What I Got, I’ve Paid For.

by Lori Dwyer on June 9, 2011 · 32 comments

in Uncategorized

For months now, little voices have argued amongst themselves about what I’m doing here.

Telling a story. But is it my story to tell?

We draw the line, all of us, as to what we publish on our blogs, and what we don’t. I’ve chosen to be, I think, a lot more personal than most people do. I’ve grieved here, mourned here, dealt with my trauma here. and done it all publicly.

I’ve always been OK with that. There is no shame in feeling.

But essentially, the tale I’m telling is one that will define my husband, the way we all are defined by the end of our lives, in some way, eventually. Which is why I am so insistent, why i say it so often- he was a good man, a good father, a good husband. And we loved him to the moon and back, and all the way around it.

I made the choice, in the Before, to not blog about a lot of what was going on in my life. Or, perhaps, not so much my life, but the huge chunk of my adult life that intertwined with my husband’s.

As we do. As we all do.

But then, Tony died. And he made the choice, rational or not, to have me bear witness to his death.

He is no longer around to tell his story.

And so, it’s become mine to tell.

I’d never advocate bloggers logging on and writing about the mental illness of their family members, unless the permission was expressively given. And I guess it was given to me- as his wife, his next of kin, I have the choice to tell his story. And I ensure I balance it with the flipside of that horrible truth- what an awesome person he was.

My children are young enough that I can, selfishly, make this decision without it directly effecting them right now. I’m guessing by the time they are old enough to hold a comprehension of it, a lot of this will have blown over. I will probably still blog, but my grief and anger will be diluted with some kind of normality. And rather than my grief being a living, breathing entity on this blog, it will become an archive for it. An archive my children can pursue one day, if they choose, when they are old enough to make that choice.

I make money from here, a little, occasionally, and sometimes, that sits strangely with me too, at a tangent against a feeling of selling out.Bbut it doesn’t feel like selling out- most people who read here, they are invested in this story. And it’s doing good for the world, speaking out. Every time I get an email that tells me that, it reinforces that what I am doing here, I’m doing OK.

I never intended for any of this to happen. To grieve so publicly. To become some strange kind of advocate for suicide prevention. To have people recognise me, and instantly know my story.

But truly, I would be lost without this place. Any shadow of negativity it brings is sparkled away by the sunshine of constant love and support, the therapy of writing. Without this blog to replenish my depleted, malnourished self esteem… I don’t where I’d be.

So, most days, these days, while I still struggle with it slightly, I feel OK.

What I’ve got here, I’d give it all back for one minute, one second, with my lips pressed against my husband’s, him whispering against them.

What I’ve got here…. I’ve paid for.

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{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous August 18, 2011 at 2:37 am

Hello. And thank you at once for such an amazing web site. I'll be visiting it on a regular basis.


CS June 12, 2011 at 6:30 am

Too right you have paid for it, the club no-one wants to join (I'm in it too).

I applaud your writing and especially that you're leaving a record for your children to read when they start asking questions and are ready. They will benefit sooooo much from having access to the TRUTH and their mother's TRUE feelings about their father's suicide.

Take care xxoo hugs from afar


Brenda June 10, 2011 at 8:12 pm

Lots of hugs, my friend. Lots of hugs. Keep speaking your truth.xxxxx


frog ponds rock… June 10, 2011 at 7:46 pm

After mum died, there was silence and there was anger. I turned to my blog for solace, and my blog friends held me and helped me to grieve. It will be two years in 14 days time. I would have been lost without my blog.

The other day a neighbour came into my studio and commented that it wasn't fair that "people like me" had such a good working space. I have no idea what he was trying to say but he soon left when I told him I would give my studio back in an instant to have my Mum back.

Love to you Lori xx


Kelley June 10, 2011 at 6:16 pm

you know my story. You know why I chose NOT to tell. Why I can't.

You know that one line here resonated so hard with me I fucking vibrated.



Cate June 10, 2011 at 5:44 pm

I"m another who was following your blog before the world changed.

It's your story – don't ever apologise for that.


Donna June 10, 2011 at 1:57 pm

I loved your blog in the "before" and I am still a fan now, so much due to your honesty and ability to make me stop, think, rationalise.

My memory of your Tony is from one of the first vlogs of yours that I watched – he looked cheeky and happy. And if I learned anything from Insight the other night its that these moments of madness occur all the time, that men think they are immortal. From having read your story I know he cant of meant this for you, I could see there was so much love for you all.


Sophie June 10, 2011 at 1:41 pm

Your love for Tony rolls off of my screen in waves. xx


Yeran June 10, 2011 at 1:39 pm

Lori, your blogging is probably one of the things that is helping you through this. Getting it out into words is cathartic. Clearly you NEED it and that means your children, your loved ones need you to do it too, because they need you to be the amazing woman that you are.
And as you know you are helping so many people out there. So I can see so much good coming from your blogging, for both you and a lot of people out there.
Just as you have said : "SPEAK" and that is what your blog is about.


Kel June 10, 2011 at 10:48 am

I don't comment very often as I never feel like I have anything worthwhile to say – but I want to tell you today that your blog was and is amazing, and honest, and belongs to you, Tony, Chop and The Bump. Nothing you've said has made me think anything of Tony other than he was a man who was loved very deeply by everyone who knew him, and he was a lucky man to have such a wonderful wife and children. You have paid for it all in a way that I cannot imagine, and I am blown away by your strength. You are wonderful and your blog is a testament to that, and to the love you and Tony shared.


Tracey June 10, 2011 at 10:28 am

I agree with Miss Pink.There's nothing to shy away from as this is your life. Blogs evolve, they travel with the writer on the passage of life. Who are we to judege what road your blog takes? We just enjoy your reading, offer our support even if we have never met. And those who judge, well let's just feel sorry for them, that they haven't yet found their compassion.


Toni June 10, 2011 at 9:17 am

Absolutely, what Melissa said.

Lori, you've never been less than respectful and loving when you've talked abut Tony; even in your grief and anger you've honoured him.

And your kids are absorbing that from you every day.

You've done him proud, chick.


Kylie June 10, 2011 at 7:22 am

What they all said. :) I'm another who has been here for the before and the after, another who loves your writing and another who thinks you have paid too a high a price already. Keep going Lori, you're doing great.


Ms Styling You June 10, 2011 at 12:10 am

It's your story to tell … and yes, if good is to come out of the sadness, grief and anger that you live with every day, let it come. You are helping others as you help yourself. xx


theKatieKitten June 9, 2011 at 11:35 pm

What you got you paid for, for sure. And as I say to you, if only the price had not been so high.
No one doubts you would never have asked to be placed where you find yourself.


Good Golly Miss Holly! June 9, 2011 at 11:04 pm

And I am nodding my head in agreeance with everything Melissa said x


Good Golly Miss Holly! June 9, 2011 at 11:03 pm

I have as much of a massive girlcrush on you now that I had before!

Your blog is a balance of sadness and positivity – It's bizarre how that can be but it's a perfect example of the beauty and ugliness in life.

You are amazing Lori, and your honesty is much admired x


Fox in the City June 9, 2011 at 11:01 pm

Ah Lori, you have paid too high a price but this is your place to tell your story . . . a story that is linked forever with your partner, your best mate, your Tony. Your story was linked with his way before the After . . . it was linked the moment you fell in love.

I agree with Melissa . . . my image of Tony is so much more than his final moments . . . I am here because I have loved your writing from the Before and I have wanted to support you since the After.


Carol June 9, 2011 at 10:16 pm

@Melissa – so true. Tony is this georgeous, funny, big, cuddly Aussie bloke whom (I'm guessing) we all adore & wish that somehow we all could've saved him with & for you (& maybe for us as well. Dammit.. he's hot;)) And it is now your story to tell, as you see fit coz he has given you a new beginning. If you haven't read this book by Dr Seuss, please do. http://www.teamhope.com/seuss.htm.
Head up, eyes straight ahead, you do bcoz you can (X)


Glen June 9, 2011 at 10:08 pm

indeed you have. Keep going.


Crystal Cheverie June 9, 2011 at 10:03 pm

I know what you mean. I'm the type of person, not unlike you, I think, who can never, ever ask for anything from people and who is always careful to respect the privacy of my friends/family on my blog. Just know that a) you're doing a great job of portraying Tony as a real, whole person – not just the Tony that said all those cruel things to you and then hung himself. B) Those who give, those who read, are doing so because they want to. We care and we're glad to be able to help you, even if it's just through tons of virtual hugs or the occasional donation. We all want you to be OK again, or if not totally OK, as close to it as is possible.

You are so right – you've paid, dearly, for what you get.



Kimmie June 9, 2011 at 9:12 pm

Ditto what Melissa said~!


A Daft Scots Lass June 9, 2011 at 9:06 pm

I also followed and commented before and I admire the fact that you were brave enough to "blog it all" so to speak. Its amazing how we start doing something for one reason and it changes into something else.


Michael June 9, 2011 at 8:52 pm

Damn straight. You have paid, and paid, and paid- a debt I can't begin to imagine the size of, a debt in a currency I have never seen.

I feel about you kind of the way I feel about my favorite musician, Billy Joel- you could give it all up tomorrow, never write another syllable, and I would just say thank you for enriching my life. You don't owe me a damn thing.


Melissa June 9, 2011 at 8:52 pm

You deserve every drop of love, support, self-esteem, and money you get from your writing. I know – it's a very personal choice – exactly how much to share, but what you're doing here – it's helping so many people, and it's helping you – and you need all the help you can get – for yourself and for your kids.


Melissa June 9, 2011 at 8:51 pm

I want to tell you something, and I want you to hear it. Because I'm telling MY truth.

When I think of Tony, I don't think of 'that guy who hung himself in front of his wife". I think of a typical "Aussie bloke" who enjoyed a laugh and a simple life in the 'burbs with the wife and the kids and the dog.

A hard worker, funny, larrikan type guy. Big, strong, manly, especially against your tiny form. A bear of a man, with a soft heart.

THAT, I swear, is my image of Tony. I then remember the end. That something terrible happened in his mind and broke him. And that the broken Tony did something terrible, and irreversible.

But please remember, that (while I can't speak for others) while you're telling his story, you're telling much more of it than you realise. You're providing him a much better legacy, a knowledge of him we would Never have had had you not blogged the way you have AFTER.

You've done a good thing. Good for you, to be honest and open and free. Good for people affected by suicide, on either side of the fence.

But good for Tony, no matter what the knockers have said. He's not a two dimensional character that we picture in that final terrible moment.

He's *Tony*. Loving, fun, funny, loveable Tony. Lori's Tony. He feels 'familiar' to me, more now than before. And for me, he is NOT defined by what he did when he was sick.

I don't know if any of that will make sense. But I feel like I should tell you how I feel.


K June 9, 2011 at 8:16 pm

I think it is your story to tell – and you tell it so vividly and deeply.


Amy xxoo June 9, 2011 at 7:58 pm

I admire, and appreciate, the honest truth you portray hear Lori – and you're right, I AM invested in the story. His story.
Your story.

Whoever's story it really is – it doesnt matter, because your the only one around to tell it. So dont let anyone make you feel bad for what your doing. Your surviving, and thats what matters…


Julie June 9, 2011 at 7:40 pm

damn straight you've paid for it, and then some! and don't you dare for one second even consider apologising for what you write. your writing is not only helping you, but god only knows how many others who read your blog. you're an amazing person lori, and don't you ever forget that, not ever! xxx


Zoey @ Good Goog June 9, 2011 at 7:27 pm

I don't know. Knowing your blog I think you were always destined for greatness. The spotlight is just different from the one you would have chosen for yourself.


Sarah June 9, 2011 at 7:19 pm

I love you blog or not, telling Tony's story or not, in the before & in the after. I don't care what you write about but I love that it's healing for you & that you are gaining a little bit of an income off of it.


Miss Pink June 9, 2011 at 7:13 pm

I followed you before all of this, and i commented a couple of times how smitten i was with your blog, with your writing. Yes it has changed and there is a massive focus on this monumental thing that has happened in your life. So what? It is still amazing writing. And maybe even more so when you are publicly voicing something that everyone deals with on some level, in some way. Don't shy away.


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