The other day I was talking to a librarian at my local library and mentioned how I belong to a Book Club in town and how I also had a blog, this blog, the very blog that I have not paid attention to for such a while so if you are still following me, thank you.
If you are wondering what has happened to me between now and before I must explain although I am sure you (if you have read my blog for awhile) may be sick of my excuses by now. But there are a number of legitimate reasons why I have not been on here, all very excusable excuses.
I am surprised I have not have a nervous breakdown…
Let me start, (these surely will fit into that page that talks about the biggest stresses that a person can go through).
- I have been dealing with death not once, not twice not even thrice I have dealt with it in several ways and therefore I have been and still are grieving
- I have dealt with a change of location not once or twice but thrice since I last wrote
- I resigned from my job after working with an overseas employer
- I have Ehlers Danlos syndrome, I have a rare disease
- I have been in hospital
- I am still here and smiling… yippy!
So as you can see its been a bit of a weird time for me. My deaths that have happened in my family hit me hard. The first to go were my aunt and my cousin after my cousin went on the run not long after he, his father Keith and I caught up with each other.
Let me explain…
This is the story of my cousin Ross, a man with mental health issues. Although I have not gone to the press with my story, I am adding it to my blog. Unfortunately Ross got into trouble with the law. Late one Monday evening after a family get together my cousin Ross had an argument with his parents. My Auntie Clare and my Uncle Keith, my father Jim’s older and only brother.
That night he killed my aunt and brutally stabbed my uncle.
Ross would have panicked by then and went missing.
I was a target because my cousin considered me to be a person who he could trust but fortunately he did not head in my direction as I had Police protection, and it is he may have listened to the news that the Police were out looking for him.
Here is an early report you can listen to about it here. https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/if-youre-listening-make-contact-police-warning-ross-bremner-man-wanted-over-waikato-murder
Ross was a wanted man.
I could not believe my family was splashed all over the news and I was being swamped with phone calls from all around the country and was receiving emails and phone calls from the media wanting me to share my story. I was well and truly exhausted as you can appreciate.
Because my parents were overseas and I share the same last name as my cousin and my father was the brother of the man who was injured, I was put on the spot.
I was a spokesperson of sorts.
The media had found me via Facebook as they had found Ross’ s photographs and ones of Keith and Clare. A famous one was with my cousin Loren, Ross’s sister at her graduation. There were photos of Ross being shown of him in more happier times and one of him that I had never seen before, that looked like it had been taken by the Police.
All of which was so devastating that I hardly ate. I would try to eat something but the phone would ring so there would be half eaten toast on the bench. I drank though and felt numb trying to digest what was happening, all the while trying to keep it together.
My aunt, Dad’s elder sister had notified me about the horrific details around ten or eleven in the morning after the incident had taken place and as I was running my parents business for them in their absence, I took the many calls that flooded my parents phone. It was running red hot.
Because of the closeness I had with my cousin, someone suggested that the Police guard my home in case he came over wanting to talk to me but unfortunately not everyone knew I was at my parents place so I had two lots of protection and didn’t realise this until afterwards.
Believe me folks the NZ Police are truly wonderful people!
The whole ordeal was horrific and by the end of the week I was shattered so my sister came to my aid and took any calls for me and left messages if needed. I would wake up each time the phone would ring thinking it may be a call for the business so I was on high alert. I also knew that I didn’t want my sister having to deal with the press but after I had spoken to one reporter, I had asked her to put the word out to the others to leave me alone. Leave my family alone. I would talk perhaps another time.
I hardly slept.
It was a very long week.
By that stage our cousin was dead and had gone on the run earlier on that week and throughout that time left an elderly couple dead before killing himself. This was Friday.
And now this has come into it… https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2019/08/31/winz-threatened-beneficiary-with-cutting-off-his-benefit-beneficiary-then-kills-3-good-old-winz/
I could say alot about this article, I know what the coroners report said and I know that its something that the press can work out for themselves what the contents contained but one thing’s for sure it has certainly changed the way New Zealand views Mental Health.
I was asked by my family to speak at Ross’s funeral and I didn’t want to really go on too much about my cousin but what I did do was speak about Mental Health here in New Zealand and afterwards I was congratulated by my father Jim and several others for a stellar speech.
In all seriousness, I spoke from my heart. Mental illness is not something we catch I said, it was all basic common sense stuff. Stuff that really needed to be heard.
We had no media present except for a quiet cameraman who was recording the funeral for my uncle when he was discharged from hospital and was able to come to grips with finding out he not only lost his wife, but his son who also killed an elderly couple. The daughter of the deceased couple attended the funerals with her husband with us. There was a lot of hugging that went round. I burst into tears as like my cousins sisters, I was exhausted.
And you know what? That reporter I asked to leave me alone for a bit called me again, this time when I had gone home. So much for respite huh? She then rang several more times before I wrote her a statement. And when she realised she couldn’t get a story out of me she went back on what I asked her to do and rang my father. He gave two interviews and my Mum was absolutely annoyed that he did. The press really are vulgar. This reporter used a mix of what I said, my father other reports and a wee bit of her own writing to create a story. In the end it looked very mashed up her skills in writing left us baffled.
So my dear fellow readers I know that my life takes many twists and turns just like yours does. Mine took another dose of death when my little brother and favourite comedian lost his life suddenly on Boxing Day 2017. Again as a family we were not prepared for this.
Rob had an accident at work breaking yet another leg that required surgery and a weeks stay in hospital. He was then discharged and went to stay with my parents for several weeks before I came over to his house from my own home three quarter of an hours away from his and spent two weeks with him helping him become more confident and learning to walk again, rehabilitation basically! That time was precious as we had a wonderful time together laughing and singing, watching favourite programmes and movies together and of course Netflix where Rob got me into Stranger Things and Narcos.
I have yet to be able to sit down and watch Narcos again since but gradually will again one day. It is the same with The Simpsons television show. Rob was gone after he had complained to me earlier that he was suffering from headaches and dizziness. On Christmas Day he was his effervescent self and even showed me off in front of my mother and sister when he would play the first five or so seconds of an introduction of a song and I would have to guess it. I got one wrong and Rob was dumbstruck with it all and wanted to play that game again with my me in front of some of my family. I smile now thinking about it knowing that he and I shared a lot of great music while I was with him.
Rob was a bit ADHD in many respects, he would recite Simpsons episodes and put on accents to go with them and then repeat them back when we watched a repeat. My sister asked me when she went to stay with him on the last few weeks he was alive, if she would be able to read while she stayed with him. I replied “No, only at night when he is asleep and its midnight or thereabouts”. “Oh…” my sister replied sounding rather perplexed. I explained that Rob had lots to share while we were his guests and while we were making his dinner, helping him with the housework, feeding his pets and so on. “No, I replied, you will have a wonderful time though”.
A heart attack took my little brother on Boxing Day. He was 35.
I miss him like hell.
So after all that I packed up and I moved from the little home I called home for the last nine years and moved my stuff to my brothers. I was dealing with a deceased estate now and was having to go through things. Some of which my sister and my mother helped. I also had his house to sell as I knew that I could not afford the mortgage that even my poor brother was struggling to pay. I then put it on the market with the same real estate agent that my brother had used to purchase his home and it sold successfully within a week to ten days. I had been living in it for four months over that time. If I had bought my sister out (we were my brothers beneficiaries) I would have had to get a boarder (roommate) in and seriously at my age I really did not want one. I had been past all that many years ago.
After selling up I found a home to buy that was much cheaper and more affordable for me. It meant being away from my family and my friends but being four hours away meant that I could start anew somewhere else.
I have been here in my new home since I purchased it last May a few days before my birthday. It has its pluses being here and its negatives but I have found joy in moving to a new place and not knowing people. I have gone out to find people who won’t always drive me around the twist and I look for people who have something positive to contribute to my life. Back home I was a person who people relied on, could lean on, and at times I felt very much like a doormat.Something had to change.
It has been interesting to stand back and observe people again and just see what happens. I have even caught a couple of them out with little white lies and they realise afterwards that I have been on to them. I’m a bit more wiser in choosing my new friends now.
Life is a gift and right now I am getting back into my blogging. I am also hoping to work with the local city council as I have developed a programme to help the disadvantage citizens of my new surroundings and the new refugees that are supposed to be coming here next year. Several years ago I was invited to contribute to a series of books for people in Papua New Guinea, this programme I am developing is continuing on a similar strand.
So I was talking to one of the librarians in my local library the other day about a Book Club I belong to and my blog about Book reviewing and Hannah if you are reading this. Thank you for lighting up this page again. I better get back into it!
Photo credit: Lenny from The Simpson’s tv show (unknown source, taken from my brother’s own photo library).