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In 1971, when I was four years old, my brother died of a congenital heart condition. Writing about this experience has prompted more responses than anything else I’ve ever written or spoken about. Untold and unheard stories appear in comments sections, strangers tell me cross-culturally consistent tales in the soft corners of conference rooms and speak about the siblings they’ve lost and how present the memories of them still are in their minds and hearts.

These stories all have one thing in common: a sense of being forgotten, left out of conversations about the dead, of rituals of mourning, and excluded from the respectful circle that is drawn around the bereaved.

You can read the rest of this article in theconversation here

 

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On Monday the 1st of October, 2018 I spoke with Jo McManus and Charlotte Hamlyn about sibling loss.

 

On the morning of August 7, 2015 Jo McManus’ posted on social media ‘Our beautiful Max is gone.’

Jo’s 20 year old son had died the night before, her surviving son, Sam, was due to start his final exams.

In 1971 when Zoe Krupka was just four years old, her brother died of a congenital heart condition.

Now a psychotherapist, Dr Krupka says the literature around siblings and grief is scarce, both women share their personal stories and how they honour the grief of a surviving sibling.

Charlotte Hamlyn spoke with Zoe and Jo.

You can find the podcast here

 

 

 

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In a sea of recovery memoirs, each one more determined than the next to provide a blueprint for how to recover from the unspeakable, Meera Atkinson’s recently released Traumata stands out like a welcome sore thumb.

Meera Atkinson's TraumataIn tight evocative prose, it lays bare the mutually sustaining relationship between trauma and patriarchy and asks us to look at the ways in which patriarchy creates, sustains and feeds voraciously off the pains of those most impacted by misogyny, racism, and capitalism.

you can read the rest of this review here at Eureka Street.

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In one of my early roles as a newly minted Australian helper, I worked as a counsellor with people in law enforcement. On my first day in the job, I set the room up with lights garnered from the store of unused furnishings on the witness-protection floor and waited to see who might come through the door. The biggest part of my job turned out to be talking about such things as: it isn’t dangerous to cry; and accepting death doesn’t mean being happy about it. The people I spoke to were generally receptive to these ideas, they valued knowledge highly, and they knew that when it came to death, there was quite a bit they didn’t know. But it was hard for them to put this learning into practice, because when they took these ideas outside the counselling room, almost no-one else believed in them.

you can read the rest of this article herein Meanjin

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IT’S beginning to look a lot like that time of year when couples fight about their families. The festive season is upon us, with all the high expectations for fun times and sacks of raised hopes of family togetherness. If the prospect of spending holiday time with your partner’s family is about as attractive as shingles, take heart, there are ways to thrive in their difficult territory. I asked one of the best family relationship specialists around, psychologist and best-selling author Harriet Lerner, to help with some tips on how to be your best self under trying festive circumstances.

You can read the rest of the article at news.com.au right here

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This is a piece by Jenna Price on the potentially catastrophic changes to the national sexual assault and domestic violence hotline.

Callers to the national sexual assault and domestic violence hotline will no longer have guaranteed direct access to experienced trauma counsellors from July 1.

In a dramatic change to the six-year old service, people who ring 1800 RESPECT will be advised by a triage service, employing operators who will judge whether callers should be directed to an information website, a trauma counsellor or state-based family violence services, already overloaded with demand.

You can read the rest of this report by Jenna Price here at The Canberra Times.

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d8678d2b3c65270e38531cec24739141Selfish, damaged, cold-hearted, shallow, overeducated and greedy. Women who choose not to have children are often labelled in these ways by everyone from the Pope to their co-workers.

Australian women experience marked social exclusion if they choose to remain childless – and it’s the choice part of the equation that leads to their deviant status. While all childless women experience some exclusion, women who have rejected the traditional ideal of motherhood are at the greatest risk of social disconnection. It is the very act of making a conscious and public choice to reject the role of mother that is overtly or tacitly criticised.

 

you can read the rest of this article here at the conversation.

 

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