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sad news

Postby Vedius Pollio on Wed Jul 08, 2009 8:05 am

A friend of mine committed suicide on Sunday. Her name was Emma.

We met a couple of years ago when I was in the Liberal Club, but we both decided to leave the club after we realised that most of the Young Liberals were shitheads. She was from rural Victoria and took me to the old quarry at Wandong, before the whole town burned down in February. We used to sketch landscapes together, and we found a trilobite fossil there once.

I can't describe, in this post, how grateful I was (and still am) to have had her as a friend. Last year, when one of my articles for the university newspaper was attacked by people in the union, I felt like a pariah. For two months, I had completely avoided talking to anyone in the student union, and my nemesis took advantage of my absence and kept drawing attention to the fact that I had held right wing views in the past. I was a committed leftist by then, but he still turned everyone against me. It felt claustrophobic. I was always paranoid that some new rumour would spread about me. Everyone gave me the cold shoulder.

But when I told Emma what had happened, she took me to her share house and cooked me pasta and told me that it was ok. She used to be a Liberal (and a lot of people who join the Liberal club aren't really right wing, but they have self-esteem issues, like me) and had suffered all the same shit. She had scars on her wrists from high school that she used to cover up with all sorts of accessories (and even joked about her bangle collection). She took off the bangles and showed me the scars, and then she told me how she'd gotten over all of that and entered university, and we hugged. It was really really reassuring having a friend to talk to when it felt like everyone at university hated you. And she did the exact same thing when the editors decided that I was a liability and banned me from contributing to the university magazine (this was on the evening before the day I left for Thailand last year). I have Emma to thank for getting me through so many difficult moments.

I can't describe all of the things I'm feeling right now. Until now, I've never had a friend kill themselves. It's totally changed everything. Every single happy memory of her is suddenly painful. Like when I was walking down the street yesterday and I saw a shop selling these really thick boho style bangles and I suddenly thought of one of her little jokes and JUST SHUDDERED AND FELT LIKE I NEEDED TO PUKE. Or when I saw a person at a cafe eating penne pasta with pesto. I started shaking and ran away. It was sickening. I don't know if anyone here has felt that sensation. Everything that reminds me of what a lovely person she was is fucking torture. I don't know how I can fucking take this.

I could probably have prevented this. What really sickens me at the moment is the fact that, since my teenage years, I've fantasised about killing people I hate; but now that I'm partly responsible for someone's death, I can't even think about the shit I used to chat about casually. Thinking feels like crawling through broken glass at the moment.

It's really difficult writing this. Everything feels ugly at the moment and I can't think of a time when I've felt worse.
"Leopards invade the temple and drink the wine from the chalices; this happens suddenly; in the end it was forseen that this would happen and it is incorporated into the liturgy."
-Kafka-
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Re: sad news

Postby Chthulhu on Wed Jul 08, 2009 10:43 am

Condolences, VP; I've lost a couple of friends over the years in similar circumstances, and it is always hard to accept. I don't see from what you wrote how you could possibly be even partially responsible for this, though, and beating yourself up over it won't help in any case. :-/
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Re: sad news

Postby Aeridus on Thu Jul 09, 2009 4:53 am

I'm sorry to hear that, VP. :(
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Re: sad news

Postby Vedius Pollio on Fri Jul 10, 2009 1:55 am

I went to the funeral today.

Thanks to the fucking funeral directors, it was one of the most insulting things that I've seen in my life. :ick:

The service was secular, with a celebrant, but it was still unbearably formal. People who have just lost a loved one do not want to hear some slimy director saying "Will everyone please rise" like it's a school assembly. Emma wouldn't have liked that.

I don't normally drink, but I had a few glasses of wine with Emma's parents and her brother after the service. They're going to scatter her ashes on Sunday in Wandong (so they mix with the ashes from the February bushfires).
"Leopards invade the temple and drink the wine from the chalices; this happens suddenly; in the end it was forseen that this would happen and it is incorporated into the liturgy."
-Kafka-
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Re: sad news

Postby Vedius Pollio on Mon Jul 13, 2009 11:30 pm

Some good news, finally. :D

I went to Sydney for my magazine launch yesterday and made two new friends. They're both cynical bright young things.

We became friends because we both hate the editor of the UTS Vertigo magazine. The editor is a guy who I'll call D. He's a gay born again Christian who writes Facebook wall posts like "D is bathing in pure white light" or "D is communing in the moonlight with his lord" or "D hears the melody and harmony of all living things". He also sucks more than most other student magazine editors in the country: despite having heaps of money, he runs a dumb uber-commercial magazine that won't even publish sonnets.

Basically, he is a shallow, vacuous human being who insists that he isn't interested in politics, only in "beautiful beautiful writing". He goes on about how Jesus saved him and came in his heart when he "realised his own sinfulness". His idea of sinfulness is the fact that he's really promiscuous and split up with a bunch of boyfriends. (His shallowness really needs to be emphasised. He's like a passive, airheaded, Patrick Bateman.)

So, I met two people who also love to make fun of him:

* A woman who has lived in New York: she's a wonderful person, got me amazingly drunk (the drunkest I've been in my life, so drunk that my face and extremities were numb, I mean nitrous-oxide-numb) and taught me how to light cigarettes properly. She was shocked that I refused to sit on bare concrete, and fussed over which milk crate was the cleanest (my germ paranoia persists). Her personality is easy-going, quite similar to Lulu, I guess, but closer to my own age. She'll be coming to visit me in Melbourne in a few weeks and promises to hang out with me!

* A gay guy who knows the Darlinghurst gay scene pretty well. He kept telling me about all these people who dated D the Editor. (Apparently D is a total bottom, by the way.)

It's good to find other people who enjoy random acts of cruelty towards stupid magazine editors.

At the magazine launch, I read aloud some of my work. It was a huge hit with the Sydney crowd. The editors told me that my performance helped to sell heaps of copies. Met all sorts of interesting people, too. Later, I went to King's Court (totally drunk, the first time that I've ever visited a brothel pissed) and got a massage from an English girl who used to be a Shakespearean actress and studied at the Oxford School of Drama. Weird, weird, woman. She kept complaining about "party boy" customers but insisted that the ice addicts were "lovely people". The brothel near King's Court has apparently closed down: the whole place has been downgraded; I don't think as many women offer extras there anymore; just a hot tub and a handjob.

(The English girl travelled around a lot. When I told her that I did an essay on medieval gynecology, she mentioned that she had seen a Medieval Sex museum in the Old Town in Prague. Probably one of the things I'll visit when I live in Europe next year. I love bizarre museums. Never got the chance to check out the Menstruation Museum when I went to San Francisco, sadly.)

I was too sad and drunk to enjoy King's Court very much (the white wine made me want to piss like a horse; even after I'd emptied my bladder, I still felt like urinating when she was jerking me off, and I was glad that it was semen and not urine that came out during the climax; that's the trouble with a low alcohol tolerance).

I'm feeling a lot better now, and putting less blame on myself. At the moment I'm reading Jane Austen's "Emma" to desensitise myself to the name "Emma" so I don't shudder whenever I see it. It's a really hard process. (Takes me about half an hour to finish a single page.)

I hope everyone else is doing well. Mania conquers every obstacle,

VP
"Leopards invade the temple and drink the wine from the chalices; this happens suddenly; in the end it was forseen that this would happen and it is incorporated into the liturgy."
-Kafka-
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Re: sad news

Postby Aeridus on Tue Jul 14, 2009 10:21 am

I'm glad to hear you're making new friends at least, and congratulations on getting your work published. :)
Village Idiot Vs World webcomic and other works of art

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Re: sad news

Postby Fnyunj on Thu Jul 23, 2009 6:36 pm

Don't blame yourself. You could not have prevented what happened.

Self-blame is a very common defense mechanism when we grieve. We're comforted by the thought that we could have controlled something that was actually beyond our control. That feeling of not being in control, is terrifying, to anyone, particularly in extreme circumstances where a loved one dies or one suffers great loss.

If she were wanted to kill herself, and you tried to stop her - she'd find a way. If she really, really wanted to do it. You can't control other people's behavior.

(this lecture brought to you by: a person trying to get through loss by helping others get through loss, as if that person had any control over the other person's grieving process. . . )
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