I have struggled to understand my own need to express my emotions and varying depths of grief through this format, namely a public blog, where anyone on the planet with access to the internet can potentially find and read my posts. Today I worked it out.
It’s my cry for support, for help, for little scraps of virtual love.
It’s my way of saying I am okay and not-okay all at the same time. My search for understanding, my attempt to squash any judgement, my process.
It’s my release when I can’t work out which shoulder to cry on, literally or figuratively. It’s my fall back when I pick up my phone and put it down numerous times because I have no idea who I can burden with my sorrow, when I go to write an email only to discover my fingers hover over the keys unable to type and express the pain to any single person.
When Gus died I was in San Francisco. My family and support network were all home in Australia. I received the call at 6am in the morning. I had spent the previous 48 hours, with help from family and friends around the globe, trying to locate Gus unsuccessfully. I had already endured a nightmare beginning to what was supposed to be the next best 6 months of my life. That heart-wrenching pain, upon hearing my father in tears telling me Gus had been found dead, was so beyond devastating, so all consuming. I can still feel it now. And if I close my eyes I am back in JP’s room, clinging to my phone, my voice getting louder and more shrill by the second as I repeatedly ask “tell me Dad, tell me, where is he??” until finally he can say the words. The early morning sunlight is just starting to filter through and I can see the outlines of furniture in the adjacent room. JP comes rushing in from his makeshift bed in the lounge room. He encloses me into strong, caring arms as my whole body begins to shake and violently shudder. It is all so crystal clear.
Each moment of that day is etched into my heart. The phone call to Bruce, Gus’s father, the numerous phone calls with my family, booking a flight home, getting in touch with Eddie in Thailand, trying to proces something which to this day is so surreal and so fundamentally wrong. The phone calls to tell Gus’s closest friends what had happened were some of the hardest I have ever made. Little did I know they already had been informed.
The ripples in my life since have grown as has the impact of Gus death. Apparently time heals all wounds. This saying is inadequate when it comes to grief. Time simply allows the grief to take a different shape, increase in depth. Until now I have been in a complete state of shock and I am scared of the impending grieving that is starting to unravel inside of me.
I often reach a point in my writing, where I halt, having no more I wish to say or am able to say. The tears for that moment have all been shed, my body and mind and heart are exhausted and all I want to do is close my eyes and drift into a sleep filled with dreams of Gus. It means I never quite know how to conclude. I’m right there now. I need to stop, close my eyes, rest and try to find some of that positivity and strength I have used to survive up until now…