M is for Memorial • #atozchallenge

The 15th April, 2010 was a day not much different to today. The autumn sun had slipped lower in the sky, making the day cool enough for a jacket. As I was putting my mascara on in the bathroom, ahead of a normal day at work, the telephone rang.

The man on the other end of the phone asked me why my estranged husband hadn’t been at his job for the last three days. I didn’t know the answer to his question.

Instead of going to work that morning, I went to the house my husband and I used to share. When he didn’t answer the door, I let myself in with the key I still had on my key ring.

The details of what I found inside are too distressing to describe. It is enough that I can never un-see what I saw that day, without making you endure it too. It is enough for you to know he was dead, and that he had killed himself.

My husband and I were no longer together or in love, but what he did still smashed my heart into pieces that have never quite gone back together properly.

My mother told me on the phone a few days later, that in five years time I would go days without thinking about what had happened that April morning in 2010. She was wrong.

But I no longer weep for him, for us, for the mess he left behind. Although I still think about the way he looked the last time I saw him, the image has faded and blurred like a photograph left out in the sun.

They say that death occurs in three stages — the first when the person stops breathing, the second when the memorial service is held, and the third when the living stop remembering the dead.

So here I stand, five years later, taking this second chance to keep a part of him alive.

I don’t believe in God or heaven so it seems pointless to wish that he rests in peace. Peace is for the living — I hope we all find enough peace in ourselves and reflected in each other, to co-exist with our pain.


If you or someone you know may be at risk of suicide contact
beyondblue 1300 22 46 36, Lifeline 13 11 14 or Salvo Care Line 1300 36 36 22.

This post is part of the April A to Z Challenge


About KatieP

Embracing my midlife sexy while exploring modern love & relationships • Devoted to all things beautiful • Master of Arts in creative writing & non-fiction writing

23 thoughts on “M is for Memorial • #atozchallenge

  1. Peace, Katie. I’m sure every time you write this, think of this, your heart cracks. The memory is part of YOU. When you lose someone who has influenced your life, in one way or the other, it is the memories in your brain that remain. The violence and sadness or suicide, you finding him, add a whole other level of depth. Peace, Katie.

  2. Ah *that* day. I’m sorry that yours was today. Mine is December 23 – the day I received a call from a policeman informing me that my wife had been in a serious car crash and had been flown to Waikato Hospital with a severe brain injury.

    All I can say is that maybe your mother underestimated the depth of your experience. Time *does* heal, thankfully. Sometimes it just takes longer than we’d like. Eventually we do find the strength to take back *that* day, and own it once again, and regardless of whether it was random bad luck or another human being that caused us all this pain, there is a peace to be found. Amazingly in the immortal words of Rachel Hunter – “It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen”.

    I wish you peace for today, and the promise that it does get better with every passing year.

    1. Thanks Dave. I know that time does heal — it’s certainly easier as each year passes. I wish you peace as well and a soft place for your pain to dwell.

  3. Definitely wishing you peace on this day and all days. It is a horrible vision to deal with finding someone like that.

  4. Peace from me too. Very sad story, but I’m sure it’s made you very strong. Isn’t that what we always say? In any case, thanks for the post!


  5. I lost my mom to cancer April 10, 2015. The memorial is Monday. Your post has really touched my heart and spoke to me. While it was a relief she passé, I will struggle with the other two deaths your referred to above. I am sorry for your loss. Sending you peace and thank you for your post.

  6. I’ve been thinking of you since yesterday and I hope you are doing okay today. Every time I think about it, it brings tears to my eyes thinking about what you have gone though. May you have lots of sunshine and happiness in your future.

  7. Ugh. These types of anniversaries are the hardest to get through. Sometimes I think it’s the anticipation of the date that’s the hardest. I hope you did find some peace today.

  8. when you put up your post on Facebook, I didn’t know who you were talking about other than he must have been a dear friend. So very sorry for your loss. I hope you are more at peace now after all that you’ve been through.

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