Moving on

Making music as a way to say goodbye

"When my Grandma passed away it was a catalyst for me to start writing songs that could help people," says Jay Stansfield.

Here is a wonderful example of how we can bring our talents and who we are right up to the experience of the death of someone we love.  Being with the people we love as they die and actively participating in how we say goodbye to them makes death easier … 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

Saying goodbye with architecture

funeral ceremony centre, courtesy Hofman Dujardin Architects

Nearly 80,000 words later and close to completing my ‘life affirming book about death’, I’m back. With more ideas, challenges and stories of people’s experiences to share, as we talk about death. This is one: what if better architecture makes better goodbyes? Here’s something wonderful – thank you to the UK’s … 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 … 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