The Detective in charge of the investigation is Mike Keegan. We have talked on the phone every day, and yesterday he flew to Sydney to update us in person. I knew as soon as he walked into my mother-in-law’s house that I liked Mike Keegan. He felt like the only solid thing in this cloudy atmosphere where we are all moving as lightly as ghosts. The after-math has hollowed us out. We are people whose veins show through skin, whose words are formed over hushed tones, people who eat around our dinners and lay in bed without crumpling the sheets.
Keegan is broad shouldered, tangible amongst our shadows. He looks like the cops on TV, I tell him that and he shrugs, and plays with his graying moustache. Try not to watch those shows he says. They’ll fuck you up. People want to tell us now, how to do our jobs. Because they’ve watched CSI or some Unsolved Mystery shit. But it ‘aint real, and we have enough of the real to deal with right here, okay?
I like him. I like him better than the two young cops who came to my door, who said sorry and looked down at the ground the whole time. Who left me phone numbers and information, but nothing on how to survive. Mike Keegan might help me survive. It is Keegan who tells me about the severed artery, he replaces the general terms I have been given – There was an incident, your husband was stabbed – with something specific, something I can see when I close my eyes. And this helps.
Keegan tells me survivors always imagine the worst, that there are darker places in our minds than we could ever have imagined. That it is important to get the facts and to face them head on, even if we can only do this in small parts, even if it takes us a year or ten, the facts will do more to stop the nightmares than anything else, more than any therapy or support.
I’m here to give you the facts he says, and I offer my first and only honest thank you since you died.