Hocking House Rules


These are/were the Hocking house rules.

I remember Mum buying it and then trying every night over the course of about 2 weeks before she realized the cross stitch was above her pay grade. She took it down to a lovely lady at the Mornington Market who then completed it for us.

It hung on the wall near our dinner table. It didn’t exactly match with the decor of the house. But it’s meaning was humble and it’s words had sentiment.

I liked reading it back then, I still like reading it now. They are the basics, but it seems now days some of life’s simple basics get forgotten as we continually strive for bigger and better. I think some of the basics have been forgotten.

Speaking of forgotten, was there somewhere in the rules that should have read, don’t leave? We are now the Hocking family that’s down a few members. As we grew old my kids were suppose to be little shits and stay up all night when they went to stay at Uncle Ben’s house. While he fed them copious amounts of chocolate and played with them until they were hours over their bedtimes.

Each year family Christmas was suppose to take place at one us children’s house and we would take turns hosting each year. Without a doubt I can tell you we would all be ripping each other’s faces off before getting into Ben, because he was always late.

But none of that will ever happen. Or it will but minus Ben and Mum and there will always be that black gaping hole in everything we do. Every week we have family dinner and I’m pretty sure we all expect him to come bounding in the door late, wearing Annabella’s pink backpack and his bellowing voice echoing through the house as he pumps out another late excuse that he has yet again turned into a three part story.

One of the stages of grief is anger. I am lucky that I haven’t and would confidently say that I will never feel any anger towards Ben for choosing to do what he did. How can I be angry at him? He who thought his only choice at being happy or getting himself out of the way he was feeling to end it all?
Not today, not tomorrow and not fucking ever will I be angry at Ben.

More than anything I hope he wasn’t scared. I’m glad and so, so thankful that he didn’t suffer or wasn’t in pain. I feel for him in his last minutes, is this what he really wanted to do? What had brought this all on? What could have made him feel like his problems were bigger and more scarier than his future, the future and his daughters future.

I’ll never be angry at you Ben. You made a choice that you thought was right for you at the time. My councilor says the amount of your grief is the amount of your love and there is nothing that I have heard since he has passed that makes more sense.

The world keeps spinning and sun keeps rising but our family will never be the same again and you know what, we wouldn’t want it to be.

Hayleigh Hocking