Author Archives: Barbara


My first day as a volunteer with Kogarah Council’s Bushcare programme was spent pulling out Panic Veldt Grass, Ehrharta erecta

In memory of my cousin Ernst

About a year ago, when I returned to my mother’s home village in Bavaria for the first time after 20 years I went to see my uncle, my mum’s 82 year old brother, and his family. It was an emotional occasion to see them again after so long, especially as I finally met my cousin’s wife and his 18 year old son.
Yesterday, when my father phoned me from the nursing home, as he does every day at about 7.30 pm, he said he had had a phone call from my  mother’s sister and that my cousin had died unexpectedly on Thursday evening. He died instantly due to an embolism and all attempts by his   son to rescuscitate him were in vain.
I am still in shock and find it difficult to come to terms with his tragic death and the fact that his wife and son could do nothing to help him. He had just come home a few days ago from hospital, He had had a back operation and was looking forward to going to a health spa for a while in order to recuperate. He was fine after the OP and felt so much better now that his back had been fixed. He was a carpenter and needed to recover fully before being allowed to return to work. He had gone for his daily walk, as ordered by the doctor, but on his return home collapsed, without any sign or hint of feeling unwell.
The embolism killed him instantly. He was 48.
I spent all my summer holidays with my relatives in Bavaria and I remember how we children roamed the forests and fields for weeks, how we camped ‘out’ in my cousins little wooden cottage. After I fniished HIgh School in 1982 I left to go to Australia and never had the opportunity to see many of my cousins again, so the memories I have will always be the ones of us as children on those long summer days. The last 30 years flew by and although we are all adults with children of our own and I have become used to life’s ups and downs, it is still hard to comprehend when such tragedy strikes and a life is extinguished so suddenly.

Bald ist unsers Lebens Traum zu Ende,
Schnell verfließt er in die Ewigkeit.
Reicht zum frohen Tanze euch die Hände!
Tut’s geschwinde;  sonst enteilt die Zeit!

Theodor Storm