Death literacy and dying at home – The Saturday Paper – July 2017

Photo by Jerry Kiesewetter on Unsplash

For four days Tarpie Watts’s body was laid out in the chilled bedroom of her Blue Mountains home, covered with her favourite purple sarong. She had treasured the garment during her long life, so it felt right to her family that she should have it now, in death.

Sue Langfield, Watts’s 68-year-old daughter, visited her several times a day. She lit candles and arranged fresh flowers; armfuls of jonquils and daphne picked from the garden. “I spent time with her. I sat and held her hand. I talked to her, sharing special memories. She had so much peace in her face; she just looked beautiful,” Langfield remembers fondly.

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