Parents Of Suicide
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Coryís Story

Janine Chappell
January 6, 2001

Cory, my only child, was born April 1st, 1978 at 11:09 PM at Warkworth, a small country birthing unit 15 miles from home. He was born "talking". It wasn't until he was 6 days old that he cried. He was a perfect baby - ate, slept, did all that babies should. As a toddler he was on the go constantly. Always getting into mischief, always talking and moving. He couldn't sit through a meal without getting up for something. He stayed like that the whole of his 21 years 4 months and 10 days of his life.

His father and I were not together at the time. I was 19, he was 20. It wasn't until 1981 that we got together again. Cory had a brief few months knowing his father before he was killed in a car accident New Years Eve 1981. Over the years he lost those memories. Though he never lost who his father was, as he was so very much like him. I often reminded him of that.

Cory excelled at any sport he played - cricket, hockey, swimming, athletics, riding. I envied his ability at sport - another gift he inherited from his father. When he was 13 he tried water skiing. He fell off once then never again. By the end of that day he was skiing on one ski.

Over the years I lost count of the amount of hospital visits he had. Other than one episode they were all for accidents. He took risks with everything he did, including with the law. He could never give a reason for his antics, mostly stealing and vandalism.; he 'd just say "Don't know why I did it, just did it". There seemed to be always traffic fines he was paying off as well. Cory just couldn't grasp control his finances. When he died he owed fines, credit card and the Govt. for his student loan. His inheritance from his father was never in his name, something I am thankful for now. I have no qualms that he will never pay the govt. or the banks their money. He went through cars so quickly that it was hard to keep up. He and his mates always had a "paddock car". They get these for free and use them on the back roads, or someone's paddock for racing. The longest one of these latest was 6 weeks. The first thing he did when he got one of these was to paint it primer gray, and chop out the springs. These cars would bounce out of my work like the 'Kentucky Fried' car.

From the time he could smile he made people laugh. Always telling jokes. Always the life and soul of any party; and he partied hard. He had the amazing ability to get on with people of all walks of life and of all age groups. Most of all he was my closest friend. He knew all my secrets and told me most of his. We shared our problems with each other. When he was 17 he told me that if he hadn't had me as his mother he would have chosen me as his friend. When most teenagers wouldn't even walk the street with their parents, he not only walked with me but also willingly shared his life with me. When he was older he socialized with me if I went to the pub etc. We often were out together, or he'd call in at the pub to say hello. I was very proud to have him as a son. I will always be proud to have him as a son.

There was always some girl or more on the scene. His beautiful blue eyes, and wit, had girls falling at his feet. There were times I couldn't keep up with who was the latest. They were all lovely girls. One of them I still keep in close contact with. Then came Julie - different to all the rest. She is very quiet, and very possessive. Cory, her and his closest friend needed somewhere to live so in April 1999 they all moved in with me. Julie hardly spoke and kept to herself. In May she was pregnant. Cory was just so proud, and took myself and a few of his friends out to celebrate. In June they moved out. Cory didn't want to, but Julie did. The house was just so quiet without him. Because he worked so close to me I saw him 3 or more times a day. I still have his coffee cup at our work. He used to walk over with his coffee and use our milk as his boss was too mean to supply any.

He tried so hard to make it work with Julie. She didn't like to go out - he did. The more he stayed home with her, the more she found other things to complain about. Toward the end of their relationship she objected to him even visiting me. We spent hours talking about their problems and there were times I spoke to her. Sadly she wouldn't budge. Because I enjoyed going out too, I understood Cory's need. In the end I asked Julie if she would go to relationship counseling with him - she agreed. They only went once. Later that week he went to a motor show with others and me. I tried to persuade her to come but she wouldn't. Before we left he bought her roses and left them in a vase with a note, for her. When he got home that night she wouldn't speak to him. The next night he had agreed to be chaperone for her brotherís after-school ball party. He told me he spent most of the night thinking about what to do about their relationship. He just couldn't find any way to please her. When he got home from the party, the roses had been thrown over the driveway and Julie was sleeping in another room. He picked up his things and left. Seven o'clock Sunday morning he was back home. We talked for hours and hours. I told him he'd done all he could, that she had to try now. And that I would speak to her if he wanted. He said no, it wouldn't do any good. The next day they had another appointment with the counselor. Cory went - Julie never turned up.

He told the counselor he was happy with his decision. He told her what plans he had for his life and that he would be there for the baby. Cory and I talked about turning one of the bedrooms into a nursery so he could have his legal fortnightly weekends, etc. Julie rang him and wanted to talk. All she wanted to know was whether or not he was moving home. He said no, he couldn't while things were the same. Then he wrote a letter stating the same. Saying how hurt he was over the roses, and that he would always be there for her and the baby, and hoped in time they could get together again when their heads were clear. A week later he was gone.

Sometime between 11:45 PM on the 10th August and 12:30 AM on the 11th he took an extension cord and hung himself in our basement. He'd been out drinking with a friend. They came to see me about 10 o'clock to show me Cory's new haircut. He seemed the same person he had always been. At 11:30 PM he left his friendís house and came home to die.

We will never know what went through his mind that night. There were no signs. All I know is when he took his life, he took mine as well. He left a void never to be filled; he took the sunshine and the laughter and the reason for living with him. A thousand times I have gone over and over everything and still can't come up with any substantial reason. I will never forgive myself for not 'seeing ' the pain he was in. All the talks we shared, how I would give anything for him to have just once, told me he wasn't coping.

Out of all the sadness, loneliness and pain, I give thanks that he has given me a beautiful grandson Jordan Cory James born 18th January 2000. But mostly I give eternal thanks that he chose me to be his mother, that he gave me 21 years, 4 months and 10 days of laughter, cuddles, and most of all - love.

Written by:
Janine Chappell
Mother of
Cory
04/01/78 Ė 08/11/99