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Surviving Suicide – Part 31

August 6, 2010


I am amazed at how many people have come across my path because of having suicide in common. I initially thought it’s such a negative topic and worried it may bring me down, but it’s been completely the opposite for me. I never tire of supporting those in need, who may just be new to this experience, I never tire of hearing how others have healed and dealt with it. The common bond we share is something special and beautiful to me.

October – December 2001 – After Rob’s Death:

My mother-in-law called me October 1st and said she had read my brother’s eulogy to her son and that she had cried and was very moved by it and to thank my brother. I don’t recall why she was reading it at this late a date, I had kept everyone’s eulogy from the memorial along with the guest register.

Rob had a big bag that he carried with him at all times, almost like a woman’s purse, but this was a boating bag with lots of little pockets for all sorts of goodies he liked to have at his disposal. I’ve noted that I went through his bag October 2nd for things that the friend on the boat next door to ours had wanted. He had helped in unloading the boat of personal effects and it was his g/f who had found Rob, and they’d now decided I wasn’t their friend anymore as I wasn’t as welcoming as they were.

I also noted I had gone through Rob’s tool box from the boat, this was a very cool toolbox that rolled out into quite a big expanse, had a ton of little compartments for small bits and pieces. I was going through this also for Mike, the other friend who had helped clear the boat out.

I can’t remember now why I was doing this, whether I’d offered that if they wanted something to let me know because they’d been a big help unloading everything or whether they’d asked. I felt obligated to offer to compensate them, so it was probably my doing, but as I’d had the falling out with the couple on the boat beside ours, it seemed a little inappropriate.

Some things had just been taken as they were clearing out the boat. Nothing was mentioned at the time, but I found out later a few of Rob’s linen shirts had been kept by my g/f who had found Rob, a few other things that I later thought about and asked about had just been taken too. Sure made me wonder who my friends were. It’s not in my nature to be like that, to just take without asking and most definitely not when helping someone out at a time of tragedy – life lessens once again. It wasn’t the cost of the items, it was the principle.

The boat had not sold and the season was drawing to a close, so I decided to get my boat out of the yacht club and had it hauled out at the marina where they had a big enough travel lift to take a boat our size out. It was winterized and stored on land. I had so hoped not to have to do this as it meant even more expense and would have to be recommissioned in the Spring if anyone wanted a sea trial.

My employee/mechanic Tony told me October 18th that he’d had a dream about Rob again. Tony never met Rob, but he said Rob came to him in his dream, said thanks for looking after his tools, the business and me. Rob told Tony that he was thinking about coming back, and Tony said that Rob’s head was always down. I told Tony “oh geez don’t know if I can take another round with Rob in this lifetime” lol!

This reminded me that the psychic I’d seen a while back had said that Rob would return in my lifetime as a little boy, and that he’d fully expect me to recognize him. That hasn’t happened as yet and I can’t really say I’d be looking forward to it :(. I asked Tony if Rob had said what tools? There were tons at the shop, tons at the boat and tons at the house. Tony surmised Rob meant the shop tools. That night, the alarm at our shop went off which was strange too.

I think it was about this time too that my new friend Peter, who was a really positive influence in moving me forward, came to my house for the first time and we took my minpin, Spart for a long walk. I showed Peter my basement, piled with all sorts of stuff from the boat, plus a very extensive shop area Rob had set up in our basement. I had more tools than you could shake a stick at! Peter looked around, was just blown away at all the “stuff” and he said “wow! this basement is like an advertisement of how not to live your life!”. I had to agree.

As December approached, I was very aware it was the one year mark for Rob’s death. I was not in the mood to celebrate Christmas, but had promised myself that I wouldn’t let what Rob did at the time he had, ruin Christmas for me. I did make a note “1 year today!” on December 24th, and also noted that it had been a really tense Christmas at my sis-in-law’s with three exclamation marks, so it must have been my way of emphasizing the tenison.

Christmas Day was at my brother’s again and I’ve noted that it was a really great day and I wasn’t sad. My brother just loves the holidays, decorates and really gets into it and had quite a few friends over as well. He insisted I bring Spart my dog, one of his friends Andrew just loved dogs, picked Spart up but because he’s got CP, he wasn’t aware of the tight grip he had on Spart and his control was quite spastic and it was freaking Spart out. I kept saying Spart never bites, but he gave about 2 or 3 growls to let me know he didn’t like it. Andrew was burying his face in Spart’s and next thing you knew – Spart nipped him right in the nose!

I was shocked but later realized I’d been the stunned one not to take notice that Spart had given plenty of warning and I knew just how hard Andrew could squeeze when he gave me hugs, so my poor little dog who weighs only about 14 pounds had had enough. Poor Andrew was startled and not only did he have CP but he was also extremely diabetic. Next thing you know, Andrew was in quite a state sweating profusely and when they tested his blood, it was right off the scale!

I put Spart away in his travel crate until things calmed down. We all had an amazing dinner and then began to open gifts. My brother had really wanted something of Rob’s to keep as a momento. I was very pleased to be able to give him a beautiful set of brass ship’s clock, barometer and one other type of instrument that we’d always had on our boats. They were Rob’s pride and joy and it made me so happy to be able to share that with my brother. He installed them at his cottage and it’s always a nice little reminder when I visit there.

A ship’s clock is quite interesting. They were designed long before electricity, have to be wound with a key. They keep time on 4 hour increments, with bells chiming every half hour. So if it’s midnight, you get 8 bells, then at 12:30pm you get 1 bell, 1am – 2 bells, 1:30am – 3 bells, etc. This was done so that the captain could always tell the time even in the dark of night and were to regulate sailors’ duty watches. I’d caught on right away, and funnily enough – Rob who was so mechanically/technically inclined never did.

On Boxing Day, December 26th I continued being social and attended a lovely party at a g/f’s house which they hosted on a rotational basis. Lots of friends from the yacht club that I knew along with many of their family members and extended family too. I hadn’t really felt like going out for a third day in a row, but I had a really good time and was proud of myself for making the effort.

December 27th I’ve noted that I was at the shop. We were closed still for the holidays as we’d usually given our employees the week off with pay as a Christmas present. I noted “At shop 3:30pm, found Rob at 2:15pm 1 year ago – amazing how much difference 1 year makes.” Am not exactly sure what I meant about 1 year making so much difference, but although in some ways it felt like a lifetime ago that Rob had died, in other ways, it felt like little to no time had gone by.

So much had taken place in 2001. I’d fought many battles, lost a few friends that I thought would be with me a lifetime, had kept the business going without Rob, and had really begun my journey of self development that would remain with me for the rest of my life. It had been an extremely challenging year, but I had learned so much.

Christmas and New Year’s has always been a very reflective time of year for me, still is. It’s not only that the calendar year is changing, it’s a time to reflect back on what transpired during that year. Whether it was a good year or bad year, whether I wanted to continue on in the same vein or make change. I marvelled at what I had gone through and survived and I remember thinking, wow! if I haven’t had a meltdown by now, I probably never will. That felt pretty good.

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