Saturday, September 01, 2007

Moments that changed my life forever..


On the 23 January 1996 my eldest daughter, Roxy, started school. At about 5:30am on that morning we were catching those last few, precious, minutes of sleep before getting up to get Rox ready for her big day, when there was a knock on our door; it was a policeman who had come to inform us that my younger brother Craig, my only sibling, had been killed in a car accident a couple of kilometres out of town.

I can’t explain the rush of emotions we experienced at that moment. I went into “automatic pilot” and seemed to function completely apart from my emotions – I never cried or broke down in any way over the next few days and I know that many people thought that I must be incredibly cold and unfeeling.

My first reaction was to get to my parents’ house immediately, I wanted Grant and I to be the ones to break the news to them, not the policeman. I was terribly concerned for my mom in particular as I knew that she was very attached to Craig, she adored him, and I honestly didn’t know how she was going to cope with the news (she didn’t cope, in that moment she changed so completely that on some level she effectively died that day too). I also had to somehow protect my children from all the drama, no easy task.

So began a day that I would much rather forget and yet it’s strange how I return to it frequently in my mind. It’s like prodding a bruise – I know it’s going to hurt and yet I am compelled to finger it in my mind, over and over again.

To this day I have not got my head around how a person as vibrant and alive as Craig can simply cease to exist. He was 22 years old, in the prime of his life. It’s as though the words “The End” were stamped on the story of Craig’s life that day, in the middle of a chapter that was wholly inappropriate for an ending.

18 comments:

gautami said...

A young life cut short, nothing can be as painful as that. My heart goes out for you.

Gilson said...

Strong words for a delicate situation. I feel great empathy for your loss.

Regina Clare Jane said...

Oh, I am so sorry, Gill... all of us that have lost someone know exactly you feel right now. Death is such a weird thing, I think... those people that we loved and cherished just gone in a flash...
I don't think we ever forget the end...

Tammy said...

I'm very sorry for this horrible loss and have great admiration for your strength.

Patois said...

Your post is so powerful. You are clearly powerful as well. Your point about the words being stamped in such an inappropriate place is very moving. I'm sorry for you, for your parents, and for your children.

Gill said...

Thanks so much for the kind words. I don't think you ever get over a death, but we have learned to live with it.

Becca said...

What a heartbreaking ending, and such a horrible thing for your family. Your writing captured all those feelings so well. I hope that time continues to ease the pain of this loss.

Crafty Green Poet said...

How tragic, hope that time does heal

arboleda said...

I think it was not the end for him ...he is still alive in many ways for you and for us all now

simonsays said...

Very well written for such a sad subject....I feel for you.

sister AE said...

I think we return to the painful memories the way our tongues play at the hole where we lost a tooth - some things take longer to get used to than others. I still think of the Christmas Even when family friends lost their son and his fiance, also too soon.

Irene S said...

Neat blog. thanks for sharing!

tumblewords said...

Oh, I am so sorry. I think there is no 'the end' to grief.

Hope said...

Prodding a bruise? Why do we do that? Why can't we just put some ice on it and let it heal? Forgive me. I'm not trying to be insensitive, I've just been trying to get to that answer for a long time now.

Bruised.

Redness said...

Wonderfully written, heartfelt words, evoking memories. Thank You Gill.

Matthew said...

Thank you for sharing, perhaps some healing can come even with the simple writing of words.

Bug said...

I too hope that writing this provides some healing.

Anonymous said...

Allie says:

The others have said it all so beautifully that there is nothing I can add to their lovely words except perhaps this:
I don't believe that when our beloved people die, thats its a "The End" scenario: nor that they cease to exist.
I believe they live on where we can't access them but we will be together again in future - but bereavement is excruciating anyway.
May you find comfort, Gill
Hugs XX