Breaking into my work day came the dual demands of text and voicemail. The bush telegraph used by Mothers, that sometimes we curse.
Today – it was truly cursed!
The words washed over me dousing my mood and my day in shared fear and grief intermingled.
Again a young person, someone we knew, had taken matters into their own hands. Their lives ending in a permanent Year 11. Forever the student! Forever Young! Forever just about 15! Their voices caught captured forever in their social media world. Their passions, politics, personalities and pain not lost – just stilled at a moment in time. Their personalities writ large across the skies, whilst their pain remained obscured, unreachable. Alone. Dancing through the heavens.
Driving along the bay, caught up in the gravelly poetry of Paul Kelly singing about love. Tears stinging as I soaked up the wisdom of his poetry. The next day – driving with my son home from visiting my Mother in Aged care. This time the lyrics of Summer sadness accompany our thoughts and our journey. My 10 year old caught in the moment of singing shotgun with me. The schism that was so known now. And is known to any parent really. Joy in the moment! The immediacy sweeping me away! Yet trauma and sadness swirling around my heart and my brain. Licking at the joyful exclusion zone I was in with my child – yet not penetrating or permutating our special time.
Months later – seeking solace in a large latte and a custard tart. Capturing the introspection of my middle aged self. Replenishing in mind, body and spirit. Images to be filtered, sounds to be screened and feelings to be processed. Too many deaths too soon! The pain sticks in the gullet! The tears tear at the back of my skull! They can’t be shed. The despair that ends life too soon. The devastation wrought in the soul, reflected and refracted again and again like an endless, twisted Hall of Mirrors.
Later still – on my birthday – a me full of useless human emotions and frailities. Wanting to celebrate – Me! Yet knowing that death had come early, and by her own hand, to my 16 year old soul sister. How to celebrate in relative adult comfort, when sweet 16 couldn’t diminish the overwhelming?
And yet – the stirrings of hope, as young people rise to remember their friends and help others. Tshirts made commemorating this. Parents rallying around! Meals made! Workplaces commemorating. Talks given! Time shared! Fear diminishes! And yet – its grip is not far away!
When will the call come again?