.

To share a snippet of why our family is so big my Nana Claire Lipscomb, dad’s mum, gave birth to 11 kids. Dad is the second eldest.

At home in Beaudesert there’s Zac and me, our dogs Bluey and Boy, our tabby cat LeChat, a few chickens in the pen and a few fish in the pond.

If we’re ever fortunate enough to have a baby of our own, it won’t be our first, second or even third pregnancy. Pregnancy loss is awful and not talked about much. But, through our experiences of loss, we know we’re not alone and we’ll get by ok in life, whichever way things go.

What does family mean to you?

To me, family means the people who know you best and still love you.

Sharing lineage with someone, especially if you’ve grown up in the same household or experienced the same family dynamics, can connect you deeply.

My little sister and I share a deep understanding of each other. Zac and his big sister are the same.

Anyone with a big or spread-out family will know what it’s like when you get to see family (often at funerals, or sometimes weddings if you’re lucky) and to feel that warm rush of familiarity.

Family also means the people who choose you and you choose them.

Zac is my very best chosen one. To me Beaudesert has come to feel a bit like family, too. 

If you need support after pregnancy loss, the SANDS 24/7 bereavement support line is 1300 308 307.

Becoming Family is about sharing stories of family. We all have a family of some description and if you’d like us to feature your family, or tip us off about a great Becoming Family story, please get in touch via news@beaudesertbulletin.com.

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