10 thoughts on “About Grieving”

Everyone grieves in their own way and their own time…no one way or one time frame is the “correct” way. We must be kind to ourselves taking one day at at time.
And those who love the grieving-ones should stand by them and bring comfort no matter how long it takes.
I honestly feel like the one who has died would truly want their beloved ones to help each other through the grief and move forward in life…finding joy…adapting to their new “normal”. I don’t think anyone who loves their family would want their passing to destroy their family or loved ones lives. So we must find ways to grieve, help each other, and continue to move forward. I still miss ALL of those who have passed on before me, but I’m trying to live a good life to make them proud. 
Those links offer some great truth and help, Uta. Thank you for sharing them.
My continued condolences, love, and prayers to you and all of your family as you continue to miss and grieve Peter.
(((HUGS)))
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auntyuta
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Thank, for that, dear Carolyn, thank you very much! Hugs, Uta 
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rangewriter
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I agree with Carolyn, above. Grieving is different for each individual and the stages are not necessarily reached in the order expected and may even jump around and be repetitive in some cases. You and Peter lead such a remarkable life together. I think he would be very proud of how well you have dealt with the cards you were given and how you’ve navigated the loss of your best friend and partner. Your children will eventually reach a stage of quiet acceptance. It is one of the stages of life that we all (if we are lucky) must pass through. (The unlucky ones pass before their parents, which, as you know, is the most difficult and jarring grief of all.)
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auntyuta
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Yes, Linda, what you say makes quite a lot of sense to me. Great summing up of the situation. Thank you for that, thank you very much!
Today I thought once more a lot about the subject of serving and I looked up quotes by Goethe and Schiller about this subject and others, here:
https://auntyuta199172524.wordpress.com/2021/04/05/what-goethe-said/
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rangewriter
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Thank you for sharing, Uta!
Debra
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Grief comes to all of us in some form and at some point in our lives, and we all respond differently. Losing Peter leaves a huge hole in your heart, Uta, and I’m so sorry. These are really good articles. Thank you for sharing them.
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auntyuta
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I just saw this very interesting blog, Debra, by Peggy Sweeney:
https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/169521928/posts/1345
This is how she starts her blog:
“Adults frequently associate grief with the death of someone loved. However, this is not the only reason we grieve. We confront grief whenever we experience a loss or traumatic event: a divorce, retirement, a debilitating illness or injury, addiction, abuse, the aftermath of a fire, flood, or an earthquake. The list of grief-generating experiences is endless. Healing our grief is a life-altering event and a very personal experience. . .”
Debra, I guess, I have been in ‘retirement’ for many, many years. But never ever have I had to live on my own. When this isn’t life changing, especially with a number of disabilities due to my age, I don’t know what is. I guess, there are always changes, Sometimes there are just too many changes all at once. However, I believe I am still in a better position than people that have no other option than booking into a retirement home. . .
I am determined now to live in my present home for at least another 3 and 1/2 yeas that is until I turn 90!
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auntyuta
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P.S.: If I die before I am 90, at least I die in my own home the way Peter died . . .
Debra
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I think it’s entirely “too soon” for you to overthink anything probably! You’re doing well that you can even write about your feelings, Uta. I have known friends who’ve been widowed and can barely move from one room to the next for a very long time. I just know it’s a very big shock, even if anticipated! I am so glad you have a lovely larger family who love and care for you. And I agree with Peggy Sweeney that there are so many ways that we experience loss and then grief. But losing a spouse is an emotional earthquake. Hugs to you, my friend.
auntyuta
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Oh, Debra, your comment makes such a difference to my day! It gives me the peace I do need at this time. Thank you, dear friend, for caring so much!
HUGS from Australia 

Right to disconnect

The Business / 

By business reporter Daniel Ziffer

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-04-06/right-to-disconnect-gives-workers-their-lives-back/100040424

“. . . . a culture of being constantly contactable after hours has added to the draining mental toll of the work.

“It just causes undue stress for people,” Sergeant Dunkinson said.

“That’s not necessary when the job is stressful enough.”

Right to disconnect

“The right to disconnect – won in the union’s most recent negotiations – directs managers to respect leave and rest days and avoid contacting officers outside work hours, unless in an emergency or to check on their welfare. . . . “

About Grieving

A good friend of mine pointed out to me that the Grieving Process can take a long time. I googled ‘Grieving Process’ and ended up reading this article:

https://www.verywellmind.com/decisions-to-delay-if-youre-grieving-4065127

Avoid Making Big Decisions After Experiencing a Death

By Chris Raymond  Reviewed by Rachel Goldman, PhD, FTOS Updated on July 21, 2020

. . . . .

I find reading about the five stages of grief is worthwhile too:

https://www.verywellmind.com/five-stages-of-grief-4175361

STRESS MANAGEMENTEFFECTS ON HEALTH

The Five Stages of Grief

Learning about emotions after loss can help us heal

 Reviewed by Amy Morin, LCSW Updated on February 12, 2021Print Table of Contents

“When we lose a loved one, the pain we experience can feel unbearable. Understandably, grief is complicated and we sometimes wonder if the pain will ever end. We go through a variety of emotional experiences such as anger, confusion, and sadness. . . .”

The following I did write into my Diary recently after having visited my son in Victoria:

What Stage of Grieving am I at? And what Stage of Grieving about their Father are my children at?

Well, this is the question, isn’t it? Also, I’d like to know, how I, an 86 year old, can help my children at this stage?

Everyone knew already in March 2020 that Peter’s cancer was well advanced. So, it was only a matter of time, when his bladder cancer would spread into other areas.

By June 2020 the head oncologist at the hospital advised Peter, to bring his affairs in order. It looked to him, that the cancer had already spread to his bones. A few months later a nuclear test was done, that showed without doubt that the cancer had well and truly spread to his bones, which meant then, that in all probability Peter would have only a very short time to live anymore. It was obvious, that he was in the last stages of cancer and so was in need of some palliative care. . . . Soon, it was organised to give him palliative care at home with adequate pain reducing medication administered by Hospital staff who came to our home at scheduled times. To make the total care possible, quite a few family members were involved in helping to give this, plus we did get some subsidised respite care.

I would say, very often it was very difficult work for all the family. For sure it took a lot out of them, whereas overall I, the 86 year old wife, had not to do all that much physical work in looking after Peter. It was so amazing, how all the children did very lovingly look after their Dad! Also there was a constant stream of visitors by other family members, and a lot of friends were showing that they cared for him very much.

Somehow, all of us had finally to be prepared that is was highly unlikely that Peter would still be alive by Christmas. This prediction was close enough: Peter died on the 12th of the 12th 2020 and was cremated on the 21st of December 2020, our 64th Wedding Anniversary!

But now back to March 2020. By that time, Peter had enormous kidney pain. A solution was found, to drain the liquid around the kidney and his heart: A stent was inserted by an urology team. The stent went from the kidney to the bladder. The stent did its job quite well for a while. However we knew, the stent would have to be renewed after a few months. Finally this was done in August 2020.

On my birthday, on the 21st of September, Peter could hardly walk. I think he realised then that he probably would not last much longer. But somehow he may still have been in a state of denial. And I believe, one of our daughters and her husband were both in a state of denial too. The way they acted and looked after him once he did get palliative care showed to me a denial of very closely impending death.

I, on the other hand, I was already in 2018 convinced, that either his bad heart or his cancer would be the cause of his death. For instance, once the BCG treatment (Bladder cancer: What to know about BCG treatment)

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324385#about

was stopped, there was not much left, that could be done. It was said, that because of his heart trouble, it was not possible for Peter to survive a five hour bladder operation!

So Peter’s cancerous bladder could not be removed. That meant, Peter’s cancer would sooner or later be spreading outside. . . .There was just no denying it!

I think my sadness started already in 2016, when Peter first found out about the tumour in his bladder. I did not want him to die before me: He would have been able to cope without me so much better than I can cope now without him!

I was sad, that Peter developed a terminal sickness, of course I was sad. But for sure I was not in denial that eventually the sickness turned out to be terminal. I was just grateful, that we could still have a few good years together, for Peter was most of the time still pretty active and not in severe pain since he was always well medicated.

Yes, there was sadness, but we were also grateful that we were still able to enjoy a lot of togetherness! Really, most of the time life seemed to be still quite enjoyable . . . .

Come to think of it, the five stages of grief somehow may not have effected my life so utterly, since we had such an early warning, and I was never in denial of the situation and learned to accept it early on. The grief may have effected our children much more. So, I would like to know, how I can help my children!

Very recently I found out, that as early as March 2020 our son was extremely depressed and in tears about the condition of his Dad. This was the time when his wife decided she did not want to see him anymore. I think she had not seen his tears, but she saw his neighbour who had recently moved into the house next door. This neighbour is a very compassionate woman and willing to be a good friend to Martin, however she is due for some rehabilitation for she drinks too much. She keeps telling over and over again, that she had quite a lot of bad experiences and suffering, partly because of her mother.

This neighbour is divorced. However she has a very lovely daughter from an earlier relationship. The daughter is divorced too and has a new partner, she also has a very good job. The neighbour’s 27 year old daughter has a sweet little four year old daughter and shares that little girl with her ex-husband. And when she is feeling well enough, dear grandma can look after the little one for a couple of nights as well. I met the whole family. They are all very nice.

My son lives in Victoria and is already retired, whereas my two daughters still work full-time. The daughters live in NSW both of them close enough for fairly regular visits, and one of the granddaughters comes to help too, whenever her work schedule allows for it.

So, the son lives some 600km away in Victoria. But he’s come to visit quite often whenever he was needed for something or other and when it was possible to visit without having to go into quarantine!

Benalla Art Gallery

Thursday, 25th of March 2021

Today, Martin and I visited the Benalla Art Gallery, and we had lunch at the Gallery Cafe, the same one where we had lunch with the family in June 2017. I copied here, what I wrote in 2017:

To be writing regularly, oh, I find it is not so easy to get around to it at all times. I always intend to write, write, write. I seem to have lots of things to write about in my head but somehow before I have a chance to write it down, it is gone again. Maybe I should at least take some notes, that is, get into the habit to write some notes down. Maybe, what is a bit of a diary to me, is, when I take some pictures of persons and places. Looking at the pictures, it is easier to remember some of the things in my life.

Recently we have been visiting Benalla in Victoria.  Unfortunately, because of bad eyesight, I cannot drive anymore. So  Peter had to drive to Benalla and back all by himself. We were driving to Benalla to visit our son Martin and to see his new place. Door to door it was about 600 km only, whereas when the son lived in Melbourne (Essendon) the distance was about 800 km.

Since we are in the midst of winter now here in Australia, daylight hours are only about for ten hours, namely from ca. 7 am to 5 pm. Well, Peter had no problem driving the distance within daylight hours. However, I suggested that on the way back we could stay in a motel in Holbrook  for one night to interrupt the journey, and that would give us the chance to look around a bit and familiarize us again with some things in the area. But oh no,  Peter insisted on driving straight home. I like to call it ‘homeritis’!

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On our last day in Benalla, a Saturday, all of us went for lunch to the Art Gallery Cafe. We were very happy that our Grandson and his wife and two daughters could meet us there.

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On the way to the Cafe
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Here grandson Tristan arrives with his family to meet all of us.
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Son Martin having a rest in the park.

Son Martin took these pictures of Peter and me on the terrace of the Cafe.

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View from the cafe’s terrace

It was a bit too cold to sit out there. It was better to have lunch inside.

Here is some of the food that we had.

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This is grandson Tristan.
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Kia
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Jaki

After lunch we had a look at some of the pictures in the Art Gallery.

It was lovely to see great-granddaughters Kia and Jaki again as well as Tris and Steph. And now I include some more pictures from another park nearby that we took on another day.

What I published two Years ago

Diary, Palm Sunday 2019

auntyutaDiaryLife in AustraliaOld Age  April 14, 2019

The week ahead, Easter week, is going to be rather busy for us, especially for Peter. He has an appointment with his dentist in Corrimal for tomorrow. On Tuesday he has to drive to Corrimal again for an appointment with the skin specialist. Sometime during the week we’ll go to Wollongong to pay the Hearing Clinic a visist. They did send one of his hearing pieces away for repair. Peter hopes that he can get it back pretty soon. He really needs it back urgently. His hearing is absolutely shocking at the moment!

So, on Thursday is my slow movement exercise class on. Peter drives me there and picks me up again an hour later. It would be nice if he could bring himself to join this class, but alas, he’s very reluctant to do this.

So comes Good Friday. This is a Friday where my friends and I won’t have a games afternoon. That means,  I may be able to help Peter a bit in the kitchen since Peter is planning to bake a few cakes for Easter, hoping this is going to attract a few visitors!

This leaves Saturday for us to do a bit of extra cleaning and probably some extra shopping as well.

Today, I already published a post with the pictures that Peter took on our last trip. I took a few pictures with my camera. I finally downloaded them yesterday with a bit of help from Peter. Now I see, that I can still publish some of my pictures as well.

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Leaving home at 9 am our first stop was Moss Vale for brunch. So, here is the picture again that Peter took of our piece of cheese cake that we had at our much preferred cafe in Moss Vale. Before consuming this excellent cheese cake we had had an excellent ‘half’ breakfast each there at this great cafe. The ‘half’ breakfast consisted of two small wonderfully crispy pieces of bacon and one egg, mine was beautifully poached, Peter had a scrambled egg and toast, whereas I had Turkish bread that went very well with the poached egg. We also had delicious mugs of coffee to go with our meal.

I think it was close to 11 o’clock when we were ready to leave Moss Vale. With a couple more breaks we reached our motel in Gundagai by around 3 pm.

We stayed again in the Gundagai Motel:  http://gundagaimotel.com.au/

Of course we had our own Tea and coffee making facilities and stayed in the motel for a relaxing afternoon and evening. For supper we just had some cup a soups from Aldi with a few bread rolls that we had bought in Moss Vale. We had planned to go for breakfast to that heritage bakery in Gundagai just up the road. When we arrived there at 7 am, it was still closed. Not far away was a huge Woolworth Store that was already open. This Woolworth store had of course heaps of things. But nothing fresh from a bakery as far as we could see. We bought tubs of yoghurt and portions of cream cheese for our breakfast in our motel room. Since there were no fresh buns available, we just used the left over buns from Moss Vale. Anyhow on that Saturdy we arrived for a very good salad lunch at our son’s place in Benalla.

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So this Bakery was still closed early on that Saturday morning.

I took a few pictures along Gandagai’s main road before we decided we’d buy a few things for breakfast at Woolworth.

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This is where Peter took his sunrise pictures in front of Woolies.

On the Way from Gundagai to Ballina we stopped here:

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Visit to Benalla in August 2019

At the beginning of the month we travelled again to Benalla to visit our son. This time we took the train to Benalla. We arrived in Benalla on Sunday, the 4th of August. Our return journey was on Thursday, the 8th of August. We had a great time in Benalla. Twice Martin went with me to the Benalla Swimming Centre. Peter did not want to come with us even though we assured him that the water was well heated.

Every day Martin drove us to a different place. So we saw at Glenrowan a multi-million Dollar anamatronic show. It was Ned Kelly’s LAST STAND at the Glenrowan Tourist Centre. I took the following pictures:

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I copied below what I cold find about the show. Maybe you’d like to have a look at this:

https://www.glenrowantouristcentre.com.au/the-show/

The Show

“This mulitimillion dollar anamatronic show  IS NOT A PICTURE THEATRE it is an interactive theatre production

Through the brilliance of animation and computerised robots, you will be transferred back in time, over 100 years, to witness the events that led up to the capture of the Kelly Gang.

Starting as hostages in the Hotel, and then onto gunfights – burning buildings – a decent hanging, and finishing in our magnificent painting gallery.

The show is educational, historically correct and entertaining.

The show runs for 40 minutes every half hour (separate rooms) from   10:00am   to 4.30pm daily.

The Glenrowan Tourist Centre is fully air conditioned. The theatre can seat up to 50 people at any one time.”

https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Attraction_Review-g552175-d2569926-Reviews-The_Ned_Kelly_Story-Glenrowan_Victoria.html

https://www.nma.gov.au/defining-moments/resources/ned-kelly

1880: Ned Kelly’s last stand at Glenrowan, Victoria

“On 28 June 1880, Victorian Police captured bushranger Ned Kelly after a siege at the Glenrowan Inn. The other members of the Kelly Gang — Dan Kelly, Joseph Byrne and Steve Hart — were killed in the siege.The gang had been outlawed for the murders of three police officers at Stringybark Creek in 1878.

Ned Kelly was tried and executed in Melbourne in November 1880.

The Kelly Gang’s last stand has become an Australian folk legend, however views are divided about how it should be remembered. . . .”

After the show in Glenrowan Martin drove with us to Wangaretta where we had an excellent lunch in the Preview Cafe.

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We also had coffee and some desert!

The next pictures are from the following day:

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We did stop at the Tolmie Tavern, and true enough: Nothing did happen! And we had thought, we’d get some lunch there! Everything looked closed and deserted.

We ended up having lunch a bit further on. I think it may have taken us close to two hours before we actually did have some lunch and decent toilets! Before we arrived at that beautiful old Tatong Tavern we had a good look at the Stringybark Creek Historic Reserve:

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So, at the Tatong Tavern we ended up having a splendid lunch. I asked for vegetarian and did get this beautiful meal:

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We also had coffee and some desert!

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This was probably on Tuesday when we were here at the Tolmie Tavern, and true enough: Nothing did happen! And we had thought, we’d get some lunch there! Everything looked closed and deserted.

We ended up having lunch a bit further on. I think it may have taken us close to two hours before we actually did have some lunch and decent toilets! Before we arrived at that beautiful old Tatong Tavern we had a good look at the Stringybark Creek Historic Reserve:

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So, at the Tatong Tavern we ended up having a splendid lunch. I asked for vegetarian and did get this beautiful meal:

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Aboriginal heritage site damaged at BHP Pilbara iron ore mine

https://www.smh.com.au/national/western-australia/aboriginal-heritage-site-damaged-at-bhp-pilbara-iron-ore-mine-20210222-p574uf.html

By Tess Ingram and Marta Pascual Juanola

February 23, 2021 — 4.19pm Larger text size

A registered Aboriginal heritage site has been damaged at one of BHP’s Pilbara iron ore mines, despite the major miner pledging in June to consult with traditional owners before disturbing sites in the area.

In late January, a culturally significant rock shelter was impacted at BHP’s Mining Area C project in the Pilbara, causing a rockfall at the site. It is understood neither BHP or the Banjima people are clear on what caused the damage.

The blast happened at the company’s South Flank iron ore mine.
The blast happened at the company’s South Flank iron ore mine.CREDIT:AP

Mining Area C is adjacent to BHP’s $US3.06 billion ($4 billion) South Flank project, which is under construction and will be the largest iron ore mining and processing facility ever built in Western Australia. It is located on Banjima’s traditional lands in Western Australia’s Pilbara region, 130 kilometres north-west of Newman.

The news comes almost a year after fellow Pilbara miner Rio Tinto drew international condemnation when it destroyed 46,000-year-old Aboriginal rock shelters while blasting at Juukan Gorge in the same region.

T

he destruction of Juukan went against the wishes of the traditional owners, the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura people, shocked investors, forced the resignations of former chief executive Jean-Sebastian Jacques and two of his deputies, and sparked a federal parliamentary inquiry.

On May 29 2020, just five days after Rio’s blast at Juukan, WA Treasurer and Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt gave BHP approval to proceed with work at South Flank that would result in the destruction of 40 Banjima heritage sites. That approval was provided under the controversial section 18 of WA’s Aboriginal Heritage Act, which the WA government is in the process of reforming.

In a statement in June, BHP said it would “not disturb the sites identified without further extensive consultation with the Banjima people. That consultation will be based on our commitment to understanding the cultural significance of the region and on the deep respect we have for the Banjima people and their heritage.”

It is understood that commitment extends to all sites identified within Section 18 approvals, however, while the rock shelter was approved under a Section 18 application, BHP did not deliberately proceed with work that could affect the site.

BHP President Minerals Australia, Edgar Basto, said the rock fall at the site was identified as part of monitoring on January 29.

“This site is not part of current mining operations. The cause of the rock fall is not known,” Mr Basto said in a statement.

“The heritage site was first recorded in 2005 with the Traditional Owners of the land, the Banjima. The site does not contain rock art or archaeological deposits, and could not be dated. Section 18 approval was subsequently obtained following consultation with the Banjima and with their support.

“We notified the Banjima Traditional Owners of the rock fall, and I and Western Australia Iron Ore President Brandon Craig subsequently met with Banjima Elders as part of the Banjima Heritage Advisory Council, and agreed to a joint investigation with the Banjima to determine the cause of the rock fall. We are committed to learning from the outcomes of the joint investigation.

“The relationships we hold with the traditional custodians of the land on which we operate are critically important to BHP. Over many years, we have built a strong relationship with the Banjima people based on deep respect for their heritage and their connection to country. This includes the establishment of the Banjima Heritage Advisory Council last year. We will continue to work with the Banjima in a spirit of respect and cooperation.”

A spokesman for the Banjima Native Title Aboriginal Corporation confirmed an investigation had been launched into the incident.

RELATED ARTICLE

The site at Juukan Gorge that was reduced to rubble to extend one of Rio Tinto's iron ore mines.
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Juukan Gorge destruction shines light on Aboriginal group ‘gags’

“In late January 2021, BHP submitted a report to Banjima Native Title Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC (BNTAC) outlining rockfall impact to a registered Banjima site, located within BHP’s Mining Area C,” the BNTAC spokesperson said.

“Following the initial report, Banjima’s newly established South Flank Heritage Advisory Council — together with BNTAC and BHP — launched an investigation into the cause of the rockfall.

Banjima’s South Flank Heritage committee met with BHP executives on 11 February to clarify the initial report’s details and progress of the investigation.”

The Banjima People told the Juukan inquiry they “have a long and sometimes difficult relationship with mining companies” and the “cumulative destruction of our country is something which sits uneasily with our people”.

“We are resolute in our position that the events at Juukan Gorge, the subject of this inquiry,
and the destruction of Aboriginal heritage generally — without due regard to the cultural
custodians of that heritage — must not be repeated, nor should it continue,” Senior Banjima elder and BNTAC chairman Maitland Parker told the inquiry.

RELATED ARTICLE

The yellow box tree, widely referred to as the directions tree or fiddleback, has been cut down.
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What do these sacred trees tell us about Aboriginal heritage in Australia?

In the wake of the Juukan disaster, BHP and BNTAC established the Heritage Advisory Council in September to provide input into mine planning at South Flank.

The council comprises of Banjima elders and senior BHP representatives.

Mr Basto said in September the council would “ensure on-going high level dialogue between us on important cultural heritage and other matters”.

Uta’s Diary

Last year, on the 23rd of December, I wrote about Plans for the New YEAR 2021 and I copied it here today:

https://auntielive.wordpress.com/2021/02/27/utas-diary-towards-christmas-2020-and-the-end-of-the-year/

This is what I wrote in this post about how our climate seems to becoming somewhat tropical:

“Conditions seem to be becoming rather tropical this year, meaning warm temperatures and constant precipitation makes everything grow enormously. I find it hard to keep everything a little bit in check. I feel like I live in a jungle. Up to a point I do like this lush greenery. But then comes a time when everything needs to be trimmed for the space on my property is limited. I intend to apply for reasonable help in future, because the work I am still able to do myself is quite limited. I quickly get out of breath, and if I am not careful, I am in danger of falling. I am so glad that I can still do some walking, even if it is slow, and I have to do it with the rollator, it is still very good to be able to walk outside and enjoy nature!”

So, now towards the end of February conditions are still very much the same, and a lot of weeding has to be done!

“I also wrote the following: The last few days I have been totally on my own in the house. I am still not quite used to have the whole house to myself after the hectic times when any number of people were involved in looking after my dearly loved Peter. Palliative care to moderate the pain of a dying person, especially when it can be done at home, is mind boggling. I am so grateful that this could be done for Peter.”

Well, I am still not quite used to being on my own in the house most of th time!

WHY POLITICIANS AND DOCTORS KEEP IGNORING THE MEDICAL RESEARCH ON VITAMIN D AND COVID

18 February 2021 — Jonathan Cook

By Jonathan Cook

It is probably not a good idea to write while in the grip of anger. But I am struggling to suppress my emotions about a wasted year, during which politicians and many doctors have ignored a growing body of evidence suggesting that Vitamin D can play a critically important role in the prevention and treatment of Covid-19.

“. . ..For many years, limited studies – ones that Big Pharma showed no interest in expanding – had indicated that Vitamin D was useful both in warding off respiratory infections and in treating a wide variety of chronic auto-immune diseases such as diabetes and multiple sclerosis by damping down inflammatory responses of the kind that often overwhelm hospitalised Covid patients.

But many doctors and politicians were stuck in an old paradigm – one rooted in the 1950s that viewed Vitamin D exclusively in terms of bone health.

The role of Vitamin D – produced in the skin by sunlight – should have been at the forefront of medical research for Covid anyway, given that the prevalence of the disease, as with other respiratory infections, appears to slump through the sunny, summer months, and spikes in the winter.

And while the media preferred to focus exclusively on poverty and racism as “correlative” explanations for the disproportionate number of deaths among BAME doctors and members of the public, Vitamin D seemed an equally, if not more plausible, candidate. Dark skins in cloud-covered northern latitudes make production of Vitamin D harder and deficiency more likely.

MAGIC BULLET PREFERRED

We should not be surprised that Big Pharma had no interest in promoting a vitamin freely available through much of the year and one they cannot license. They would, of course, rather patent an expensive magic bullet that offers the hope of enriching company directors and shareholders.

But that is why we have governments, isn’t it? They could have stepped in to pick up the bill for the research after profit-motivated firms had refused to do so – if not to safeguard the health of their populations, at least to keep their health budgets under control. Most developed countries, even those with lots of sunshine, have large sections of their population that are Vitamin D deficient, especially among the elderly and housebound, the very groups most affected by Covid.

But governments shirked their responsibility too. Most have not offered supplements beyond measly and largely useless 400IU tablets to the elderly, and they have failed to fortify foods. Those taking small doses are unlikely to significantly and quickly address any deficiency they have or maximise their resistance to Covid.

To give a sense of what was potentially at stake, consider the findings of one of last year’s correlative studies, done by a team in Heidelberg. Their work implied that, had the UK ensured its population was not widely Vitamin D deficient, many tens of thousands of lives might have been saved. . . .”