The Quiet Room.

by Lori Dwyer on April 11, 2011 · 54 comments

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.

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{ 54 comments… read them below or add one }

Ms Kate September 29, 2011 at 10:12 am

Oh Lori. You simply take my breath away with your strength and character.


Trish April 18, 2011 at 12:05 pm

Lori, I have read your every post since the After. And many in the Before. Once again I sit here with tears rolling down for you. For that unimaginable pain you are feeling.

I wish beyond anything possible there was a way to ease your pain and bring Tony back to you all.

I am glad though that you keep on writing. This is a great way for you to heal.

Huge love and hugs for you.


Karina April 15, 2011 at 1:09 pm

It gets better. I promise it gets better…eventually. At some point your ears stop ringing. The number of minutes you've gone without crying or raging grows until you reach an hour. In a shift imperceptible to anyone else, you pass a jagged edged corner to a softer rounder place. It happens. And it takes years.

Be as gentle to yourself as you would to anyone else. The wee ones will recover. You will recover. And one day you'll make your peace with the way things have happened.

Please know that your words here have been so moving. Thank you for being willing to share.


Cate April 14, 2011 at 5:09 pm

I don't know what to say Lori, other than that like the others here, I'm still listening.



Sarah April 14, 2011 at 9:41 am

Ah Lori, so much trauma, so undeserved. I always struggle to find words after reading your posts, but I feel like I need to comment, just to let you know that I'm reading, that I'm feeling for you.

The rain is falling gently here – this continual, soft rain that's been falling for the last three days. I feel like the sky is crying – for you and Chop and the Bump.


Being Me April 13, 2011 at 8:56 pm

I have nothing but love. Love love love xxx


Toots April 12, 2011 at 11:14 pm

Lori, I…I just have nothing to say, I can't se the screen too well for tears. Still here honey, still thinking of you every day.

Love Sophie xxx


Rachel April 12, 2011 at 9:15 pm

I love what Michael said about each of us taking a little piece of the burden… I hope that sometimes at least you can feel us all standing with you, taking on some of the pain and the tears and that the weight of this nightmare is just a little bit lighter, even for a moment…


Hear Mum Roar April 12, 2011 at 9:02 pm

It's so unfair:( Much love to all of you ((HUG))


anna April 12, 2011 at 8:21 pm

thinking of you and your family, hope a little bit of peace comes soon x


Jodie at Mummy Mayhem April 12, 2011 at 8:30 am

Always thinking of you, hon. xxx


Cassondra April 12, 2011 at 3:25 am

I'm so sorry. I know I can't really understand what this was like, is like. So all I can say is I'm sorry.


bekkles April 12, 2011 at 1:20 am

Each iteration of your heart breaking, unimaginable hellish story, contains more, a detail here, and emotion there.
Perhaps with each day, with each footstep, you're letting more in and processing it.
I hope it helps. Writing it, sharing it.
Here….reading…caring and crying at your powerful, hauntingly beautiful writing.


Wanderlust April 12, 2011 at 12:57 am

Oh babe. Holding you in my heart with so much love. Be gentle with yourself. xx


Michael April 11, 2011 at 11:12 pm

No, this wasn't fun. But if you have to say it, say it. There are hundreds of us. Maybe thousands. We'll each take a little piece of the burden.


Melissa April 11, 2011 at 10:42 pm

oh the horror. unbearable. truly awful.
I hope that writing about it, eases it a little. each time you face it (oh so painfully and bravely) I hope it eases the horror just a little. keep writing, keep talking, we can take it. give some of the horror to us, to your friends, your therapist, your family. hang in there. you're amazing.


Carly Findlay April 11, 2011 at 9:39 pm

those memories must be unbearable. I am so sorry.


SawHole April 11, 2011 at 8:52 pm

Sending you some SawHole love.
Mental illness is a mutha fucker.


Stinky April 11, 2011 at 8:18 pm

Hon, you are awesome, to be writing and doing what you are doing. I have only been reading since After and so I don't really know of Purple stuff. My heart aches for you every time I read this blog.

Oh and I didn't comment after your vlog but I watched it, and I think I said the same when I saw another one you had, but you have fucking cool eyes!!! So full of life and feeling. Not that that means much or anything right now, but you are beautiful and that shines out, even now, in this After


Le Bec April 11, 2011 at 8:16 pm

Sending love Lori. Lots and lots of love.


River April 11, 2011 at 8:01 pm

I'm glad you're able to keep talking this through. As many times as you want or need, since every time is different. The common thread is the same, but each time you speak there are little things that emerge that haven't come forward before. You need this, it's cleansing. keep doing it. We're all here to listen and hug.


cassey April 11, 2011 at 7:13 pm

No words, just hugs.


marketingtomilk April 11, 2011 at 6:41 pm

Oh Lori. THere it is again, total heartbreak. it is still so raw, so fresh for you. A beautiful post. Devastating, but beautiful.



Kim ~ One Nutty Mama April 12, 2011 at 3:32 am

I just want to thank you for your continued blogging through this horrible trauma. I thank you because it made me have an open and honest conversation with my husband about depression. We have both suffered from depression throughout the many years we have been together.
Thank you.


Crystal April 12, 2011 at 2:33 am

What a horrible way to have your innocence stripped from you! I've been following since The After, just quietly checking up on you every day and praying hard for you and your little ones. I hope life in Paradise is treating you all well, and I hope you'll continue to heal. HUG!!!!


Sarah April 11, 2011 at 4:28 pm

Love you chook xxx


Kelloggsville April 11, 2011 at 4:10 pm

Another chapter. I hope with each new writing the imagery is moving from your flashbacks to sitting here. Baby steps to lessening pain. I hope so. Love as always xxxx


Libby April 11, 2011 at 2:46 pm

I found your blog just days before. I have read and cried and wished I knew you in the real world so I could hug you, let you cry, shout or scream as needed but more importantly just let you be as you needed to be.

You seem to be coping as you should, good, bad and everything in between. I send you hugs, but so wish it could be more xoxo


racheous April 11, 2011 at 1:52 pm

Fuck. I think you are amazing. For living through such raw pain and for being able to share it and heal.

The way you described the Purple Lori ghost really puts things into unfathomable perspective.


Hope’s Mama April 11, 2011 at 1:52 pm

I'm so very sorry. Your story is equal parts heartbreak and terror. I can't even begin to imagine. But thank you so much for sharing, as I know it helps.
My own story of heartbreak and terror is very different to yours, but there were flashes in your story that sucked me right back to my own nightmare (the day I saw my first born daughter dead on an ultrasound machine at 40 weeks 4 days, after a perfectly healthy pregnancy). I remember being taken to "that room" and having to deal with my own tribe of insensitive doctors who made the unthinkable situation so much worse.
I'm just so sorry. So very, very sorry.
And thank you again.


SheLikesToTravel April 11, 2011 at 12:59 pm

I am so sorry for your grief. There aren't any words that I can share that would take any pain from you. But please know that if I could, I would.

I'm so sorry.


Jenny, the Bloggess April 11, 2011 at 12:48 pm

Sending love.


Donna April 11, 2011 at 11:34 am

So heartbreaking… Only hope that this powerful writing is helping to get it out of your mind and off your chest. Thinking of you always x


Misfits Vintage April 11, 2011 at 11:02 am

Too sad. Just too sad. I'm so sorry. xxx


joandmurray April 11, 2011 at 8:56 pm

Lori Lori Lori – I have been following since BEFORE and am yet to comment. Nothing I can say could possibly be of any help…
but I have just read your last two posts and want to say keep purging it all out. You are healing. Be safe x


Tone-in-Oz April 11, 2011 at 10:44 am

per lucy


Dorothy April 11, 2011 at 10:34 am

I'm here. I know it hurts. The pain keeps coming back. How could this have happened? How could this have happened to ME? Even now the pain keeps coming back. Will it always follow me no matter where I go?


Janet NZ April 11, 2011 at 10:15 am

Every time you tell the story I weep. I can't even imagine how it must be to live through it. But you did Lori, you ARE living. And coping, and surviving and doing SO BLOODY AMAZINGLY WELL. I know it probably doesn't feel that way to you just now, but please know that we all know it, and are all still here – cheering you on, weeping with you, weeping for you. xxx


Karen April 11, 2011 at 10:14 am

I'm so touched but understand the need to replay this and write about this again and again. You'll never forget, seared as it is forever in your brain, but hopefully time will make it less raw.

Sometimes comments from us people who care don't seem to be needed…I apologize for stating the obvious (if that is the case). I know when I blog about painful moments, I really don't give a shit if anyone wants to comment. It's the mere fact of putting into words that helps in some way…


Ms Styling You April 11, 2011 at 10:09 am

More big hugs Lori xx


LucidLotus April 11, 2011 at 9:50 am

Let it out, we are listening. Love and peace to you.


Draft Queen April 11, 2011 at 9:46 am

Hugs. I know it isn't really anything at all, but there's nothing more I can offer.


Georgia April 11, 2011 at 9:06 am

I don't how you could not lose part of yourself, witnessing, experiencing, losing what you have. I wish I had words that would help, that would take away those haunting images even for a little while. Hugs coming from me too. xx


Lucy April 11, 2011 at 8:36 am

Just hugs Lori. It's all I've got. XX


Jane April 11, 2011 at 8:33 am

I can't even begin to imagine what that day was like. And I'm also sending continual hugs your way. We're still all here for you, 100% xxx


Mrs J April 11, 2011 at 8:24 am

I feel totally useless, no matter what I try to type here it feels empty and hollow. Trying to imagine how horrific it would have been to witness and then replay it over and over. I sincerely hope that you are able to find the right people to help you work through this awful, awful… shit. I can't even call it a nightmare, it sounds so contrite.


Pandora April 11, 2011 at 8:19 am

There are no words. I cannot imagine the horror and agony you must have gone through – must be going through. I wish I had something useful to say, but I don't. However, I just wanted you to know that I had read this, and that I care (even though I'm a stranger who only found your blog today).

I know it's worth fuck all, but still: I'm sending lots of gentle, virtual hugs your way.


thatblogyoudo April 11, 2011 at 2:32 pm

My comment seems to have gotten lost in the works, so just sending hugs.


Mrs Woog April 11, 2011 at 2:03 pm

Hi Loz

Had to read this in 3 stages. And trying to think of something comforting to say.

But I cannot think of anything.



Madmother April 11, 2011 at 10:58 am

Here. Always here. xx


thatblogyoudo April 11, 2011 at 10:36 am

Its like watching waves crash on the shore, there is calm peaceful water that reminds me of the days when you seem to be doing okay, putting one foot in front of the other but we cant see the force that is underneath the surface constantly pulling you, then you roll back in and crash, throw yourself against the rocks again, and again.
I feel you are so hard on yourself sometimes..
There are many things that make up the person who you are, we are lamenting our purple house lori, you seem to know she is gone, I feel as if i've lost her too…
The lori that you are now I just feel like i want to bathe you in warmth and sunlight, this lori all i want for her is peace…
Your a wonderful person Lori, you are doing the best you can with the worst of situations. Keep going you'll make it through, I believe it in my heart.


Good Golly Miss Holly! April 11, 2011 at 10:23 am

Love to you and the babes, girlfriend x


Toni April 11, 2011 at 10:03 am

I don't know where anyone ever finds the strength to keep going after something like this happens to them.
I don't know how your heart can keep beating with so much pain.
I know you keep saying you're not brave, that you have no choice and you're only doing what you have to, but for you to pick yourself up after this, and be building a new life for you and the kids — girl, you have balls of steel.
With all my heart I hope the horror of these memories fades with time.


OurGangof7 April 11, 2011 at 9:46 am

Oh Lori hugs to you and your beautiful babes. Reading this has me in tears as all of reading it can picture it happening, feel the terror of those moments. It is something you see in movies, it should never happen in real life, but sadly it does. But you know what, I truly believe, that anyone reading this that has ever considered suicide as an option for them, having read your story, hopefully, will think twice. The pain that you have gone through is evident and I have found this last post in particular is so real, the fear you felt comes through and smacks you in the face. If this doesn't show people the true face of suicide and the impact it has on families nothing ever will!


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