This post… I dunno, it just feels like it needs a warning. It’s no fun.
I’ve blogged before, about how it feels like a part of me is standing, screaming for help, baby clutched in her arms, her husband hanging from a beam in her backyard…
I’ve taken her in, that terrified, traumatised woman, and I do for her what I can.
But I really did leave someone behind there, on the 6th of January.
I left behind the Lori that had never lost anyone. The Lori that had never had to deal with huge trauma, with devastating pain.
She’s still there, caught in the cobweb ruins of what was her Purple Life. Caught in the perfect neighborhood she lived in. Frozen there, I think. Sometimes I wonder if you don’t have to die to be a ghost, just lose your whole life….
And I wonder if the ghost of the Purple Lori, the innocent Lori… I wonder if she wanders there, baby in her arms.
The Bump was wearing a pale yellow sundress. I haven’t seen it since that day. I hope someone threw it out. It feels like it has blood on it, even though there was no blood shed (although there was, he bit his tongue, and it bled badly, and they pried his jaw open to give him CPR…)
“Help me, somebody help me, somebody fucking help me…“
People running, my neighbours, from everywhere, so fast. I still don’t know how they got there that quickly.
“He’s hung himself,in the backyard, help him..“
My neighbour runs in and backs out, shakes his head, “Call an ambulance”.
“He’s dead, isn’t he? He’s dead, he’s dead, he’s dead…“
My neighbour has tears in his eyes as he hugs me and says that no, he’s fine, he’s going to be fine.
What the fuck? How the fuck? He was alive then unconscious and hanging doesn’t happen that like that and did he have a heart attack or snap his neck he couldn’t have his feet were touching the ground and suddenly I’m sitting on a chair in my neighbour’s driveway, and people are running everywhere and she’s asking me what happened and telling me to sit down, would I like a glass of water?
“Lori, where’s Chop?”
“Asleep, oh shit, oh please go and wake him up.”
And he leaves to do that and something inside me snaps again and I start to scream “Bring him round the front! Bring him round the front! Don’t take him through the backyard!!“
The world is reeling and my heart is beating out of my chest and where the fuck is everyone, why is there no commotion, where is the fucking ambulance?
Suddenly I see my son, in the arms of my neighbour, and I snap back, again.
I move us, myself, my children,behind the hedge so we can’t see as my neighbour run through my back gate. I hear sirens- so many sirens, hundreds of sirens, and I move us, I move my children further away, into this nice lady neighbours backyard. Another neighbour brings us lemonade in a bottle and a plastic cup and the kids fight over it and we discuss the Wiggles and Santa and PlaySchool. I am shaking and I remember sitting on prickly buffalo grass. I ring my mum “He’s dead mum, he’s hung himself and his dead, please come.” And I wait. It mustn’t be more than ten minutes.
It feels like an eternity.
It felt like the end of forever.
My mum arrives, just after they load Tony into an ambulance. My stepfather is crying when he reaches me, they take my children, and, without realising it, this is the moment I disconnect from my kids, and I stay that was for weeks.
The police (what are the police doing here? It’s obvious, now, suicide, it’s a crime, but I was far in shock….) ask me what happened. I say we were arguing, he did it in front of me, my neighbours gasps and cries out and hugs me and says he didn’t realise that (why didn’t I say that, to start with..? Would it have mattered..?). They ask me Tony’s birthday and I tell them and begin to sob, “Yesterday. It was his birthday just yesterday.”
A nice, comforting ambulance officer asks me who I have, to meet me at the hospital. My mum- she has my kids. I call my best friend, Auntie Mickey…
“Mickey? I need you. Please“, and she doesn’t even hesitate.
The ambulance officer drives me to the hospital- it will be two solid weeks before I drive again, and when I do, I reverse straight into someone’s car- and she tried to make small talk and I stare at her, not comprehending what she is saying.
And then I’m in an ugly, small room with ugly Australian colonial prints on the walls and they call it the Quiet Room but I doubt many souls are quiet here,most of them are screaming; and I’m curled in a ball on the lounge and my head is bursting, screaming, vomiting up the image, again and again- blue shirt, orange rope, his eyes rolled back in his head. It makes me physically shudder and I pull at my hair, hard, smackmyself in the skull with a closed fist, weeping, trying to bore the image from my head.
And then my best mate arrives. And she asked me have I called Tony’s mum, his sister and I haven’t. I do and it’s the hardest phone calls I’ve ever fucking made and I’m so terrified and I can hear them working on Tony and why hasn’t anyone come to tell us what the fuck is going on?
And then a doctor, no compassion, no bedside manner. He simply sits and says “The prognosis… is low.”
“What the fuck does that mean?”
“We don’t expect him to survive… if he does, he will be severely brain damaged.”
Until then.. until I looked into that doctors serious, stoic black eyes, I had thought… this couldn’t possibly happen. Not to me. Not like that. Not to Tony. Hanging, it doesn’t happen that way.
“The prognosis is low.”
And the bottom, it fell out of my world.