A day at the beach: ‘The ashes kept washing in again. It was clear my husband didn’t want to go’

The day Feather Thompson farewelled her husband, she started seeing birds in the sky – he had always told her he’d come back as a sea eagle

I used to live in Manly in Sydney and was on holidays at Byron Bay with my husband, Merv, when he said “I’m not going home”. So I went home on my own, packed up and we bought a place up in the hills at Federal [in the Byron Bay hinterland] for $235,000. I sold that after he died 22 years ago and I came into town to be closer to the beach.

Merv was a big smoker but when he died after an 18-month battle with bone cancer they found disease everywhere except in his lungs. He would have said “I told you so”. Men always have the last say.

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