on things not said…

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👇🏿 ain’t got no time for that? press play for the radical radio recording ✨

we don’t say the things… for why?

for fear of giving it power? for fear of “pushing someone there”? for fear of it growing beyond our edges, taking us completely, swallowing us whole? what if that’s exactly what we need?! to say the thing and by doing so… lessening its power and influence.

it can be helpful to have someone ‘go first’ and i’m here to be that person. i’ll go first. i’ll say some things…

on saying the things… is it important to tell ritchie’s older brother that ritchie uses the gun that he gifts him out on the farm when ritchie is 12 years old? like a beacon to a belief ritchie carries, that is his very own “escape hatch” from this blistering earth bound experience.

on saying the things… that ritchie showers, shaves his head, face, clips his nails, like a man preparing his Self for his very last head shots.

on saying the things… on what three grown adults begin to do when their dad and husband completes suicide. we turn the house upside down. mother spends much of the first few days sneaking around her own house looking for anything, all clues to his last few days, hours, any more clues that could help her untangle this cluster fuck. mother spends the first few days sneaking around trying not to alert me and brother to her behaviour, quietly poking about. my brother takes to the shop, he pours through it all and touches all of ritchie’s things; sorting, sifting, seeking some sort of understanding into ritchie’s inner world.

on saying the things… “mother!!!” finding another shot gun in the shop. this one, mother doesn’t know about, hidden had it not been for our neurotic cleaning and yard work expedition only days after ritchie’s death. no matter, it’s taken care of, and is now decaying in its own heap of pieces somewhere in the back forty. (sorry mama nature…)

on saying the things… the amount of plastic, paint, and other “non burnables” that go up in its own inferno, blazing that bitch down; the tarp he lays down goes in first. anything, something, anything to take care of the burning holes inside our chests. anything to warm us from the misery that has come, unwelcome, into our lives.

on saying the things… what is kept. his hair. socks. where’s his letter? pieces. these create pieces of his last moments. turned into a ziplock bag. perhaps one day science can study these fibres of his being to determine the deadly, genetic structural sequence that results in this tragedy. perhaps, mother. yes, perhaps. a woman needing some sort of closure to her own hurt, pain, and despair.

on saying the things… a victim becomes the abuser; after ritchie dies i become the closest moving target to mother. i feel it all: brutal verbal lashings, passive aggressive behaviour, projection, rejection, shut downs, put downs, gaslighting, dismissal. as the daughter, who is there to ‘help’ it’s a confusing fucking shit show, and becomes the layered destruction of our eventual undoing.

on saying the things… “did you know, were there any signs?” …oh wow, how do i unpack 55 7/8ths years of life for you? for your understanding, for you to categorize this in a dual box: good-bad, yes-no, right-wrong, yes-no, good-bad, short-tall, fault-innocence…

on saying the things… you don’t have to pay off a dead persons credit card. fact.

on saying the things… if a spouse dies and they have a joint bank account with the “surviving spouse”, the bank has the right to freeze all joint accounts once the death is “filed” with them, or they are otherwise notified. which looks like: the “surviving” spouse can have all funds frozen in those accounts. which means: they can’t access monies to buy groceries, pay bills, pay for the funeral, et al if they don’t have any sort of backup.

fuck. i know too much for this age. seriously. notes from a 31 year old… 32 year old… 33 year old…

on saying the things… wills are important documents.

on saying the things… there are over two hundred and fifty ways to wash dishes, there must be the same amount of reasons to complete suicide, and as many different circumstances in the build up and fallout of a suicide, as well as many different paths to healing.

on saying the things… fine tooth organizing as a way to control the external and impose upon the chaos currently crumbling the internal environments. as in: i look like i’ve got my shit together from your eyes, i’m fucking crumbling in chaos on the inside.

on saying the things… there’s no sorry you’re dead cards. or, i’m sorry for your suicide-self-murder cards… it seems like an untapped market here.

on saying the things… post-trauma, it’s hard to watch mother isolate further.

on saying the things… february 2017: ritchie’s last letter is taken without consent by the rcmp “for their case”. june 2017: rcmp say they cannot release the “evidence” as there is no report from the coroners. november 2018: “we did give you a photocopy…” *eyeroll* 🙄 “coroners report still waiting…” “will contact you once we receive that so that we can close the case…” “and release the evidence in question…” suicide: the crime.

on saying the things… ashes, they’re not as ashy as you may think. they look like large rock salt.

on saying the things… days after ritchie’s death, i cry in the lap and presence of mother and uncle. deep well of tears, sadness, pain, tragedy, trauma, horror, shock, all roll through me. the dam breaks, i wail on the couch. the two adults beside me, their words do little to transform my pain, their petting and silence do more.

on saying the things… i realize that not everyone knows how to comfort, hold, and help like i do. these adult parents. these very much older than me grown ups, they do not know what i need. they do not know how to help. great. i’m left alone again, thinking, “who’s going to take care of me?”

on saying the things… june 2017, five months post-mortem, working very hard at it and still closing down parts of ritchie’s life.

on saying the things… days-weeks after death, on food: too many veggie plates. not enough meals.

on saying the things… days-weeks after death, what do we watch. what do we talk about. laugh about. cry over. movies: no action-horror-guns, only happy movies. we watch dory, finding nemo, happy feet, madagascar, and the like. we eat? so many hot dogs. potato salad. chips. chocolate. candies.

on saying the things… i listen to a podcast, the guest talks about going to the hospital on emergency mental conditions… could we talk about what that means, and looks like? or do we have to go on ‘filling in the gaps’ with our imaginations, blind faith, naivety?

we don’t say the things… for why?

what if talking about it is the thing that we need?

let’s start saying some things, and by doing so: lessen its power and influence in our psyche’s.

i love your voice,

xxo ~k 🗣💙

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