Following an invitation last month I’ve been busy preparing a manuscript for submission. In the post I’ve linked to you’ll see that I wasn’t sure how two completely opposite events would collide, but I felt sure they would. With a little over three weeks to the deadline and to the first year mark of the loss of my son, I’m fighting a personal battle.
Last week I was sick, but I feel confident in saying that sickness was not an illness. It was totally related to grief. My queasy stomach gripped hold of me tightly sending symptoms of nerves to every corner of my body. It got so bad that I even had a nightmare one night and another last night. So even though my mind is occupied with the exciting event, my body is preparing for the sad event.
Today, having given myself two days off to recuperate, I naturally had nothing to occupy my mind and I found the darkness edging its way in. An exhausted body can not put a stop to an overactive mind. Then, without thought or reason, I found myself opening Barry’s gmail account and reading through the emails he had sent one year ago.
It was a stupid thing to do. I know that. You know that. But I did it anyway and, yes, I am sorry.
Reading his words made me feel like I was sitting in the computer room at home, with Barry at the other computer. I could hear him saying the words in my mind; I could hear the pain and confusion in his voice. To say I had a lump in my throat is an understatement, but I now have a sore throat from that experience.
These words affected me the most. They were taken from an email written on 5 May 2006.
…but i got two ideas in my head atm, ill ask mum if i can go to england and if we cant affort it then ill do something else which no1 will like…
…coz one or the other im going…
And finally this:
…wen you get your stuff back off me then you know i have made my mind up and ill be going to either one of the places I just said…
Barry never asked me if he could go to England.
Now, I read these words and it’s obvious what he meant, but I can imagine at the time the recipient might have been unsure and for this reason I hold no malice towards that person. In fact, having read all the emails several times in the past year, I know the recipient did the best they could under the circumstances.
Today, I will say that Barry’s emails showed signs of obsession and depression. And, this is something I have never said on this blog in the past, but at the beginning of May 2006, Barry drank bleach. I didn’t know this until later, much later, but I do know that Barry was scared his family would find out and hate him for it. I don’t know what he thought he’d achieve by doing this, but I do know that it showed how desperate he was feeling at the time. After his passing, I found the jumper he must have worn on that day. The bleach stain down the front is a cruel reminder of the darkness of Barry’s mind.
And I know what a mind can do to a person and how much torture it can mercilessly dish out. If I told you the things that have been flowing from the darkness of my mind today, you’d be horrified. I almost did write a post about it, this post, but somehow that post never eventuated and that’s probably a good thing.
I am filling my days with a project that distracts. At the beginning I thought that distraction would not work, but I have discovered that it does. I find myself asking why this project (or invitation) came at this time. Why is the deadline only three days before the one year mark? How was I so fortunate to have a friend step up and insist on helping me make that deadline? I don’t know the answer to these questions but I’m glad this project came along.