The Journal Print
Written by B   

'I wish things could have been different for us all'

Madness in mum, the Terror, Horror, the Shock & Anguish of Suicide in my family.

Pretty in Pink
Journal entry, a letter never sent.

Hi mum,
I wish things could have been different for us all, including starting with you. Your so lovely when your well and so mean when your not. I wish you were born well, and people could see who you really are. Dad sees it, we see it. But when your not well... all the things you say and do. So sad to watch, so painful to hear.

Mud sticks, and this sticks too. You burnt my clothes, you called me names. It was then you hated me, but you don't remember, I remember. I remember everything, and take it with me. All those years, all those relationships that have felt the impact of my pain, that I gave no name to the shame. I want to let it go mum. I forgave you along time ago. Now its time to forgive myself, no evil, not ashamed. But I wish it were different way back then, because it would be different now, and I mourn the loss of that life. I want the next 41 years to be different from the first 41.

(My mother has bipolar disease, she started a bonfire in the back yard once when I was 8, my little brother 6, and my big brother 9. She believed that all the books in the house were evil, and everything that was the colour pink was evil too. So the colour pink burnt, after a huge fight in my room with my mother, where everything in the house that was pink was stored. All my pink clothes, all my pink toys. I remember saying, begging 'please mummy don't take them I look so pretty in pink'.

I stored my 'hope chest' in the top cupboard of my room in our childhood home waiting for my grown up life. Our childhood home was brought by my little brother. That room later became he and his wife's bedroom. When he was taking equipment off the farm preparing for it to be sold he stored the guns off the farm there for a few days. His wife did not know they were there. He was diagnosed with bipolar disease about 18 months ago).

Journal entry

The phone rang.
I'd waited all day for the call.
I had felt it.
Knew it was coming.
I was afraid.

Dad My husband screams,
I know, I fall, I hear,
"This is the worst news I'll ever have to tell you. Your little brother has shot himself"
"But he's alright, He's still OK"
"No he's dead love, He shot himself in the head.
He's dead"
I cry, I scream,
"It's not"
How often do I repeat that I do not know.
Perhaps half an hour.
The children wake. They know.
I know, life will never be the same.
A part of my heart has died.
Life will never be the same.
"What time is it? 10:30 pm.
"What day?" Sunday 26.6.05
The day my life changed.
I changed
I do not sleep.
I cry from the soul.
Not real.
But it is real.

I talk to his wife in the morning 27.6.05
The farm is to be sold.
He is unhappy.
He came home after a 3 day fishing trip last night.
He rang mum about 7pm.
The voices in his head are back.
They are bothering him.
But he never wants to go back to a doctor again.
He calls each of the children one by one.
And says goodbye.
His wife sees his eyes theyv'e changed.
A glaze, a gun.
Only enough time to get the kids out of the house.
A shot.
A single shot.
His life is gone.
It can't be true!
But it is true.
He has no face, no head, no brain.
It is all over the hall, the couch.
Blood, brains.
The children hear.
They do not see.

I think, "How do I comfort?",
The children, how do they cope.
It can't be real.
I am in shock.
I fly home.

I arrive in time to help prepare for the funeral,
on 30.6.05, the day the farm is to be sold.
If only he knew how many people loved him.
Both families had lived in the community for over 100 years.
There were over 1000 people at the church.
As many people that were inside, there were outside.
Crying.... we were all crying.
At the graveside Elton John plays,
"Don't let the sun go down on me",
And of course I wear pink.
"I look so pretty in pink", or so I think.

Journal entry.

Grief is a curious thing.
When it happens unexpectedly.
It is as a bandaid being ripped away, taking the top layer off a family. The underbelly of a household is never pretty, ours no exception.

There should be a statue of limitations on grief. A rulebook that says it is alright to wake up crying.....but only for a month, or maybe two. That after 32 days you will no longer turn with your heart racing in panic as you remember the day.

That there will be no fine imposed on you if you have a good day. That it is OK to measure the time he has been gone (almost 1 month today), the way I once measured his birthday.

Journal entry, of a letter never sent.

Dear Da Da,
I've really missed you today. Your are the first person I think of in the day,
and the last.....before I go to sleep.
My heart is broken. It feels complete.
It has only been broken like this once before, it is his 47th birthday
today.....and you will never be 47.
Wish it weren't true.
Your big sis,

Journal entry.

The noise.
I can't stand the noise.
The boys are watching "The Last Samari".
I can't stant the noise.
The sound of fighting and dying.
Cutting vegies in the kitchen.
I feel panic, and annoyed.
Don't they know I cann't stand the noise anymore.
I can't stand watching the news, reading the papers,
and most of the evening TV dramas.
I need to be quite.
I need to be still.
Too many memories.
I don't want my mind filled.
I need to be still.
A quite space in which to find Grace......
Slow deep breaths,
but I still can't stand the noise.

Journal entry.

My grief feels complete.
Life goes on but,
I am alone.
Soccer carnival today.
Made me realise again,
that I have no real friends yet in my new town.
All the ladies took their kids to Maccas,
no one asked me to come.
On friday the girls at work were talking about their book club, no one asked me to join.
I feel so alone, magnified by the grief.
I don't want to set my heart to stone.
I cried at the playground,
I feel so alone, no one to talk to.
About my life, wish it were different.
Wish you were here now.
Miss you.