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Memoirs of a Christopher

A raw and honest look into the life of a Young Widow(ish).

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grief

2 months. 1 post.

So it has been a while since I have come on here to write anything.. In fact I came pretty close to deleting the whole site but couldn’t bear to lose ‘The Memoirs of a Christopher’ web address I had given this page. I don’t know why I have been so hesitant to post.. Just every time I logged on with a story I just couldn’t be bothered. Probably something to do with the whole trying to avoid the going down the grief rabbit hole thing. Anyways I’m back!! And that’s because I have had a down week. A super down week.

It involved: (As Chris would put it) “Losing my rag” at the kids on Friday and wanting to walk out of the classroom (which is unlike me), randomly starting to cry over my delicious chocolate and caramel mud cake and latte in the cafe today (which was totally not a crying matter) and having anger bubbling through my veins that would rival the flame burning from the top of Anger’s head in the movie Inside Out. I honestly couldn’t put my finger on it. Time of the month? No. Stress from work? Usually it doesn’t get to me like THAT… I really couldn’t figure it out until someone posted a picture on Facebook from a year ago. Chris’ memorial service in the UK was a year ago today. I had completely forgotten, but my heart and evidently my body, had not.

And before you judge me, no, I’m not a completely terrible girlfriend that had forgotten Chris’ date of death and funeral. Chris had actually died over a month prior, but because of the manner of death and the different logistics involved of different sides of the world and country etc, his service in his home town was not held until a much later date. It had all become a bit of a blur to me by that point..

For the year ‘saddiversary’ of his actual death I actually had a plan. That plan was to run far, far away to a place where I did not have to speak to or acknowledge anyone and to pamper myself like there was no tomorrow. I ran away to Bali to do a bali retreat in Ubud. It was actually incredible. We focused on mindfulness meditation which allowed my brain to slow down, if only for a moment. I had full body massages, which allowed me to be touched by another person (I think I have almost forgotten what that is!) We also got to go to a temple and bathe in the holy water, praying for the things we wanted in the future. But my most favourite part was on the last day where we got to write down things we wanted to let go of and burn them… We then took the ashes down to a river and threw them in with a bunch of flower petals.

I want to let go of the guilt I feel for being the reason Chris came to Australia, which is where he died. I want to let go of feeling responsible and guilty over my mother.

I am not one for hippy voodoo crap.. But I must admit watching those flowers float away down that river and repeatedly chanting what I want to let go of in my life WAS cleansing.. I felt much lighter on my return. So you could imagine my surprise when I went into my Instagram and realised the Olympian had private messaged me… Maybe it was all that secret praying at the temple I had done?!

Ok, so I’m pretty sure he was drunk when he initially private messaged me. It was the grand final day for the Austalian Rules Football after all… And yes, he had only just broken up with his girlfriend so he probably just wanted some flirty banter. But he gave me his number!! Woo! We actually had some pretty awesome conversation happening, and I think we have a similar sense of humour. However….. I am coming from a background where I have not even kissed someone for over a year after a massive trauma. He is coming from a background where he has recently broken up with a super hot girlfriend. I am desperate. He is not. Hey don’t get me wrong he’s not being mean about it, I’m just getting the non interested vibe. But.. You can’t blame me. You can’t wave super hard abs and a nice arse in front of a poor deprived girl then just take it away! Just one photo, that’s all I want!! Cmmonnn!!! Puhhlleasssee?? Haha, imagine if he found this site. I would die. Literally die…… Hmm but perhaps that would solve some of my issues???……. Just kidding!

So yeh… These are the ponderings of a young widow: I am sad. I miss Chris. Yoga and meditation is relaxing. Hot guy is hot. But I miss Chris.

No wonder there’s so many emotions running through my veins. I think my head is going to explode.

Til next time!! (Whenever the hell that will be xxx)

(PS there’s been lots of teary outbursts amongst all this happening, but I just can’t be bothered harping on about the crying… Crying, crying, crying blerghhhhh, so over it!!)

Love love!

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I’m a Rich Ass Bitch and I’m on a Mother Fucking BOAT!!!… So Why Am I Still Crying???

This week has been a bit of a shocking one… Maybe shocking isn’t quite the right word as that has negative connotations… This week has been a SURPRISING one.

Surprise one came in the form of a letter I was ripping open as I was tearing to the loo after returning home from work. It was from the insurance company and I was totally thinking it was going to say tough luck, too bad, you suck as it seems every other interaction I have had with departments regarding Chris’ death has gone down that route. So imagine my surprise when it was big fat cheque staring back at me… It was lucky I was on the toilet really!

Now most people’s reaction to this type of news in the mail would be screaming, jumping up and down, yelling, you know, general forms of excitement. But I just sat there with my mouth open. Then I started to feel gross.

This was Chris’ DEATH money. My 27 year old, loving, beautiful partner is dead for THIS. This type of money is what I have always dreamed of. It is the type of money you buy lotto tickets for… But all I could think was that Chris had to die for me to get this.

And then I started crying. I started getting annoyed at the irony.

This is what Chris was working for. This is why Chris went to work THAT day. So he could get this type of money to help us buy a house and a car and all those fancy ‘things’ that you WANT.

And then I started feeling guilty that I wasn’t appreciating this moment more. I mean, this is pretty much life changing and all I could feel was like shit. What a spoilt, unappreciative brat. There are people starving out there in the world, and here I am sitting on a toilet crying that I have been given a lump sum amount of money.

Arghghgshs allll the emotions. Too many emotions. I will love it when I’m not so bloody emotional ALL THE FRICKEN TIME ANYMORE!

Surprise number two.

My friends organised that I go out fishing with them and I was actually super duper excited. The last time I went fishing with them on the boat was with Chris so I was keen to do it again. My friend, let’s call her El, spun me this story about how her husband was fixing something on the boat with his mate at the harbour so we would have to wait and go get a coffee at the café. I was more than happy to do this so went along with her. I commented on how well she was dressed for going fishing, she was like yehhh I have my fishing shirt in the car. I saw my next door neighbour and I shouted out how funny that her and El were wearing matching clothes (blue and white striped navy, dress/shirt short combo). My neighbour, Dee laughed and said ha! That IS weird and jumped in her car and drove off. We ordered the coffee and a sandwich but by the time it came, El’s husband was calling for us to come meet him. We started walking down the pier and El couldn’t find her husband’s boat so gave him a call. “Fuck that’s so weird,” I said, “That sounded totally like Dee!”

“Nahh, that was N,” El replied.

“Holy crap really?! Far out that is SO bizarre, it sounded totally like Dee! I’m gonna ring N and I’m gonna get you to listen cos it changed his voice SOO much!”

We kept walking down… Hang on a second… There’s a boat with balloons…. Hang on a second…. That WAS Dee’s voice…. Hang on a second…

SURPRISE!!

My beautiful friend had organised a surprise boat pirate themed party. Everyone was dressed as pirates and we cruised the water and got to spend the day at our very own beach, Pirate’s Cove.

It truly was amazing.

So why the fuck did I keep getting the sads and the lonelies?! I was surrounded by amazing, beautiful people who had kept this a secret from me for so long, but yet, I kept feeling a hollowness in my chest.

One very special person was missing. And he would have fricken loved it.

That night, when I was back home by myself after many hours of drinking, I did my ugly screaming/crying.

This is so fucking shit. Not only do I miss Chris, without a shadow of a doubt, but I feel like I can never TRULY enjoy it even when things are incredible. It’s just so frustrating.

But I do appreciate the effort. And I do know I am loved. So I suppose, that is a good thing.

(PS: I’m not going to be a ‘rich ass bitch for long’. Am giving most of it to his parents and the rest will be going towards my studies next year. It’s the least I can do really..)

Just a touch of beach cricket on our own private oasis...
Just a touch of beach cricket on our own private oasis…

Blah.

After the excitement of the Olympian, nothing very interesting has been happening in my life of late. It’s just been coasting along, as life does. In fact, I’ve become weirdly numb to the whole “Your love of your life died suddenly” thing. I thought I’d be getting more upset about the upcoming month and it’s anniversaries, or at least reminiscing about the happy feelings I had with Chris this time last year. But it feels like I’m forgetting. I’m not even sad. I’m just succumbing. Is this acceptance? Or is this giving up? I don’t know – but it’s happening… One more thing that confirms the control we have over this life is actually very little.

Anyway, just thought I’d check in. I’m sure my next post will be much more inspiring… Or at the very least entertaining!

Hope you’re all well.

xx

My Night Out with an Olympian

This post was originally going to be about how hard life is, how there’s no hope, how I can’t keep going, blah blah blah blah… But then something strange happened.

After my epic failure of a night out trying to meet a man, I fell into a bit of a depressive hole. I saw no light at the end of the tunnel and it seemed like an endless drudgery of pain. Furthermore, my feelings were being compounded by the fact that the year ‘anniversary’ and my birthday (one of the happiest days of my life which occurred only 11 days before the accident) are next month, and creeping ever so closer. To survive (and yes, this journey for me can literally be a life or death battle) I needed something to change.

Almost miraculously, change something did.

I met an Olympian… And when I say an Olympian, I mean a no joke, full blown, body that people dream of, cute dress sense, lovely smile, Olympian (and please God, do not EVER let him find this page – Jesssuss, how embarrassing!)

Being a teacher we sometimes have people come into our schools to demonstrate and encourage people to play the sport that they are involved in, and this was one of those days. My best friend so happens to be the sports teacher so was directly involved with co-ordination of the program.

I was on my planning period and on my way to the office to do some photocopying. Up comes best friend with said Olympian.

He shook my hand.

Hoooolllllyyyy Mollllllly.

*Swwwwwwwwoooooooooooooooonnnnn*

I am a bit ashamed to say… I went all giggly.

I look at best friend. Oh it’s okay, she’s being all giggly and weird too!

I had to get outta there before I made a fool of myself… “Ummm I gotta go photocopy these pages… Yep busy, I’m reaaaalllllllllyyyyy busy hahahahahahahahaha”. Smoooothhh, I think to myself…. Reaalllll smoootthhhh.

I walk back to my office. Oh Jesus! He’s still there. Eep! I can’t look him in the face! What the hell is happening to me?! Now… Don’t get me wrong.. I like to think of myself as an, “I don’t need no maaaann,” strong independent type of woman. But I couldn’t control this! I had an hour left of preparation time and I could NOT for the life of me concentrate. It was like when we shook hands he put some kind of magic spell on me. I was going cuckoo! I was flustered!! Ahh!!

I needed to go for a jog around the oval or something.

Anyway, deep breaths…

*Beep Beep*. I received a text from my best friend.

“His team number is number 19!!!!! And he’s going out to the local pub tonight, are you keen?”

Keen, KEEN? By jumping around like a fan girl all excitedly I guess you could say I was keen.

“Why are there so many exclamation marks after she told you about his team number?” you may be wondering.

Well. And this is where it gets a bit crazy. 19 was Chris’ number. Chris was an avid motocross rider, and he was actually quite good at it. He qualified for nationals as a teenager, but broke his leg just before he made it to the race. In the next few years he went to uni and had to give up his riding, so never quite made it back to the level he once was. To this day I believe it was his biggest regret.

19 was the number of his first bike. Subsequently every bike he owned after that had to have ‘19’ on it, in some shape or form. He loved to tell the story of the time he went to Vegas with his best mate and played roulette. He didn’t know the rules fully so assumed that if someone had already placed chips on a number, he couldn’t as well. Number 19 came up. Thousands of dollars were won. He went to place a bet again, still thinking he couldn’t place on Number 19. Number 19 came up. Thousands of dollars were won. Third round of betting. Number 19 was free! “But surely it won’t come up again after falling there twice already.” He placed a bet on a different number… I’m sure you can guess how this ended. Number 19 came up. Thousands of dollars were won… Just not by Chris. I mean bloody hell. Even our puppy was born on the 19th of March. Chris thought that was a good omen.

Number 19 was his number.

So this guy, that I was feeling fireworks about, him being number 19 was a big deal (even though part of me also feels it was just a massive coincidence).

I got ready at my mates house. To be honest, neither of us had much hope that’d we’d actually see him at the pub, but we were joking around and having a laugh about what our ‘strategies’ would be anyway.

We walked up the stairs AND OH MY GOD HOLY SHIT HE’S HERE WHAT AM I GOING TO DO I CAN’T LOOK AT HIM I DEFINITELY HAVE NOT HAD ENOUGH TO DRINK TO MAKE ME SEEM COOL AND SUAVE IN THIS SITUATION, WHAT THE HELL AM I TALKING ABOUT I’M NEVER COOL OR SUAVE ANYWAY AND OH MY GOD HE IS HERE!!!

We sat down. We said hello. I got a drink.

Ahh, that’s better. I’m not so nervous now I can actually form words.

Awww. He was lovelllyyyy. Our conversation flowed. As we drank more.. We got more confident. He bought me a drink. I bought him a drink. He showed me a picture in just his underpants (HOLY JESUS GOOD LORD), he told me that he lives just around the corner from the uni I am going to be at next year, he laughed at my jokes, I laughed at his, he told me I should come down and watch him train at the campus, he told me he had a girlfriend… Wait WHA?!

Fricken dammit. But probably not unexpected. He was smart, funny, could hold a conversation and was good looking. Very very good looking. (PS I feel like I should put in a disclaimer here about why he showed us a picture of him just in his undies even though he had a girlfriend. His mate who he was with thought he was single and was applying the pressure for him to take his shirt off – I wasn’t complaining! We got drunker. I think my other best mate was about to rip his shirt off by the end of the night. It was a happy, 1 second of glory, compromise)

Anyway. He told me to add him on instagram. I did. He followed me back. I stalked him on facebook and drunkenly messaged him. He accepted my friendship request after a day.

I understand my chances of actually getting with this guy is mmmmmm…. 0.5% (on the off chance he does break up with his girlfriend and I do happen to bump into him at uni next year).

BUT! I don’t even care. I am so excited. I honest to God thought I would never feel like this about a person ever again. The last time I felt like this, was when I met Chris… 4 years ago now. I honestly thought I was never going to get that OHMAGAWD feeling about a person ever again.

So thank you Olympian man. Thank you for being so sweet and kind and for not rejecting me straight out. Thank you for making me feel my heart beat again. Thank you for making me realise I am not broken, and I have the potential to love once more.

And thank you for making me feel something other than sadness for what I have lost.

Hopefully I’ll see you around campus… Got any hot mates WITHOUT a girlfriend you can hook me up with??

Till next time 🙂

xxxx

Where’s Home?

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When you discover the horrific news that your partner has been killed you find it very hard to imagine that someone so full of life, someone so healthy and happy just cannot come back.

I’d spent a lot of my relationship missing Chris, separated on opposite sides of the world, bogged down by paperwork and money, waiting for visas to be approved and taking full advantage of my holiday to Europe I had been planning for the last 5 years by taking small fortnightly trips to far flung countries.

All the while missing Chris.

In fact although I enjoyed my trips around Europe, my favourite part of the holiday was boarding the plane with the full knowledge I’d be seeing his handsome face again in a couple of hours.

The butterflies would start in my stomach as we began to land, my steps becoming more rapid until I was stalled by customs. Moving as quick as I could through the gates, bursting through with my bulky, unsteerable bag.

And there he would be.

Hands in pockets, head down, until he would look up and smile and his eyes would lock with mine. I would feel my face crack into a giant grin.

“Hello,” he’d say in his soft, always polite English voice, “How you going?”

My too-heavy bag would be easily lifted with his strong hands, both the size of dinner plates, and I would be whole again. Protected, and where I was meant to be. With Chris by my side.

… So I’m used to this constant ache. This constant need to see the person you love, but being made to wait.

But I’d always see him again.

What now?

It reminds me of a quote from the Sad Book by Michael Rosen, “I loved him very, very much, but he died anyway.”

I miss him very, very much… But he’s not coming back.

The Perfect Timing

The first time I began to realise my family life was a little bit different, and the first time I felt shame over what was to become an apparent mental illness for my mother, was when my Year 5 classroom teacher asked the students to ‘pray for me’ (I went to a Catholic school).

My mum had disappeared, on Mother’s Day, with the only trace of her being a small pool of blood dried up on a newspaper. My present that I had made for her, a poster with glued on pictures of me, remained rolled up on the kitchen table unopened.

Her boyfriend told us that she was never coming back. We rang the hospitals and she wasn’t there. She had up and left and flown to the other side of the country, not to tell a soul…

Evidently, she was fine (well fine if you disregard the unacknowledged mental illness) and returned three weeks later with presents, like your mum disappearing for almost a month without explanation was not that big of a deal…

Bloody Mother’s Day. She has always had good timing!

Fast forward 15 years and her lack of acknowledgment has seen a rapid decline in her mental illness. Many years of burning bridges, of accusations, lying and bullying has meant that she has very little in the way of supportive relationships.

I returned from the UK buoyed by my burgeoning love for Chris and excited by our future plans to move north to continue our lives together.

My mother’s response? “Fine, if you’re going to move away, I’m going to move away too!”

So there began her plan to move to the other side of the country. With no money. No house. No job. And no friends.

“Umm… Ok?! Do you really think that is such a good idea?”

“Oh shut up C, stop telling me what to do, III am the parent here, stop treating me like a child!!”

Her mind was made up. She plonked some of her belongings onto the removalist truck which was headed for my house (without letting me know), gave away the family dog (god knows what happened to the cat – I’m too scared to ask) and left with whatever belongings she could fit in the back of her car.

She was mad. Boy was she mad! I don’t think anyone quite knows mad unless they’ve seen my mother in full flight…

Why wouldn’t I take the dog? (I don’t know where I’m moving to, if they allow dogs, and where I’m moving to has consistent above 40 degree Celsius temperatures). Why wouldn’t I take the cat? (Um.. same reason) Why won’t you take the rest of the furniture? (I might be in an apartment and it might not fit.)

WHY WON’T YOU CLEAN UP MY MESS ONCE AGAIN?!

Because, according to her, I’m a terrible daughter that’s why.

I’ve always been ashamed to speak about my mother. My mother in fact, was part of the reason my relationship with a boyfriend prior to Chris was ruined.

But Chris wasn’t ashamed. He wanted me to talk. He wanted to know. And when I didn’t want to talk to him, he was supportive of my idea to go to counselling.

Off to counselling I toddled, scared of what the session would hold.

“So… It definitely sounds to me like your mother has a mental illness by what you have described. And you say she’s on the other side of the country by herself?”

“Yes”

“And… She has no money?”

“Yes”

“And… No job?”

“Yes”

“… Do you know if she’s ok?”

“Uhhhh… Acttuuuually… I don’t.” She had made it pretty clear that she didn’t want me contacting her. In fact, she was pretty nasty last time we spoke.

Cue familiar guilty daughter feelings

“Do you think you should get in contact with her?”

I tried to do the right thing. I called her multiple phone numbers (for her multiple phones) to which she hung up on me. So I messaged her… I let her know that I hadn’t heard from her for a few months and so I was worried about her.

Her response? I was an awful daughter for waiting that long to get in contact with her.

I was done. So done. I couldn’t do it anymore. I gave her an ultimatum.

Do not contact me until you have received mental help.

She said I had a mental illness. That I was a horrible person. And that she had disowned me as daughter.

And then a couple of months later Chris died.

She had no idea. I didn’t want her to know…

I gathered my own strength. I flew to the UK by myself. I organised 3 ceremonies to say goodbye to Chris. I did it on my own. And it was time to go back to work.

Work was hard, but I had been missed. The students and parent’s faces broke into massive grins when they saw me. I was, dare I say it, even having a good day!

Then the phone call came.

“Hi, we’ve received a phone call from Sally, she says your mother is really sick and you need to call this number.”

My first day back at work. Always amazing timing.

Bonk, bonk, bonk, I press in the numbers into my phone press the call button.

“Hi, I received a call from a Sally saying my mum is really sick?”

“Oh hi, I’m a nurse here… There isn’t a lady called Sally here, that was actually your mum calling.”

Mum was high on drugs. She had attempted to kill herself. She told me that my brother was dead, that the bones in her neck had collapsed and that her teeth were falling out.

I gave her sympathy and said that we cared about her. She hung up on me.

The medical staff weren’t telling me anything.

I didn’t tell mum about Chris.

All on my first day back at work.

ANYWAY… As you can imagine our relationship still isn’t great. I’m not sure that a relationship even exists. But the whole reason for this story is because mum sent me an email about a month ago asking for her sewing machine. Most of her things I actually threw out/gave away after Chris died. He wanted to do it when we got the stuff originally, but I said no.. We can’t do that to mum’s stuff.

I actually did send it over, hoping that it might give her a healthy hobby to which I received the following computer typed letter.

“Dear C,

Thank you for the sewing Machine.

It was unexpected and still works perfectly.

Thank you again,

(My mother’s name)”.

This was surrounded by love hearts. What does it mean?? Why has mum spelled machine with a capital m when she has always been highly competent with grammar? Why has she written her name and not mum? Why has she printed it out from a computer?!?

I guess there are just some questions in life that can never been answered.

(PS: On a positive note my friend and I’s photo was chosen to go on the front of the social pages in our local paper, woo whole page spread! Just message for my autograph hahaha!)

MY DOG ATE CHRIS’ HAIR!

Is one of the more peculiar phrases I am finding myself saying as a Widow(ish)… But it’s true.

She really did.

When Chris died the police officers said I wasn’t allowed to see him because of his horrific injuries. I fought them. I physically fought them, pushing them, kicking them, throwing myself at them. It didn’t make a difference. All it did was make the female police officer start to cry…

The officers gave me a promise to calm me down. A ‘white’ lie if you will, but I’m not sure how white it really was. They told me not to worry. That the morning wouldn’t have been the last time I saw him – with hungover, blurry eyes as I mumbled a goodbye. The coroner will have a look at him, and you will be able to see him then they said.

The young girl on the end of the line, she sounded the same age as me. She stuttured as she spoke and I knew it was bad news… More bad news. I wouldn’t be able to see him. At all. So badly disfigured, not even the morticians could patch him up. That was it. He was gone. Really gone.

No more Christopher. Ever.

It was like being told he had died again. I howled, and I broke, and I fell to the floor.

No more Christopher. Ever.

Ever.

I wanted to stroke my hand over the soft hairs on his chest and lay my head down so I could hear his heart beat. I wanted to stroke my hand over the back of his neck where I could feel the stubbly, prickly hairs starting to grow back from his haircut that I had given him. I wanted to cup his face, stroking his coarse beard with my thumb, and smile at him as I did whenever I felt that extra surge of love that just randomly hits you when you are with THAT person.

I couldn’t do any of it. He was gone. And I couldn’t even say goodbye. …

But back to the eaten hair.

The next stop after the coroner’s office was the Funeral Home where I was actually lucky enough to be able to hold his hands. I even tried to have a sneaky look underneath the white sheet, trying to grab as far as I could to give the best cuddle I could give (which consisted of me hugging his forearms basically).

I still wanted to stroke his hair. I still wanted to stroke his beard. Our Funeral Director was this lovely short and stout Scottish lady, loud and brash and full of humour… I wonder how she got into the business? Anyway, I digress..

I started making my ‘weird’ requests.

“Could I please have a lock of his hair? And ummm… Could you also cut off a bit of his beard for me?”

She reassured me that wasn’t the weirdest request she had ever had, and I don’t actually doubt her one bit.

I received the hair in two small fetching (sense the sarcasm) blue, velvet bags. On the inside the hair was zip locked into two miniature ziplock baggies, probably to keep it safe I imagine, rather than keep it fresh like it’s designed to do to cut up carrots.

I opened them up and took a whiff. This was it, this was going to be my connection to Chris I was so badly craving! I sucked up the air through my nostrils like one tries to suck up a thickshake through a straw at McDonalds and… “BLERGH!” I felt instantly sick. His hair didn’t smell like him at all. It smelt like a mix of cheap deodorant and formaldehyde (which the cheap deodorant was trying to cover). Now that was a smell I did NOT want to remember.

It didn’t even look like his hair! Well it did… But his hair had become ultra blonde from working in the sun however clumped together in this little tuft it was mousy brown. And without the contrast between the spiky hair on his neck and his skin it just felt coarse and, not like the back of his warm head at all.

Now don’t get me started on the beard clippings… I could have just got the same effect digging out his old shavings from the sink!! I don’t know what I was imagining when I asked for these things, but I guess it wasn’t this.

So there the two blue, velvet bags have sat, in a basket, in the corner of my kitchen bench for 10 months now.

Our dog is half beagle, half cocker spaniel. She LOVES jumping up and getting into things. ESPECIALLY bags. It was probably only a matter of time before they got grabbed… And I like to think she can still remember the smell of her dad.

Really she did me a favour in the end.

Here is a video of a Beagle doing what our dog loves to do. No joke I once came home from work and she was STANDING on the kitchen bench.

Enjoy!

Intelligent Beagle

The Randomness That is Life…

Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds – Into My Arms:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lEUgORVsECs

As many of you are aware, Nick Cave suffered the shocking loss of his teenage son on July 14. For those of you who don’t know Nick Cave he is a famous Australian musician who has had a profound impact on the Australian music scene. Oddly enough, he was also on the same flight as me as I returned home from the UK after laying Chris to rest there.

After 20 hours of flying, many of them with silent tears falling from my eyes, I was a greasy, broken mess. And there Nick Cave stood. Right next to me. With his flashy clothes and his giant gold watch. At one point I even thought he was talking to me, before realising no, he was actually speaking to his manager who was standing directly behind me. His baggage came out first, as it does for a first class passenger, and then he was gone.

And there I was.

Still tear stained.

Still broken.

Still waiting for my bags.

I was bitter. I was angry. I was hurt. “Why do some people get all the luck??” I thought to myself. “Not only money, but fame, security, a loving family. EVERYTHING…”

Then this tragedy happened.

No one deserves this. No amount of money, no amount of achievement counteracts the amount of pain you feel when you lose someone so loved.

It was at this moment I realised we are all in this together.

Amanda Palmer puts it so eloquently here: http://blog.amandapalmer.net/20150716/

We all have the same vulnerabilities no matter who we are.

I wish the Cave family the deepest of condolences and the love of those around gets them through..

XX

‘The Road Not Taken’

For as long as I can remember, I have been a planner. Chris even used to make fun of me and my constant lists, and my holidays’ itineraries I would prepare 6 months in advance. It probably stems from growing up with the unpredictability of a bipolar mother and it’s consequences… Like not knowing where our next meal was coming from or whether I was going to be screamed at that day. Planning gave me stability. It gave me a goal to aim for… And for the last 10 years that strategy has been working well for me. I graduated from high school. I went to uni. Got a good paying job. Travelled, and met a (fantastic) life partner. Money was building up for our first house… But no one could have planned for this.

So now I am totally lost.

Here are my options (If I were to continue to be my old organised self.)

OPTION A

I try to imagine how it would have been if I had never met Chris, what my plan would have been then. Perhaps I could just continue on that path? But it just doesn’t seem right… If I had never met Chris I would have returned from travelling and gone back to the city to continue teaching there, buying an investment property, wining and dining on the weekends, playing netball on Wednesdays and socialising with friends from high school and uni. I would have continued to do these things with my ultimate goal being to meet someone, granted I was going to have fun doing so… And if I didn’t? I would have been enjoying my journey along the way too much to even notice. Now, I want to meet someone, but I also DON’T want to meet someone. It’s more out of loneliness and comfort rather than wanting to meet a new partner. An investment property? I have no idea what I’m going to be doing in a week let alone throwing down a coupla 100k on something that will tie me there. As for my old friends? This plan would have worked fine 3 years ago having only been out of their lives for 2 years, it would have been like nothing had changed. Now I have been out of their lives for 5 and in that time I fell in love and lost my partner in the most tragic of circumstances. They didn’t even know him… They and I are very different people to who we were and I almost don’t even want to build that reconnection at the moment. Too much effort for my already broken soul. So at the moment OPTION A is out.

OPTION B

I continue working up here in the country with the friends who became like family and who knew Chris and I inside out. They watched as our love blossomed and became our first friends as a couple. They saw us develop our house into a home and grow our family with our puppy, Willow. We shared our dreams with them and they shared their dreams with us. We held their newborn children. They were there when I got the news. They cried with me and they held me. Now on the face of it, ‘Option B’ seems like a winner… But… It is here I feel lost. It is here where the accident happened. It is here I feel like I am keeping going just for the sake of keeping going. This place represents every hope we had… And everything that is now broken. Everything I see and do reminds me of him here. From the shops to where I walk my dog. Understandably my friends want to talk about Chris with me here, which most of the time is great… Except sometimes I wish my brain would stop constantly thinking about him. That hurt is always there, here.

OPTION C

I kind of fell into teaching and although I do enjoy it, I do wonder if this is something I would do for the rest of my life. In the past it didn’t worry me, as Chris and I were discussing having children in the near future and I believed my new ‘career’ would be staying at home and mothering them. We did say however, that being a stay at home (for me) probably wouldn’t be enough. Although undoubtedly it is the hardest job in the world, the constant monotony of certain aspects of it would probably drive me bonkers.. The idea was floated that I study midwifery part-time, off campus, while I had the kids (see what I mean by being a planner, it was all mapped out!!) Birth has always fascinated me and seeing as it was going to be a part of my near future I was incredibly inspired. I also took inspiration from Chris’ past bravery… After leaving school and qualifying as an Engineer at uni he landed a cushy job, but for him it wasn’t enough. It wasn’t a true passion. So he left his job and went back to school to qualify as a carpenter, a job that resulted in a pay cut. To his dying day he was using that skill to build furniture, a career he wanted to do in the future. I just loved that he had the balls to do that. Anyway, back to ‘Option C’. I go back to the city and study midwifery, using my teaching degree to teach casually. I will live with my dad and my mind will be occupied by full time study… This sounds good in theory, BUT midwifery earns a whole 20 grand less than what I currently do AND I will be losing all my benefits I’ve gained over the last 5 years of working as a teacher. I will be leaving my ‘family’ up here, and I will still have the same disconnect issues from my old friends as with ‘Option A’.

I guess the moral of the story is every option is now fucking scary. The world and future that once looked so bright and hopeful is now dark and full of unknowns.

I just hope I choose the right one…

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