Sunday, October 15, 2006

The Day My Life Changed Forever

This is a photo of my youngest son Justin at the age of 32.

Those of you who read Peter's blog at holtieshouse January 2006.
will know some of this story already.

Justin's marriage of eleven years broke up the week before my birthday
7th August 2005. Justin was a dedicated and loving father and husband.

I kept this bad news from my husband Lyle who was in residential care
and too frail to cope with it.

As I have already posted Lyle passed away on 1st September 2005,
Justin seemed to deal with the passing of Lyle well enough, he was
having great difficulty with the lack of his family life as he knew it.

Sadly these things just happen these days out of the blue with no

Justin at the age of 32.

Things were naturally very strained between his wife and himself at
times , the phone calls he had with his little ones used to really tear
him apart as he had always been such a hands on dad, the three
children used to follow him everywhere like little puppies enjoying
every moment with him.

I sat on the fence at this time trying to be supportive to everyone
as I loved them all, Araina and I had always had a special relationship
throughout this marriage.

This was a publicity shot taken when Justin used to work at the
historical Fort Lytton in the Moreton Bay area. There was an annual
re-enactment of the forces that used to man the Fort, a big tourist day
with BBQ and many stall and displays. Justin in the one who has the
work Fort below him.

Two of Justin's children, Melissa aged five, with plain blue singlet top,
her brother Matthew directly behind her aged eight at this time.
This was his last Christmas celebrated with the family, Justin had
died by the next Christmas, the children in the photo are all first

Justin and his youngest baby a little girl Breeanna who was just about
to turn two on the 27th December. She was all "Christmased" out at
the time of this photo, needed her beauty sleep.

Justin continued to live in New South Wales, was on anti depressants,
was working and looking forward to his estranged wife visiting him for
the Christmas break so they could still maintain Christmas for the
children as normally as possible.
However his wife changed her mind and decided her and the children
would spend time with her mother instead. Justin was in constant
contact with her trying to get her to change her mind.

On the 23rd of December he borrowed his friends mobile to once
again beg her to come down, she did not change her mind.

Justin said he did not feel like staying at work and that he would see
his friend later when he finished work and went home.
The plan was that they would then call on a friend and spend the
evening there. Justin's friend duly went home from work at 7.30 to pick
him up for their nights visiting to find that Justin had taken his own life.

It came to light later that he had died at 4.30 pm on the 23rd
december, we had Christmas Day and Breeanna's third birthday on
the 27th December to live through. It broke my heart when I visited
the children and Araina with their presents as, Breeanna asked me
very loudly to "take me to Daddy in your car Nanni."

I had been in contact with Justin who was very happy that I was going
to Gympie to be with my friends that Justin knew, he was relieved that
I would spend my first Christmas after Lyle's passing with people he
knew would look after me. These friends had asked me at Lyle's funeral,I
accepted the offer happily. I knew my family that I usually spent Christmas
Day with would be happy for me to do this, as they understood Gympie had
had been a special place to Lyle and myself.

On the Christmas Eve my friends and I, Peter, Jackie and Ken and
another friend from Hervey bay Edna were having a very enjoyable time
when my middle son rang me and told me the news of Justin's death.
The bottom just dropped out of my world as I knew it. Friends from
Brisbane rang poor Jackie and Ken's phone all day Jackie was letting
them, know if I was able to talk to them otherwise they would ring
back later.

I remained with these friends who helped me to survive the very worst
news I had ever had in my life. I felt very sorry for my friends
throughout all of this as what a terrible burden they had been given
to deal with, they are the best friends anyone could ever wish for and
they were just truly magnificent each and every one of them,

Time came for me to go back to Caloundra and prepare for a stay in
Brisbane where one group of wonderful friends from Gympie passed
me onto another friend of the same ilk who cared for me until Justin's
body was released and my two elder son's and family took me down
to New South Wales for the Service.
We were not able to bring Justin back home as his wife did not wish
it, and although estranged Araina was still his legal next of kin so we
needed to abide by her decision.

Neither Araina or the children attended Justin's funeral although my
family did every possible thing they could to assist them to do so.

I know there will be other people out there with the same sort of
tragedy, I was always very considerate and sympathetic when I read or
heard of these things happening to other people , never really knew
though the terrible depth of pain that one suffers in times like this or
for how long it goes on for.

One walks eats sleeps lives functions as
always, I even laugh,
however I am aware a part of me is just missing
and it will never
return again. I am blessed with many good loving friends , and family
have helped me crawl back out of the "hole "to some sort of "normal" life.

This is my story and how I hope in vain, I know, that people could be
spared from suffering this way.


Merle said...

Dear Margaret, How hard that must have been for you to type and how does one comment through the tears?
I am so very sorry that you had to go through that terrible time and hope in time it may get a little easier for you. My thoughts and prayers are with you Margaret and my love. Ar least Justin won't feel any more pain and hurt at losing his family, and you will meet again in the next life. Courage, my friend, and I am so glad you had
good friends to help you through
the early days. Love, Merle.

Margaret said...

Dear Merle, thank you for you kindness, I would like you to know you are counted among the friends that have helped me, I am sorry I made you cry. As you say Justin cannot be hurt again, I do have my memories to help me also, but I do miss him so. Worse than that this, his babies must miss him terribly. Love Margaret

Jack K. said...

Margaret, my prayers go out to you and Justin's family. What a sad story. You are quite brave to take the time to share this with us.

May your heart heal and may you find joy again.

Peter said...

Margaret, that was a beautiful post and a fitting tribute to Justins life, try to remember the good times and let time help heal the hurt.

Jeanette said...

Such a sad post
A very touching tribute on Justins life and the photo's are beautiful, His memories will live in your heart forever. When you are feeling sad always remember the good times you shared together.
Take Care, Janxxxx

JunieRose2005 said...

Dear Margaret,

I can't find any words of comfort. I guess there aren't any that can reach the depth of your pain, from old friends or new friends. I hope in time your pain will be less. I'm so sorry.


Tan Lucy Pez said...

We lost our only son, Kevin, at age 26, on August 7, 1991. He died by suicide. So I know something of what you feel. Every life is different, every death is different, every mother's pain is different. Still I do understand better than most.

I am so very sorry for your loss. Time does help. No, it never goes away completely. But I know that you are not sorry that you had this son, so, in my opinion, you must try to be happy again. Otherwise you might be demonstrating that you were sorry that you ever had him.

It hasn't been long enough yet. It takes a very, very long time to "get well." But you will. You have a piece of your son in his children. My son didn't have kids.

Tan Lucy Pez said...

You don't list an e-mail address, so I came back to tell you that you can read about my son on my August 7, 2005 posting on my blog.

Britmum said...

Dear Margaret

I came from Jims blog. I came to say thanks for backing me up that Father Christmas should be #1.

I am so sorry to read the loss of your son. I can understand your pain to some degree. I lost my baby girl to stillbirth 6 years ago. There is not a second that goes by that she in not in my thoughts at some point. I know its not quite the same as loosing a grown child but I know it hurts possibly the same. It took me two years to accept what had happened and to move forward with my life. You learn to live with the pain but it is always there and now I want it to be there because it is hers. It must be so hard for you especially with the circumstances leading up to his death.

I hope you find peace and I hope you know it is ok to grieve. Talk about him and those that love you will listen.

Take care xx

Gwen said...

Hi margret..what a beautiful post
words just dont seem enough,one does not know what to say.
thinking of you Marg

annadams95340 said...

I can't begin to imagaine your pain.

I'm more sorry than I can express and right now I just don't have words.

Please take good care of yourself.


DellaB said...

sad, sad story Margaret, I am so sorry that you have been given this to handle, I will add you to my prayers.
Love and hugs

Meow said...

Margaret, I don't really know what to say, other than you are an amazing person. YOu have been through so much.
Hugs, Meow

wazza said...

Gidday Margaret, A beautiful post on Justin. Life can be extremely cruel sometimes, first Lyle then Justin.
The only thing is that time does help heal sad memories, and at least there are still good memories to remind you
of times past. Take care.