Tag Archives: death

A Spoonful of Sugar…

I was born on Good Friday. So I kind of consider today my lunar birthday. My planet, Mars, is high in the sky near the moon which is full & bright, much like life should be. We had a Blood Moon Eclipse on Wednesday. I should have seen the warning.

A phone call in the early hours of this morning has left me in mourning & it has poured with rain ever since.

I have thought a lot of my uncle who died last night. He was quite young & though not always healthy this was unexpected. My father, near inconsolable, told me through tears & husky throated words. Slipping between shock & understanding as I lamented the loss & offered support. I moved swiftly into protective mode as I always do when either of my parents are upset.

There is nothing I can do. I cannot fight death & tell him to stay away. I cannot promise things will be alright. Of course they will be alright but where Geoffrey should be there will always be a blank space. He is the first of a family of 5 brothers & sisters to die, & suddenly, it is a shock to us all.

I remember Geoffrey most in his early twenties. Sitting me down as a little girl, pointing to himself in his High School pictures & saying;

“This is me, this is when I got sick” & me asking in my 8-year-old way
“what kind of sick? What happened?”
He replied; “I took things & my head got sick”
“Oh,” I said, in almost a whisper
“But I’m okay, I’m happy” he said.

Geoffrey developed early onset, severe & chronic Schizophrenia. There were a lot of tough times after that conversation. Geoffrey lived with us for quite a while; my parents took care of him until his illness became unmanageable. I remember him being there & the care they showed him even when things were tough. I do not remember the stress my parents must have been under with 2 young children of their own & a sick (yet medicated) young adult all living together in a small cottage. I only remember the impression that family takes care of each other & love is important, it makes people happy even when things seem bad. It makes life bearable.

In the decades that followed, medication for Schizophrenia improved. At times Geoffrey made more sense in conversation than the rest of my ‘sane’ family put together. He certainly made more noise. I always knew when he was visiting my other uncle because they lived one street over from us & the noise from his drum-kit would fill the street. That used to make me laugh. Now the thought that I won’t hear it makes me melancholy.

So we are one less but I did learn something. The love of family that takes care of you when you need it most; the ones that feel it when you’re gone, are the ones to keep the closest, if only in your heart.

Blood Moon Eclipse 2014

Blood Moon Eclipse 2014

I Hope Not.

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I hope that I am wrong about God
I hope that there is magic in this world
That when I die I awaken to a splendour
That takes my breath again

I hope that being an atheist
Does not upset God or the Fairies
I hope that they forgive me
When I finally meet my end

I hope that the Circle of Oaks
The chanting & the sacrifice
The stone temples & the statues
Were not bred & built in vain

I hope that underneath the ground
There is a heaven to be found
Where I can see those ones again
Whose hearts refused to beat

I hope the feathers I have collected
Reveal messages & dreams
Of untold stories & romance
From a friend I have never known

I hope through all these faithless years
I have missed out on something special
& when I die I will kick myself
For not knowing life is precious

Written by Violet Ashes 8th April 2014
Image taken in ‘The Forest’, 14th September 2013
© Violet Ashes 2014

Philip Seymour Hoffman

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Image via andsoitbeginsfilms.com

I do understand suicide. I understand the need to kill pain; to end suffering. I believe we are masters of our own bodies & that life is not just a right but a choice.

Having stated my beliefs I find myself in opposition to them. True suicide, still shocks me even though I have had my own brush with it. When I hear of someone who has committed suicide I am just as shocked & saddened as anyone else. However, I also feel intrigue; a need to know every detail. I am sure I am not alone. The search for answers is almost always fruitless when it comes to suicide, but I undergo the search anyway.

While I am conducting these searches I typically end up getting quite jaded about the whole thing.

This week the world heard about the suicide/death of Philip Seymour Hoffman. The details have since revealed themselves as heroin related. I am not sure how anyone ever knows a heroin overdose is suicide or just an accident. Unless of course there is a note. In any case, P.S.H was a successful, talented & no doubt wealthy man. A man with flaws & a man with an addiction. I wonder what it is that made him make those choices? Were they choices at all? Did it all just get out of his control? I wonder, if you slowly kill your body with addiction to drugs can it be classified as suicide when those drugs finally take over?

I will never know, but what I think he has accomplished, suicide or not, is the definitive end of his life. Unfortunately for those he leaves behind they are the ones that have to suffer for his art, they are the ones with few words to explain.

Words I do have: waste, addiction, shame. Words I do not have: tragic, sad, understand. Rest Philip Seymour Hoffman, if you can.

There Is Always Light

It is raining here again & I love the sound of it. It is so peaceful & makes the whole house so dim & smoky but not pitch black, just a comfortable dark. Like being underwater in the Murray River. If you look up, there is always light.
 
 I think about Harry in his grave, the small streams of water sliding over the freshly turned earth. A glistening makeshift headstone.
 
 My niece & nephew came to pay respects last night. Maximus says,
   ‘I’m sorry you died Harry’ as he bends down, rubbing the stone that marks his grave.
 My sister says to Bella,
   ‘At least he’s not in pain now & he can sleep.’
 Bella stops in her tracks, puts her hands on her hips, looks up at her Mum & says,
   ‘He’s not sleeping! He’s dead!’
 
 She is so right & the statement made me smile at her 5 year old wisdom. What a mind that kid is going to have. I am so proud.

33

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33 years of less Joy in the world. I hope your rest continues to be a peaceful one Ian Curtis.

“New Dawn Fades”

A change of speed,
a change of style.
A change of scene,
with no regrets,
A chance to watch,
admire the distance,
Still occupied,
though you forget.
Different colours,
different shades,
Over each mistakes were made.
I took the blame.
Directionless so plain to see,
A loaded gun won’t set you free.
So you say.
We’ll share a drink & step outside,
An angry voice & one who cried,
We’ll give you everything & more,
The strain’s too much, can’t take much more.’
I’ve walked on water, run through fire,
Can’t seem to feel it anymore.
It was me, waiting for me,
Hoping for something more,
Me, seeing me this time,
Hoping for something else

Black Apple Blossom

Now I have never professed to be the biggest fan of Apple or anything ‘i’, but I, like a lot of people can appreciate that true inspiration comes from rare, inquiring minds. So thank you Steve Jobs for your unique view that changed the world forever.

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Freedom Fortnight

I have decided I will start taking my meds again tomorrow. It has been 2 weeks, 2 weeks of freedom. Meta calls it a rollercoaster but noted he had not read the word ‘numb’ in a while. That is because I have not been numb this whole time – freedom fortnight – but the anger is creeping in again & I cannot afford to lose what I have gained.
 
There is one thing that remains constant whether I am on or off the meds; the fact that I want to die. I just have more fun trying to get it done while I am off them. Which is not to say it is a game, it is not. It would be a pretty silly game if it were. I keep thinking about Sunday. I wish Meta had pressed his hands a little harder on me when we were in the car – the struggle between two personalities. The Ashes on the inside & the Nectar on the outside. I could have died in that moment. I was so ready for it. All parts of me were ready for me to come out.
 
I remember the version of me the day I first met Meta in the city. When I walked up to him & we walked down O’Connell Street together, bumping shoulders. There was something about him I had never felt before. Something unique & sticky that made me drawn to his insides. It made me want to devour him with each accidental touch. All day that feeling nagged at me. It will never make sense to me why two people who had met in the written word world had chosen the silence of a cinema to meet. Where no words could be exchanged. When we sat there our hands brushed against each other so many times. I knew in his eyes who he was & he knew in mine. In the final moments he kissed me unexpectedly & passionately & I asked him,
 
   “Why?”
He said,
   “I just wanted to know if it was real.” & it was. It still is.
 
Between then & now there have been so many unspoken conversations. So many deleted lines. So many things I wish I had not said to him. So much hurt & so much pain. A trip to Mars & a trip to the crazy house. More trips to hospitals & cuts than I can name & still we manage to find each other at the end of the day in the silence of our loveless homes.
 
Today Chesty said to me
 
  “You & Meta get along so well, you really are amused by the things he says & he really makes you laugh. It is rare to have a male friend that makes you feel so comfortable & so happy. Clearly you love each other very much”.
 
She is right. I could not have said it better myself

HL

All night tonight while I have been trying to relax there has been nothing but Heath Ledger. Every fucking ad break. Now they are doing a tribute to him on Saturday. Why? Because he is dead & they suddenly realise what he is worth? All these bullshit stories coming out like because he is dead it must be something torrid or untoward.
 
Why? Can 28 year olds not die of pneumonia? Or a heart attack? Why must it be that he took every pill & was fucking every woman in Hollywood or a curse because he was dating Kate Hudson – if he was dating her, at all. Imagine how his ex feels & that poor little 2 year old girl who is the same age as Maximus. Now without a daddy. Who will ever know what really happened to him & why he was half way across the world in an apartment instead of with his child. That poor little girl.
 
I know I do not know this person called Heath Ledger. I know I will never know him. But that does not mean that I do not feel sad, because I do, I always do. Every time I know someone is dead. There is a strange thing that happens to me. I am fascinated by death & its affect on people – especially on me. Is it because it is so mysterious that people have to make up all these stories? “Welcome to 10’s late news, Heath Ledger, Heath Ledger, Heath Ledger….” I am going to bed.
Mood: Frustrated
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Planet of Sparrows

Whispers told me Violet was not well today. What I found when I got to her was not what I expected. What I found was her in the garden with one hand in a bird bath & the other holding a dead sparrow… I do not think the bird bath went as Violet had planned. I am sure the bird fought the good fight, which is exactly why Violet had to fish it out; she has busy trying to do the same. I hope it all plays out for her though & she fairs better than that soaked & silent sparrow. Some days I have my doubts.
 
Violet spotted me slink through the gate to watch her.
    ‘Hey – Merry Fucking Xmas” she quipped.
    “Yeah – looks like it” I replied
    “Can you imagine having wings & ending up here?” Violet chirped at me
 
Final result of the bird bath is an empty clay bowl on a stand & a fresh mound in the ground between the Jacaranda & the Jasmine. Not far from the compost & not much different really either.
   “One day” Violet mumbled,
    “I hope there’s someone there to find me & bury me between the trees & beneath the sun.”
 
I figured it was sort of thrown out there for me to hear but I did not reply. What do you say to that? I am sure she knows what she is talking about, she plans ahead this girl. It seems all pretty black & white to me the whole life & death thing. You should just live until you can’t anymore. Violet assures me that is all she is trying to do. It is the fact she has to try that I struggle with.
 
We sat by the disturbed ground between the trees & Violet mentioned she had seen Digger & Peachy a few days ago. They had walked in while she was having coffee somewhere insignificant (bad coffee, though she did mention…) How estranged. Clear she has so much unsaid that will remain that way forever. The words are always so full of double meanings that I think she loses herself in them & in the end she is never sure what was said at all. Defence mechanism?
 
What in the world do you do when that one & only describes life as better without you? That it is easier, quieter, nicer, less of a struggle. Even though you are sure they enjoyed every small moment of that struggle for years? Those small moments where people are created & destroyed; what could there be left to say? I asked Violet & she could not answer but I know she has a head full of things she wants to get out, most of which are questions (what’s new?)
 
Questions, always questions with Violet – it would be so much quieter around here if she just listened in the first place. She is so afraid that there is something someone is not telling her like a joke of which she has been left out. She is terrified she is the joke & they are all laughing behind her back. They are not & there is no telling her that, whether she questions it or not.
 
Digger sure did shovel out a hole in her – enough to fit a planet of dead sparrows & water all the same. She desperately tries to fill it in each day. There is blame on both sides of course – but my feet are firmly planted here between the Jacaranda & the Jasmine – I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
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Comment:
Troyski:
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G’day April, love the blog, very creative in an emotionally expressive way. Maybe I read it back to front (that would be impressive lol), but I picked up on some grief & loss, some soul searching and a hint of self doubt/frustration. Or I’m just reading too deeply into your creative writing. I’m rambling, forgive me. Look after yourself.
Always,
Troy xxxooo