death

Where will I be buried?

Do you want to be buried where you live now or the place where you came from?

This issue may seem odd to some – but to others it’s very important. In Australia the final resting place has deep significance for Aboriginal people. But I knew a non-Indigenous woman who was troubled by not knowing where she would be buried. In fact, she became peaceful as she … Read more

My Deer, Phoenix Park.

Phoenix Park, Ireland, pic courtesy National Inventory of Architectural Heritage, Ireland.

That’s a full stop – a red stop sign with angled corners and a white line around it.  Resting here, my knees have buckled, in front of that sign you planted in my path. I have walked this space so confidently, happy to share what I know, to muck in. … Read more

Play School helps with stories about beginnings and endings.

Play School: Beginnings and Endings - courtesy Play School ABC

This morning Play School did something very special. It had an episode about new life and end of life. Emma, one of the presenters explained to an earlier television news audience that the team sought the guidance of experts on managing grief in children. Children deal with death in a … Read more

When the grief of a child is denied.

Why did Dad leave without saying goodbye?

Sadly, until recently children were often excluded from funerals, something we recognise today as harmful. Christine was only seven when her father died and she will never forget it.  But one emotion that loomed large for a long time after was anger – not because Fred had died but because … Read more

A Mexican Cross to remember Chris

A Mexican Cross to remember Chris by, made better for its imperfections, as he is buried today.

Today a Mexican Cross to remember Chris by, because later this morning, Sydney time, his family who are dear to my heart will bury him. They are a large Catholic family just like the one I grew up in and now he, one of the six siblings, is gone. If … Read more

Passing all Understanding

When I started interviewing people about their experiences of death, my selection process was a fairly random one. That was deliberate because I wanted the conversations to reflect life around me as it is in my country, in my time, in my culture – no pretence, no artifice, no filter. … Read more

Do you want to live for 1000 years?

Do you want to live for a thousand years?

It’s all about the radio today. Aubrey de Grey is a researcher who believes the first human being who will live for 1000 years has already been born. This morning I was reminded of de Grey when ABC radio interviewer Cassie McCullagh interviewed Professor John Rasko. Tonight, Professor Rasko will … Read more

A life affirming book about death – with Murdoch Books

Corinne Roberts and Margaret Rice at Murdoch Books

It’s been quiet around here for a little while because I’ve been working on an exciting project with Murdoch Books. Murdoch Books will be publishing my life affirming book about death in 2019. We agree that dying well is part of the brand’s mission to help people ‘live life well’. … Read more

Spiritual experiences around the time of death

Spiritual experiences around the time of death

Spiritual experiences around the time of death can be very powerful. Sometimes these alert others that someone they love has died.  My friend Carolyn Parfitt shares a story that is a good example of this. “My husband and I were away camping in Kakadu National Park and we were out … Read more

Stephen lives on

Stephen's Grandchildren

This week my friend Ellen’s deceased brother’s second grandchild was born. This little person was not just the physical expression of Stephen but there was something of his soul present as well. I felt the connection to Stephen even more strongly than the first time.

Conversation with Jenny Briscoe-Hough about death

Jenny Briscoe-Hough - courtesy Conversations ABC

When Jenny Briscoe-Hough brought back the idea to her Port Kembla community centre of starting their own not-for-profit funeral service, the idea resonated.She’d wondered whether the loyal stalwarts who attended the centre, seeking support and succour, would be offended. But she was overwhelmed by the way they embraced it. “I … Read more

Do dostadning now

Peter Walsh - Let it Go

Australian-born Peter Walsh, who’s made it in LA with blessings from Oprah, has  written the ideal gem for those at that difficult time of dismantling their parents’ home. Even though Let It Go, like many of Walsh’s books, is about decluttering generally, it shows what a cleansing experience this can … Read more

Birth is a beginning and death a destination…

My colleague and neighbour Andrew Casey was buried today, after a beautiful Jewish funeral service. His brother John observed that he still had his mop of rich brown hair – but lamented that he wished Andrew had lived long enough to go grey. Simple wisdoms flowed from the Old Testament, … Read more