Sunday, February 18, 2024

Grief and Talking to Spiders

104 days ago, I received a text message from my sister, Hey Sis, please can I borrow $10 and Sam is in a coma. It was 9am, instead of leaving for work, I threw clothes in a bag and drove the two and a half hours to where my beautiful brother lay in Auckland hospitals critical care. Mum was already there. I hadn't had a drink for four months but before I entered critical cares room 12, I swallowed a 7% can of gin and tonic.

Mum and I barely left his side. Despite what I so hopefully called, "wakeful moments", where his eyes would open and his voice could be heard in sometimes soft, sometimes loud sighs beside the biggest yawns, 21 days later, my beautiful brother let go. He was 36 years old. 

For the four months before the assault that took my brothers life, I was good. I was almost content. I was sober. It's been ten weeks since we buried his body. Ten weeks of avoiding feeling what I felt that night once the wake was over and the lights went out. After forcing glasses of water down my beautiful nephews throat, I tucked into the bed I'd made on my daughters lounge floor, closed my eyes and was grabbed by a pain so harsh and so physical and so dark. Thanks to some drug abuse, sips of anything neat, zopiclone, Curtis James Jackson fantasies and multiple three day bed rots scrolling Facebook reels; I've avoided feeling all together. Result, significant loss of income with real risk of loosing the self employed profile I've worked hard to build, a weak if not sick -  body, mind and spirit and a growing fear this traumatic grief will be the death of me. 

Is it normal to take comfort in stories of horrific crimes following the murder of a loved one? I used to fall asleep to scripture and Ted Talks. And is it okay that I spoke to a spider today and he/she did what I told him/her to do. No lie, when I stepped out of the shower this morning, clean and sober, I stood almost parallel with a spider who was quickly making his/her way down from ceiling toward floor. My first thought was, is he/she building that web that fast or was it pre-made this seemingly urgent descent, because he/she was gunning it. My second thought was he/she is putting self in danger heading for the floor inches from a door soon to open. So I said, "you best climb back up 'cause you're heading for danger". And he/she did. Right there, immediately after I spoke. I'm feeling mixed. Am I okay for thinking I saved that spider from certain death? Am I okay?

I'm writing for survival. I'm writing here because I am scared. 

Sam & I, two months before the assault that took him from us


  1. Thank you for sharing. I can't imagine much is normal after losing someone in such a traumatic way. I'm so sorry for your loss. I doubt your beautiful Sam would want you to lose yourself to the bottle in anguish but I understand- I hope you manage to find some comfort soon. You are ok. Talking to spiders isn't quite the craziest thing I've heard lately. Getting up there lol hey it probably got as much of a fright as you did. Take care

  2. I often talk to a bird on my fence, in my head it's always the same bird,come to check in on me and it lingers longer than any of the others, I'd like to think it's my mum and I'd like to think it's her way of maintaining her link with me.I don't think you or I are crazy, I would like to think it's our way of finding something small in the moment of overwhelming emotions to focus onto in order to prevent tipping over the cliff of utter despair.
    My mum knew she was dying and left me very clear instructions about how long I was allowed to grieve for,she was a strong woman and told me to get on with my life or she would come back and annoy me!
    I think it was her way of trying to protect me after she was gone by issuing the final ultimatum .
    I am deeply sorry you have lost your brother, Especially in such a senseless way.
    I know you never got the last conversation with him but family who love each other want nothing but the best for each other, he would wont to protect you from all this pain and he can no longer do this for you.
    When the dust settles honor his memory by taking care of you so that if your purpose is to help others who may find themselves in your situation, or you can educate others on the impact of senseless violent crimes you will be whole enough to make a difference for him.
    For now one breath,one footstep at a time..let the healing begin.
    Cherish his memory thru self love not self destruction, he would have wanted that for you
    Take care xxx