"In the beginning"

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The views expressed in this blog are not necessarily the views of the blog management, (on the other hand, they are not necessarily not the views of the blog management).

No effort has been made to stay within the bounds of the truth in this blog as it has always been the view of the management that the truth should never be allowed to stand in the way of a good story.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

The Christmas Season


Now that the Christmas season is behind us for another year let’s take a

look at the 2005 Gympie edition, this year our Christmas Dinner with

close friends was to include five adults, no children attending.

We got together on Christmas Eve a little after lunch for a drink and to

discuss any last minute changes and generally enjoy ourselves, which we did.

About three hours later the bubble burst, one of the five received a

phone call that shattered our Christmas, the call was to inform her that

her youngest son had committed suicide.

He was a young man of 32, married with three young children, sadly his

marriage had broken up 4/5 months before, and one can only assume that

the thought of Christmas without his family became more than he could

bear.

This all took place in a remote little settlement in central NSW where he

had gone for work, because of the remote location, and the fact that it

was Christmas Eve coupled with another fact, that the death was not from

natural causes, the law said there had to be an autopsy and an inquest into

cause of death.

This led to delays of unknown time before the release of the body for the

cremation that had been decided on.

Meanwhile back in Gympie where we were trying hard to celebrate

Christmas and provide some support for a friend, because of the

circumstances outlined above there was no point in her returning home

where she would have been alone, she had lost her husband in September.

We did, despite all of this manage to have a wonderful meal with very

good company, but imagine how much better it would have been without

that huge shadow over one of the group.

As I write this the body has still not been released, imagine the trauma

this is putting our friend through, she has since left Gympie after

promising not to go home alone, so she is waiting anxiously with other

friends for the final act of this terrible story.

I have a son who is a High School Chaplain who has been involved with

2 suicides and another couple of unsuccessful suicides, he passed on the

cheerful news that suicide can be contagious, with one leading to another

as people are dragged through emotional hell with deaths of friends.

It seems also to be a well documented fact that the “festive” season is a

time that emergency staff at hospitals and police personnel dreads

because of the family and personal crisis that goes hand in hand with

the season.

Here in the Southern Hemisphere we are in our summer season, this

presents it’s own set of problems, mainly, but not exclusively, in the

southern half of the country there are often horrific bushfires, again

as I write, there are serious fires burning out of control in three States,

remember we only have six mainland States.

Our population is very much clustered around the coastline, as water

sports play a huge part in our lives, this almost inevitably contributes

more drama, there are many dangerous rips at our beaches, these and our

constant search for relief from the heat in dams rivers and the beach

contribute many drowning each summer.

In the northern parts of Australia we have the monsoon, (or wet) season

this often brings with it major flooding with associated huge costs and

hardship.

It is also the cyclone season which at times can be devastating for the

areas affected

Interwoven with all of this we have the summer holidays and Christmas

season, as one might imagine this can be looked on with a sense of

foreboding, especially for the ones who have experienced some form of

tragedy, which has taken the joy out of what should be a joyous time.

18 comments:

Merle said...

Hi Peter - a good post, even though it was so sad. I must write to Margaret.
The fires are a worry for those folks nearby.
Phyll rang tonight & said she had spoken to you. She was -like me -
happy to hear that you will be down in February.

LZ Blogger said...

Peter - First of all... Happy New Year! I did take a look at your HTML coding and I think that what was happend is that you had an incorrect (break row as it's called) in one of your previous OLDER posts. This could have been by just sticking text in the wrong place next to a graphic that you loaded, but then when you took the font size from "small" to "medium" and re-published it, it pushed the sidebar info. to the bottom, (because their was no longer room for it on the side). I suggest you go back into the edit mode and look for ANY text that seems to protrude further to the right than all the others and modify it to be the same distance and then re-publish your blog and see if that doesn't format it correctly! Good luck my friend! ~ jb///

bubba said...

Losing a loved one at any time for any reason is hard. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and yours.

Karen said...

How awful, I'm sorry for your friend's loss and the delay of finding out what really happened and for getting some sort of closure. Christmas, as wonderful as it is, can be terrible for those who feel so alone in the world. Heartbreaking, really.

Ms. Vickie said...

To lose a loved one at anytime is difficult, when that loved one is
a child even though they are adults I can not even begin to conceive
what that would be like. You take that one step further and it happens
during what is to be the most joyous time of the year, one where she
has so many special memories that has to have been so difficult and
never will the holiday season be the same.

I am glad she had good friends to support her and I hope it will
continue way beyond.

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Well, you can always look on the bright side... Or isn't there one?

This is touching, Peter. Sorry about the travail for all Ozzies.

Trucker Bob said...

That is an awful lot for that poor lady to endure. Thankfully she has some support.

The rest of your post was very informative. We sometimes forget how big this planet really is.

kenju said...

My heart almost bleeds for your friend. To be widowed and then lose a child (however it is done) is a heavy burden to bear. I know you and your friends will help her get through it, Peter.

mreddie said...

Even though sadness casts a shadow right now, may the rest of your New Year be peaceful. ec

Carolyn said...

I'm so sorry to hear of this tragedy, Peter. Even though it was unexpected, sometimes the expected can still spin us around.

We went thru a friend's sudden drowning in Guatemala last July. Her husband had to wait for her remains to be released to him there to bring her back to the States. The waiting was so difficult all around but especially for her husband.

Your friend needs support & comfort now and seems she has found it in you and the others. It's hard, but hang in there.

Big Dave T said...

There are some days that you think you have it rough, then you hear stories like what happened to your friend, and suddenly the crosses you bear are not so heavy.

I hope your 2006 is a fruitful adventure on the road of life.

Cliff Morrow said...

Peter, I am soo sorry for the loss of your friends, son. It seems a rash of those this year, even close to home. It is so rough on those left behind. Take care of your friend. I know you will.

Anonymous said...

As horrible as that was for her to find out that way, imagine how much worse it would have been for her had she been home alone. She was blessed to be with her friends at such a difficult time.
Jules (cuz WV is being bitchy tonight!)

Ivy the Goober said...

Holidays here also bring more depression and suicide than other times of the year.

Tan Lucy Pez said...

I don't think I "knew" you back in August 2005. I posted then about the anniversary of the loss of our only son to depression. He took his own life on 8-7-91.
The minute I read the part of your post about the suicide, I began to cry again. Your friend will need support for a LONG, long time. It doesn't just "go away."

Jamie Dawn said...

I'm so sorry to hear of this terrible tragedy. Your friend lost her husband and now her son is such a short time.

I hope the new year will be bright for you and that you will be a source of encouragement to your grieving friend. It is true that the holidays are a time of depression for many.

Happy 2006 to you!!!!

FTS said...

Your area sounds a lot like Texas: dry and hot. I know firsthand how that can affect one's psyche.

I will keep your friend in my thoughts. This is the time of year that inflicts a lot of pain and depression in some people, particularly those who are alone. Don't let her give up the ghost.

Peter said...

Once more to close the book on this post, thank you all for the support and good wishes, I will pass them on to Margaret at an appropriate time, I truly bless the day I found each of you>