Wednesday, 30 October 2013


                                      Two-week-old grief hair.

The love for my boys is shining super-bright. Yin and yang and all that. Rocco is being extra clingy, extra cuddly .... and seriously obsessed with why Uncle Cam did what he did. Can't wrap his little head around it.

"But, like, just ... WHY mum?"

It's a hard thing to explain properly to a five-year old so I haven't fully, yet. One day I will.

He still gives me heart attacks like it's his job.

                                           "GET. DOWN. NOW."

I'm finding it really hard at the time between school and bed, he suddenly needs to be entertained all the time and I'm busting my arse to even stay upright .... any suggestions? What do your kids do? Yesterday I took him to the bank just so he could write "A cheque mum."

I can't wait until I get into bed at night so I can be rid of the day. Another stupid, ridiculous day that makes no sense at all.

Earlier this morning:

Friendly shopkeeper: "Oh, you're pregnant!"
Me: "Um, no."
Friendly shopkeeper: "OH! But I looked the other day and I was like, is she pregnant?"
Me: "No. My brother killed himself so I'm stress eating and look like a fat shit."
Everybody else in the shop: Complete silence.

The shopkeeper felt SO bad. I felt SO fat. Seriously, you shouldn't ask a woman if she's pregnant until you see a baby half-hanging out of her vagina.

Guess I better go brush my hair. Try find something mildly constructive to do. Until it's dark and I can hop into bed next to Cams ashes and watch mindless television then sleep then get up and do another day all over again. Thank you, for your love and support. Thank you so much.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Tell Me You're Somewhere.

I wish I could go back in time to Tuesday morning a few weeks ago and slip into Cams flat and walk up to him lying on the floor and lift his gas mask, just for one more kiss. Just to see his eyes, just to cry my tears on his face and then put his mask back on and dart out.

Then I'd go back in time to a hot day in December 1988 .... open up  a white car strangely idling but not going anywhere. I'd wrench the door open and cough at the carbon monoxide and scream:


Then I'd slam that fucking door and wait for the cops to come to our front door and tell us he was dead. Camerons life was shadowed by the suicide of his father.

Dave and I drove straight to mum the other week, to tell her the worst news any parent can hear.

Just one last time, Mum and I had to see him. So we booked one more appointment with the morgue because HE WAS IN THE MORGUE WHAT.

The people there are SO respectful and hushed and caring. We went in together. This time I could face touching him because it was the last chance I'd ever get. His forehead was defrosting. His hands looked like wax. His chest hair looked ridiculous for some reason. He was still handsome .. even the coroner said so. I wished we could take him home. I wanted to pry his eyes open. Mum gave me time alone with him and I just said:

"Mate, you did it sweetheart. I was trying so hard for you not to do it. Haunt me, ok?"

We had a wake with his friends, oh my god his friends. SO BEAUTIFUL, every last one. Ryan, Dave, Stu, Brad, Matt. And so many more. I want to move down to Sydney and join their circle and just talk about Cam for the rest of our lives. Because that's healthy. All of their milestones are going to happen - weddings, babies, special events. I did a bit of an impromptu speech at the wake. The wake of beer and cheese and bacon balls. I asked them to please never forget him. Can't remember what else I said ... that Cam was a grown man and made his own decision about life. That we love him. We love him. And life is fragile.

Dave and I picked up Cams ashes last Friday. The soft, muted tones of the funeral parlour. Straight away we asked where the toilet was. The whole place smelt like pot pourri. The lighting was dimmed. The lady was lovely. And all I wanted to do was tear the place apart with my hands. How DARE I be here, picking up my baby brothers ashes. She stood there talking to me while I held the heavy bag and I nodded and answered her boring questions instead of falling to the ground, wailing. That's what people do ... get on with things, answer questions, go through the motions. Then fall apart at appropriate times.

Or, some people just hold it in all of their lives and never let anything out.

I let them out. Can't help it. I'll be letting this out for a long, long time. Maybe even always, and that's alright by me.

How can I stand at a stove and cook a meal? How can I purchase a big bag of toilet paper at the checkout? How can the world even spin? Lucky grief comes in spurts, in, out. Or else the bereaved would never get out of bed.

Cam ya fucken raconteur - where'd you end up? Anywhere? You broke a lot of hearts when you left. I had no idea how well you could pull the chicks! You looked weird when you were dead. Your mates rock. I did everything you asked me too ... I stood up for you and I respected your decisions.

Now do something for me: you KNOW you owe me. Come back and haunt me. Tell me you're somewhere. Tell me you love me. Tell me it's going to be ok. I don't want you to be gone just yet. Nobody was ready.

It hurts more than my mind can stand. I love you. We love you.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013


I can hear Rocco humming himself to sleep, not a care in the world.

"Mum, WHY did Uncle Cam kill himself?"

He must have overheard somebody because I didn't tell him and I don't even care because it's the goddamn truth and last time I checked, nobody died from the truth. I told Rocco what Cam told me to tell the kids if he ever killed himself ... that Uncle Cam was just too too sad.

Yes. Cam and I have been talking about this for quite some time now. He lived with a depression so deep and wide - he refused to get medication or help. So in the end this is how it went. So many, countless times I have listened to him talk of his pain. He told me because he knew I understood. I carried him, gave him soothing words, validations, everything I could think of. He was SO down and determined this month, I knew it was bad. But I kept thinking, maybe he's spending so much time talking about suicide to me that that means he's not actually committing suicide.

This is all very blunt, really, isn't it. But judging by the comments, tweets, and emails that have been sent lately .... my family is not alone.

Cam told me he was dangerously teetering on the decision of taking his own life. I'd absolutely come at him with all the love, all the support possible. He made me promise certain things, things I'm carrying out now. I was his next-of-kin and his beneficiary and the last thing I can do for him in this world is carry out his wishes. We understand why he did it. Still earth-shattering. Cam had NO idea how much love so many different people had for him. I did everything I could. Kept apologising to mum and Linda and Leigh ... because there was still a part of me that thought he'd get through it like he always did.

Months previously, I was the one in distress. He and I are very similar. I sat in my bed once late at night absolutely fucked and scared about what to do. I rang the only person in the world I knew who'd understand. Cam was my person. I now have no person. Cam was so much to so many. I don't want to live in a Camless world.

Went to see him twice this week. The first time I couldn't touch him but the second time I loved on him and hugged him and told him how much I adored him. I wiped his face with a tissue and felt his arms and legs and feet, knowing it was the last time I would ever see him again. SO handsome. Such a strapping man. I kept waiting for him to meet someone special and have babies. That's what I thought would save him, keep him here. He gets cremated tomorrow .... strict instructions for a non-attendance cremation. It's at 9.30am and it's all I'll be thinking about because then he'll be gone.

Cam begged me to make sure there would be no funeral. I promised. So on Friday there will be a wake, a friends get-together which me and the girls and mum will go to. We need to be with his friends. We need to hear happy, outrageous stories. We need to find a little bit more about who he was.

On Saturday is a family get-together. We'll scatter his ashes. He told me on the phone to throw his ashes in the bin. Then in his suicide note he asked me to carry his "clinking bones and ash to the sea."

This is a shit post. It's a shit time. I'll never be the same again. Wish I could press rewind.

Let me know if you're a friend of Cams and want to come on Friday.

Friday, 18 October 2013


I could tell him anything.

Just want to walk outside and ask for a timeout from the universe for a bit while I wrap my head around it. Cam. My first favourite guyo ever. I used to protect him but I couldn't protect him in the end. We just can't believe it, my mum and sisters and Dave have been staying at Lindas place in Sydney, sorting stuff out.

How can I even type? I'm back home now but I can't get up because gravity is too heavy. My mum, my goodness.

He left a note addressed to me. We went to his flat and saw where he did it, he would have felt no pain. I nicked one of his dirty tshirts which I can't let go of. I can't believe it - my mind keeps blocking it out and then it comes in stages.

I was too scared to read your comments on the previous post, scared it would make it real. But I read every single one just now and take comfort in your words, especially those of you who know what it feels like. I wasn't going to post to day because I'm not making sense but just thank you, so much. Words mean a lot.

I'm angry at the world for forcing such expectations on men to achieve and provide and succeed. It's too much, for some. Cam was SMART. Had a few jobs and was always promoted. His sense of humour. His smile. His gorgeous body. He'll never be a dad, never make it past 33. Unfathomable. He was one of my best friends. I could tell him anything. I told him everything.

The last time I saw him he was dressed in a good shirt and pants and I wondered if that was because that's the last time I was ever going to see him and I was right. I saw that shirt again in his cupboard, washed and wrinkled. So he would have ironed it, just for me. Last weekend he and I had huge text exchanges. I was deeply worried.

Last text I sent him was Tuesday afternoon and he was already gone.

I'm not a praying type anymore. But I have a husband and two beautiful boys I adore just as much as I adored Cam so I'm sure I'll keep going. I'm in therapy and on medication and I need everything that I can get because my brother died. Weeping and keening, and then this strange silence. We met some of his friends, who are just so beautiful. And shocked, and sad.

Feels like vultures on my chest, pecking my heart. It's so awful, so bad. I've never felt quite like this before.

He loved cheese and bacon balls. And lawn bowls, apparently. His wishes were to not have a funeral and we're going to honour that. But Cambo you never said anything about a wake my sweetheart. I love you. I love you. I love you. Fuck the world i love you.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013


My brother Cameron killed himself. Dave and I drove to mums last night to tell her in person. We're on our way now to identify his body and then go to his flat in Newtown. We are shattered. The whole world's crazy and wild at heart. Numb. We would really appreciate some good thoughts as we get through this. Thanks

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

What Does The Fox Say?

Max is a cool kid. He appears to be blessed with my sense of humour ... we're going through a stage at the moment where he is showing and telling ME new stuff. All weekend he walked around the house singing, "What does the fox say?"

Finally I asked him what was he singing. He showed me a clip on youtube.

"I found it first, and now it's gone all around school."

To put a little jive in your Tuesday, Max would like to present to you ... What Does The Fox Say?

(Safe for work. And kids ... Rocco won't stop singing it.)

                                            ... and fish go blub 

Monday, 14 October 2013

His First Tooth.

Rocco triumphantly lost his first tooth. Wiggling it for months, it finally came out after a few days of tears and pain. Life is a bloody business! He ran into the kitchen with his hands behind his back shouting MUM GUESS WHAT?

Even though I could plainly see the most darling little gap in his mouth I said, what is it sweetheart?

He'd never been so proud. All that wiggling paid off. He slept in my bed with me that night, and after making a huge fuss over the exact placement under the pillow, he went to sleep. (While I continued my mammoth Walking Dead marathon next to him.)

He woke up every twenty minutes, checking under his pillow.

"Nope, not yet. Mum what does the tooth fairy look like?"

"She wears bright pink and purple sparkly things."

"Where does she even live?"

"In a big house made out of teeth. Go to sleep."

He did. And just as I was stealing his tooth and leaving some money, he woke up again. Quickly snatching my arms away and pretending to be asleep, I heard him lift the pillow and gasp.


He turned and put them on the bedside table and went back to sleep. I held that tiny tooth in my hands and thought about creation. Rocco is my IVF baby, the very first time I saw him he was on a petri dish under a microscope. He was four cells old ... tinier than his tooth.

We all start off as a bunch of cells, then we divide and multiply and grow up to worry about dinner and picking up the dry-cleaning during a traffic jam. Life is a trip.

Friday, 11 October 2013

Street Talk: Bruce From The Psych Ward.

There's a mixed bag of people in the mental hospital. A lot of them have given up hope, a lot have hurt themselves, and a lot just want to die already.

Bruce was none of those things. I first met him as I was being admitted. Walking past him sitting at the telephone he looked up at me and started singing a song which included the words "Baby, be mine, love, heaven." Irritated the hell out of me immediately.

I went straight to bed. Bruce just kept singing, pretty much outside my door. At dinnertime I watched him eat a huge amount of food, slurp it round his plate, dribble. He asked me if I had any money, I told him no. He asked me if I wanted one of his beanies.They were pretty cool so I said yes.

"That'll be ten bucks."

I told him I didn't have ten bucks. "Ok ..... five bucks."

I watched him do the beanie-thing to people the entire time I was in.

Bruce sang. A lot. He was also on the phone a lot, would sometimes sit there carrying on a conversation with nobody at all. I think it made him feel important. He was in his sixties and lived with his mother, who would send him a parcel EVERY day. Usually consisting of change for the phone and another beanie.

Most people were cranky at Bruce - he'd go into peoples rooms and steal their stuff. He'd throw things around, get argumentative and have to go into time out. I went off at him once ... it was like dealing with a toddler. I was trying to talk to Dave on the phone, Bruce was deliberately being loud so I couldn't hear. I screamed into his face:

"Just because you're pissed off you've wasted your entire life - SHUT THE FUCK UP."

I felt really bad about it afterwards, for being so mean. All I could hear was him agreeing. "Bloody oath I've wasted my entire life. Of course I have. Who wants to buy a beanie?"

He kept carting around this Scrabble board but nobody would play with him. One night I sat opposite him during dinner, he told me about winning the karaoke championships at Blacktown RSL in the eighties.

"Tell me any Johnny Cash song and I'll sing it." 

And he could! Over and over again he'd tell me I had to get a Decree Nisi, to get Dave out of the way so he and I could be together. We had a game of Scrabble, watching the words he formed and how he calculated the scores just in his head really quickly ... I realised he was whip smart. Alcohol had done a bit of a number on his brain but he was still there.

I sat there and told him he was sharp as a tack. He just mouthed a shhhhhhh with his fingers, smiling wildly. His eyes glinted because I saw him.

The next day, a lady from church came to bless us all. I politely sat out, but when they were doing the Our Father, Bruce kept scolding me to say it.

"Bruce! I said that prayer enough in my childhood. I don't want to say it now ok?"

Always walking around giving somebody something he thought they needed, he came over to me and gave me this:


Don't Worry Be Hoppy! Best card ever. Bruce asked for it back. I said no.

After a while I graduated over to the other, less intense side of the unit. Bruce missed me. I missed him so much I bought a beanie off him for $30. He ordered a pizza with the money then sat on the phone talking for an hour.

Every so often I'd see him.

"Give us a kiss sweetheart. Slip the tongue in."

He asked me for my address and I gave it to him. I wonder where he is now. I hope he's ok.

Previous Street Talks:

1. Noelene the Young
2. Megan the Mouse
3. Harpal the Australian
4. Darren the Artist
5. Jo the Interesting
6. John the Telstra Guy
7. Michael the Photographer
8. Peg the Lady
9. Jeff the Preacher Man
10. Andres the Cobbler
11. Honey the Prostitute
12. Mark the Masseur
13. You the Blog Reader
14. Jo the Podiatrist
15. Casey the Uni Student
16. Dream the Horse and Carriage Driver
17. Tamas the Hungarian Accordionist
18. The Dignified Trolley Ladies
19. Alex With The Studded Hot Pink Belt
20. Leaf The Fallen
21. Bel Of The Library
22. Jay And His Big Issue
23. Emma The Adult Shop Cashier
24. Teena, Saver Of Dogs
25. The Luna Park Face
26. Gary The Missing
27. Kristen at the Elephant Bean Cafe
28. Uncle Paul
29. Jess The Mama
30. The Two People At The Checkout
31. Alfie The Pourer
32. Breaking The Rules With Captain Starlight!
33. The Woman In Line At The Bakery A Few Weekends Ago
34. Dog The Dog
35. Julia Gillard The Person
36. Nancy The Badass

Thursday, 10 October 2013


I don't discriminate - I hate all bugs equally. Especially big ones. For example, the cicada.

Dave held this guy the other week and spouted off all these cicada names. The greengrocer, the black prince, brown bunyip. Cicadas have NAMES?

The sound of them instantly takes me back to summertime when I was a kid. Cicada season has started early up here, something to do with the hot weather. They are SO NOISY that sometimes I can't even open a window. I thought I might be just getting more cranky in my old age but yesterdays Gazette proved it:

We have an outbreak up here, people. It comes as no surprise at all that Rocco adores cicadas.

Max does not. His exact words were, "I can't even hold the SHELLS mum." Hi-five, sweetheart.

Dave actually took a photo of a cicada hatching from its shell. *GAG*

                             Anybody got Sigourney Weavers phone number?

A chorus of cicadas are going for it right now in the backyard. Every so often, they all get into a rhythm (a circadian rhythm?) which sounds pretty cool. But mostly I wish they'd just shut up.

                             Is there something in my eye?

Years ago I was talking to Jim about cicadas and he told me to imagine being one, stuck down beneath the ground for seven years until one day you start pushing and pushing yourself to the surface to find: you're trapped under a concrete slab of a new carport or extension. Man we laughed.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

It's Raining Vagina. Hallelujah It's Raining Vagina!

I'm not gonna lie - I've always felt weird about my vagina.

Before puberty, my vagina didn't have a care in the world. But once I hit fourteen, fifteen ... I just didn't know what the hell HAPPENED down there. It wasn't neat and tidy anymore. Even back then, any available public image of a vagina usually showed it looking beautiful.

My vagina wasn't beautiful :(

Now I've had some experience of guys before I met Dave, and the one thing I've noticed about all (cough) of them is, they didn't give a rats what my vagina looked like. They were just so damn happy to be in the game. But it still wasn't enough to make me feel better.

The photo above? Talk about diversity! Aren't they GLORIOUS? All different, but still the same. That image was *supposed* to be on the cover of the Sydney University newspaper Honi Soit, but the bigwigs got scared so it got censored, then pulled.

One of the editors of Honi Soit is Avani Dias. She explains why they did this vagina photoshoot:

"The reason why we did the vaginas specifically, was because they are quite stigmatised in society in general, and it was more about empowering women and showing that this is a real vagina and not the kind you see in porn or in sex scenes – and that was really the aim of it. It wasn’t really to do with causing a sensation. Actually, that’s another big complaint that we’ve had: that it’s just attention-seeking. Our defence of it is that this is for women, and the fact that so many people have been quite outspoken about it shows a lot about the impact that it’s had."

Even though those eighteen vaginas never properly made it to the cover, they certainly went viral. I'm so glad. The porn industry dictates no heavy bush, no visible vulva, no discrepancies. Just smooth, hairless, neat puss.

I declare vagina mutiny. Fucka neat puss.

I still feel weird about my vagina. But at least I don't feel like doing this to it anymore:

Further vag diversity: The Great Wall of Vagina

How's your vagina going? 

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

The Amazing Max ... And Rocco Balboa.

These two guys .... have just had the BEST school holidays. They actually played with each other, learnt how to smoke with each other, went on adventures and even read the same book at night, with a torch.

There's a six-year age difference, so I've never really expected that kind of playing until they'd both grown a bit older. Max had friends over but still involved Rocco. I let everybody stay in pjs til noon. I monitored the few fights they had, which weren't about very much at all.

This guy would sometimes seek me out to do a "learning book." Watching him master how to read and write is such a thrill. He was BORN wanting to do what everybody around him could do.

Took them to one of those wall-to-wall trampoline places which they LOVED and begged to stay longer. I had to keep walking from the big section to the small, to watch both of them jump and try new flips.

They went to the beach with Dave - early. Played, went to the movies, bought new toys. Had a ball.

Back to school today. Usually I'm fist-pumping and hi-fiving, but as soon as they walked in I checked the clock to see how long until they'd be home again. I miss them! It's Maxs' last term at primary school, which means their very last term together at the same school.

Their relationship is blossoming to new levels - best mates even. It's beautiful. Every now and then I get a snippet of what it's going to feel like when they've grown up and flown the coop and I think NO!

They must stay with me forever.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Street Talk: Nancy The Badass.

This is Nancy. She's American, from Colorado. I met her in 2007 when we were both hanging around the same infertility forums. Quickly exchanging emails because we were both so alike, Nancy once sent me some fridge magnets in the shape of a block of chocolate. I still have them.

When Nancy blogged, she'd swear and rant and have a big old bitch about people who pissed her off. Hilarious and awesome. She got inked regularly, even when she was pregnant with her third baby, Karl. Her first two are girls .... she loved them so fiercely.

Her derby name was MurdeRita. She travelled a lot for her IT job. She'd email me with the subject line simply: "Hey Motherfucker."

She was one of the very first people I met through the internet. She was tough, funny, and sexy.

Nancy died suddenly last year. (I think from a blood clot.) I miss her so, so much. So do a lot of other people who were around at that time. I remember the exact moment I found out she'd died. Having a break from visiting Jim in hospital, I drove to this huge headland overlooking the ocean crashing onto the rocks below. Rocco was asleep in the back of the car so I pulled my phone out to check my messages and there it was, an email to say she was dead. I felt sick. Too much death around me, what the hell?

She loved her kids SO much, like most of us do. Her blog is still up: The New Life Of Nancy. She lost her blogging mojo for awhile there. I love how her last post is asking people what their favourite curse word is.

Some of us never see the end coming. I think if Nancy was asked if she'd change anything she'd done before she died, her answer would be a big fat NO.

Miss you like hell, Nancy. 


Previous Street Talks:

1. Noelene the Young
2. Megan the Mouse
3. Harpal the Australian
4. Darren the Artist
5. Jo the Interesting
6. John the Telstra Guy
7. Michael the Photographer
8. Peg the Lady
9. Jeff the Preacher Man
10. Andres the Cobbler
11. Honey the Prostitute
12. Mark the Masseur
13. You the Blog Reader
14. Jo the Podiatrist
15. Casey the Uni Student
16. Dream the Horse and Carriage Driver
17. Tamas the Hungarian Accordionist
18. The Dignified Trolley Ladies
19. Alex With The Studded Hot Pink Belt
20. Leaf The Fallen
21. Bel Of The Library
22. Jay And His Big Issue
23. Emma The Adult Shop Cashier
24. Teena, Saver Of Dogs
25. The Luna Park Face
26. Gary The Missing
27. Kristen at the Elephant Bean Cafe
28. Uncle Paul
29. Jess The Mama
30. The Two People At The Checkout
31. Alfie The Pourer
32. Breaking The Rules With Captain Starlight!
33. The Woman In Line At The Bakery A Few Weekends Ago
34. Dog The Dog
35. Julia Gillard The Person

Thursday, 3 October 2013

The Night Sky Wants To Tell You Something.

Tell you a secret?

Sometimes when you've had a full-on day and now it's night-time and you're stressed, tired, overwhelmed and just want to go lie down ... go outside instead.

Just you, by yourself.

Go outside and look up at that enormous stunning sky that binds us all. Just look at it. I promise you'll hear your soul exhale. And whatever it is that you need reminding of, will come. Even better if you can still hear the contrasting sounds and noisy people inside. It's an awesome way to just really enrich the hell out of yourself. When you walk back inside you'll feel different I swear.

(I always forget to do this myself, almost always happens by chance when I'm taking the garbage out. Guess that's called ... accidental mindfulness?)

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Why We All Need To Live Like Tommy Franklin.

I never watch any reality TV shows, but back in hospital I kind of clung to them like a raft. Me and all my other homie patients sat and watched Tommy audition for Australia's Got Talent.

He blew our minds.


"It's just a funny thing to go out there and, like, do something that's so, intimate. Because I haven't really succeeded .... in many things in my life. And I feel so much joy when I dance." - Tommy

Redemption, joy, love, freedom ... Tommy's got it all. And it's beautiful.

His awesome semi-final performance HERE
The Tommy Franklin Tropfest short film "I'm Free To Be Me" HERE

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...