March 2011


by Lori Dwyer on March 30, 2011 · 28 comments

Being away, being Home, it feels like bleeding poison from a wound.

I spend most of my days still in some kind of fog…. I’m there, as Mum, but for anything else… I am on the outside, looking in.

It’s not a nice feeling. Sometimes I wonder if this is how Tony felt, just Before.

I think I’m OK. I marvel at myself sometimes, at what I’ve been through, and I’m amazed that I’m still able to act like a normal person.

But then I look at myself, at how disconnected I still I am, at how different I feel from the rest of the world. It occurs to me how much I think about dieing, and death, and I wonder if I’m normal at all.

I stood, two or three times, on a chair in my backyard. Stretched myself on my tippy toes.

So I could see what he saw, last. Before….

Me, I think. Me leaning down to scoop up in the Bump, who was standing in the back doorway, between Tony and I. I leant down to pick her up, I broke eye contact for a second…

And it was Over.

Some days, I wonder how close to pyschosis I am. Not so much, now I’m back Home… but especially when I was living in the Purple House that was not purpke anymore, but still felt purple.

My mind would snap at me, play tricks on me. I would see Tony from the corner of my eye.

It’s a relief to grieve. I feel like my mind finally started to wrap around this, seep it in.

Take the poison from my blood, and wrap it around my soul.

But I’m grieving, normally. I’m remembering Tony, and absorbing those memories, rather than pushing them away. I can talk about him now, think abiut him… approach his memory in conversation with my son, rather than the other way round.

I help him create a book of memories of his father, as we all struggle to forget the pyshicality of him. The space he no longer fills.

It’s easier, when we’re not filling that space too.

But it’s so hard, when he was so big and strong, and dependable. How can you not ache for the pyshical presence of someone who was more than twice your size?


In the days just after Tony died, in the days he was in the ICU, I felt him everywhere.

Things would happen, that were too much of a coincidence to be one. I felt him, there, I felt the shadow of his atoms, as he ran his hand down my face and kissed me goodbye.

Logically, my mind tells me that this is a socially acceptable borderline pyschosis. That this is what the mind does, when confronted with such suffocatin, shattering pain.

Surely that’s more than possible. The hormones released in the body during childbirth… the body’s own euphoria makers, to deal with the pain you go through. People with brain tumours report religious euphoria, brilliant visions of gods….

Surely, logically, this is the same? I asked my pyschiatrist- does this make me pyschotic? Does this make me crazy? Because I feel crazy.

No, she assured me. This is normal. Normal, acceptable. Healthy.

But then there other things… the ring in toaster. A message from a friend, which came from a pyschic, that used a phrase that only Tony would use, and made perfect sense to me…

Those kind of things… they make me wonder.

I’ve been nominated as one of the Aussie Mummy Bloggers with the X Factor. And, hey, I’d love an iPad. You can vote here…. believe me, it’s worth it just to see all of us in cartoon form…
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Free Fall.

by Lori Dwyer on March 28, 2011 · 55 comments

Eventually, if you’re going fast enough, you are going smack straight into the wall.

I’ve run, and run… and here I am. There’s no further to run, from this point.

There is nowhere else to go.

I’ve left my life behind, and I have to start again.

This is just too fucking difficult, right now.

I’m exhausted. The reality of what has happened, what is happening, right now…. it’s sinking in.

I’ve never felt so alone, so afraid of the future, in my whole life.

What the hell am I doing here? The surreal quality of being here, of living in HomeTown again… it just adds to the vertigo.

Free falling. Life, as I knew it.. it’s over.

And while the rush of the free fall is exhilarating… it’s lonely out here, in the stratosphere.

What the fuck? How did this happen? Is this really me, living this… surely it has to be a bad dream?

I miss Tony so much, right now.. but it’s different, easier here. Easier to grieve for him. Easier to remember that he loved me, without a thousand people thinking he didn’t.

I’m a broken woman. I think of an adjective to describe myself right now… and ‘broken’ is the only one that comes to mind.

The adrenalin, the strength, the bravery… all that, I feel like I left behind at the Purple House that isn’t purple anymore. The reality of living here, in this tiny Cottage…

It’s beautiful, and relaxed. It’s a lovely place to live. We have kangaroos on our front lawn, and a handful of beaches to choose from. The kids and the dog adore it, having a big yard, and so much space. We have family just a few doors down.

But then there’s so much to do. Phone calls to make, mail to be redirected. Unpacking to finish. The Internet connection is slower than dial up, the TV reception is non-existent, and I don’t have a freaking dishwasher. I’ve moved the contents of a three bedroom, two storey house into a four bedroom, one story house, but no matter how much stuff I get rid of, it still refuses to fit in the storage space I have.

I know, petty, useless concerns, especially compared with what I’ve already been through. But I am so tired, so overwhelmed, so shell shocked by what’s happened- take away my creature comforts and you’ll floor me. I’m sick of being brave, being strong. I’m sick of getting on with it. I’m sick of having to make all the decisions, do all this stuff, when it was not so long that I had my big, strong husband here to help me, to do the hard stuff for me, to allow me to feel weak and vulnerable and miserable if I needed to.

I don’t really have that option right now.

And that’s all I want to do.

Curl up in a ball, and sob, and sob, with someone’s strong arms around me.

And wait for the bone crushing thud at the end of the free fall.

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The Last Day of The Purple Life.

by Lori Dwyer on March 25, 2011 · 82 comments

It’s the very last day of my Purple Life.

And it’s all packed up and ready to go.

I’m terrified. Up until now, I’ve hated the word ‘brave’.

But this time, I feel brave.

Because this is a choice. This isn’t just grinding on. This is flight, or fight.. or simper.

Stay, in a place where I’m expected to walk around with my tail between my legs, head down, displaying to the world that Tony was, indeed, correct- what a terrible person I am.

Fuck that.

The same way I chose to be honest, with a story that was now mine, to prevent myself feeling suffocated, to prevent the shame and stigmas of this closing in on me… It feels the same as choosing to stand up now. To go, and be alone, in a quiet place, with my children, away from this.. toxicity.

I feel like I’m on the very edge of a cliff, ready to jump. Holding my breath.

Part of me longs for the crisp crack of the ocean, salt up my nose, my whole body immersed in feeling alive…

And another part of me, it waits for the body slam, that drives the air from my lungs and turns the air black with stars… (I took a friend with me to HomeTown, last night, and we stood on the beach and looked at the millions of stars, the milkiness of asteroid belt… “This is where they all run to, all the stars. They come here.”)

I’m not sure if I’m doing the right thing. Two rainbows in two days, that seems to tell me yes.

I don’t care. I’ll figure out if this is right thing when I get there.(What if the light at the end of the tunnel is actually the headlight of an oncoming train…?)

This happened so quickly.. three months ago, I was normal. I heard Wanderlust speak at the ABC,and she mentioned ‘cognitive dissonance’.. how long it takes for the mind to catch up, when your physical circumstances change so quickly.

My head is still reeling. I’m not sure what I’m doing, but every instinct in body is telling to run from this trauma, run somewhere safe, so my mind can process it properly.

Home, it’s not here anymore. HomeTown, (Summerland) it’s the closest thing I have.

I bought home a child to this house, and birthed another one right here, in my backyard. I entered this house, deliriously happy, with my boyfriend who would become my fiancee who would become my husband.

I celebrated one single, perfect, happy wedding anniversary here.

I laughed and sang and danced with Tony here.

This was our home. The place where we were both so blissfully happy, with our little life.

It was the happiest either of us had ever been, and we said that to each other so many times.

Those memories.. I keep.

I have plenty, that I want to leave behind.

A creaking rope, as I shook him, and his eyes rolled back in his head.

Standing, saying, thinking, he was bluffing, he had to be, he was on a garden chair and his feet would touch the ground, how could he possibly hang himself?

A moment, the moment, the first night this happened, an hour after leaving Tony in the ICU, realising that this was over, really over, that he was my best friend and no matter what happened from here on in, I would never talk to him ever again, screaming that and pulling at my own hair and walking, walking, walking in circles because it was the only thing that took the edge of the pain. Like childbirth, but so prolonged.

Saying to my shrink.. “I can’t believe this has happened to my life“, and her looking me straight in the eye and saying, “Lori, neither can I.”

A social worker, next to Tony’s bed, crying and swearing and telling em how fucking unfair this was, there was not a single thing here that told her this man wanted to die.

The heavy, heavy feeling of waiting for your brother, who will carry the casket, to drive you to your husband’s funeral. Saying to him, when he arrives, “This is… sad. That’s all I’m feeling. Sad.” (And sadness, it’s such a heavy, heavy thing, my torso weighed tonnes, my legs were immovable objects.)

Telling my son, his daddy had died, and would not be coming back.

Wishing there was a note.

Being eternally grateful there was not one, that this was not planned.

Laying on my best friends lounge, eyes swollen from crying, trying to close my eyes, and seeing nothing but a blue shirt, orange rope, feeling the dead weight of husband’s body beneath my hands as I shook him.

All of those, I leave behind.

And the ones I can’t leave.. hopefully the sea, the salt, will wash away them away.

OK, my lovely jellybeans… this is Lori, signing off, for the last time, from the Purple House…. I’m quite literally about to turn off my computer and pack it in a box, so I’ll be back in a day or two. Let’s make a date for Sunday, but please don’t hold it against me if I stand you up.


Hold your breath, close your eyes…. and jump.

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