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4 Years On

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By Daniel's Mum

11.43 pm June 5th 2008

Last night I woke up.  It was in the early hours of the morning ... not sure of the time really - maybe 5.00am?  I'd just had this strange dream.  At first I didn't click as to what day it was.  I was too busy thinking about the dream...

Don't ask me who else was in the dream or what the point of it was but I remember hanging onto this massive pane of glass - something like a window out of a big shop window.  It was huge.  I was trying to stop it from falling over but it weighed a ton and I was using all my strength and concentration to keep it balanced and upright on its side.

Then ... something happened.  I'm not 100% sure what it was but I thought there was a force of some kind that caused the pane of glass to lean.  I started to feel the weight of it move and I frantically began carefully pulling it back toward me but must have pulled too hard - and I could feel this 'force' working against me.  The thing then crashed to the ground and broke in to a million pieces.

That was the instant when I woke up.  I felt an overwhelming sense of failure and yet I knew I'd been dreaming.

I laid there for a while pondering the dream.  It made no sense - but the dreams rarely do I guess.

I tried to go back to sleep for a while, but then it dawned on me what day it was.

On this day 4 years fact - almost at this very time, I was woken up.  It was the noise of Daniel scuffling around in the kitchen.  He was getting ready for work.  I was curled up in my bed on this cold June morning and on THAT day I snuggled back up to the warm quilt and listened as Daniel's dog Breeze was wagging her tail against the passage way wall.  She adored Daniel ... he would always hand her the left over's of his breakfast.  On THAT day I went back to sleep ... but not this morning.

I thought about that day in a frightening amount of detail.

It's an eerie coincidence that this morning Ashley is asleep in the next room...just like she had been asleep in the bed in the next room 4 years ago.  I was now listening to tails wagging and banging against the wall - It's a different house but so much had a strange sense of 'sameness' about it.

I laid there for ages thinking about the dream.  It bugged me.  I don't often remember dreams but this one seemed crystal clear...and while I know there were other people in the dream and there was probably a good reason as to why I was holding this pane of glass upright, none of that seemed to matter when I woke up.  I could not recall a single one of those details.  The only real detail that remained clear was the falling glass pane and the horrible crashing noise it made when it shattered.  It frightened me and it upset me ... and yet it was just a silly dream.

But then I have to wonder (as you do) why did it bother me so much?  Why of all mornings would I have a vivid memory of a dream that has no real meaning?  It made me angry ... frustrated.  If this is meant to be a sign, I'll be damned what it is.  Sure I get the 'shattered life' bit but hell, surely there has to be more to it than that?

These anniversaries really suck the life out of me.  Each year they seem to get harder.  Nothing about time makes this any easier.  I'm not at peace with anything.  

I'm scooped up with those magic little 'happy pills' these days because I came to a point where it was either going to be that or ... well I just ran out of options I think?  I fought them for years.  I think I had considered them a sign of weakness.  I still do I think ... it's just that I plain fell from my perch and could no longer summons the strength to drag myself back up.

A couple of Doctor's convinced me that they would help.  I had a little mishap one day and was thinking maybe it was my heart.  In the end they said it was 'anxiety'.  Huh!  Yep - it's official ... I'm screwed up in the head.

My Doctor (bless him) drew me this picture of a little train engine chug-chug-chugging up a steep hill with all these carriages in tow.  He said that the little engine was me.  Hohum ... cute.  He then explained that the anti-depressants would lighten the load a bit.  Some of those excess carriages would disappear, making the big hills less tiring.

I guess they help...yes they do.  I do feel like I have more energy.  I can think a little straighter - I can start a task and sometimes even finish it.  It's true...I don't feel quite so zombie like.  These are good things.

The downside is that I know that this is not me.  Those extra carriages?  They were what made up a part of who I am - if that makes any sense?  

I don't know.  It's just that I feel - ummm...washed out?  The brightness and contrast is all different.  Same basic picture but with the depth removed.  It's almost like these little white pills have thrown a big ol' blanket over the parts of my brain that allow me to 'feel' and it's all being smothered.  

Fuck ... what happened to my life?

Four years down the track - I am absolutely no wiser as to what happened to Danny.  I don't know anything more than I did 2 days after he died.  I know he's gone and I know my life is in a ditch but I still don't understand why...

Four years is a long time to be hanging on - a long time to think about why people choose to run from their responsibilities ... a long time to feel this intensely consuming anger.

On this day, 4 years ago I watched my son in a hospital bed with machines and tubes keeping him alive.

On this day 4 years ago I remember his boss and co walk up to the ICU ward to see how Danny was going.  I remember feeling a real sense of sorrow for these men - they all looked like they were in shock.

Today I feel nothing but a deep resentment for them.

Four years of court rooms, going from one adjournment after another.  I couldn't understand why all this was taking so long back then.  Shit it all makes sense now.  I was so bloody naive!

In the beginning I thought Daniel was important to them as well.  

A few weeks after Daniel was killed, do you guys remember how you wanted to name the 'Apprentice of the Month' award after Daniel?  Yes well ... this was a lovely gesture I thought.  I lovely way to honour him.  He was the last recipient of that award and so it seemed fitting ... 

Back then I was thinking how very compassionate and wonderful you all were to care so much about him and want to remember him.

That was 4 years ago.  I don't feel like that fact I'm bloody embarrassed to think I was ever gullible enough to think like that.  I gave you far more credit than you deserved.

Unlike you, I have attended every single court room sitting.  I have made the long trek into the city (a 3 hour round trip) more times than I can remember - only to find out that your legal team needed more time - another adjournment - yadda yadda yadda...

And then there were those times when those great legal minds were actually 'ready' to move forward!  I was there.  Where were you?  Too busy?  Too gutless to face me?  Or just apathetic?  

Aren't you even a little bit curious what these people you're paying all this money to are saying?  Or doesn't it matter as long as the end result is the desired result?

I've been left staggering from this process wondering what the hell makes someone choose a path of a technical 'loop hole' as opposed having the integrity to answer to the fucking charges they have been asked to answer to!

I just don't have the answer to that question.  I thought so much more of human beings than I do now.  Congratulations, I have you to thank for that...

And another question I have asked myself as I listen to your expensive legal people dribble on in court --- What is it that they think they have lost here?  Do you get to go home and hug your kids?  Do you get to look forward to Christmas?  What's it like to have grand children?  I don't know ... I'll never know.  I'll never know what its like to watch my child marry and have a family.  My Christmas is filled with emptiness ... and when my child's birthday comes around I get to look at a box of ashes.  So tell me ... what the fuck have you lost in all of this?  

Ahh you know?  At this point, I don't care what drives this for you.  As far as I'm concerned, you can rot in some cold dark place - because that's exactly where you, your decisions  and your legal buddies have unceremoniously dumped me.  

As for that 'Apprentice of the Month' award?  I sure hope you are not using his name on that award.  I mean ... it makes no sense that you would.  How could you be honouring his memory by your actions to date?  You can't.  It's not only hypocritical, it's just senseless - and wrong.  

Take his name off the award.  You never deserved him and you don't deserve to use his name to bolster your egos.  You're not honouring him - your spitting on his memory. 

Oh dear God .... I really must be going insane.  Am I really stupid enough to think these people would even take the time to read any of this?


And so I wonder whether next year I will still be sitting here wondering what happened ...

How many more years will go by with lawyers and legal dialogue to filter through?  How many times will I get back to my car and wonder why the oxygen has left the atmosphere...

I hate this life ... I hate everything about what happened four years ago and I hate everything that has happened since that day.

Damn everything.  Today I am allowed to vent.  Tomorrow I might decide to fight again but today I feel completely beaten up inside.

To my beautiful spirit child ... I miss you so much kiddo.  I wish I could hear you one more time....and know you're up there or out there somewhere?  I think I could cope a little better if I knew that for sure.

I always knew a life without you would be a life no longer worth living.

I have tried so hard to be strong Danny.  I've tried to find something to keep me going.  Truth is - you were the one that kept me going.  I get very lost here now ... I don't know what to look forward to.   As far as my mind's eye can see - it all looks pretty empty and hollow from where I am.

Yep ... I suppose I'm just counting the days until we meet again.

Love Mum.