In an unguarded moment

Living with the legacy of suicide

Featured in

  • Published 20200505
  • ISBN: 9781922268761
  • Extent: 264pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

IT’S EARLY ON a Friday and the usual morning hustle of a school day is playing out in my kitchen. Olivia, ten, is dressed and breakfasted. She’s adding to lunchboxes: chopping up fruit, tossing in chips, searching for lids. Sophie, seven, provides commentary: cut it the other way, honey-soy for me, that one doesn’t match. Soph is wearing her uniform but labours through her Weet-Bix. She has eaten enough to take the edge off her hunger and wants to run free. For Sophie, life is calling: jokes need telling, toys need playing with, books need reading and the cat needs coddling in so many blankets he’ll resemble a sausage roll. As Triple J streams from the speaker, I prompt Sophie to eat up. I should shower but I’m loitering, waiting to hear what Ruby Fields will cover for Like A Version.

‘Are you driving us in today, Mum?’ Liv asks.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

If you are an educator or student wishing to access content for study purposes please contact us at

Share article

More from author

Teaching Australia

MemoirI AM THIRTY-EIGHT and tired. I’m only a third of the way through my class roll, a list that hurts my heart if I study it for too long. But I know what to do with these students. I’m an excellent teacher. I know how to bring them together. I am able to create a feeling of family and safety and security. In my classroom they know they can take risks and try new things and experience failure while being supported by me and by each other.

More from this edition

The town turns over: Audio edition

MediaListen to author Laura Elvery read aloud her short story 'The town turns over', a poignant exploration of ageing, memory and endings. This story appears...

The time of our lives

IntroductionListen to Editor Ashley Hay read her introduction ‘The time of our lives’. YEARS AGO, I read a book by Douwe Draaisma, a professor of history and psychology...

The ball still swings

Memoir Click here to listen to Editor Ashley Hay in conversation with Ian Lowe and Ingrid Burkett. ‘IT’S JUST LIKE the game we used to play,’ a teammate observed, ‘only in slow...

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