In honour of Abhi Martin (31/8/89 - 14/12/06).
This is a place where Abhi's friends and well-wishers can leave tributes in memory of our recently departed loved one.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
It was four years ago today
Spirit comes to rest in his final abode and contemplates his journey. I say 'his', but Spirit is androgynous. As he looks back on his many stops, first with one family and then another, he may recall a couple of snapshots from each. We take this one lifetime so seriously, as if it was everything. We lament the passing of one, forgetting that for one who has taken his first breath, he must take his last.
Abhi hasn't left us, he has simply moved on, at least as far as our three dimensional reality is concerned. As I have written previously, he is more accessible to us now, because simply by thinking of him, he is with us in Spirit. I loved Abhi when he was with us, I love him now and will continue to love him. One day we will meet in Spirit but for now, there's nothing more to be done than celebrate his passing and now there is nothing more to be said here.
Abhi would have been 21 today. I feel very differently now than at this time last year, because I feel with great confidence that not only is he with me, but he is more accessible than what he was when he was present in earthly form. Yes, I believe strongly that he is with us in spirit, and all I have to do is think of him and he is with me.
Karma is complex and it's hard to know why someone comes and why they leave. We can know with some certainty that there is a reason, even if we don't know what it is. I thank Abhi for coming into my life, touching me as he did, and for his ongoing support. I know he is there, and I feel him often. I no longer lament his passing and thank him for his love.
It was three years ago today that I had an unexpected knock at the door, just prior to 8am as I was about to leave for work. It was a couple of local police officers who had the unenviable task of informing us that Abhi, my 17 year old son, had in the early hours of that morning taken his life. As I write this, I feel reasonably calm but I have at times been in dread for the last week thinking of this cruel anniversary, and how it might affect me.
I myself have confronted death twice this year, once in a motorcycle accident at the start of the year and again with pneumonia mid-year. I wasn't afraid on either occasion, at least not obviously so. And while I miss Abhi terribly, I feel confident that, as I felt for myself, death is not the end. There are six billion people in this world, and every one of them will die. Billions have come before us and every one of them have also died. It seems the most natural thing in the world, and I think that our fear of death is both natural and yet largely unfounded. Unfounded, because we fear that which we don't know.
As I lay on the footpath in a crumpled heap earlier in the year, I knew there was immense pain, and yet I felt divorced from it. As I closed my eyes to meditate, thinking that I may be leaving my body, I accepted that this may be the end. I felt thankful that I had kissed my partner and younger son good-bye. But Death spared me another day.
What I'm trying to say is that while we may miss a loved one who has left us - and that leaving could be moving interstate or overseas, and not just by death - I do firmly believe that if it is meant to be, we will be together again. The difference between death and someone moving is that the former is final, complete, irreversible. But we must all be separated at some time.
Still, I carry the grief of a parent who has lost a child, and I don't know if that will ever go away. There's a place in my heart, it seems, that is empty. I loved Abhi and I love him still. I talk to him sometimes, but I don't think he hears me. Wherever he is, I'm sure he has moved on, to fulfill his destiny, whatever that may be. And now we are left to fulfill ours.
Though sad, I feel at peace and wish the same to all who may be feeling the weight of Abhi's departure.
Another year over, and Abhi would have been 20 today. In a sense, he is frozen in time as a teenager, and we are left wondering what might have been. When he left us, Abhi was in that state of transition from boyhood to manhood, 17 years old. His voice was changing and he was just about my height (5'9" or 175cm). Were he still with us, his voice would be deeper still and he'd probably be taller than I. This is all just an indulgence, because these things were just not meant to be. But it's an indulgence I allow myself.
August 31 is the last day of winter. It's symbolic, of course, but as the season has noticeably shifted during the past week, our spirits are lifted. Today, 31 August 2008 is also the day my dear son Abhi would have turned 19 had he not left us prematurely some 20 months ago. I look back on this day one year ago and find that I am not so traumatised, and that the future, like the change of seasons, seems bright. The sadness will always be there, but I take solace that Abhi is still with me. Everything is as it should be. It always has been and it always will.
It's been a year today since Abhi left us. Time may heal, but we miss him and wish he was still with us. We pray that he has moved on to a happier place, and that one day we may meet again. We love you, Abhi.
Today is the occasion of my oldest son's birthday. He would have been 18, and it brings me much sadness that I cannot enjoy this milestone with him. Some of you may know that last year, Abhi took his own life. I'm not sure if I've come to terms with this yet. Or if I ever will. It is such a tragic waste.
This photo was taken not long before his passing, and it was a very happy family day. In the photo are my daughter, Champaka (now 20) and Abhi. The photo was taken in Lorne, a small sea-side town south-west of Melbourne, after we'd driven to Stephenson's Falls in the Otway Ranges. In addition, my mother, my partner Zoe, our youngest son Alexander and I were all together on a rare trip out of the city.
Abhi didn't live with me (his mother and I split when he was very young), but visited regularly. This visit was in October, and on the previous visit we went on a day ride on my motorbike together. I've since found online writings where he said he really enjoyed these activities, which gratifies me somewhat.
Abhi was a really gentle soul. He was intelligent, creative, funny, considerate, modest and not afraid to be different. He was just finding his own power, and unfortunately he misused that power. He couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel, not realising that he would soon be in a place where he could change things for the better.
I recently came into possession of some of Abhi's school work. In Year 10, he produced a short film he called Simple Actions. I'm told he got top marks in his class for it. By chance, Blogger have just added new functionality to enable the uploading of video clips (as opposed to embedding YouTube clips), and I am pleased to publish Abhi's work below. I thought it would be an appropriate way to acknowledge his life. His film uses Moby's Porcelain, which we coincidentally selected as part of a tribute CD at his funeral.
Simple Actions - a short movie by Abhimanyu Martin (2005)
These are some more of Abhi's computer-generated artworks. One is a portrait of his good friend, Bianca, another a self-portrait - he took a photo of himself, traced it then manipulated it using a graphics editor. The other is a fictional heavy metal band tour poster he made as part of a school SAC. He described to me with some pride what the different aspects of the illustration represent (such as parts of a guitar and keyboard), but I can't remember all the details.
Abhi was born on the last day of winter; both he and I were born on the 31st, but of different months. His sister and mother were both born on the 3rd of different months. Both Champaka and Abhi were born in August, so their birthdays were 28 days apart. I'm a numerate person, so while I'm not sure of the significance of these numbers, they resonate for me.
Abhi didn't feel he had very good social skills, and I suspect he felt this most at school. He wasn't interested in conforming or being part of the group, gravitating more towards the more thoughtful and intelligent kids. He had a very good way with children and was very patient with them. He enjoyed teaching things to his younger brother, Alexander, and playing with him. When he accompanied me on the motorbike for group rides, he'd be the only youngster but was very comfortable in the company of adults, occasionally cracking intelligent jokes. We live near the bay and he would enjoy accompanying us for long walks along the water.
Abhi is named after the son of Arjuna, and these are both characters in India's famous epic story Mahabharata. Abhimanyu was a heroic young fighter who died in the battle of Kurukshetra. According to legend, he was only sixteen years of age, and could only be killed when six great warriors broke the strict rules of engagement by ganging up on him.
In the year prior to his death, Abhi made a special point of embracing me when he came to our place, and especially when I dropped him at his mother's, when he would also say "I love you." At first it surprised me, as I didn't expect this show of affection from a seventeen year old boy for his father. I now think it was his way of saying goodbye to me, and that he was planning to leave this world. I miss him terribly.
In memory of Abhi Martin 31.08.89 - 14.12.06
P.S. If anyone has anything they'd like to contribute or share, please feel free to add it here or email me at pmartin1960 [at] hotmail [dot] com.
Hi guys. My name is Paul Martin, and Abhi was my beloved son. I have set this site up as a place where you can leave your tributes and memories, sharing them with others who cared about Abhi. Each of us had a unique perspective of Abhi. I knew him as a gentle, selfless, caring, considerate, loving, intelligent and witty human being. It is almost incomprehensible to me that Abhi is gone, and it will take some time to come to terms with this. I miss him terribly.
Please tell your friends about this site, so they can share their thoughts. You're welcome to ask any questions and I'll answer as best I can. I've posted the photos we had at the funeral on Monday 18 December 2006 at Springvale.
To view any comments left on this site, or to add your own comments, click on the green link just below, with the time of this posting.
We compiled a CD that we distributed at the funeral (over 140 copies so far). The music consists of tracks that Abhi liked, but mostly that help us remember him. The Lion Sleeps Tonight is a track that a couple or so years ago I played full blast in the lounge room with Abhi, his then 3 year old brother and I were dancing to wildly. We played the track three times in a row. This probably sounds typical of Abhi to those of you who knew him well.
If you'd like a free copy of the CD, contact me by email direct at pmartin1960 [at] hotmail [dot] com (adjusted for spam avoidance). You may also contact me direct at this address if you would like to discuss anything that you'd rather not post publicly on this site.
If there's anything you'd like to say to us, Abhi's family, don't be shy. We may be grieving, but we really, really appreciate hearing from Abhi's friends and hearing their stories. If there's anything we can do to support you in our mutual grief, it is of mutual benefit. It might sound like a cliche, but we are united in grief.
(Photos: (1) Stephensons Falls near Lorne, 15/10/06; (2) Provisions Cafe, Williamstown, 4/9/05 (our favourite weekend cafe); (3) Vegie Bar, Fitzroy, 20/3/05 (our favourite restaurant - did you know Abhi and his family are vegetarian?)