The very first photo of us together. Me in year three, wearing a green t-shirt and blue tracksuit top. Him in baby white, smiling because he recognised a kindred.
This post is shit already. If anybody has a problem with me talking inappropriately about suicide, I ask you, is suicide appropriate? When is the appropriate time?
Why do we not talk about suicide much?
"Hey how you doin' today?
"Actually quite suicidal thanks for asking."
The suicidal among us don't like to admit that we're suicidal because we're scared of getting locked up, scared of stigma and shame, scared of what people will say or think. You know why I was in the mental health ward at Katoomba this year? Twice? Suicidal. Most people in there are. And now here I sit drinking a fucking latte and my brother's dead because he killed himself early morning three weeks ago on Tuesday, 15th October 2013. He didn't want to get help. He didn't want medication. He didn't want to go in anywhere.
Cam told me the internet was a bad place for people who want to die. He said there were so many options for painless suicide. He talked to me frankly because that's how we always talked to each other. We were friends - really fucking good friends. <-- right then when I wrote that sentence? I got up from my chair howling, pacing the room in a circle with my hand on my hip like I was in labour. Death labour.
He was so fucking smart. And funny. And gorgeous. And talented. And lived with an ache inside him since his father killed himself 25 years ago. I keep thinking, well I'm still living Cam you prick. I've entered the anger stage, which gets briefly washed away by missing and grief and yearning for him so bad. The people I love, in order: My two boys, Dave, Cam.
Cam hired a large cylinder of nitrogen which he kept in his Sydney flat for about a month. Gas mask, long hose, clips. He was also going to work, doing Crossfit, seeing his best mates, and bought a nice car. The suicidal among us, scurrying, still living, still deciding.
A few days before he did it I finally got hold of his friends who'd see him often. I was so worried. I knew there was a very big chance he was going to do it. But the same could be said of me at varying times in my life, you know? All I think now is. "You knew you knew you knew."
I've talked him out of it before. Guess I couldn't this time. That last weekend I kept waking up thinking he was dead, so I'd text him about some dumb tv show and when he text me back I was relieved. Momentarily. He kept calling me "Eden" when he only ever called me "Eed."
I should have driven down to his flat and barged in and done something. Nobody can tell me any different at the moment. Maybe in time that will fade .... but in time, HE will fade. It hurts so much I can't stand it. It burns. The more you love someone, the more it burns.
I keep going through my head how he would have done it - laid the tarp down, then his pillow, turned the gas on, laid down, and put his gas mask on. Pure nitrogen tricks the body, because we all have nitrogen in us. So there's no fighting. It takes three seconds to render a person unconscious, one minute to kill. Apparently there's a chance that right before death the person feels an overwhelming sense of euphoria. I hope so. I hope he left earth with a big fat massive boner.
Cam murdered himself. Extinguished. Euthanized. Fucked off. He gave us all the finger with a 'seeya cunts I'm outta here.'
And I completely understand.
The first sentence of his suicide note -
"Eden .... well, this was not totally unexpected."
No. BECAUSE I KNEW.
I took a photo of the tarp and tank. I took a photo of him in the morgue. And I don't give a shit how inappropriate those things are. I look at them to try somehow get it in my head that he is gone.
I taught Cam how to write his name. And now with all these meetings with my legal people, dissolving and dividing Cams assets, I'm helping him erase it. Death is everywhere but we don't seem to talk about it.
I stand at my sons school and I am the recovering alcoholic drug addict with three dead dads, bipolar II, and my brother just killed himself hi nice to meet you.
It's beyond a joke. It's easy for me to slip into "nothing is real." (Because it's not.)
The very last photo of us together, taken on Fathers Day 2013. (I'm never celebrating Fathers Day again.) Me 41, wearing a black top and my convict scarf. Him 33, in one of his good shirts and pants. Talked non-stop for almost five hours, just outside here on the back deck. He came up to say goodbye. I knew it then and I know it now.
Both smiling because we recognised a kindred.