She is an international model, drop-dead gorgeous, with a loving, handsome husband and gorgeous three-year-old son.
So what would Silvana Philippoussis, wife of former Australia tennis champion Mark, know about the trials, tribulations and grief that everyday people must endure?
As it happens, quite a lot.
As an ambassador for Liptember, which raises funds for and awareness of women’s mental health issues, Silvana knows firsthand how grief can affect us, and how complex our lives can be when we are faced with both loss and joy.
Silvana’s joy at being the mother of a beautiful three-month old baby boy in 2014 was shattered by the unexpected death of her father, to whom she was very close, and who never got the chance to meet his little grandson Nicholas.
‘It was the hardest time of my life,’ she told The Sunday Telegraph.
‘[I was] trying to make sense of the fact that God had given me the beautiful gift of life, yet at the same time had taken my first love away from me,’ she said.
While she tried to stay strong for her family, the US-based model felt so far away and bereft.
What got her through was the support of her family during those early tough days.
Struggling to make sense of the unexpected loss of a parent at the early age of 54, Silvana had to focus on the joy of having a new life to bring up.
Initially, she said she presented a brave face to the outside world, pretending everything was fine despite the sadness she was feeling inside.
Being an ambassador for Liptember, which raised funds for The Centre for Women’s Health and Lifeline, meant that Silvana could encourage other women to speak out and reach for help, as she learned to do. ‘I was lucky to have my family, friends and such a strong support network to talk to, and as a result, friends have come to me with their own experiences, and now it’s a beautiful thing that we can work through our struggles together,’ she told Woman’s Day.
Silvana’s own experience of grief has also made her think about the values that she and Mark want to instil in young Nicholas. ‘I want to instil strong family values. I tend to believe that a strong foundation can help you deal with whatever life has to throw at you,’ she said.
As Silvana’s experience proves, life may sometimes seem full of grief, but reaching out to others and caring for our fellow human beings helps us to rediscover the joy of life.
As it says in the Bible, ‘Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning’ (Psalm 30, verse 5).