Saturday, 13 September 2014

Every Breaking Wave

I got to a point where I thought I could never possibly write this. But I can. So I did.

Last night I dreamt all Cams possessions were for sale, in a sad shop. Family were there, backs turned. It's ok. I turned my back first. I have to survive.

Cam told me that he was just going to take two weeks off work but he and I both knew he was going to die. We were both sad. He was so tired. There's big things happening inside me this week, all of this hard griefwork is coming to a crescendo. I can see some new beginnings from here, which is great but hard and exciting and sad because I never want to let him go.

But I did, you know. I let him go. I loved him so much I let him go.

"You cannot save people, you can only love them." I think I'll always wish I could have done more, that last weekend he was alive in October.

Note to self: texts cannot save somebody.

Cam always said he wished he was alive in the bygone eras, when men were men.

Oh god just looking at those photos. He's so familiar. I know every trace of his face. He travelled. He lived. He loved. He laughed. He cried. He died. Being human is excruciating. I was eight years old and on a lunchtime detention when my grandmother came to school to tell me my baby brother Cameron had been born. Thirty-three years later I was reading with my son when I got the phone call to say my baby brother Cameron had died. I put myself on detention the day he died, but no more. I keep waiting for the grief to go but it's never going to go because my love for Cam can never go, Bono told me that just this week.

I would sit with Cam and he'd tell me the pain and the struggle and I would tell him it would be ok, that the only reason I came good is because I hooked up with Dave and had kids and one day you will do that, you will find reasons to stay! Then you will be trapped here!

I thought because I'd overcome certain stuff that he would too. I knew he was in pain but I thought he would be burnt and then come out the other side and grow and learn and get strong, regardless of his abandonment and struggle and that brain that wanted to kill him. How many times did I tell him to open his heart, wait for the joy and the magic? But what do I know.

"Cam I used to live in brothels! You can get through hard shit!" But not everybody makes it through, Eden, dummy. How do you come to terms with a suicide without agreeing with the suicide? I loved Cam so much I let him go. I let him go. I loved a person hard for thirty-three years straight from his birth to his death. I can honour him by continuing to live on regardless of the pain and if reincarnation exists? I want to be reincarnated as Camerons mother, consider this a request form, Universe.

And now I have to let him go again, for any chance of me to make it through this period alive I have to let him go and when I let him go I get to take him with me, see? Sea? I woke up with U2s new lyrics in my head:

"Like every broken wave on the shore
This is as far as I could reach."

It was as far as he could reach. I got an email from a woman called Danielle who's been reading me for years to say she'd just realised her partner J was an old boyfriend of mine in the eighties. True! And she had a Cam story for me, told me that if it were her brother, she'd love to know any story no matter how small. Oh Danielle was so right! She wrote:

"The story about Cameron is a just a quick, cute story about a little boy who watched Rocky III with J and at the end when Rocky and Mr T have a fight, Rocky beats Mr T. J told me little Cameron burst into tears and was so upset because no one is supposed to beat Mr T!"

The last time I saw Cam I was like, "Hey do you remember how much you LOVED Mr T?" He couldn't remember! I was all, dude that guy was your HERO. It's so important to have heroes. After reading Danielles email I pictured Cam crumpled on the floor, devastated that Mr T got beat. Why is that so different to me crumpled on the floor, devastated that Cam got beat? His little four-year old heart just as broken as mine, now.

We all gotst to die someday, of something. Pain is pain is pain, to all of us. None of us get through life unscathed. I'm learning - with a therapist who I adore - exactly why I am so annihilated. Why these "strong feelings" are so devastating. If I'd grown up in an intact family with enough love, and then my brother had died in a car accident, I'd be grieving differently. But this is the way that I am grieving and it needs to be grieved like this for any chance for me to keep living. Every single day of my life I have woken up in panic and fear. Every day. My Cam leaving has broken me but Buddy Wakefield says that hearts don't break if they did he'd have confetti by now. Buddy says hearts bruise and get better.

Cam did not and could not stay around for his heart to get better. But I can. The other day, just when I was on the brink, three HUGE things happened all in one day, boom. Bang. That's how the world works and I was all, FUCK you Universe for making me stay again! I have never been so faithless. It has been terrifying.

So there's me yesterday, after filming a video down in Sydney after waking up not thinking I could get through another day. There's me, grieving out loud, balancing all my blog posts so they're not all dark and that's been hard when everything has been so dark. Cam let his light go out, goodnight my Cam and I hope you sleep tight and visit me from the underworld if the underworld exists and I let you go, remember? I told you on the phone I let you go but only because it was the thing you wanted so badly and you knew I loved you so much, you knew.

So there's Cam somewhere in Ireland I wish I knew where, writing his name in a spot that no other motherfucker can ever write it in just like Anis says. Cam was here, motherfuckers.

I'm still here. I'm forming a new life with and without my brother and I need tidbits, pieces of him, little precious stories to patchwork my sails so they soar, see. It's a see-saw he was seen, he was sore.

So, beautiful reader of this thing called a "blog" - yeah you right now. I see you just as much as you see me I feel your secrets as much as I openly tell you mine I know you're there I can hear you breathing. Some of you might even be reading these words in ten years time just after somebody you love has died maybe suicided and I want you to know that it gets better. Then it gets worse. Then it gets different. Keep moving. Keep moving - to the shops, to the kettle, to the couch, to Africa.

The world wants you to listen to this because god knows you've got shit going on in your own life that could do with some soothing balm. And not balm that costs twenty dollars sign up buy this. Balm as in words and experiences and feelings and remember what it is to just be human. That's it. That's all it's ever been.

Cam, we were never tragedies. We were emergencies, motherfucker. I'm here in griefland and thank you for the lessons. Step into this. I'm rebooting myself now just like that. You're not my troubles anymore but I'll always be the big sister so I'm still the boss - you can be Braveheart and I'll be Greenheart because man my heart just exploded the other day when I realised some things about your death and all this greenery just grew from the burnt trees. I'm about to have a fantastic time. Come with me, dead brother. I said I'd do it for the both of us and I am a woman of my word. Especially when it comes to you, always when it comes to you I was older but you always came first. Thank you for teaching me what it feels to love. Don't ever stop teaching me. I cried to my therapist last week "I should have needed him more!" 

I need you. I need you to help me finish my life triumphantly. Triumph. Now there's a fucking word.

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