Category Archives: Grief

Catching Teller Crow by Ambelin and Ezekiel Kwaymullina

Catching Teller Crow.JPG

Nothing’s been the same for Beth Teller since she died. Her dad, a detective, is the only one who can see and hear her – and he’s drowning in grief. But now they have a mystery to solve together. Who is Isobel Catching, and what’s her connection to the fire that killed a man? What happened to the people who haven’t been seen since the fire? As Beth unravels the mystery, she finds a shocking story lurking beneath the surface of a small town, and a friendship that lasts beyond one life and into another.

Read it because:

Catching Teller Crow is an original tale that both surprises and informs. Told by two different narrators, whose different styles in narration are marked either by prose or verse, we are drawn into their worlds. I was carried forward through a tale of institutionalisation of children, missing girls, grief and loss.
The book for me is proof that you can tell a story with strong Indigenous female characters. Catching, Teller and Crow are drawn from the streets of every regional town I’ve been to. The authors have drawn a regional town that could be anywhere in Australia. A town, and society, that is still hiding the secrets of shame from its past and the presence.
The lead characters encounter racism, violence, terrible historic injustices and corruption within the police force, all of which are still current themes that need to be discussed openly. The last half of the book sensitively addresses what happens when people turn a blind eye to violence and allow it to flourish and destroy lives.
The topics of grief and loss are sensitively handled, and allow an opportunity to discuss how grief and loss are addressed in our society. Through the characters journeys we gain a better understanding of how hard grief is as an emotion to deal with, especially for those who have no coping mechanisms.
This is book that can be used to teach historical and contemporary themes, as well as opening up the conversation about violence to women. Catching Teller Crow can also be used to supplement the Australian curriculum topic of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures.

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6 Reasons Why Comics Can Improve Mental Health

From The Comic Vault, a great post on the 6 Reasons Why Comics Can Improve Mental Health.

How many more?

Women killed in domestic violent situations

I cried last night watching the news, name after name, story after story of women dying at the hands of partners, ex partners…..The Women’s Agenda published this article and I agree with their description of this being a horror show. So many lives are being snuffed out, by perpetrators who feel they can use violence to gain an end.

We as a society must act, and stop this. Discuss with your loved ones, friends, work colleagues…we all must act together to stop the rot.

 

Teaching Australia: why Naplan doesn’t fix our problems

I came across a powerful and moving Memoir from GJ Stroud on the Griffith Review website. Teaching Australia describes first hand, when we allow the Testing system drive the education of our children.

For a long time I’ve wondered what benefit it is to have my child, have a teacher, teach specifically for the Naplan test. When education becomes a commodity, that is producing worker bees who will pass the Naplan, then I know the system is broken.

But what can we do?

Crow Country by Kate Constable

Crow Country.JPG

Beginning and ending, always the same, always now. The game, the story, the riddle, hiding and seeking. Crow comes from this place; this place comes from Crow. And Crow has work for you.

Sadie isn’t thrilled when her mother drags her from the city to live in the country town of Boort. But soon she starts making connections—with the country, with the past, with two boys, Lachie and Walter, and, most surprisingly, with the ever-present crows.

When Sadie is tumbled back in time to view a terrible crime, she is pulled into a strange mystery. Can Sadie, Walter, and Lachie figure out a way to right old wrongs, or will they be condemned to repeat them?

A fantasy grounded in mythology, this novel has the backing of a full consultative process on the use of indigenous lore.

Read it because:

You’re after an engaging and easy story for your class to read. I loved this book, it was a great well told tale. My favourite quote from it is:

The Dreaming is always; forever… it’s always happening, and us mob, we’re part of it, all the time, everywhere, and every-when too.”

‘Keep calm & slap a bitch’: The actual line a Sydney pub used in an ad

When I came across this article by Georgina Dent on Women’s Agenda, I was frankly stunned then outraged. Violence against women is not a joke, it’s a crime. When will we get the social change we need to out this sort of behaviour as offensive….

The saga of myLump

So having spent a good portion of this week, being poked, prodded, ultra sounded and mammogrammed, and then waiting….and waiting…my results have finally arrived.

I took my partner, who volunteered because I’m a mess when getting results. (Too busy crying to pay attention.) I was so sick in my stomach, and so worried, that by the time we got into see the GP, I had worked myself up into worse case possible scenario.

But listening to the results – which basically said the lump was not presenting as breast cancer.  I could have a biopsy ( not right now I need to think about this), that I would definitely need to keep an eye on it, and be ultra sounded all over again in 3 months.

It’s a result, one that was a lot better than what I was thinking about when I should have been sleeping for the last week. The shadow of cancer hangs over all my siblings, and I have dodged the bullet. But as my rational and logical partner said – at least I’ve got some solid baselines, that the GP can monitor my changes from….because I go in for tests on a regular basis for all the other cancers I have a hereditary tendency for.

On top of this yesterday was my Mum’s birthday, and grief over the loss of her certainly played a large part in my worry over what would happen to my child if I was to die. I spoke to my sister in law about taking on our child should the worst happen to us both…. she was so supportive…and kind….

But for now, I just get to play the waiting game, while my body decides what to do about this lump of mine. Not sure what else I can write at the moment, the news is still so fresh and I need time to digest it.

Thank you for the kind words and support.

 

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