Saturday, December 6, 2008

Dead

I don't know what to do with the piece, `Death and Falling Angels (for Kristin)". I think it 's a good piece and I keep re-reading it trying to work out how to extend it or give it more depth, and I keep coming up with nothing. Maybe I'm still too close to it. I still feel like crying everytime I read it.


I remember walking with Kristin after Jasper was taken out of the house, and her sadness and inability to understand that finality of death. Feeling that she just wanted those few moments more with him, as the Vets rolled him in the blanket and walked out with him.


I remember sitting on my bedroom window sill listening to a my neighbours grief at 2am in the morning as he screamed `my Karen, my Karen', when they brought him the news of his daughters death, thrown out of the back window of the car as it left the highway and rolled down an embankment. I still cry when I remember his grief, unbearable, inconsolable.


I remember the shockwaves of Steves death, "Hey Dad, I'm going to the party in Mt. Eliza with my mates, I've left the car keys on top of the fridge.' "Jane, Jane, what's wrong?" "Steves dead." "what happened?" "He wanted to leave the party and got a lift with another chick, she was smashed , she rolled the car, they're both dead". 30 years, it's no easier. I confront my fathers death. Flying in limbo, Townsville, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne. Is he still alive, what do I do when I get there, can I see him? The long drive from the airport, walking into his hospital room, brothers and sisters anxiously pacing the corridoors, mum sitting at the end of his bed. The look on his face as I walked in, his struggle to say "Little Cathy, see I can always make you come home", and my response, "Not like this Dad, not like this." Last words about working on the trawlers and his time in the navy. Three days with my mum afterwards, sleeping in the new house that she moved into the day he was taken to hospital. Her grief, the emptiness of the house, not even any pictures on the walls, the gardens bare.


My daughter has had a tough year with grief. Managing the grief of others, while her own grief for her beloved dog, who was high school friend & confidante through her parents breakup, companion as she moved into adulthood, is raw, only to be followed by the chance discovery of the death of a childhood friend far from home, away in a foreign country on a lonely nighttime road.

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