The Death Letter Project
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Uncle Wes | Storyteller

When I was small, maybe about six or seven years old, I was worried that one day I was going to die and that someone was going to throw me in a hole and cover me up with dirt. I told my mum and she tried to comfort me.

Then I decided to go and ask the old Tree of Knowledge, my old Grandfather, the one person who knows everything.

He told me that Biami the great spirit, the maker of everythings, when he had finished preparing Earth for the future generations, had left this land of ours.

He had gone up into the night sky when all that up there was darkness. Where the Milky Way is now, he prepared a place to go to when people of the future died.

There they would be prepared for the future to be reincarnated.

He told me that in the beginning there were no stars and the sky was dark. When the first Aboriginal man had died and went to Biami's place in the sky, Biami sent him back with his fire sticks and he lit a fire in the sky and that was how the first fire became the first star.

So every star in the sky is an Aboriginal man sitting around his fire waiting for his turn to be reincarnated.

When we see a star fall it means an Aboriginal man stood up and kicked dirt on his fire to put it out. He started his journey back to Earth where he will be reincarnated, maybe into an animal, tree, a flower or anything that is on this land.

So as my Grandfather said, dying is another chance to come back here and start again.

Editor's note: A Bigambul man, Uncle Wes Marne has lived on the lands of the Darug people for over 40 years and is known throughout the community for his Aboriginal culture and education.
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  • This is terrific - sierramalevich (Instagram)
  • Beautiful! - Stevie Lindsay Ross (Facebook)
  • Beautiful letter, I'll always admire aboriginal stories and this one will always remain in my mind! 💕 - Maribel Morales (Facebook)
  • I think this is my new favourite. Stories that reassure and connect you to all of life. I’ll think of this each time I look to the night sky ❤️ - Julie Taylor (Facebook)
  • What a wonderful letter! - Pam Cossey (Facebook)
  • Beautiful. Are there female stars I wonder? - Margie Argie (Facebook)
  • Love this image Uncle Wes speaks about and lovely picture - Rosada Hayes (Facebook)
  • This is such a beautiful project And photos by Tina Fiveash. Love it. - Jamie James (Facebook)