Our Moment in Time (Trigger Warning- suicide)



Our Moment in Time




I began writing this at the beginning of September, 2023 but can only finish it now...

I started writing this as a type of journal I suppose. It has been cathartic. I was not sure whether to actually keep this in my drafts or not. 



I found out about the suicide many months after it happened.

It is amazing how much pain you can feel despite so many years having passed. I still loved this person and I had not realised during the time since. For me, it had been difficult for some time after our whirlwind romance. 

He had looked me up the month of his death and I did not see this. Why did he look me up after so many years?

So out of pure curiosity and knowing he was a talented writer who wrote for various publications simply googled his name to see what he was up to.

Instead of articles on wine that read like beautiful prose, all that I could see were obituaries and notices of death.

What a shocking way to discover what he had done. I immediately knew it was suicide. I checked that it really was him and his handsome face stared back at me... the same birthday. No doubting it was him. I was not seeing things.





---

There once knew a boy and he made me fall for him hard.

Our first conversation was about Shakespeare. We discussed Scott F. Fitzgerald. 

"'The Great Gatsby is good but 'Tender is the Night' is King!"

He made a joke about getting married. He did mention it on two occasions. 

I am not sure, but it is possible he asked a third time. My memory is a little foggy. However, it is very clear of how his declaration the second time as I will describe later on below...

Was he really serious? I have wondered this over the years and I still wonder now.

What if I had said "yes" one of those times? Would he still be here? Could I have saved him? Would I have made him happy? 

In the case of suicide, I feel that often those who love and care for the person feel an astonishing amount of guilt. 

In the aftermath, I sought help to discuss this- it was not my fault is what I kept hearing. But I could have done something, right?

--- 


I gave him two books at the end. I left them in a bag outside the house, "Persuasion" and a book of Shakespeare's Sonnets. He told me that he had never read "Persuasion". I had loved the story that despite the several years that had passed, that the main characters found themselves togather and their feelings for each other had never changed during that time.


Did he ever read my books? 

I'm sure he enjoyed "Shakespeare's Sonnets" as I know he loved them (I bookmarked Shakespeare's sonnet 116- my favourite and the first poem that I ever memorised) and Jane Austen's "Persuasion". 

If anyone is familiar with the story of Austen's novel, you will know that it is about falling in love at the wrong time, regretting being persuaded this person was not right for you for 7 years before crossing paths again. Perhaps it is then the right time for them.


It was very brief but I felt an incredibly intense connection. 

It was but a fleeting moment but whenever I have looked back that period, I remember special moments.

The last time we spoke was in February, 2020 after he accidentally added me on Facebook and then a bit later on retracted it. It had not been the first time, so I just messaged him. It was a brief interaction. I told him a fib- that I was at that time currently in a long-term relationship and living in Paris.

When I looked him up to see that he had died, I found myself suddenly feeling a mixture of emotions. First was shock at just suddenly seeing such results on Google. The second, extreme sadness. 
I instantly knew how it had happened- that it was no accident. It was deliberate.

My memory of this person are very strong despite the passing years. I look back on it as a time of confusion, turmoil, so many emotions but I think of him fondly. He was an enigma to me and someone who I seemed to understand but yet, also a stranger.

I felt as though this man had somehow hooked and reeled me in. The intensity had been instigated by him. However, my feelings grew and I reciprocated his sentiments.

One evening a long time ago, I met him- he really was truly a dashing young man. We shared many things in common, something that I had never come across to that extent before.

He came on very intensely and due to our connection, he immediately talked about marriage, which I laughed off. 

If it had been any other person, I would have found these words and gestures quite strange and scary but for some reason I liked it.

We left the bar holding hands and her led me out as he quickened his pace. With a dramatic gesture with his left hand, he declared:

"Let's just do it! You are 28. I am 30. Let's get married!". 

Then he added:

"And if it doesn't work, my mum is a divorce lawyer!"


I sent him Nino Rota's Love Theme from the 1968 version of "Romeo and Juliet". He declared that he would play it on the piano at out wedding. I had told him that it was a silly idea, being that it was the song I would be walking down the aisle to. And he would perhaps need to be standing somewhere as per the usual procedure...

I really did not see it as him being serious. I had been taken aback at how intense and dramatic he was as a person. Many girls would have been somewhat scared off in this situation but I admit that I was deeply intrigued and increasing drawn to him.

I stayed on the phone one night whilst he played Marchetti's "Fascination" to me over the phone.

He recited Shakespeare to me in a Carlton attic. I then asked him if he wrote his own and he proceeded to start reciting poems that he had written himself.





He sent me a selfie before bedtime blowing me a kiss. I refused to send one back. I am romantic but I do not often feel very comfortable expressing my feelings and prefer to show it by thoughtful gestures- remembering little things. I was also much more shy in those days. 

He sent me the first column that had been published by a national newspaper. I have to admit that due to the nature of the article's subject, I found it difficult to follow. It was beautifully written but my knowledge of wine was quite limited to fully appreciate it. 

I did begin to feel somewhat inadequate and undeserving due to social differences. I felt that he had grown up and belonged to a different class that me, which made me feel a bit insecure. I had gone to a private high school but he was on another level. He was a member of the upper class. not just upper-middle but from a very old and established family. I had felt that in comparison to his sibling and other members of the family who had followed similar career paths that he felt inadequate next to them.

Something did begin to change. I am not 100% sure what happened to spark the sudden change in attitude towards me. 

He was hurt and still broken about his previous relationship. He had told me that she had broken his heart. It had been his shortest relationship but at the same time the most important. For Christmas almost a year earlier, he had given her a bespoke necklace he had designed and a perfume he had made uniquely for her at a perfumier. She had gotten angry with him saying that she had wanted the latest Louis Vuitton wallet. I had immediately guffawed at this. She sounded like a materialistic and spoilt brat.  The thoughtful gesture was much more than some luxury wallet anyone could buy in a store. I doubt that those two gifts had been cheap.

I had seen him on one occasion in a very bad way where I met him and had to help him walk with his arm over my shoulders back to where he was living. He ended up on the floor in the kitchen under the kitchen bench in tears.

He pushed me away. He sent me a message about how he was sick and I deserved more.

I am not sure what he said about me, that is if he ever spoke about me. I felt that he had drawn me in and I felt that I had fallen in love with him. He is the only person that I have ever told "I love you" first. I remember that when I told him, he flicked his hair back with a swift movement of his head and smiled at me kindly. He did not respond to me at this time. I had done this after he had told me I deserved better than him. I insisted this. Perhaps I should have instantly respected this and given him some space.

I have a naturally maternal instinct and I wanted to save him I suppose. I had a limited understanding of mental health at that time and instead of accepting him request for space due to his anxiety, I sent him information about where he could get help and the details of specialists that he could possibly see.

I wish that he did not act upon these impulses that he had. I had not taken it seriously when he had said that he would not be around.

I feel disheartened and sadness. I feel deeply for those who loved him. It is a unique feeling when you don't know someone so well but in another way, you felt as though you did. I have to admit that despite my other romantic experiences, the brief period we spent together had an impact on me.

He was talented and so passionate; a serious romantic and I had not come across this before.

I had two friends who were concerned about this man due to his intensity towards me and what seemed to be my infatuation with him. One evening after my piano lesson, they both met me for dinner at a nearby restaurant. 
Unbeknownst to me, this ended up being pretty much an intervention! They both told me to keep away from him for my own good. He was unwell and they were worried about my own health trying to help him.

Where are those books? Have they been packed away now in cardboard boxes by his family? Did he throw them out year before? Were they ever kept on his bookcase? Did his family throw them out? I had left written dedications to him in the front pages. Surely, his family would have seen them had they looked.

I have wondered over the years whether it was truly love that I had assumed or whether it had simply been an infatuation. I realise that I still harboured love for him this entire time since.

I feel that perhaps he would have been okay, had he found that special someone and started a family of his own.

In the end, both the book that I chose to gift to him mean more than ever, especially Shakespeare's sonnet 116

It is about enduring love. That true love never changes. It stays the same.
He ends the sonnet by stating if the above is not the truth and can be proved then no man has ever loved. 


--- 

I do still love him. 

After I found out, I also ended up getting frustrated with him and called him a "stupid boy" for killing himself. He owed the world his gifts of writing and music. His passions. 

The realisation that you can not just pick up the phone and send a message to tell him to stop being so stupid because it is already done and he ceases to exist but only in my memory is incredibly painful. Our moments were private and therefore were no other people involved to know about this intense and very short relationship. How very odd to be in a situation like that.

Please get help, everybody else who is also in pain. 

I saw his and tried to help him but perhaps I was too intense because I cared so much. I was pushed away and I was scared so I insisted. I even wanted to contact his mother about my concerns but I thought it was crazy behaviour and he would be very upset. 

I found out from one of his best friends that he never sought help until the months before he passed. It is incredible. I thought that he would have seen someone since. 

It broke my heart and still does. 


I also found out the following:

He said to his mother not long before he took his own life, "[I]f only you knew what goes on in my head".



---


I went to Tasmania with my mum for a girl's trip and to celebrate our birthdays. I strangely found myself quietly sobbing in the back seat of the car on the way to the airport. 
During those few days, I thought about him and I cried. I saw some of his old articles and saw that Hobart and Tasmania in general was one of his favourite places for wine and for the beauty of it.

I still find it odd that so many months had passed without me shedding a tear but somehow I ended up very teary at times during a wonderful getaway.

----

Some strange connection- a soul connection?


I have wondered since whether it is possible that our souls can live multiple lives. Whether if and when I die, we may then have the chance to be together. I have asked a couple of people. 
It is a dangerous thought. If I did the same as him, would we then get another life and we just keep trying for eternity to be together? 

I am a hopeless romantic and through literature, film, and theatre, you hear and see this happening, right?

---

I also had the immediate feeling that his death involved water. His best friend said that his family had him cremated and that there had been a memorial service following. That it has occurred at his home. I am not sure whether this is true and that my suspicions are the case and they want privacy regarding the details.

Due to feeling a sensation about water, I googled the date of his death on the obituaries, "body found," and "Melbourne". In fact, I came across a couple of news articles about finding the body of a young man in the early hours of the day he died. It sounded like the way he would have chosen to go- in a dramatic fashion. After all, there is a trend for creative people to take their own lives- he would have been aware of this. 

Virginia Woolf filled her pockets with rocks and walked into water and drowned, Ernest Hemingway took a shotgun to his head, the famous "27" club of famous people who died at age 27.


At the time of writing this, I am only a month younger than he was when he killed himself and I think about it.

It just makes me incredibly sad. It is always sad when a young person passes away. I am sad for his family. I know he loved them so very much. 

--- 

I know that I will never forget him until my own time has come.

As long as he continues to be remembered, he exists somewhere.