Language

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.

The Grieve Project

The Grieve Project

The Grieve Project is great because everyone who participates is a winner. When your reader connects with something you’ve said, something powerful is shared. But the best thing is, even if no-one else ever sees it, when we write about our grief, it’s easier to understand. When we write our … 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

Balancing sorrow and growth

When I opened Good Grief! this year I quoted a reflection by L. R. Knost which touched debate both online and off. Some found the suggestion of mending too painful. To these good folk the quote felt glib.  We want to hold close the memory of someone who’s died: it’s … Read more

Good Grief! It’s 2018 already…

  Hello everyone and welcome to Good Grief! 2018. After a beautiful holiday, starting with family – including two lively little grandsons – on the NSW south coast and then a cycle ride through New Zealand’s south island I’m back and excited about all the conversations and ideas that I’ll … Read more

For Julian

I wrote this goodbye to my brother’s farmhouse, when his family moved back into town in June 2016, a few years after his death. Glad to say, his brood have all moved forward and are building strong lives – guided, I’m guessing, by a strong sense of him. Happy Christmas … Read more

Now that the funeral is over

Introducing Doris Zagdanski, who works with one of the largest funeral providers in Australia. She is also the author of many books about grief. Doris is currently giving a lot of thought to that most difficult of times – when the funeral is over. “After the funeral we shut the … Read more

The Kiwi Coffin Club

Kiwi Coffin Club - A group of rebellious, creative Kiwi seniors give death the finger, one crazy coffin at a time. Made with the support of NZ on Air.

Love the way these baby-boomers are rethinking the end, turning old ideas on their head, the way they always have – while making friends and tap-dancing.

We reflected – Grief can last forever can’t it?

With funeral celebrant Sharon Swinbourne

Facilitated a discussion tonight about grief, with the Funeral Celebrants Association of Australia. We challenged our culture’s notions about how long you’re allowed to grieve for: “Grief can last forever can’t it?” suggested Judy. Some shared stories about bad deaths. This included a chilling story about a death certificate being … Read more

The Grief of a Child

“Children can experience grief and loss from a very young age. Like adults, children have their own ways of grieving. It is important to recognise that your child has feelings of grief and to help them express those feelings.” “Children are curious, so be prepared for regular and repeated questions. … Read more

The fig tree

Troubled stories from recent deathbeds remind me of a sign at my daughters’ old school: “Beware falling pods!” The sign sat at the base of an enormous native fig tree and when those pods fell, they were like malevolent missiles. Dropping from a great height helped the pods to crack … Read more

Wow! Would you dare host one of these dinners?

I’m wondering: would I be game enough to host one of these dinners? My family are coming over for dinner tonight….. Thanks Susie P. for letting me know about this fascinating conversation starter. http://deathoverdinner.org.au/      

Author Leah Kaminsky shares her insights

When I first started writing my book We’re All Going To Die there weren’t many public conversations on the subject of death, but since then it has really moved along. Sadly, however, it hasn’t moved fast enough.  I’d like to see death education brought more widely into medical schools, for … Read more

Have you heard of a death doula?

A story about the developing work of death doulas can be found on Page 90 in the October issue of The Australian Women’s Weekly, available now. The introduction: “There is a quiet, serene revolution going on in the way we farewell our loved ones. Caroline Baum meets the women, known as … Read more