Tuesday, September 11, 2012

In Memoriam

My Aunty Josephine died on the weekend. It was sudden, and terribly sad, but not unexpected.

I have many memories of Josephine and her rambling old house on Sydney Harbour, the site of frequent childhood gatherings and masses. My cousins and I would run around, inventing games and interrupting the gossip of the adults, before escaping down rickety stairs to the foreshore to have adventures in the lush greenery and secret tiny beaches of McMahon's Point.

But my most enduring memory is much more recent, and it has made me smile many time over the last few days. When my cousin Kate, Josephine's youngest daughter, got married a couple of years ago, Josephine preceded the bride down the aisle. In a flowing red gown, accompanied by rousing classical music, Josephine danced down the centre of the church, waving regally and beaming with joy.

The word 'eccentric' seems insufficient to describe the powerful life-force of a woman like Josephine. She wore so many hats.  Mother of six, fiercely devoted wife to Bill, staunch Catholic matriarch, and sharp legal mind, Josephine created her own style of living, and attacked life with vigour. She was a lover of children and of literature and of a laugh. Grieving for her are six children, two grandchildren, seven siblings and countless nieces,  nephews and friends.  The world is a less colourful place this week without Josephine.

May she rest in peace.



  1. Beautiful Rach. made me smile amd remember the stories over the years...have been thinking of you and i will be thinking of you all on friday. love you, lis and tildi xxx

  2. Oh how sad Rachael, I'm sorry for your loss. Your family has been through so much. You've painted an awesome picture of her here. I love that vision of her dancing down the aisle in red! Kellie xx

  3. She sounds splendid. So sad for you to lose such vivacity, so vividly captured in your post. Bx

    1. She was splendid. Larger than life even. Thanks Bex. x

  4. Aunty Josephine sounds like a grand dame. Every woman needs an Aunty Josephine in her life. Hugs xo

  5. Thinking of you all Rach, love Pete, Max, Alison and James xxx

  6. Just came back from a holiday, therefore a bit late but nevertheless wanted to say I am sorry for your and your family's loss. She sounds like a great person, you described her beautifully...


  7. Dear Darling Rach,
    What a beautiful ode to an amazing woman ... similar to how I'd describe you.


Thanks for talking to me. I don't got cooties. Oh, except for when I got cooties.