Dear Amelia,
This is a picture of my sister, your Great Aunty Pauline.
She died yesterday morning from cancer.
It happened so suddenly – just two weeks from diagnosis to death – that we’re all still stunned.
I wanted to post a picture of her on here because she thought you were wonderful but also because unless you’re, say, Great Aunty Princess Di or Great Aunty Whitney Houston, you tend to get lost in the branches of the family tree.
Great Aunties are not usually the ones we remember, are they?
This picture was taken out on the deck when your Great Aunty Pauline came to stay with us for a holiday last year.
See all that red hair?
It hadn’t been cut for decades and was a pretty good indicator of her temper.
She could feud for Australia when she put her mind to it.
But she also had a big, loving heart and a fine intellect; an encyclopaedic knowledge of cricket and contemporary music; the sort of general knowledge that made you quake when she suggested a game of Trivial Pursuit; an abiding interest in what was happening in the world, not just on her own doorstep; and a talent for knitting, sewing and cooking that was legendary.
She was only 56 and at the moment I’m very angry at the universe that she died so young.
I’m going to miss her.

8 Comments on “FOR PAULINE”

  1. Mignon Mitchell says:

    Hi Michele
    What a lovely tribute to Pauline. It has been a harrowing week for your family and I can imagine a huge shock. Thinking of you all,

  2. Donna Cobban says:

    Dear Michele
    I am sad to read of your loss my condolencences to you and your family. In the last few weeks the deaths of the rich and famous have been so prominent in the media, that it is easy to forget that life and death comes to us all. I had to attend a funeral for a mum of three students at our school yesterday. A beautiful soul and wonderful mum, it makes each person in our lives seem more precious somehow. I am glad you have recorded Pauline in you blog so that we might know that she was an important part of your family. I am sorry for your loss.


    • Michele says:

      Donna, thank you so much for taking the time to write. I know now why ovarian cancer is called the silent killer – by the time it’s diagnosed it’s often too late.

  3. Birgitta says:

    Hi Michele

    I am so sorry for your loss. The sudden loss of a family member is harrowing, my sincere condolences to you and your family. I know you have some difficult days ahead and I will be thinking of you.
    You will always have memories and stories to tell, time will help to heal the hurt you are feeling.

    Sadly we all have to go through this, its just when its so sudden it hits us like a brick.


    • Michele says:

      Hi Birgitta, thank you for your lovely words. It’s been particularly hard on our Mum – you don’t expect your child to go first.

  4. Kaitlyn says:

    Love you lots x

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