Wednesday, 26 March 2008

No more words

One minute I was rushing around gulping the last mouthfuls of coffee, washing breakfast dishes, packing my bag and brushing my teeth in my haste to leave the house and be slightly less late than I’d otherwise be sans rushing.

Then I noticed my mobile. Call from parents house. My Mum often calls at inopportune times, and in my early morning stress-out, I have no time to answer. I’ll call her back later today.

Next time I glance at the phone I notice 3 calls from my Mum’s work number.

Weird. Why am I getting called from both places? As by then I’m literally about to walk out the door, I wait until I’m downstairs to listen to the first message (no mobile reception in the lift or lobby).

As soon as I hear my dad’s voice I know there’s something wrong; messages from him on my mobile are rarer than days when I’m on time in the mornings. I call him back with trepidation, my mind racing. He called me, so he’s ok. My Mum’s at work, so she must be ok. I got emails last night from both of my brothers, so unless something dramatic happened overnight, they’re ok.

In hindsight I should have been worried about my Babushka, that she’d fallen again or something. But the words stumbled out of my Dad’s mouth so quickly I didn’t have time to go through any other options.

My cousin. He’s dead. He drowned at the beach yesterday. He was away on holidays up on the north coast.

Suddenly I think back to yesterday afternoon. Sitting home procrastinating and reading the smh.

I read a story about my own cousin’s death without realising it.

My Dad tells me what little more he knows, but it isn’t much. We talk a bit, both crying, then say goodbye and I love you. I then call my Mum and do much the same. By this stage I’m halfway to the GPs office that I’m currently sitting in with.

Really, in situations like these, what can you say? Nothing you say or do is going to bring anyone back, provide solace or make anyone feel good. Sometimes there are no reasons, and questioning why and going through alternative scenarios only leads to torture and mind fuck. What if he had gone to a different beach, at a different time? What happened in those last minutes and what could and couldn’t have been prevented?

Sometimes, a lot of the time, there simply are no answers. No clue. Nothing fixable. That’s hard to deal with.

I know I was numb for most of the day. A few patients I saw I wanted to scream at – those complaining about a sore knee or other ailments. I wanted to scream “You’re alive! Don’t take it for granted because it can be taken away in minutes, when you least expect it! Don’t sit there and ask me for sympathy about Centrelink cutting your pension off and asking you to attempt to look for work. Looking for work is not going to kill you!” And so on.

But I didn’t scream. I made it home. And then I looked at his facebook profile. And then I google’d the story again.

And then I broke down.