The end of the road
8 January 13
We’re here. The End of the Road — Australia’s southernmost street. Now I’m going to have think about going back.
I’m not unaware that we’ve been driving away from Brisbane, and pretty darn fast too. Brisbane is where Elijah is buried and also where David is held in custody. I could hardly bear to think about living in the vicinity of our home as its location is sandwiched between the cemetery and the bridge they fell from. So I left the house in the hands of friends and drove away as fast as I could.
Now that we’re this far south, I’m looking out at the ocean towards Antarctica. “Are their airports in Antarctica?” the girls ask, and I briefly wonder if we could travel there. Perhaps, but not with four little girls with a penchant for running around in the nude. Maybe in my next life, when I’m all grown up.
We’re on the shores of Recherche Bay, a name that means “research”, literally “to find again”. Maybe I’ve come this far to find myself again — to work out who I am now that I am no longer half of a couple. To find out who I can be after I have lost those most precious to me.
I’m only now discovering that — although I believe I have processed my grief and loss very consciously — the pain will endure. I can hardly bear to be at playgrounds with baby boys around. I see news of pregnancies and births and birthdays and cute little boys, and my heart breaks again and tears drop onto my keyboard.
Those who have suffered the loss of a child tell me that the pain lasts a lifetime. Now I understand just a little bit what that will be like. And I still have years ahead of me. Surely a physical illness, a chronic pain, a debilitating condition would be more manageable than a broken heart like mine.
I know that I am not alone, but I am now invisible in the landscape of humanity, one of the walking wounded whose injuries are indiscernible and whose scars are too deep to heal. Mortally wounded, but invisibly so.
Where to from here?
I don’t know. I don’t know where we’ll go. I’m trying not to over-plan our itinerary. There are many more beautiful places in Tasmania left to explore. Then there’s the mainland of Australia, and lovely friends calling us overseas.
But I don’t know if greater trips are possible, especially with our tighter financial situation. It weighs on me, and I try not to think about it.
Because we’re here.
The end of the road.