We’re back for 2023 and asking ‘What do you want to know about the non-medical as well as medical aspects of end-of-life?’
But first, a reflection. On replenishment. A week beachside with my daughters, their partners and their children was the best anyone could ask for. We were all in the one beach house. It rained more than it was sunny and sometimes there was a howling gale. But that’s a way I love the beach.
The dark clouds, the moody backdrops with foggy mountains in the distance; the creative approach. A quick ocean dip for the determined (I made do with turning the tap to cold at the end of my shower) and then some of the family to the movies while others read, and another day window-shopping in Berry, the gorgeous local town, with one or two purchases which I’ll justify as keepsakes.
Another overcast day saw us at the Berry Markets, buying local cherries and my husband searching out the ingredients for his ‘cold-collation’, a throwback to the 1970s and a ritual meal he prepares on holidays. Then little children on bikes, careening around the tracks at the showground. A gravelly corner saw spills, tears and then their ‘back on your bike’ moments.
Ice-creams and dads cooking – the best wine saved for the last day, while feasting on prawns, oysters and fresh bread, a moment when the front-deck was sunshiny, a great finish to a great week.
And then – joking that we were having another week to recuperate from time with boisterous grandchildren – my husband and I spent a week cycling in Tasmania with Eudaimonia Cycling Tours.
Our host was the delightful – and extremely fit – Sofia Tsamassiros, and her offsider Caz. They took us on a tour of the Huon Valley. Once again we consumed even more, even better locally produced cherries, if that’s possible. One day on Bruny Island, the next at Cygnet, just in time for the Cygnet Folk Festival. We did the ride to the Tahune Airwalk and then in a major achievement for me, climbed Kunanyi, looking down on Hobart. Admittedly, these were on e-bikes but mostly at the lowest setting, I promise.
One day we stopped at Matthew and Sadie Evans Fat Pig Farm for lunch and between courses, Sadie wandered us through the working farm, an idyl of content young pig and apple trees that had resprung, despite past efforts to ‘grub’ them out.
We caught Debbie Cowen’s welcome to country on the first night of the Cygnet Folk Festival. Finishing the five-day tour at Cascades Brewery we said goodbye to Sofia and Caz, and the other rider Eugene, who had all become like family.
Shutting my eyes last night, the night we arrived home, I had images of rolling hills, pastoral scenes with little wooden sheds, apple trees and long grasses imprinted on my brain. I knew that once I took a walk in my home setting, over the Sydney Harbour Bridge, crossing paths with those who were seeing it as tourists, these images would fade.
But there is something soothing and replenishing about a constant layering of picturesque images caught on the projector screen of the mind’s eye. It reminded me of how walking through the English country-side helped me heal during past grief, for the same reason.
Bucolic images removed those in the traps set by what had become my everyday thoughts. Thankfully, this time there was no sorrow to recover from. But it reminded me to share the message that restocking with beauty helps recovery.
My break has left me full of enthusiasm for all there is to do in 2023 – and there’s plenty.
This year, if we have to nominate a theme, Good Grief! will probe more into what consumers want and need. As last year came to a close, a comment captured in research I was doing, lingered for me. It reinforced that consumers now want to start conversations about end-of-life but don’t know how to access the information they need.
That’s where Good Grief! comes in. Our goal is to offer practical, up-to-date and accurate information so that consumers can make informed decisions about what they do next, often their very first step. You can follow your own path but Good Grief! wants to help set you up for your journey.
Good “dostadning”, as the Swedish call it, involves the non-medical too and we want to scrutinise this part, and find out what you, the consumer, wants.
Consumers needs in many areas, are still largely in the shadows. What do you want to know about funeral services? What information is needed in your primary language? What legal resources do you need and how would you like to access them? What do you want?
We won’t make big promises, but we’ll see what unfurls as our team continues our commitment to making grief good. And if you’ve got anything at all you’d like to share about your experiences, do get in touch.