Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Stalking people is bad juju, harassment is a potential offence. 
Having a tantrum because you're not getting what you want and you are past 40 is simply sad and pathetic. 
So you're angry and had your feels hurt by not being able to control and manipulate others, well, get fucking over it. 
Be that most excellent person you claim to be and understand that if someone chose not to tell you something it might be because they knew you are a double faced person unworthy of their confidence. 
Learn to own up to the fact that others can see you are only interested in your personal gain. 
Kicking someone when they're down is a lowly act, trying to use other's vulnerability to bring them down and quite possibly affect their health is despicable, all that hate you have inside will eat you – but that's exactly what you deserve. 
No, you will never break my spirit and no matter how hard you try, you will never take my wonderful times and memories, I am far stronger than you can possibly imagine and I am calm and assured in the knowledge that I know the truth and all your attempts at hurting me will fail. 
Enjoy your bitterness. 
I will enjoy my life. 

Monday, 2 November 2015

The Day of the Hungry Spirits



Last night, I gave my Simon his favourite fruit: mango, nectarines, kiwi fruit, apples. I bought him a rather fine bottle of Tequila if he had wanted to have a toast with me. Last night, I spoke with him. My Simon was a wonderful, kind-hearted gentleman and I offered him food and conversation for Días de Muertos; or Day of the Dead.

Day of the Dead as it is known in English is something of a mistranslation; it’s not one day, but three. I was born and raised in the south-west of Mexico City in the suburb of Tlalpan and there we began celebration on October 31, the Catholic All Hallows Eve.Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 1.39.38 am

During this night we prepare the house to receive our honoured guests—those departed souls whom we love. There’s All Hallows (or All Saints) on November 1 followed by the biggest celebration, All Souls Day on November 2. This festival is so important in Mexico, it’s even a public holiday. Yesterday, I celebrated it at home on the New South Wales coast.

Today, November 3, is not observed by so many, but in my tradition from Tlalpan, it’s one more day where we remember all those souls who have no one to remember them. It is dedicated to the Hungry Spirits, and they receive and deserve the same joyous treatment as our loved ones, for one day our names will too be forgotten.

There are a few things in the offering, or ofrenda, for the dead that must be present, no matter what:

Water, a gift from the gods and giver of life.

Salt, an essential element for health.

Flowers, givers of beauty and a symbol of love and gratitude.

And last, but never least: candles. They light the spirits’ journey into the realm of the living and to find their way back into the otherworld.

You can add the loved one’s favourite fruit, sweets, tobacco, etc. to the ofrenda. The only limit is your imagination and budget.

I don’t want to forget him. So I nourish his memory.

My Simon died last year in August so I’ve had already had a small feast for him, but it wasn’t as elaborate as I would have liked. Last year, I had to travel to for treatment from my medical specialists. I’m living, as it turns out, with my own risk of being soon-forgotten – a life-threating, medical condition.

Back then all I could put in my ofrenda was water, salt, silk flowers and a bag of jelly snakes. Oh and some cigarettes; my Simon was a smoker. This year it has was a better and bigger ofrenda, and as I was setting it up I had a chance to talk to my dearly departed and reminisce about our good times. This year, I have made room to remember those others who have gone. My grandmother and a group of other loved ones found their way by candlelight to my home.


Last night I performed a wake to welcome all these souls and we dined and spoke together.

I talked to Simon about the wonderful times we had camping to the Royal National Park in Garie Beach and North Era Beach in southern Sydney. We would spend days there swimming, sleeping, reading and eating jelly snakes. We would spend nights staring at the millions of stars. He would tell me stories of silly things he did when growing up and I would tell him about the knowledge I have of my First Nation Peoples’ traditions.

I’d tell him the story of the rabbit on the moon, the story of how the Milky Way was created.

One story he always liked is related to the Días de Muertos. I told him of the Conquistadors who imposed Roman Catholic faith and forbade any worship of the old deities. But, the Indigenous people of the Americas always found ways to pass on knowledge hidden in codes.

For these people, particularly those who shared Nahuatl as their language, there were five Cardinal Points, each associated to a particular energy and colour. Today, these form part of a traditional ofrenda.

We all know north, south, east, and west, but then there’s also the centre. Anywhere you are, at any given point in time, you are in the centre of the universe. You can never be lost.

It has been over a year since Simon was lost, and although it is unspeakably painful to be without him, yesterday I recalled one afternoon when we were having mojitos and talking–we were probably over the limit–and he promised me we would be together until the end of his days.

And so it was. He was and remains my centre.

This year, the ofrenda has been a very positive experience for me. I feel like he is here. I feel that after all the tragedy the year has given me, I’m going to be okay.

Like my grandma whom I also remembered, I am a warrior.

Thanks to Simon, I have had the chance to survive, like a fighter, and experience a love that will always win.



Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 12.49.13 am Mariana Garvilch lives in Coffs Harbour, NSW. She is a painter and a (wonderful) writer. 

Tuesday, 15 September 2015


I can feel the warm embrace of my chemical combination to reduce the pain, tonight I had just a bit more and washed it down with some red wine, I want to feel something other than pain – physical, emotional, psychological. 
Sadly, the warmth only lasts for a few minutes and then the pain will only be dulled for an hour, then back to reality I go. Reality goes on and it strangles me

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Call me anytime

“Call me anytime” you said, and I did.

Assaulted with RUOK day again, another round of telling people that their once-a-year inquiry about a depressed friend will achieve something, another round of keeping my head down in case someone asks me.

For the other 364 I'll do my best to pretend that I am okay, because I know damn well that there's only so much of me others can take.

You told me to call anytime, and for a while, I did. 

And for a while it helped. It's just that I took you literally, and just like every time before, with every friend who quit listening, I thought this time I was loved even if I was a downer.

The circumstances of life – being someone's carer, watching someone gradually relinquish their facilities, keeping my fears to myself to escape the tears – are a downer. 

I always promised that next time we talked, I'd be cheerful. I'd have good news, and we'd swap playful puns and plan a visit with the families. But there's always something new and it's never good.

Little-by-little, you withdrew. Instead of weekly, we would talk fortnightly or monthly. Finally, not at all; you occasionally and briefly answer e-mails promising a proper reply that never arrives.


I was supposed to go into hospital today, once again a visit to the psych clinic because my brain doesn't work and the melancholy is terrible. 
It was planned as a way to cocoon me from the shitstorm that people have created, and all just because they cannot understand that we had a life together and we chose not to tell them so they couldn't interfere in our decisions and our love. 
Their actions are pathetic and only prove we were always right in not trusting them. 
They are greedy and having a meltdown because they won't get what they want.  

Let them go get fucked!

Saturday, 5 September 2015

In the beginning

I have been crying for over a thousand  days and nights.

Throughout this time my grief has had different smells, in the beginning it smelled of him, I refused to wash his clothes and I would wear selected items depending on how needy for his presence I felt, it took me over a month to finally change the bedding, I couldn't even bear the idea; then my sorrow started smelling of hospitals, particularly of psychiatric units and coffee shops and terrible food in the institutions. It never smells like food in my home, I don't cook anymore, I hate eating by myself so I very seldom eat anything I made. I eat very little now, the whole desire for food eludes me.

My own body odour is also indicative of my deepest sadness, I can't care for having a shower for many days when I'm alone, it had never really been this bad, I guess I'm just allowing my exterior truly match the way I feel. It is not a punishment, for me it is a form of surrendering to my pain, and I can only do that when I am alone. Living alone just facilitates this form of surrender.
But when I must go out I use his aftershave as moisturising base before sunscreen, I also have  shower gel and eau de toilette matching the aftershave, I don't care if it's a men's fragrance, it smells like him and it's all I have now.

This year has been so cruel, I'm sure I smell of medicines - analgesics, antidepressants, anxiolytics, antiemetics, anticonvulsants, anti-inflammatories, and all other classes of pills I have to take every day to help keep my body surviving. Pain smells of chlorhexidine hand wash, and it began smelling like the hydrotherapy pool. I'm sure I smell of bitter desperation.

The day it all began I smelled of doubt and uncertainty, of exasperated nerves by countless hours of waiting for news by the phone, of interviews with detectives, of rejection from his family,
and then, not long after came the smell of the tedious ritual of filling all sorts of legal paper work and thousands of forms and applications. And the smell of pitiful wilting flowers.

Since the beginning my loneliness smells of anguish at not having enough money for rent, bills, essential medications, and food; smells of pretending I'm managing and utterly collapsing in a heap of sobs behind closed doors. It smells of strange cars of people trying to be nice to me by driving me to airports or medical appointments. Airports are amongst the olfactory cues that I identify with my grief.

My heartache smells of death, of pain, of desperate loneliness, of tears and poor hygiene. Why did it all go so wrong? He was finally getting better, we were actually having a good time as a couple after having what had felt like the longest time of fighting, hurting, and resenting one another. We were lovingly looking after each other.

In my head I can play every word we said, I have the blessing/curse of a gifted memory, and I remember even the most inconsequential details, but I don't control when my mood will be better for thinking specific memories, so when my mind presents me with bits of conversations and times shared together it can make me feel good or just aggravate my grief.

That look in his eyes that was full of love, the look he had just for me every time I returned from a trip away or I cooked something he really enjoyed eating or when he felt particularly proud of being my man for whatever reason, that look of pure love, I miss it so much it aches. I miss being able to share a full meaning with just one look, I knew it was love because it was the same look he had when he spoke of the ocean and surfing, and the same look that was in his eyes whenever he spoke about flying. It must be the same look I had every time I saw him walking towards me and he could see only me. I miss him every living minute, how could I not? He was TheOne.

"I love you very much, I will be OK XXX" those where his last words to me in the beginning.

Not gone yet

Many things have changed since the last post, many remain the same. 
Life goes on and drags you with it, kicking and screaming and fighting it but it drags you none the less. 

I remain, perhaps I must endure so I can bear witness 

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Didn't count

I've taken lots of Valium and a bunch of other pills and I hope there will be a lovely sunrise tomorrow, and people go on about their business of buying newspapers and walking looking important, even when they line up to buy their terrible lunches because "it's healthy and organic and paleo and I can't eat gluten" 
Sunshiny day for all those wankers, and I hope I won't be there because I will be with Simon, finally free of the angst that's inherent to being human.

Enjoy a great life darlings .

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Just this once

When I got told you were dead all I wanted to do was be next to your body, I wanted to hold your beautiful hands and kiss them, I wanted to hug you and kiss you and clean your body and I wanted to be allowed to spend time with you, but that was denied to me, I was not even allowed to go to the mortuary because she said "she's no family"
Then that night I spent in the lounge, crying, praying, in agony unable to believe I will never see you again because you were dead. 

All my everything died that day. I had never belonged anywhere, proof of that is all my different places I've lived in, but with You, I belonged with you and it was wonderful. 

I don't feel anything but I know I'm still alive, but I don't want to be alive, and if I went ahead and joined you it would fuck them up. 

They never saw how beautiful you were
The wonderful light and the warmth of your love is gone and I don't want to spend another minute here without you