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Mon, 2008-Apr-14

Deaths in the Family

Two people have died recently in my family. The wife of my half-brother-in-law concluded her long struggle with cancer in Makay a couple of weeks ago. My surviving grandfather died this last week gone.

Jess was a lively woman who became party of my family relatively recently. Her death made it onto Australian Story "It's a beautify day", after her earlier appearance in "Carve their names with pride".

Both were far away. Jess died in Makay, and there was no way Michelle and I could get there in time over the easter long weekend. Our invitation to her never-held 25th birthday party still hangs on our fridge. My grandfather died suddenly in Sydney. Jess had a memorial service in Brisbane. My Pa's choice was to have no memorial, no burial, just a pickup by the local university. That was his way.

Both were amazing people. Both will be missed. I'll remember Pa for telling me that despite wasting away nearly every day at the local RSL, he would never join the RSL itself. He fought beside communists in the war. Despite not being one himself, he could never accept their demonisation by the Returned & Services League in his lifetime. Jess I met on far too few occasions, my thoughts are with those she left behind.