Field notes on death

Featured in

  • Published 20130903
  • ISBN: 9781922079985
  • Extent: 288pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

I WAS IN a foul mood a few weeks back. In a flash of bleak insight, I wrote on a scrap of paper: I hope I don’t die today, this would be a very bad mood to die in.

When I was a small child, death was a regular event in my life, mostly as performance and play. My numerous siblings and I would line up, the current toddler in a bulky nappy waddling along at the back, ready to bury yet another mouse or a bird found in the bush near our home. With undiluted Irish Catholic ancestry, ritual was thick in our blood. We would proceed from the backyard, along the side veranda, down to the front garden, one of us carefully carrying the shoe box with the little body laid on leaves and grass cuttings, one carrying a cross made from two Popsicle sticks, one conducting the service at the graveside. I remember it now as big on ceremony and small on feeling.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

If you are an educator or student wishing to access content for study purposes please contact us at griffithreview@griffith.edu.au

Share article

More from author

Learning the local language

Essay IT WAS IN a Melbourne museum that I realised I didn’t know the traditional name for the area in South Australia where I’d grown...

More from this edition

Sinking below sight

ReportageWinner, 2013 Walkley Award for Print/Text Feature Writing Long (Over 4,000 words) Winner, 2014 George Munster Award for Independent Journalism     The opposite of poverty isn't wealth....

Stay up to date with the latest, news, articles and special offers from Griffith Review.