February 2011

47 Days Later.

by Lori Dwyer on February 25, 2011 · 51 comments

One step forward, two steps back.

47 days.

47 of the longest days of my life.

I keep writing here, keep blogging- it feels like I keep saying the same thing.

This hurts. I miss Tony. My life truly, truly sucks at the moment.

But I feel like I can’t quite… this pain, this stifling, all consuming, dementing pain. It’s too awful to capture in words, on a screen, out loud.

Just too huge. There are no words, in the English language at least, to describe this.

The finality of it.

How someone can be there, one minute, filling up space, making noise, living life.. making the world turn.

And then… just… not.

Four and a half years, Tony and I were together for. After six weeks together, we bought a bought a house. After three months, we were living in it. Two months after that, I was pregnant.

And then we were engaged.. then pregnant again… then married.

And then he died.

We laughed about it, often, how quickly it all happened, how we just knew it was meant to be. It was tough sometimes, especially with a squalling newborn and two people who really didn’t know each other that well, but we made it.

Time and time again. We made it. We worked through problems and stayed together. Because, deep down, that was what we both knew.

That we were in love. that, to each other, we felt like family, even before we were married. That were in it for the long haul. there would be no divorce here. We would work things out.

And we were looking forward to the rest of our lives together.

We were looking forward to, one day,w hen our kids were a bit older, having a proper honeymoon. We were planning on a few holidays, a new house, to watch our kids grow up.

Not a whole lot to ask for. Simple dreams.

Why are they so fucking difficult now, when it was so simple? When we had all we wanted. Each other. Kids. Happy, normal little life.

It hurts, and I feel cheated. That what I wanted was so simple, that I was easily pleased. That it was taken away so horribly, so violently.

This really is as bad as it seems.

My head struggles to wrap itself around the fact that Tony, who seemed so immortal to me, who was the strength of this family…. that he’s gone. That the trials and tribulations of raising two children under four years old fall to me, and only to me, for the rest of their lives.

That I’ll never talk to him again. That I’ll never see him again. That his body, his physical presence, doesn’t even exist anymore. It’s ash. Trying to imagine that transformation, of skin and tattoo and solid reliability to flakes of white and grey ash, with pieces of pearly green scattered through… it feels like my mind may turn inside out, from the weight of that concept.

I was so secure in my life. I was so happy, so confident that we were blessed, that we would always be happy.

Maybe that is why my mind is finding it so difficult to do this final shift, to let go of the tiny subconscious strings of memory in the back of my mind that keep tricking me into thinking I will talk to him again soon.

I don’t trust my own mind anymore.

I don’t know who I am.

I read drafts of blog posts from Before, and remember sitting every afternoon in my sunny kitchen, waiting for Tony to return home from work, loving our simple little laugh and relishing in finding the humour in it.

I read those posts… she’s gone, the Lori that wrote them. The Lori who’s head was a place of jellybeans and sunshine and fairies and all that good crap, she’s been exploded, left as the core of herself.

Some days, the reality of this just… it feels like it’s frying my mind.

Some days, I wonder if I’m going insane too.


The old Lori, she was terrified of flying.

Tony was always badgering me to fly. I always said no.

I promised him, in the ICU, that if he came out of this, we’d fly. We’d go whereever he wanted.

And now… I’m flying anyway, without him. Part of me thinks he’d be so proud of me. Another part thinks, maybe, he’s just pissed, because it took him dieing for me to fly- I couldn’t do it for him when he was alive.

Oddly- or maybe not so much- I’m not afraid of flying, right now. If the plane starting going down, if the oxygen masks fell from the roof… the relief would be palpable. Thank God. It’s over. Bring it on. I won’t have to wake up tomorrow morning and do this again.

And I may just get to see my Man again, too.

Can we pretend that airplanes in the night sky are like shooting stars… I could really use a wish right now.

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by Lori Dwyer on February 24, 2011 · 101 comments

There comes a point, I think, when you know the worst of it is over.

It’s always going to hurt. We’ve established that. But, for some reason, it feels like there is a tiny little bit of sunshine.

The season has changed. Quite literally. It’s gone from Summer, to Autumn, overnight.

Thank God. Summer, it felt like hell. Again, quite literally. The pain, the shock, the trauma.. and the heat, the oppressive humidity.

If there is a Hell on Earth, maybe I’ve been there.

Or maybe I should not be so cocky. They say God punishes us for what we can not imagine.

He most certainly does.


There comes a point, I think, where you get busy living.. or you get busy dieing.

Living. Sorting out the kinks in your life. Making limbo an OK place to be, where you have some control, until you know, financially, what is going on.

The next few months will be spent waiting.

But that’s OK.

I think we need time here, to grieve, to heal. In our Gingerbread House, which is still the Purple House underneath.

So… Lori. Of her essence.

Redefining my whole life.

Redefining what I thought about Tony, what I thought about me. Redefining my ideas on raising children, on dealing with raising a boy-child, on schools and locations and all those other little things I never thought I would be working out for myself. Redefining who I am…

Taking the bits of me, and sticking them back together. Incorporating this new person, this strong, sad person, into the rest of me. What’s left of me.

So,I gather up the pieces. The part of Lori that I left, screaming “He’s dead, he’s dead”, clutching her daughter in our back laneway… she’s back now, somewhere deep inside, being comforted by a part of my soul that makes cups of tea and teaches yoga and reads stories about fairies before bed.

In fact, it’s not just her. There’s quite a few pieces of me- a piece I left behind in the ER at the hospital, a piece I left behind in the ICU. A piece of me that grieves for my husband, another that weeps for the sunshine of my purple life. And another that is bitter and jealous, and misses being a ‘wife’, when she loved being married so.

All of them, gathered up. Along with five year old Lori, gobsmacked that her fairytale has come to end. Comforting each other, receiving comfort from the strength I never knew I had.

I’m stronger than I thought I was, I think.

Or maybe not. Strength isn’t optional, sometimes. Sometimes, you just have to keep going.

Because what else can you do?

Except hope, that if you keep going enough, keep pushing through the pain, eventually you are going to want to move forward… not just have to.

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by Lori Dwyer on February 20, 2011 · 132 comments

Blog like no one is reading…

It always going to hurt.

That’s the thing, I think, that my brain doesn’t quite get. That it’s always going to hurt.

Because I feel like I’m waiting.

I’m not sure what for.

Tony, perhaps. that’s what it feels like. Like I’m waiting for Tony to come home.

I guess I am.

I don’t want to live here, in this house, anymore.

I can’t handle it. The shattered happy ever after.

But I can’t move. Not yet, not until Something happens with the finances.


For it to hurt less?

For my mind to process it a bit more?

I don’t want to do this anymore. It’s too sad, and it hurts too much, and my brain plays tricks on me every time I wake up. Every time, especially here, at home. I wake up and just for a second, half a second, I’m happy.

And then I remember.

What the fuck is going on here? How was it Christmas less than two months ago?

It feels like a lifetime.

I guess it is.

If someone had told me, at Christmas, that this would happen, I would never have believed them. Never. I would have laughed.

My whole basis of life, it’s gone.

How do I do this, without Tony? He protected us. Now I’m in charge, of two tiny people. That was always something we joked about- we couldn’t have another child, it would leave us outnumbered. And now I feel outnumbered.

Capable. It’s auto-pilot- nappy change, water, food, sleep. It’s the rest of their lives I worry about.

Because this is it. Single parenting, sole parenting, in it’s essence. All by myself.

I’m terrified.

How did this happen? We had plans. Tony was my life, from the second we had our first date- that was it. We were meant to be.

It was never supposed to end like this. We had plans, a whole life mapped out. A new house, in a year or two. A holiday, this year. Our kids in the local public school. Us growing old together.

We planned to retire to a lighthouse by the coast. And live out the last of our days, together, by the ocean.

I still can’t quite believe he’s gone.

I know, of course- I’ve been living with that reality for weeks now, although it feels like years.

I keep waiting for that exquisite purple happiness to come back. So I can grieve it, maybe.

Maybe it’s less painful if it doesn’t.

This hurts, dammit. This is beyond pain, beyond rage, beyond disbelief. This is everything I ever wanted, gone.

I was so easily pleased. I had my husband, my house, my kids. The only thing to cross off my list of Stuff I Wanted To Do With My Life was learn to ride a motorbike.

And now it’s gone. I had it all, and lost it a huge chunk of it. All before I turned thirty.

The future scares the shit out of me. Day after day after day stretches out before me. Endless. Painful.

I’m missing him so much, it’s driving me insane.

The image of him, slipping the rope on his neck, then hanging, lifeless, it burns into me, hurts me, hates me, every second of the day. And there is nothing I can do to escape it.

I feel like it’s going to drive me insane. There is only so much stress the human mind can take.

And my kids… I can barely speak about them. Especially my son. His pain, and mine, they reverberate against each other. I dread putting him to bed, as much as I love it. Because there is always a conversation about daddy, especially now that we send rainbows, from our heart to his in Heaven. Chop is so confused, hurting so much. Missing his best mate desperately.

And he checks with me, every time “Daddy’s in Heaven, up with the stars, Mummy? And he can’t come back?”

And I reply that no, he can’t, and we all miss him very much.

Just tonight, my little man continued to talk, sharing memories of his time with daddy that I can’t even recall now, it hurts too much. And he looked at me and said “No, Mummy!! Just talk to me, don’t be sad!!”.

And I realised I had tears rolling down my cheeks.

We’re lost without him. All three of us. The big kahuna, the protective, guiding, strong force in our lives is gone.

My children are without a father.


I am raising two little people by myself, for the rest of my life. I never planned to do this by myself. I need Tony, who calmed me, who picked up the slack and smoothed out the stress.

What am I going to do? I know, it’s one day at a time, one foot in front of another, and time is the only thing that will heal it.

But it’s just so hard to keep going. When every day is so, so long, and it hurts so much. And the little things that made up our lives have just vanished.

No more beers with neighbours out in the street. No more beers in general. No more roast dinners, no more ironing his shirts at night. No more curling up on the lounge and watching movies together. No more weekend trips with the kids to the markets, to the beach, just out for a drive.

How could he do this? How could he just go and leave all this? We were so happy, fuck it. That what makes it worse. Just four days Before this happened, we were talking about how happy we were, how lucky we were, how good life was. We had our house, our cars, our pigeon pair of gorgeous children, our dog. A stable, suburban, happy family life. That was all either of us ever really wanted.

Why did he leave me? How could he do this? What am I going to do, without him?

The rest of my life. The rest of my kid’s lives. Without the man who was our rudder, our rock, our strength.

I’m terrified. Exhausted. And desperately lonely without my soul mate, without the company of a man. I miss having adult conversation. I miss having someone to nurture and take care who actually appreciates it. I miss cooking for him. I miss him teasing me.

I miss hearing him make our children laugh.

I thought it would be better, by now… I thought I’d be starting to feel better, glimpse some kind of light at the end of the tunnel.

I’m even sure what I’m searching for, what the light at the end of the tunnel should look like. Is it someone else who’ll love me, tell me I’m beautiful and take care of me? To wake up and not think everything is OK, for that one horrid second?

Or just to have a few hours a day where I feel normal, where I’m not just killing time, killing minutes, slaying seconds..?

I don’t know. I feel like I need a miracle.

Something, anything, to take the pressure off. To make me feel just that little bit better. Just for a moment.


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