Mourning

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

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

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.

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

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

When expectations differ

Julie’s father passed away in August, 2014: “We had all gathered to be there with him when he died and we were ready to let him go. “He’d been married to my stepmom, Monica, a beautiful Italian Catholic, for about 35 years, but we are Jewish. The Jewish tradition is that … Read more

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 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

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