Sudden or unexpected death

Recovering from road trauma

Road Trauma Support Services Victoria’s CEO Bernadette Nugent addresses the crowd of supporters at the Shine a Light event this year.

by Sandra Moon When newly married Jo Keep heard a knock at the door at 3am she knew something wasn’t right. Her husband Gavin had left for work earlier that night and his shift wasn’t over. Jo and Gavin had been married six weeks earlier and returned to live with … Read more

Coffin Art gave Sandra the Chance to Talk to her Cousin one Last Time.

Coffin art offered a chance to talk to my cousin one last time, photo: Sandra Moon

It made a difference to be able to connect one last time, SANDRA MOON, journalist, editor, writer and no stranger to grief, says of her personal experience with coffin art. In the crematorium I waited with the other mourners, thick black markers in hand, to write a message on the … Read more

Dipping into the well.

A conversation with friends took me to a well the other day. We were walking in the Sydney sunshine along Bungaree’s Walkway at Middle Head, a natural pathway with extraordinary views around Sydney’s majestic harbour, when the conversation, idling unselfconsciously as they do, turned to grief. I was asked about my … Read more

The flowers at the pedestrian button.

The flowers at the pedestrian lights

We have a floral tribute in my community, firmly attached by rounds and rounds of sticky tape to the pedestrian button at the traffic lights. It started with a public note attached. The flowers are a metre or two down the street from a pole with A4 posters, one advertising … 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

Could an end of life doula help to midwife your death? 

End of life doula Belinda Brooks

Could an end of life doula, or amicus mortis help to midwife your death?  ‘Doula’ is a Greek word for a woman who gives support, help, and advice to another woman during pregnancy and during and after birth. The word has now spread to cover the same style of care for someone who is dying.

Other expressions which cover support at the end of life are “midwife to the dying” and the Latin term “amicus mortis”, the friend of the dying.

At her window

It’s easy to miss the practical companioning aspect to the care of the dying in our modern, acute-care oriented health system.  Creativity and Life coach Helen Carmichael lives in a Bondi flat with a view over that iconic Sydney beach and she watched from her window as an elderly neighbour lay … Read more

Remembering Julian today.

Today I’m remembering my brother Julian, who was killed this day five years ago, in a motor-cycle accident near his country property. As our brother, Damian, said in his eulogy for him; “There was an explosion of light too beautiful, and our dear Julian was shot into the Heavens, where … Read more