It is viewing day.
I wake up accompanied by an incomparable sense of dread and foreboding. I want to go, but I so desperately don’t want to go. I don’t want to have to see her. But it must be done. After sombre morning coffees, the solidified little group of heartbroken souls’ journeys down to the funeral home. We pad silently into the foyer. Dad is there for support, but he does not want to see her. Debbie, Georgia and Trudy are there to say goodbye. Denise has somehow found the strength to come along after all, but she personifies terror. Errol greets us with refreshingly objective compassion. He explains that the coffin is open in the chapel. He points out a set of heavy wooden doors that stand between us and our beloved Ellie. The group huddles and formulates a plan in whispers. Dad and Jane will sit in the foyer to offer support when it’s over. I will go in first with Ross. Then I will come out and get Trudy. Then the others will come in together after that.
Ross and I stand before the giant, ominous doors of reckoning. Every fibre of my fractured being braces itself for what it is about to endure. I, a completely unreligious person, utter a silent prayer. We open the doors, quietly slip inside, and close the doors behind us. I stand facing the doors, with my back to the truth, my head bowed and my freezing hands upon the glass. I feel my belly and I find the strength to turn around. The room looks beautiful. It is pale, peaceful, and angelic. It is huge. Empty. Cold. There are flowers arranged in neat rows along the empty pews, and then there is her. I cannot see her from this distance. All I see is the majestic pink coffin standing proudly at the centre of the aisle. I must walk down this aisle of vivid and violent death streaked memories to get to her. I take Ross’ hand and we walk forward for an eternity – with me clutching at Ross with my left hand, and my right hand clasping the bag of offerings I have brought for her.
We reach her. I look down upon her. Ross’ body seems to momentarily cave in as he suppresses a shuddering sob of recognition. Strangely, this does not happen to me. I gaze down upon her with tears releasing silently from my eyes, and I feel surprisingly peaceful. She looks beautiful, but her face is quite swollen. The thought occurs to me that she would not have liked a photo taken from this angle as it would not have done justice to her incomparably glorious face. But to me she still looks so beautiful; so beautiful, but so lifeless, so … dead. She is wearing a pink shirt, a pink scarf, her favourite half-mast adventurer jeans, pink bejewelled holiday sandals, the gold necklace with the coffee pot from Saudi Arabia, a pearly pink bracelet and two diamonte rings. And naturally she is befitted with a pink, fluffy, glittery, jewel encrusted tiara. I gaze at her and feel content with my selection of attire. She is dressed for a wonderful adventure.
But she needs more for her journey. With jittery, frozen fingers, I scramble around in my bag of goodies and begin arranging them for her. I tenderly drape her favourite fluffy pink blanket over her and tuck it in around her body so she will be comfy and warm. I place one of her special pink teddies near her left arm so she will never be alone. I put a DVD of The Bridges of Madison County – her favourite movie – by her right arm so she will be entertained if she gets bored when everyone else wants to stop chatting to go to sleep. I put her green pouch of scrabble letters near the bear so she can coax people to play with her in the beyond. Finally, I place upon her chest a copy of a document Ross and I have created, entitled, ‘Humanity’s Lamenting Vow to Ellie’, which lists a number of promises people can make to her at her wake. I also place a copy of our personal promises to her on her chest and gently arrange her hands over it. Her hands don’t feel real; they are cold, hard, lifeless. I look at them. They are pale, but still so pretty and delicate. I hold her right hand for a while and pour a fountain of love and gratitude into her.
I lean down, kiss her icy forehead, and whisper in her ear, ‘You have everything you need now. It’s okay. I love you’. I take two steps back and survey her with her collection of possessions and I feel she is at peace.
The feeling is short-lived, and is quickly replaced by a stabbing pain in my gut at the thought of having to get the other people that loved her. I have to watch them mourn her. With remarkable resolve and composure, determined to help them through it, I walk back out into the foyer and get Trudy. We walk back in. Trudy cleaves to my right arm, her body pushing itself into mine like a child’s. We journey down the aisle and she begins to sob involuntarily as her beloved Aunty comes into view. She leans over the coffin, and places her shaking hands on it as her body trembles with grief laden sobs.
She whimpers, ‘Oh, Auntie Ellie’.
She stands there, struggling to remain upright, and trying to stifle her anguish. She gazes at the body and moves her shaky hand down toward it. She abruptly pulls it back for a second, then reaches out and touches mum’s hand. She lovingly strokes her hand and face as another harrowing eternity drifts by.
When Trudy is ready I go back out to get Debbie, Denise and Georgia. I warn them that mum looks beautiful, but she is a bit puffy. Despite her limping, due to her prosetic leg, Debbie rushes to the casket and bends over it in silent agony. Georgia quietly and calmly walks the aisle and sits pensively in a pew. Denise remains paralysed at the doors. She begins to panic. She whispers that she can’t do it. She turns back toward the foyer in torturous indecision. Trudy goes to her, puts her arms around her shoulders, and comforts her, ‘Yes you can – you can do it’. Denise turns around, her whole body shaking, and teeters toward her faithful friend, with Trudy holding her up. She looks like a terrified child. She makes it down the aisle, but the sight of her childhood friend lying there motionless is unbearable. She sobs as the pain grips her body and she retreats quickly back to the foyer. Debbie continues to fawn over the coffin affectionately. Georgia gets up serenely, walks to the coffin, bends down and whispers something in mum’s ear, then delicately places a folded up letter in with her.
A silent acknowledgement of completion envelopes the group. We unanimously shiver toward the door and out into the real world, having said goodbye to the one we all loved so dearly.
It was a Murray family Christmas that year. Every second year my Uncle John and Uncle Chris, and their families, came to have Christmas in Bunbury with me, mum, Gramps and Aunty Marj. Mum and I always spent our Christmas’ with Gramps and Aunty Marj, in the little blue house on the hill. Even when it was just the four of us it was great, but it was even better when the rest of the family joined us.
This particular year mum had already been in Bunbury for a week (being a teacher she didn’t work during the school holidays) when I made the journey down from Perth. My gramps had long since been in a retirement home, but the house was left vacant for us to stay in whenever we came down to visit, which was frequently. It was, and is, my true home – my sanctuary.
When I got down, on the night before Christmas Eve, mum was manically engaged in various organisational activities. By this I mean that she had worked out exactly what everyone else needed to do. Ellie was a delegator. As I walked in she was already equipped with bad sparkling wine and an entourage of both anecdotes and demands. We sat on the front veranda, chatting and laughing, and planning. She, as usual, panicked at the amount we needed to get done before Christmas Day. I, as usual, reassured her. We laughed and chatted until midnight.
The next day mum was up at the crack of dawn, tidying the house in her flannelette pyjamas, whilst singing boisterously to the Christmas Carols emanating from the ancient record player. She was deliberately loud in the hope of waking me up because she wanted to chat. I smiled sleepily to those familiar sounds and roused myself. I padded out and found her organising her plethora of gifts in various piles on her bed.
Catching sight of me she grinned, as her eyes lit up and sparkled. She said, ‘Look at all the gifts I bought Rebecca! If you want you could help me wrap them all tonight. But first we need to go to the shops – there are a few more things I need to get, for Aunty Marj – I only got her the one cup so I think I should get something else – and then there’s all the food, I already got some of it yesterday but we still need the salad and the eggs and more wrapping paper and I might need more sticky tape can you check in the bag? No, not that one, the one with the paper and cards in it – yes there, how much do I have? Oh, I’ll get more anyway and then we can stop at Red Dot to look at …’
After my morning coffee, which she reluctantly waited for me to drink whilst complaining of her boredom, we hit the shops. Shopping with mum was both fun and intensely frustrating. I, unlike most women, tend to shop like a man – with a solid list and zero intention of staying for longer than required to procure the said list items. Ellie, like most women, liked to browse, was prone to spontaneous purchases, and genuinely liked to shop for hours so as to be sure not miss out on anything. I only managed to drag her away in the afternoon by telling her that I wouldn’t get all my cooking done unless we went home sometime before nightfall.
We went to pick Gramps up from the retirement home later that day. We always took him home for a few days over Christmas. He loved being in his old house with his family. At 90 he was bloody marvellous for his age; his mind was still sharp as a tack, but his eyesight and hearing had long since failed him. Having him home required both mum and I to take care of him 24/7. Once we had him home we chatted to him for a while and gave him some sandwiches. He then contentedly napped in his chair, as mum and I continued our preparation for the next day. This involved mum chatting on the phone whilst I cooked up a storm. I loved to cook. Ellie did not.
After everything was made we settled in the lounge room in front of the TV with Gramps. Mum brought in mountains of presents for me to wrap whilst she sat text messaging all her friends. Then she played Yatzee with Gramps, patiently letting him roll the dice as she told him what he had got. It always amazed me just how loving, gentle and patient she could be with her father. She was the most wonderful daughter ever. She often played Yatzee with him – on the little fold-out card table in the lounge. When Gramps went to bed we sorted all the presents. Mum handed them all to me, one by one, and I placed them in piles, one pile for each of us. We finally padded off to bed at eleven, mum being thoroughly irritated that I was too tired to stay up and chat.
As was the custom I had deliberately concealed all her presents under my bed. I did this because I sadistically enjoyed seeing her mounting internal panic that there were no gifts being brought out for her to be put under the tree. I curled up in bed, smiling at the thought of her delight as I presented them all to her in the morning – all 14 of them.
When I woke up in the morning she was heartily chomping into her poached eggs on toast, still in her PJ’s, half-heartedly doing a crossword at the kitchen table. Gramps was munching on a piece of toast in the lounge. I ran in and gave him a big kiss and then stumbled into the kitchen to make a coffee. Still eating her eggs, mum childishly said, ‘Can we open our presents now Rebecca or do I have to wait?’ She looked at me hopefully.
I grinned and replied, ‘I’ll just have a quick coffee and then we can open them’.
She pulled her girly disappointed face and muttered, ‘Okay then Rebecca, I suppose I can wait if I have to’.
I sat out on the veranda with my coffee and lit a cigarette as I waited for her first protestations. They began on my third drag – a little voice bleating out from the kitchen, ‘Is it time yet Rebecca?’ By the time I was almost finished my smoke she was at the door, demanding that the ceremony begin, like a petulant child. I finished and got up as she bounced into the lounge happily and perched herself on the couch.
She surveyed her presents pile. ‘My pile is very little this year Rebecca,’ she whinged.
‘I know – it is, isn’t it? That’s a shame’. There was, of course, nothing minimal about her pile, even without my gifts added to it.
She pulled her deepest pout, murmuring, ‘Get out Rebecca – look at yours’.
I had already noted that mine was huge. As per usual she had stealthily crept into the lounge by night and added several dozen presents to my pile. I sat in front of the piles and selected one of Gramps’ first. I always handed the presents out and we took it in turns to open them. I took it over to Gramps and said, ‘Merry Christmas Gramps! Here’s your first pressie!’ As he couldn’t see anything he felt the present with his beautiful old fingers, and chuckled to himself, as I helped him open it. It was a big box of chocolates from me. I told him what it was and let him feel how big the box was as I read out the card to him. He smiled contentedly.
Mum, sitting cross-legged on the floor, eagerly pounced on the conclusion of his gift opening and blurted out, ‘Is it my turn now Rebecca?!’
I handed her a pressie from her pile and watched her eagerly rip it open and survey its contents with upmost interest. Then it was my turn. As was usual, we opened our gifts from each-other last. When my pile was exhausted and I had been overcome with various delightful items, I handed over Ellie’s last present. I watched her open it, smiling to myself. When she was finished ravaging its contents she looked over at her non-existent pile, frowned, and sheepishly said, ‘Oh, mine are all gone now Rebecca.’
Smiling smugly, I got up and quietly went to retrieve her hidden gifts. Catching sight of the size of the bag I dragged in, her eyes widened like saucers. I tipped them out in front of her as she beamed delightedly at them. ‘Which one can I open first Rebecca?! Honestly you shouldn’t have – which one?’ Slowly but surely we got through all 14 gifts, mum becoming more besotted with the opening of each one, until she was quite mad with excitement over her new possessions.
After the gift opening ceremony, which naturally took up most of the morning, we got ready and started to prepare the food. Mum was already on her second bottle of wine when Uncle Chris, Aunty Judi, Elissa and Oliver arrived. We met them at the door with giant bear hugs. The house was immediately alight with merriment. They were heavily laden with gifts and food. I took the food into the kitchen as they went in to greet Gramps. Soon after that Uncle John and Aunty Val joined us. We all stood in the tiny kitchen, laughing and chatting, and getting everything ready. Mum dominated the conversation, as she usually did, with tales of recent happenings in her life, which thoroughly amused us all. As she recited a full unabridged tale of her life, we set the table up – turning it around and extending the ends so we could all sit together in the tiny kitchen.
I set endless platters of food on the table, and some on the bench. Everyone sat down, as mum and Elissa delightedly exchanged exciting, adventurous stories with animated voices and expressions, making the rest of us chortle with laughter. We popped our Christmas Crackers and donned our festive coloured hats. The massive indulgent feast was spread out before us – fresh crabs and prawns, cold roast chicken, turkey and ham, and decadent salads. The Murray family was known to be particularly indulgent. Everyone heartily tucked in, as mum and Elissa kept amusing us with stories. Each of us kept sporadically going into Gramps in the lounge, chatting to him and bringing him tasty titbits. The kitchen was alive with joy. The love and laughter filled the entire house and exploded out with rapturous delight. We drank and ate until we couldn’t fit anymore in. We talked and laughed until we couldn’t move anymore. It was a normal, beautiful Christmas, in the little blue house on the hill.
The 7th of September 2009 – The Grand Finale
You wake up with a dreaded sense of purpose. It is unlike any feeling you have ever had, or ever will have again. You get up because you have to. You stumble out onto the freezing cold veranda with a coffee that is pointless. You drink it anyway. You’d rather be drinking vodka. You chain-smoke as you contemplate the impossible task that looms ahead. You think about what you need to do. You re-read your eulogy. You have lost your voice – literally – which is obviously very problematic. You must speak the eulogy regardless, even if it means you never have a voice again. Who cares anyway?
People drift in and out of the space. There is talk. There are consoling glances. There are hard expressions of personal resolve. Yet there is love exuding from them all. And pain. No-one here wants to have to do this. You are aware of the time passing but it is not tangible. The early morning goes by in a misty haze of palpable, red, suppressed grief.
The time comes to get ready. You are standing motionless in a shower with water cascading down. A manic need to cleanse your entire body seizes you. You scrub; scrub away the dirty ash of grief. You are in a dressing gown. You sit at your grandmother’s dresser. You arrange your make-up, accessories and jewellery in a neat bundle. You brush your hair and attach things to it. You put foundation on your hands and rub it on your face. You coat the grief.
You hear her saying, ‘Put some effort into it Rebecca, there’s no excuse to not to look your best when we’ve been blessed with such exceptional genes’.
You apply eyeliner, pink eye-shadow, pink rouge, pink lipstick. You pick up the pink glitter powder. You put it on your eyes, cheeks, lips, and dapple it over all your exposed skin. You sprinkle some in your hair. You look at your face in the mirror. It is sterile and emotionless. She would find it quite satisfactory though. But the grief in your soul penetrates through your bright blue eyes with sparkling intensity. No, you can’t hide me, Grief smirks. You cannot bear to look at yourself any more. You need wine. You get some and go sit on the porch, fully dolled up in your dressing gown. You sit, smoke and sip. You resent the utter ridiculousness of what is about to happen. Why are we having a funeral again? She can’t be dead. She’s not dead, is she? Yes. Your body sinks into the harsh wooden floorboards. She is. You are about to go to her funeral … your mother’s funeral. You shudder with sickening recognition.
You must keep moving. You must put on the silly dress you bought. You go back inside. You pull your magnificent gown gently over your broken pregnant body. You slip on your black shoes with the pink sequins on them that you added yesterday. You are complete. You examine the result. She would be pleased. And now you wait …
It is a few seconds and an entire era. The others are getting ready. You can hear them inside as they don their pink attire. You sit on the porch in your gown, with your red wine, and the sole intent of smoking as many cigarettes as humanely possible before leaving.
Dad and Jane pull up in the drive-way. As they’re walking up the path, your dad gives you a sympathetic look and tenderly says, ‘You look really beautiful Bec’.
Yes, beautiful and broken you think. It is nearly upon you. You all wait in horrendous anticipation. Suddenly you’re not waiting anymore. You’re journeying once more down to the funeral parlour in Ross’ car. The family have agreed to gather there and drive in separate cars behind the Hertz. You feel a strange surge of strength emanate through you as you start moving. You can do this. You know you have to do this. You get to the funeral home. You stand, hunched over outside, hidden from sight, desperately sucking the life out of a cigarette and mustering your strength. You finish it. You stand up tall, hold your head up high, and walk in. Errol greets you and briefly goes over the procedure one last time. You listen, but all you can hear are the strangled screams of your own heart. The coffin is wheeled out and placed in the Hertz. The casket spray takes your breath away. Hundreds more bouquets and arrangements are brought out by scurrying attendants who then quietly negotiate a way to fit them all in the car. In the distance you see your uncles and cousins, all huddled together in a mass of pain. You are quite separate from them.
Errol gives the all clear. You get in the passenger seat of Ross’ car. Ross prepares to follow directly behind the Hertz. You down a Xanax. You need another smoke, so you quickly light one. You are moving. You can see the casket in front of you, through the back window of the Hertz. You cannot take your eyes off it. The outside world surrounding the cars is completely surreal. Other vehicles and people are moving through the sunshine, not knowing who the Hertz is bearing to the grave. You have a wave of nausea, mixed with panic, as you draw near to the chapel. You can’t do this. You gather yourself and tell yourself that you can – that you only have to do this once in your lifetime and you will damn well do it right! You will do it for her. And you know you can.
The car glides through the gates to the crematorium. There are cars everywhere. People are moving in throngs; dashes of pink littered through their attire. There are gardens surrounding you as you pull up in the long grey driveway. The car comes to a stop. A swarm of souls is lined along the grass, all looking at the Hertz. You get out. You don’t look at the people. Errol appears through the crowd. And then you are gliding with him, toward the chapel, to quickly check the décor. You arrive at the entrance to the chapel and peer in. People sit in pews, turning to look at you. You give Erroll a heartfelt acknowledgment of how perfect the place looks. You need to get back to Ross. But the pall-bearers are taken away – including Ross.
Your Dad finds you standing behind the Hertz. The procession begins to move forward. You are standing at the end of the driveway with your dad. People begin flocking in a group behind you. You are walking. You are all walking. You reach for your dad’s hand. You walk into the chapel. You glide down the aisle, holding your dads hand in your own, and sit in the front right pew. There are visions around you. A plethora of mourners pour into the chapel.
Your dad sits on your right, still holding your hand. There is a pink purse clasped in your other hand. You look over to the other side of the chapel and see your uncles, sitting in the left front pew. Uncle John is wearing sunglasses to hide the pain. Uncle Chris is a shattered man. The stage is set. The coffin stand is waiting on a central platform, with a canopy of pink material above it and three glittery pink hearts dangling jovially. A shrine is on the left, bearing a giant, beaming picture of her, little glittery pink hearts, an excessively large margarita glass filled with sequins, a teddy bear, a pink feather boa, and a tablecloth coated in glitter. A podium stands to the right. Karen, the celebrant, is standing beside it. Two bunches of offensively festive pink balloons decorate either side of the ‘stage’. The attendants bring in more flowers. The two heart wreaths are placed below the coffin stand. It is floral, abundant perfection. All is as it should be.
Quiet respectful nattering emanates as everyone settles. There are whispers everywhere. Suddenly we hear a kafuffle outside; the blearing of car alarms barrel through the chapel, with brute inappropriate force. There is a moment’s silence, and then a hesitant eruption of titters from the crowd. Yes – she is here. She has arrived, in case anyone missed it! Then the music starts. Classical coronation music, fit for a queen. A million bodies rise as one. The glorious pink coffin is carried down the aisle by strong, shattered people – people that you love, and that loved her. The pale pink coffin is placed on the stand where it sits with extravagant, unabashed pride. Snuffles and repressed sobs emanate and pulse. Ross is now beside you. Karen rises and takes the podium.
As it begins people sit down and brace themselves. Karen welcomes everyone. Words are coming out of her mouth. You hear them, but your own internal dialogue of heartache is louder … Honour the life of Elna … she touched so many hearts. Laughter. Loved by many. Will be missed by all who knew her … Suddenly taken. Injustice … Invitation to wake. A poem is read … I have so much love I cannot possibly use it in one lifetime … Then Elissa is speaking Uncle Chris’ heartfelt words. Her body is stiff with resolve as she tries to get through it without falling apart. She does remarkably well and your heart aches for her. You can barely look at her. Then it is Trudy’s turn. Teary love is pouring from her. There is love in every crease of her face; the song may be over but the melody lingers on. Little Lara recites Saran’s witty tribute and makes people laugh. A collection of work colleagues and friends pay tribute – respecting her and making us laugh, honouring her with their words.
Suddenly it is your turn. Getting up is easier than you thought it would be. You feel numb with calm resolve. You bear your soul, with utter composure and a broken voice. Your love for her gets you through it. Only a tiny bit of relief comes when you sit back down – you know you are getting to the hardest parts.
The giant screen comes to life. Photos of her, and of you, start rolling to ‘The Way We Were’. The room is filled with magnificent pictures of a life ridiculously well lived and cut brutally short. Surprisingly, you are able to look at them, and to appreciate all those memories even through the pain. ‘We Are Family,’ blasts out as the photos roll on – perfect, beautiful, funny, exciting, extravagant, adventurous images that make people smile and laugh.
Karen appears again at the podium. Now it is time to reflect and to think about what Elna meant to you, and to place an offering of petals on her coffin. Phil Collins’ ‘Testify’ starts to play. You are frozen as the haunting melody starts. Errol picks up two baskets, one of glittery petals and the other of roses. He stands near the step leading up to the coffin and gently nods to you. You and Ross float up together. You collect three pink roses from Errol. You go to the coffin and stand by it. You run your hands along it. Don’t break … just don’t break … not yet. You place your rose with an unbearable amount of love bursting within your heart. You release your final offering to her. Ross gives his rose to her. And now the most excruciating part is done together; you and Ross hold the last rose and place it on the coffin in honour of your son – the child she will never meet or hold in her arms. It is an insufferable thought that stabs you to the core.
There is a vague sense of relief as you sit down again. Now you are watching other people testify their love, each face a different and unique portrait of grief. There are so many people, with so much love. ‘Testify’ has to play three times to get through them all. When the last petals are placed the coffin is a utopian canopy of colour and love.
Words … there are more words. They are soothing words, though you hear them from afar. We are committing her body to be cremated. The soul’s release. The Lord’s Prayer. The Irish Goodbye. Then the coffin is moving slowly out of sight. She is being taken from you, forever. And then she is gone. You can’t feel your body anymore. You feel completely numb. The finale music blears out – ‘Fame’, from the musical Fame … I’m gonna make it to heaven, light up the sky like a flame …. I’m gonna live forever… How apt. A good choice indeed, you muse, as people titter in amusement.
Then you are floating outside with the inappropriate pink balloons. You hand a balloon to each broken member of your family. There is a simultaneous release. Pink bubbles of hope swiftly dance away in eager anticipation of their next exciting destination. People are swarming around you, now free to offer their condolences. It is a blur of faces. They are talking, and words are coming out of your mouth too. Then the tiny children start coming up to you. She was such an adored teacher that the entire school shut down for the day, so the whole staff body and many of the students and parents could make the journey down for her funeral. Now her little students appear, one by one, teary eyed, saying she was the best teacher they ever had. It freshly breaks your heart.
You suddenly feel a burning need to get out of there. You can’t take it anymore. You are utterly desperate to be anywhere but here. You glide back to Ross’ car. In the safe confines of car your body sags forward. You close eyes as you wish for it to be over. But now you must face the wake. It is not over yet. You wish you could just fade away. Must go to wake.
You arrive at the wake. You walk in and put ‘Humanity’s Lamenting Vow to Ellie’ on a big board. You arrange a pink notepad for people to sign their name. Where is the red wine? Somehow you manage to socialise. You chat to people. You don’t care what they think; you just want to go home. You sneak out for smokes with Georgia – your beautiful, understanding Geo. Can we drive off into another existence? You need to go home. Finally you are driven home. You tell Ross that you must stop at the bottle-shop and procure asti-ricadonna. You have zero intention of sharing it.
Finally you are home. It is over. You are so grateful to be back inside your sanctuary. But it is short-lived. It is over now, and there is nothing left to keep you going. You manically rip off your ridiculous dress and toss it aside. Ripping off all adornments, you put on something disgustingly comfy. You take a Xanax and thump out the back with the wine. You sit in a chair near the back door and immediately open the wine. You commence devouring it from the bottle and begin chain smoking. You feel utterly lost, shattered, broken, destroyed, defeated, eliminated, obsolete, desperate, tortured, agonised, infuriated….incapacitated.
After days of forced strength you surrender to complete self- destruction. You let the grief swallow you whole as you sink into oblivion. You want to stab yourself to painful death, but you are quite certain you wouldn’t feel a damn thing even if you did. You want to smash everything in existence, starting with your own head. The thought of going on without her is impossible to face.
It is all now a blur of maddening intoxicated sadness. Blood is pouring from the sky. The earth is opening up, hungry for the meagre remnants of your sanity. Voices are coming in. They are interrupting you flight into madness. Voices are echoing in the house. You need to make them stop. Is that laughter? No, impossible – the audacity of it! What pizza do you want? Pizza?! No, you did NOT just hear that. What is pizza? What are you?! You suddenly feel a hot wave of anger and need everyone to leave. Get out!!! You all need to get out. If you have physical human needs to fulfil then take your selfish living desires elsewhere. Out, the lot of you! You force Trudy to throw everyone else in the house out. You must be left to your madness in peace. You need to drown in it.