Friday, August 01, 2014

Research looks into processes of grief, mourning

THE attack on Flight MH17 and the death of so many justifiably dominates the news, slamming home the human fragility and throwing the world into grief.
The vision of the wreckage and the fleeting shots of the passengers' personal items undoubtedly have brought tears to the eyes of many millions in many countries.
Just as certain is that the emotional flood will slowly fade and retract from those with no connection to the victims but condense in relatively few who knew and loved them.
The tragedy will be just an event in history for most but leave a vacancy in the heart for some. Death prompts wonder at how the grief-stricken will ever get over their loss.

MUCH has been documented about grief and mourning but a 2010 article in The New Yorker expressed an interesting view.
“New research suggests that grief and mourning don’t follow a checklist; they’re complicated and untidy processes, less like a progression of stages and more like an ongoing process – sometimes one that never fully ends,” the article by Meghan O’Rourke said.
“Perhaps the most enduring psychiatric idea about grief, for instance, is the idea that people need to 'let go' in order to move on; yet studies have shown that some mourners hold on to a relationship with the deceased with no notable ill effects.
“In China, mourners regularly speak to dead ancestors, and one study has shown that the bereaved there suffer less long-term distress than bereaved Americans do.”

EVERY week the Bulletin, as newspapers have done for many generations, carries a collection of expressions of grief under the heading, In Memoriam, showing one way our culture  handles the nagging grief that never fades.
For the reader, the touching verse and images may evoke questions about the deceased and those represented in the lists of names: 'What was he/she like as a person?'
Several notices appeared recently, marking the 10th anniversary of the death of Peter Cawthray, who was born in Coominya in the Somerset district in 1941 and moved to Thorneside in 1963, later living in other Redland suburbs before his death in July 2004.
“He was a good bloke,” Peter's brother-in-law, Richard Harvey, said.
“For a while now we have been putting an annual memorial notice in the local newspaper to remember a very special member of our family.
“We have certainly never forgotten him as he still pops up in our memories and our day to day lives, which says a lot as to what sort of special person he was.”

The text above has featured in the Redland City Bulletin.

In this anniversary month, Richard has written about Peter Cawthray.

He was a good bloke ...

HIS name is Peter Ross Cawthray and he was born in 1941 at the little rural Queensland town of Coominya, west of Brisbane. The third son to Stan and Edna, he joined his older siblings Laurie and Eddie and was later followed by little sister Julie. They lived a hard but happy life on the land and it was from here Peter gained a lifelong appreciation and affinity for people working on the land.

In the early '60s the family moved to the Brisbane bayside area of Thorneside and Peter often spoke fondly of his childhood there, including catching the steam train to Cleveland (Raby bay Station) to go to the “pictures” at the theatre in Middle Street.

He attended Wynnum High School and later started his working life at K.R. Darling Downs Bacon Factory at Murarrie where his Dad also worked.

He had a great love of sport, played competitive tennis for many years and was an avid Wynnum Many Rugby League supporter. I have many fond memories of going with Peter and his mates to Koogarai Oval on a Sunday afternoon to cheer on the mighty Wynnum Manly. Later on when the Broncos came along, he became a big fan of theirs also.

ONE of the sporting highlights of his life was to be present at the Gabba on that great day in March 1995 when Carl Rackemann took the catch and Queensland won the Sheffield Shield for the very first time. He would often show us in photos where he was sitting in the grandstand when “we won the Shield”!

Peter married Janny in 1963 and for a while they lived in Mooroondu Road, Thorneside. They later moved to their own first home at Napier Street, Birkdale. They were blessed with three lovely children, Peter junior, Suzanne and Michelle.

In the ensuing years Peter and Jannys children attended Birkdale Kindy, Birkdale State School, Saint John Vianney's at Manly, Mount Carmel College in Wynnum and Iona College at Lindum.

Tragically, Peter and Jan lost Suzy in 1980 in a bicycle accident, a loss no parent can possibly dare to think of, let alone endure, like they have.

OVER many years Peter and Jan had a penchant for a bit of “property development”. This saw them buying /refurbishing/building/selling, shall I say, on a few occasions like, at Mount Cotton, Thornlands (3 times), Cleveland and Redland Bay. Note, the properties were always in the Redlands; Peter once said to me, “You’d be bloody mad to want to live anywhere else, wouldn’t you?"

On top of the property things they were doing, they also ventured into small business, first with a partnership with Roy and Judy in a fruit shop and health food shop in Cleveland then followed a produce agency at Beenleigh.

PETER ended up going back to his “old trade", the meat industry, when he joined Teys Brothers at Beenleigh, and later  Ambrosia Meats, where he was working when he retired due to health reasons in 2004.He passed away not long after from lung cancer in July 2004.

Over many years, Peter often spoke of the really nice people he has been associated with throughout his life and I would like to mention a few of them, I’m sure he would not mind.

Some of them are from early families in the Redlands. The Stariha boys,  Apps family,  Crabb family, the McCullaghs, the Cranes, the Finneys, the Bandieras, the Callaghans, the Manganos, the O’Briens (a must on Saturday morning for the tips),the Pattermores, the McLellands, the Boyles, the Franklins, the Barrs, the Schmidts, the McMillans, the Salles family, the Dickees, the Melrose family, Romaine and Kath.

PETER would not seek attention or credit; he was happy to live a good life; he loved family get-togethers and barbecues. He had a special spot for babies and children. He enjoyed a cold XXXX or a glass of chardonnay and he loved Aussie things such as fishing, vegie gardening, having a beer and a yarn at the bar and Slim Dusty singing, “Gum trees by the roadside, willows by the creek”.

I mentioned at the beginning he often pops up in our memories. Well, two classics for us are one, whenever we have a roast pork dinner, someone will say, "Make sure you leave enough crackling for Uncle Peter”. He loved it!

And secondly, if ever we’re outdoors for a picnic or camping and dark clouds start to form someone will bring up Peter's famous quote from years ago when the Cawthrays were camping at Bells Farm, “There will be no rain on this day of our Lord.” Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t!

Peter, after all this time, you are still sadly missed by all of us, not only, but in particular by

Jan,” Little Peter” and Michelle & their families

Eddie, Fay & Julie & their families

His Grandchildren, Nieces & Nephews

Jan’s Family

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