On surviving survivor’s guilt

From bad times to end times

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  • Published 20210504
  • ISBN: 978-1-922212-59-7
  • Extent: 264pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

MY MOTHER’S ASHES got scattered at the end of Australia’s Black Summer. She’d been dead for eighteen months. But her family – my five foster siblings and their twelve children – hadn’t been together since the funeral. Now we belatedly congregated under storm clouds south of Coffs Harbour. I was given the duty of unscrewing the lid like a petrol can and pouring her remnants towards the tank of the Pacific Ocean.

My brother John, a car salesman in Bundaberg, recited ‘Clancy of the Overflow’ – a paen to solitude my mother cooed to us before sleep back in Wondai. It imbued us with the residual delusion that we grew up on a sheep farm, not at a pub filled by graziers and tradies shearing their brain cells with beer.

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