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
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
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
this often brings with it major flooding with associated huge costs and
It is also the cyclone season which at times can be devastating for the
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.