Can you describe the relationship you share with your mum?
My Mum and I have always been incredibly close. When you see us together in a room, there is no denying that we are mother and daughter. My Mum epitomises the word mother. Protective, loyal and fierce by nature, she has been by my side through it all. My Mum is incredibly vibrant and unique, and she has always driven me to be the woman I am today.
What is the greatest advice you've received from your mum?
My Mum always told me and taught me through her actions that if something is worth doing, it's worth doing well and to give it your all. This philosophy has served me at every stage and in every area of my life. I make sure that no matter what I am doing, big or small, I give it 100 per cent. I am so grateful to my Mum for instilling this in me from a very early age. She has always guided me even when I didn't know I needed it (or sometimes wanted it!). My Mum also taught me that if you're not going to say anything nice, don't say anything at – which has also been a philosophy for my life.
What inspired you to finally talk about the crash?
Losing the ability to control my speech in 2018 was a reset for me and really put my life into perspective. In the silence of not being able to speak, I spent a lot of time in quiet self-reflection, looking back at my life. The story I tell in Crash is the beginning, the story of my birth.
I never felt like this story was for me to tell and it’s hard for me to fathom all of the thoughts and emotions that my parents both went through. However, in time, I have realised that the story is part of my journey too. My Mum surviving and recovering from the accident resulted in my Dad buying her a piano for what she went through. This piano has always been a part of my life.
As I shared with the paralysis of my tongue, losing my speech in 2018 forced me to go back to the beginning and reflect. This album is filled with stories I have never shared before and this one is particularly important as it’s how I was brought into this world, fighting, which has been a common thread throughout my life – "from that day it made me be a fighter all my life".
I believe in some way, shape or form, everything is meant to be.
How does it feel to be releasing this book?
Writing a book felt like a natural fit with this album. Bridge Over Troubled Dreams is such a personal record that a book was the perfect way to go in-depth and share more about the stories I was reliving and while also bringing to light the inspiration behind the stories and lyrics. Through the book, I am able to take the reader on a behind the scenes deep dive journey of writing and recording the album.
The book is very honest and raw, do you feel vulnerable putting all of this out there to the public?
Putting yourself out there can definitely be scary, but I believe there is great strength in the courage of being vulnerable and sharing your truths, with the hope that others will grow from your experiences and reflections. My hope in sharing these stories is that the reader will have also felt the same way or been through something similar. We grow and connect through shared experiences and relating to each other - that's how we as humans come to understand and help each other.
The following is extracted from Bridge Over Troubled Dreams by Delta Goodrem (Simon & Schuster Australia, $39.99). Out May 14.
For a very long time, I didn’t feel like the story behind ‘Crash’ was mine to tell – I always thought it was more my mum’s than mine. But when I started recording the voice memos about my life’s journey from the very beginning (which formed the basis for this record), I realised that it is my story as well and is, in fact, a crucial part of how I came to be the person I am today.
‘Crash’ tells the story of the start of my life. It’s a moment that has been explained to me over the years in different ways by my parents but it’s something they don’t like to speak about often – it was an incredibly traumatic time for both of them.
In 1984, when my mum was almost seven months pregnant with me, she was involved in a serious car accident. As a result, I was born nearly two months premature.
The day of the crash, there was a storm raging. Mum was waiting at the traffic lights in the pouring rain and the car behind her was going too fast as they pulled up at the lights. The road was slick with rain and the driver didn’t brake fast enough – the car ploughed into the back of my mum’s, pushing her, us, directly into the oncoming traffic. My mum was seriously injured and, with me still inside, she was rushed to the hospital.
I still wasn’t due for another 10 weeks, so I was obviously not quite ready for the world yet. But as my mum was rushed into surgery, I was brought into the world; and as she underwent multiple operations, I spent the first days of my own life in the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit.
According to Mum and Dad, I looked more like a tiny frog than a baby when I was born. It was a very difficult time for both of us. Mum had multiple surgeries, both then and in the following years, including several jaw reconstructions. It was touch and go for us both and my mum and I barely even saw each other during that first little while. (Although one night, one of the beautiful ICU nurses smuggled me into Mum’s room and put me onto her chest before sneaking me back out again.)
My poor dad was going out of his mind – there was nothing he could do but watch and wait and hope.
By some miracle – and with that fighter’s spirit – both Mum and I lived to tell the tale. When we had recovered and were finally allowed to go home, Dad wanted to do something for Mum to give her strength, to commemorate that she’d made it through such a terrifying ordeal and to mark the beginning of our life together as a little family of three (my brother came later!). She’d always had aspirations to play the piano, so he went out and bought her one – and that baby grand was the first piano I would learn to play while I was growing up.
To read the rest of the above extract, pick up a copy of WHO Magazine, on sale now!