Island Life by David Slack

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Island Life: The longest last time

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  • stuartm,

    That's an incredibly sad story and I honestly don’t know how I would cope if it was my 1 year old daughter in this story.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2008 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Rogan,

    Sandy did an amazing job, she did right by her girl, and the you're right David, the DVD gave me a wonderful sense of Finlee, what a total spunk. It was a wonderful & terrible. There is comfort in grieving together at a funeral - I felt worse later when I was alone again.

    Auckland • Since Jun 2008 • 2 posts Report Reply


    I was a bystander at Narrow Neck Beach and was moved when I learned the farewell was for a brave little girl.

    I watched the mourners with orange balloons walk to water's edge. It was very touching when they released the balloons on a brisk south-east breeze.

    The balloons took off at great speed quickly climbing into the sky and disappearing over the cliff.

    They were travelling so fast I thught " they will soon catch up with the little girl and escort her into heaven."

    Since Jun 2008 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • dyan campbell,

    David, this is such a sad story, and you've written about this so beautifully, thank you.

    I'm struck by the empathy and thoughtfulness of small children - people are fond of saying children can be cruel, but it has struck me that they are even more capable of being kind. Mary-Margaret's questions, her anxious desire to somehow be of comfort, to not make the grief more acute really choked me up.

    When I first moved here and was teaching gymnastics, one of the 6 year olds in our class lost both her parents in a car accident. She was back in classes only a few days later, but reeling from grief and not yet processing anything. She was like a sleepwalker, or somebody underwater - almost catatonic. None of us coaches really knew how to make her feel comfortable or what exactly to do with her in the class, as she was clearly not up to participating, or communicationg. We were conferring among ourselves if one of us should sit out the whole class and just sit on the sidelines keeping her company, when one of the other children came to the rescue.

    A usually terrible ADHD kid (also 6) suprised us all by simply walking over to her and taking her hand, saying "here Pearl, you come and stand with us in my group" and as he led her over to the gaggle of children I could see several of them reach out and give her a tentative pat though no hugs, no words. Pearl still seemed quite unengaged with her world, but her classmates kind of... just stepped in and took care of her.

    Whenever anyone utters the cliched like about children being cruel, I instantly think of that instinctive gesture of kindness and quietly disagree.

    Mary Margaret sounds like a very kind hearted, compassionate child. I'm always astonished at how great a character can reside is such a small person.

    My sympathies to everyone, especially the parents for their loss, and to Mary Margaret, who has lost her friend.

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 595 posts Report Reply

  • nic.wise,

    Lump. Back of throat.

    Thank you, David. It's a pity such outstanding writing has to be on such a unhappy topic.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 87 posts Report Reply

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