A Million Things.

by Lori Dwyer on February 9, 2011 · 75 comments

There’s a million tiny little things that make up the whole a person, is there not?

A million things.

His name was Anthony, but no one ever called him that unless he was in trouble.

He was Tony. And his mates called him Toz.

He loved ice cream. He had tonsillitis as a kid, and he blamed it on that. But he loved lollies too.

He was just a big kid at heart.

And roast dinners were his favorite, and I cooked them for him once a week. One of the best compliments he ever gave me was that I cooked a roast just as good as his mum’s.

Not really. He gave me compliments all the time. He called me babe, and told me how sexy I was. Especially when I was pregnant.

He loved pregnant women, he thought they were so beautiful.

And he loved my tiny ears.

He was covered in tattoos, his back, his arms. He looked so tough, you wouldn’t cross him. But he was such a teddy bear.

All his tattoos, they were for someone, someone he loved, a family member. His body, he’d so often said, was for his family.

I think, maybe, that’s why the concept of organ donation bothered me a bit, at the end. Someone cutting up his beautiful body, his artwork. His tattoos for us.

But a donor he was. With a perfect donor heart.

My Tony, he had a huge heart. He would give you the shirt off his back, the money from his wallet, if he thought you needed it. Especially for his family. He was the only male, and he took such good care of them.

Tony hated wearing a suit for work, for funerals. But he didn’t mind wearing one to dress up, for a wedding, for the races. And he looked so damn fine in one.

He was such a good looking man. Tall and strong,with big arms. One of the ICU nurses commented, in the last few hours, what a good looking man he was. All I could reply through my tears was “He’s such a spunk.”

And he was. He was so confident. And that was so sexy. He could carry on a conversation with anyone, and did so. He was always smiling. He knew everyone, everywhere we went someone would come up saying “Toz! How are you mate?”.

And he told me he loved me, ten times a day. I remember, I asked him, once or twice when we first got together “Do you love me?”

And the answer I got was “Can’t you tell by the way I hold you that I do?”

And I did, always. He treated me like I was so fragile, and tiny, I may break if he handled me roughly.

Even when I crawled into bed, next to him, late at night, I’d whisper “I love you babe” and kiss his broad, snoring back. And he’d mutter, in the depths of sleep “I love you, too”.

Even in the depths of sleep.

Even in the hospital, never conscious but slightly responsive. I’d say “I love you” and he’d flex his feet, try and open his eyes.

Twice I discovered I was pregnant, and twice I cried. And both times, Tony tried to disguise his smile and said “Don’t worry, darl. We’ll figure it out.”

He loved to swim. He pottered in his shed, ‘working on his car’, which was euphemism for playing with tools or doing whatever boys do in their sheds.

He took our son for train trips. To nowhere. He’s leave The Bump and I to sleep on a Sunday morning, and he and Chop would catch a train to the next major station, get off, buy chocolate milk, then get back on and come home.

And they both had the time of their lives.

Tony loved his back being rubbed, his hair being played with, when he had it- any stress, and he’d shave his head. I wish he had, those last few days, I might have known something was wrong.

As a kid he loved Star Wars, and there was a part in a Stephen King movie that scared him senseless, that we laughed over when we watched it together as adults.

He surfed. A few days before he died, he went surfing for the first time in fifteen years, and stood up, twice. He also lost his wedding ring.

And replaced it, that afternoon, because it was so important to him.

I’m so glad he did.

He took me on huge driving holidays, because I was afraid of flying. I told him in the hospital, “If you come out of this, we’ll fly. We’ll go wherever you want.”

His favorite song was INXS’s Mystify, and we played it at his funeral.

He was proud of me, and encouraged me, every step of the way. He told me I was tough. But made me feel so beautiful.

On our wedding day, as soon as we got to talk once the pomp and ceremony was over, the first thing he said was “It just feels so right, doesn’t it?”

I didn’t even need to answer.

I miss him. I can’t even explain, how much it hurts.


There is a spot in my backyard now, that seems to pull at me. A vortex. The most powerful place in the world, perhaps.

The backyard of a family home. My daughter was born there. My husband hung himself there. Those two events, they happened only three feet apart from one another.

And now we have the space in between.

post signature

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

{ 75 comments… read them below or add one }

Claire April 5, 2011 at 9:53 pm

Came across your blog today. I refer to my husband as "The Man" on my blog too =)
Your Tony was truly handsome, thank you so much for sharing his, and your story. I struggle with severe depression, and reading your side really puts a new light on things, in my own relationship, and that is invaluable. Thank you for sharing your pain, and your love. (((hugs)))


salwa February 20, 2011 at 4:54 am

What a beautiful set of memories.


Marina February 17, 2011 at 10:13 am

Fuck Lori … you kill me with your words.



JallieDaddy February 16, 2011 at 9:28 am

Wow; beautifully written, about a special guy


Courtneyb February 14, 2011 at 8:53 pm

I loved his voice, what a spunk, big hunk o man. yeah for sure i see why you chose him :-) smiles and hugs and all that good stuff Lori. x o x


MaidInAustralia February 11, 2011 at 6:45 pm

Thank you for sharing your wonderful memories of a wonderful man. No matter what happens in your life, and no matter how much you miss him, no one can take those memories from you. Clutch them to your chest, and hold them close. xo


Anonymous February 11, 2011 at 4:15 pm

Hello Ms Lori, I do love to read your thoughts. You are eloquent, even in your sadness. Love shines through in everything you say. May I say this all to personal thing to someone that I have only come to know through this blog, your Tony was a lucky one! Please take good care and kiss those babies.


Anonymous February 11, 2011 at 1:46 pm

Darling girl, you won't know me from Adam. But believe me so SO much; that the gift you have given so many people is just something that I cannot put into words. My father was the recipient of a liver this time last year and, without people like you and Tony; he'd have died.

Take comfort in knowing that as a certainty – if nothing else.

So, thank you. From me; and from whoever is lucky enough to be the recipient of such a wonderful persons beautiful gifts.

Outside that, I don't know what to say except for you break my heart a little every time I read.


Cate February 11, 2011 at 11:14 am

Just beautiful Lori. And your descriptions of Tony here are such a stark contrast to the behaviour he was exhibiting at the end. I'm understanding even more about what you are saying about men and their mental health.
Much love to you.


Michelle H February 11, 2011 at 8:25 am

Remembering like this is wonderful, and seems like it would be healthy. And it will be a wonderful legacy to pass on to your kids when they're older…the wonderful times you had with their dad!


Michael February 11, 2011 at 3:37 am

I don't even know what to say. Keep the faith. Try to, anyway.


Glowless @ Where’s My Glow February 11, 2011 at 1:57 am

Simply gorgeous x


ren February 11, 2011 at 12:55 am

keep writing lori, your kids will love this little details one day


Helena February 10, 2011 at 9:20 pm

he sounds like an incredible man. That was a stunning post, Lori. I think of you often, you've touched my life with your story. thank you.


Stacey February 10, 2011 at 8:03 pm



Anonymous February 10, 2011 at 4:43 pm

Beautiful. Painful. Powerful. I recently found your blog and can't remember how I even I did so. I am so very sorry for you and all the that your going through. My heart goes out to you. The "space between" is haunting. I love your writing and courage within it.


Kel February 10, 2011 at 4:05 pm

Beautiful – there's nothing else to say x


Maxabella February 10, 2011 at 2:48 pm

Lori, you are writing even better than ever before. Even without the pull of your heartbreak, the push of the 'what now?', this is such fine, fine stuff.

I hope you are writing a book on the side. x


scorpiochick February 10, 2011 at 2:23 pm

Lori, you have brought me to tears again. What a man you had. So similar to my spunky man. You have inspired me to do a fear of flying course and I have booked in for the next session. Thank you xxxxxxx


Marianna Annadanna February 10, 2011 at 1:50 pm

What a beautiful post Lori. Gorgeous.

Perhaps the only thing stronger than the vortex is yours and Tony's love for each other. I hope that love can fill the space between.


PS – Is "spunk" an Aussie word?


lori February 10, 2011 at 12:55 pm

That was gorgeous – such a loving tribute. Much love to you.


Wanderlust February 10, 2011 at 12:36 pm

God. This is beautiful. Incredible. Love you. xo


Donna February 10, 2011 at 11:55 am

You just keep taking my breath away… What a perfect post, such a tribute to your love…

I only hope that one day, even if its far, far away, that in between space is again filled with much happiness and hope


Naomi @ Under the Yardarm February 10, 2011 at 11:37 am

Was a beautiful, loving man.
Keep writing.


Danielle February 10, 2011 at 10:26 am

He sounds wonderful. The world would be a better place if men like this stuck around. I wish he was still here for you Lori.


Jewell February 10, 2011 at 9:39 am

Awww…. {{{{{Lori}}}} Another gorgeous post. Your man sounds like a phenomenal person! You are truly blessed to be loved by him! I am married to a good man myself, but I still find myself being a smidge jealous! =) xo


deardarl February 10, 2011 at 7:57 am

You loved him and he loved you.
This, you can be sure of.


Christie February 10, 2011 at 7:44 am

Wishing I could find the words to comment the way that you find the words to describe your dear Tony. Thinking of you as you navigate the space in between.


Amy xxoo February 10, 2011 at 7:19 am

And posts like this, they help fill the space in between, until bit by bit that gap disappears. Or, at the very least, the gap will seem smaller than before, more like a crack, and you'll be stronger again…


WittyUsername February 10, 2011 at 7:02 am

Ouch. This post has fingers that rip and tear at your insides, exposing the scared little 'million' things we all hold dear with our own loved one.

"The space between…." whenever you are ready, is now for Lori, Bump and Chop to honour a great man and restake their place in our world. We will hold you with open hearts xoxo


Anonymous February 10, 2011 at 6:22 am

Gosh, you make me cry.

I'm so sorry for what you are going through, even though I know my words probably don't mean much, I feel like I have to say it anyway.



Langdowns February 10, 2011 at 6:14 am

That would have to be one of the most powerful things I've ever read.


lifeofadoctorswife February 10, 2011 at 4:14 am

This is so beautiful. It's a window into what a wonderful person he was, and why you loved him so.


Anonymous February 10, 2011 at 4:09 am

You should sell the damn house!!


Teri February 10, 2011 at 3:25 am

You've made me feel as though I know him, and make me wish I had.


foxy February 10, 2011 at 3:14 am

I'm so, so incredibly sorry that you lost your best friend. I see so much of myself and my husband in the words you wrote that I just can't even imagine your pain. Please know I'm sending you love and blessings from afar.


Selma February 10, 2011 at 1:47 pm

This is so sad but also so beautiful. I wanted to thank you. I lost my cousin and my best friend to suicide within months of one another. You writing about your husband has helped me more than you could imagine. I found my best friend after she died and afterwards my mind shut down. I couldn't talk about losing her for years. Even now, over ten years later it is very hard. I wish I had talked/written about it as you have. I am sure it would have helped me deal with it.

Thank you for your honesty and courage. I am thinking of you. I am so terribly sorry for your loss.


In Real Life February 10, 2011 at 2:23 am

So beautiful, Lori! *HUGS*


Anonymous February 10, 2011 at 2:18 am

Some guy your Tony. Never let the good memories fade. x


Anonymous February 10, 2011 at 12:16 am

perfectly put lori


Hear Mum Roar February 9, 2011 at 11:59 pm

He sounds like a wonderful man, and what you had was so precious and beautiful. I'm so glad to see you hanging onto that.


E February 9, 2011 at 11:21 pm

Beautiful. xoxo


Melissa February 9, 2011 at 11:10 pm

Oh this post is so beautiful. So heartbreaking. No one should have to endure this. You are in my thoughts today.


Anonymous February 9, 2011 at 10:45 pm

Lori, you write so honestly, he was a beautiful man and Ive known him a long time and even I learnt something about him reading that, you made him so happy Lori i love the way he would write beautiful fb status' about you, i envied your love for one another it was something special… Keep taking one day, one step at a time, i wish you all the strength and support you need to get through this, take care of you


Anonymous February 9, 2011 at 10:24 pm

Beautifully written.

Thank you for telling us about Tony. About the man you loved.



Rebecca February 9, 2011 at 10:22 pm

The space between those two events is all the happiness that you have written about. Hold that space nice and tight.


anna February 9, 2011 at 10:12 pm

Lori, haven't posted before but just spent the last hour in tears catching up on your story. Your words are absolutely amazing. I have never read such honest, from the heart words in my entire life. You are truly an incredible person and a million thank yous for sharing your story. I don't think I always know where my husbands head is at all the time but tonight I will be checking. Thank you x


Julia February 9, 2011 at 9:57 pm

It's really lovely to hear about the man you married <3


lalibelulle February 9, 2011 at 9:57 pm

"The space in between" is where you build your new life. One that honours all of the beautiful things about your Tony and yourself. Remember all the beautiful things that life can still offer and fill "the space in between" with them.



Kymmie February 9, 2011 at 9:47 pm

I love this post. I'm so glad you can remember the big things and the small things too. You'll be angry for a bit, but then still love him to bits. You write so well Lori and that last sentence… so hauntingly sad but beautiful.


Spagsy February 9, 2011 at 9:43 pm

"he's such a spunk." Love it.

I hope and pray that you do believe that this is Tony's way of showing you that he is still loving you.

"Ra Ra" from your newest chearleader, Sylv. (but you can call me number 870)


thepixiechick February 9, 2011 at 9:38 pm

So beautiful it hurts….


Noelle February 9, 2011 at 9:15 pm

I've been reading your blog since Tony was in hospital. I feel as if I know you. Thankyou so much for continuing to blog through your journey of grief.

Tony sounds like an awesome man, huband and father.


Jacki February 9, 2011 at 9:13 pm

Thank you for sharing that post about Tony, it was lovely to read about the man that he was. It was beautiful.


Mumeroo February 9, 2011 at 9:08 pm

Such beautiful memories for you to share with us, thank you. I hope your days are gradually getting more bearable.


Mel February 9, 2011 at 9:07 pm

Lovely post.


manda February 9, 2011 at 9:07 pm

Sending you and your little ones love Lori. I wish I could help you somehow. x Manda


River February 9, 2011 at 8:58 pm

I've just caught up with your last 4 posts and have to say, the one from Sunday 6th, made me cry. Your closest friends don't answer their phones? They aren't there for you? Even after they offered? Do they understand that you don't need them 24/7, just now and again, a cup of coffee, a good cry, a hug? Now I wish I lived much closer. My life is not so busy that I couldn't visit a couple of times a week.


april February 9, 2011 at 8:54 pm

Oh Lori, how much of everything you must be drowning in it all…
I'm sorry I make little sense today.
Still here though.
Still every day sending you and your two little ones all the good I can.
Still dropping by and checking in
Becasue its all I can do right now.


Sharnanigans February 9, 2011 at 8:48 pm

Lori, a beautiful post about Tony. x


A Daft Scots Lass February 9, 2011 at 8:44 pm

Such a powerful and heart-felt post. *big hugs to you Lori*


sunshinelollypops February 9, 2011 at 8:42 pm

Oh Lori, I am so sorry for you and your children's loss. No words will ever do justice to your love, but you are doing a damn fine job of writing. I share your message with anyone who will listen and I think about you every day. My heart is with you.


x0xJ February 9, 2011 at 8:38 pm

I never know what to say Lori. Your posts, they pull at me. They drag me in and i just read them over and over nd i want you to know how much i truely truely wish i could change this for you. It's just not right.


Kelloggsville February 9, 2011 at 8:18 pm

Beautiful deep thoughts that are taking me closer to my own husband than I have felt in a long time. It feels selfish. All my love and thoughts still with you xxx


Misfits Vintage February 9, 2011 at 8:15 pm

Oh, what a champion. No wonder you love him so, no wonder your heart is broken. I'm so sorry for your pain Lori.

Sarah xxx


edenland February 9, 2011 at 8:15 pm

Wow. That's just haunting. Achingly beautiful. Love love love to you Lori. You are never far from my thoughts. XOXO


Brenda February 9, 2011 at 8:13 pm

That's so heartbreakingly beautiful, Lori. Tony is was a good man. And he loved you so much. So much.xxxx


Lucy February 9, 2011 at 8:11 pm

This, Lori, this writing is your therapy. xx


deerbabyalison February 9, 2011 at 7:40 pm

Oh Lori, that was beautiful. You're in my thoughts every day.


bigwords is… February 9, 2011 at 7:35 pm

Oh honey, what a gorgeous post. He sounds like he truly loved you. xx


Jane February 9, 2011 at 7:33 pm

Goosebumps. Again.

Another beautiful post about your Tony.



Good Golly Miss Holly! February 9, 2011 at 11:32 pm

I wish I had something really deep and thought provoking to share here, but I don't. Keep sharing though Lori, keep sharing baby x


Tara @ Our Whirlwind Adventures February 9, 2011 at 9:02 pm

He sounds amazing.
You are amazing too.
Big hugs coming your way Lori xo


Mrs Woog February 9, 2011 at 8:49 pm

I am sad I never met him. But I saw pictures and yes…… He was a big bloody spunk. And he deserved you my friend. But perhaps for longer. Wonderful writing my darling…… Simply breathtaking x


Toni February 9, 2011 at 7:35 pm

"The space in between". That just tore my heart open.


Previous post:

Next post: