The words to say it

Featured in

  • Published 20070202
  • ISBN: 9780733320569
  • Extent: 280 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm)

THE FUNERAL WAS held in a rural town in New South Wales on the hottest day that year. I nodded at the priest and he nodded at me and then we avoided each other’s eyes for the rest of the brief service. A coffin sat in between us unadorned with flowers or symbolic belongings. The silent dry land surrounding the crematorium seemed a fitting backdrop to the event.

There was no eulogy about the great man he was, no generous accounts of the achievements of his forty-six years, no photocopied sheet containing his photo, a prayer and the words of a hymn to be sung. Just thin words that echoed around a room, two sweating professionals waving flies from their faces.

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

The last taboo

MemoirSex is what you do, sexuality is who you are.– Anna Freud I MET J in a bathroom in the winter of 1994. It was...

More from this edition

I’m not here

FictionIF SHE HURRIES she may still eat today. She shuffles down the empty street, a small Vietnamese woman dressed in a floral polyester dress...

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