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Surviving Suicide – Part 30

July 27, 2010


Not too much to say other than I asked for a miracle yesterday right out loud and by day’s end, a real live human Angel granted me one. I was very thankful and grateful!

Here’s another lovely quote that seemed so appropriate for me today:

It is out of our wounds come many gifts that relate to our purpose. ~ Donny Lobree FB

September 2001 – After Rob’s Death:

September was back to school time for my son. I’d been leaving many messages with my g/f trying to find out what was going on. She was the one who had found Rob. I’d also left a few messages for her b/f too, but never heard back. Finally on Sept. 6th, her b/f did call me back. He said his g/f was “burned out and feels that I’m not as welcoming as she is” and that he guessed it was over. So that was that! A friendship of over 10 years was suddenly non-existant.

I was really sad and hurt over the loss of this friendship. I cried and was even more upset in a way than I was at the time of losing Rob. With Rob I was sort of expecting it, had 10 months to be separated and the distancing had taken place. We’d had so many deep, meaningful conversations, nothing left unsaid really. I’d tried to stop him from taking his life several times, so it was not a surprise when he finally suceeded. With my g/f I somehow had figured that we’d always be friends, especially after sharing such an emotional, wrenching experience as we had. I was wrong :(.

I wondered why my g/f hadn’t had the guts to call me herself, she was no shrinking violet, but I also realized many don’t like confrontation and instead of dealing with it, they just avoid it entirely. I’d been so confused as to why they hadn’t come up to the cottage as planned and now I knew. I found it very rude that neither of them could be bothered to at least pick up the phone and let me know, but that was their choice and spoke to who they were.

I told her b/f that we were scattering Rob’s ashes and would they be attending, he said he had mixed feelings and I surmised they’d not be coming. As I’d been through so much pain, tears and turmoil already, I decided the day after finding out our friendship was over that I wouldn’t allow myself to remain down about it. I made a conscious decision to let it go and surprisingly, I was able to very quickly.

Rob was cremated and I’d been told that I’d have up to one year to pick up the ashes. I didn’t feel the need to get them prior to scattering them, just didn’t like the idea of having his ashes in the house. I’d set the date for Sept. 12th and let a few close friends and family know if they wanted to attend. I had wanted to take our boat out and asked my friend Mike if he’d drive the boat as I’d never departed or docked the boat and wasn’t about to now.

On September 11th, 2001 I went to the funeral home and picked up Rob’s ashes. I’d told my employees I’d be a bit late that day and my babysitter wasn’t there so when I got home, I came into the house, put the box of ashes on the kitchen counter and was just staring at it in disbelief. It was hard for me to comprehend that a whole body could be condensed down to the small size of the box. I wasn’t in an emotional state surprisingly, instead I unwrapped things, opened the box and found a plastic bag inside with Rob’s ashes.

I was staring at those too, remembering what Rob looked like when alive and that he was now reduced to just some ashes. I was thinking of the religious prayer that’s always said at funerals, ashes to ashes, dust to dust when the phone rang. It was my sis-in-law and she didn’t know that I’d picked up Rob. She asked me whether I’d seen the news? I said no, I just got back from the funeral home with Rob’s ashes, why?

She said turn on the TV! It’s all over the news! Terrorists have crashed planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon! I immediately turned the TV on and saw the footage. I couldn’t believe my eyes as I’m sure so many felt that day. I came back onto the phone and said “Wow, look at that. I’ve had all year to go get Rob’s ashes and now the day that I do – all hell breaks loose!”. I don’t recall what she said, but think she did say it was quite coincidental.

It dawned on me that even on this day of picking up the ashes, I truly wasn’t able to grieve. The few moments I’d had to reminisce had quickly been taken over by the tragedy unfolding on TV. I closed up the bag of ashes and put them back in the box and put them on top of Rob’s dresser in our bedroom. I didn’t want to leave them out and figured I’d deal with it later. I will never forget Sept. 11th as many won’t, but I had a secondary reason too.

I left for work, told Tony my mechanic what a coincidence that on the very day I picked Rob up all hell broke loose in the world. He had the TV on at work in the customer waiting area, all my employees and myself watched the footage over and over being replayed. I was in total shock and really couldn’t believe that someone, nevermind all those piloting 4 different planes would conceive to use passenger jets as human bombs. I felt sick about it all and thought of all those poor passengers and what terror they’d gone through before their lives had ended.

I thought about all those killed not only in the planes, but for those in the buildings. It wasn’t long afterwards that the first tower fell. That too was not to be believed! Then the second tower fell! It pretty much consumed all of us most of the day watching the news. I think we closed up shop early and I went home feeling completely exhausted, burned out, very sad and drained and felt that somehow, the world had changed and would never be the same.

I was very affected by this tragedy as I know much of the world was. I wondered what kind of world did we live in where insane people thought of doing things like this? I was pretty much glued to the TV for the next several days and realized on the 3rd or 4th day that I was getting so depressed, that I just had to shut the damn TV off and not watch it anymore! It was the first time I remembered being that impacted by any event.

September 12th was a very windy day. Winds were blowing all day long and the lake was building waves as time went on. We all met at our boat at the yacht club and I decided it was just too windy to try to take the boat off the dock, Mike had never done it, Rob always had been the one to dock. I was sad to not be able to take Rob to his final resting place on his own beloved boat, but made the call that I just couldn’t risk damaging the boat so one of our friends offered to take his boat out instead.

We all went to their boat, untied and headed out to the lake. The waves were pretty big and rough and I wondered whether we’d be better to postpone, but quite a few had made the effort to come so we continued on. We found a place not far from our club where it was a bit sheltered by land and the waves were much less, so we dropped anchor, cut the engines and I said a few words thanking everyone for attending, said a few words about Rob and I believe my son and I began to empty the ashes overboard, but it was so windy that they blew right back into the cockpit and covered many of us with his ashes :(.

This freaked out a few people for sure lol! Here we all were in a very emotional moment, some of us in tears, and to then have Rob’s ashes land on us was not what we were expecting. I realized we were upwind instead of downwind and changed sides and finished emptying the ashes out. Rob absolutely loved boating and I could think of no better a place than to release him to what he loved so much. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen cremated remains, but they did in my case, include a small piece of paper with Rob’s name on it.

I hadn’t noticed this and of course that went overboard too and was floating away. My brother was having a fit because you weren’t supposed to do this sort of thing and now Rob’s name was floating around too. I told him not to worry, it would sink or float away. We all headed back in again, and the ashes blowing back on everyone and the cockpit had broken the the grief, and a few of us with warped senses of humour had quite a few chuckles saying wouldn’t you just know that Rob wouldn’t go without a little drama.

It was a very simple gathering, but very nice and I appreciated all those who came out to send Rob off.

On September 17th I’ve noted that my g/f from the yacht club who had a daughter the same age as my son came to my shop. She told me that my other g/f who had found Rob, and who she had now become quite good friends with had told her that I should not have asked my g/f to find Rob dead, that I’d never paid her for her sunglasses that went missing during the emptying of the boat, that I never invited her for dinners like she did for me and something about getting ripped off for the cost of a brake job at our shop.

I was absolutely astonished at all of this! I was shocked that she’d be telling my g/f who was in my shop telling me all of this, I was pissed that she expected me to pay for her glasses when my friend Mike had offered twice to pay for them and she’d declined, yet never bothered to tell me she expected me to pay. It was true that I didn’t invite her for dinner, partly because I’m not much of a cook and she was excellent, but mostly because I just wasn’t in the mindframe for entertaining after all that had transpired.

The brake job we’d done for her was done at cost, I charged her exactly what my supplier charged me for the parts and I charged her exactly what I paid the mechanic Tony per hour, not the going shop hourly rate. So how on earth she figured I’d ripped her off was just beyond me! This was one of the ways I’d attempted to pay her back for all she’d done for me and was one way I could do it, but now it was backfiring and I was being accused of ripping her off? I was pissed!

The g/f standing in my shop telling me all this obviously agreed with the other g/f. We’d been friends too for about 10 years. She told me that I’d known what I was sending my other g/f in to find when I’d asked her to see if Rob was on the boat. She told me that I’d known Rob was dead. At this point, I just really lost it, but did so in my usual way, which was to just get very quiet, very focused, thought about what I was going to say and then said it.

I told her first of all, how dare she tell me what was going on inside MY head. I told her my other g/f and I had been phoning for quite a few days before and after Christmas, and that because his car was still there, I figured he’d gotten back together with his g/f and taken off. I told her don’t you think I’d have preferred to have been the one to see Rob, I never got to see him! I explained what had happened about the loss of the sunglasses, that Mike had offered to buy her news ones and she’d declined, but somehow magically expected me to know that she wanted me to buy her replacements. I told her I’d done the brake job at my cost so how in hell could I have ripped her off!

I was very agitated but outwardly appeared calm. The g/f who was in my shop was totally caught off guard with my reaction, she knew I was very mad. She left shortly thereafter and I immediately called the b/f asking what the sunglasses had cost, that I’d write a cheque and be done with it because I didn’t want to be indebted to them at all.

Some of our other common yacht club friends thought I was nuts offering to pay for her sunglasses. They told me it wasn’t my fault, that I shouldn’t pay and for her to react the way she had, it was not right or reasonable. I knew they didn’t see things the way I did, I told them I did not want that being held over my head and would do what felt right to me and I did pay.

At that point I decided right there and then that I wanted nothing to do the g/f who had delivered the news either. Don’t know when I next saw her but I told told her, we’ve been friends a very long time, our kids have grown up together, you’ve minded my son and I’ve minded your daughter and for you to all of a sudden side with my other g/f and gang up on me is just too much. I told her I didn’t like the way she thought and that our friendship was over and she needed to leave my shop immediately.

She was crying by this time, I was not and did not for one single moment feel badly at all. In fact, after the comment about ripping off my other g/f, she told me she thought Tony charged a lot too as we’d done work on her vehicles too. Again, because she was a friend, I charged her only cost on that too. It was definitely a cleaning out time for friends, and they sure had showed me that they were no friends at all.

I left early that day too, was really depressed, confused over what had happened, but once again made the conscious choice to not let it take me out – and I didn’t. I was amazed at this point how quickly I could get over big emotional hurt, it was a good lesson to learn.

September 19th was my birthday, really didn’t care to celebrate it but had some friends and family call to wish me Happy Birthday. I realized that special occasions had been so disasterous over the years, that I’d finally given up on any expectation of having them celebrated. Can’t even remember if anyone came over, but I’ve noted that I got some beautiful Birds of Paradise in a gorgeous vase from my sis-in-law and an orchid from my brother and his partner, so maybe some did drop by. I noted “I’m lucky”. I also got a lovely antique teaset from my in-laws.

On the 22nd I went to visit my Mom and stepdad with my son and noted we’d had a nice visit. Always enjoyed their company and felt relaxed with them.

On the 25th I noted my financial planner had come over, we went over everything and he told me I was okay, and ironically what I had back then is just about equivalent to what I owe now lol!

On the 29th we visited my in-laws, it was a sad day and quite depressing. My father-in-law cried six times. He never really got over the loss of Rob and I remember his memory was failing due to the stroke and sometimes he’d even forget Rob was gone. He’d later realize, and this happened many times during the visit, and when he’d realize, he’d cry again. Was so sad.

September had been one helluva month again! Highly emotional, much relationship conflict and loss. It was also my wedding anniversary on the 10th, that’s why I couldn’t bring myself to go pick Rob’s ashes up on that day and chose the 11th instead. Would have been our 24th but was no more.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Daniel Hollywood permalink
    July 27, 2010 8:53 pm

    Hi Again Barb,

    Talking about coincidences again, on Sept 11th 2001 I was working for an Electrical Supply Co in So Chgo Heights we were closing the facility and moving to a bigger location in Chicago, so the only people there were myself and our Warehouse Mgr Ron. At about 8:30am one of my customers called and said how horrible it was what happened at the World trade Center, I asked why are you talking about something that happened in 1993. He then asked aren’t you listening to the News, I told him we were busy packing up but I would turn on the Radio, that was just when the second Plane hit tower two, We turned on the TV in the shop and just caught the first Tower going down and Ron and I were both in shock.

    Just about this time our owner Cara Potter called and told us to quit work for the day, I drove to a Restaurant down the road and they had their TV and everyone in the Restaurant was just in a state of shock, getting home thats all that was on TV the rest of the evening and the images of that day will always haunt me, I can’t believe that any Religion would promote the killing of Innocent people as a way of getting to Paradise.

    The second Coincidence was a Good friend here passed away on July 28th of last year, His Family was from Buffalo NY and asked me as is Best Friend would I please take care of his ashes after he was cremated, he had worked as a Merchant Sailor on the Great Lakes earlier in life and we scattered his ashes at Montrose Harbor here in Chicago and while we were scattering the ashes the wind changed and blew some of them back on Mike and myself and we both said that was just like Al, always causing trouble.

    Sorry for being do long winded with you, it sometimes feels in my responses that I’m sending a Blog to you. I don’t think you lost much in dismissing both of the GF’s, they actually proved what type of friends they were. Looking forward to your next post.

    • July 29, 2010 2:24 pm

      Hey Dan,

      Don’t think there are many from North America who don’t have a story to tell about Sept. 11th, such a sad day in history. I don’t believe any religion does promote the killing of innocents, it’s just a bunch of insane radicals hiding behind their religion putting their warped spin on things.

      Guess the moral of the story with the ashes is to check wind direction lol!

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