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The Corroboree
Torsten

Chemical Shaman we will miss you

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Wow, thats fucked and weird in so many ways.. :( I didn't know CS but from his colorful, tortured posts I got the impression he was an extremely honest and insightful person..

It's so strange because I was particularly thinking just a couple of days ago about checking with him to see if he was still doing crazy living on the edge road trips because I chickened out a couple of years ago.. I guess I should have seized the day like it sounds CS did.. :(

I hope you have found peace on the other side brother, I'm gonna carpe diem the fuck out of shit in your honor.

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Safe travels Brother...

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Adele and I spent a few days last week in cairns to connect with Denis' new friend there and to go to the waterfall. It was an amazing time.

When we got there we decided to have lunch before embarking on meeting the people Denis had hung out with the last nearly 3 months. While frantically txting and making arrangements we decided to ask the waitress if she knew denis as it looked like the type of place he'd hang out. Her face went white and she stepped back. I immediately realised that she was freaking out about having to tell us the bad news, so I quickly said that we knew he was dead and that we were up here to see his friends. This is how we met the first friend of his. It snowballed from there. We had to make detailed notes of everyone as it soon became information overload.

What a busy boy he had been. A couple of girlfriends, some close trusted friends, lots of party buddies, and lots of .... ahem ... one nighters. he'd made friends in the festival family up there, with artists, musicians, pretty well anyone who was interesting. Meeting all these people was pretty amazing. Sharing their stories of denis was even more amazing. It quickly became clear that even though denis arrived in a dark mood, this quickly turned around and he had been very happy up there. Even Being's death didn't get him down for long. It was pretty obvious that unless something happened in the last few days before his death that this was not a suicide. But 'pretty obvious' wasn't good enough for us. We wanted to be sure. How can you ever be sure though about such a thing? I didn't know, but would soon find out.

The other big issue that weighed on a few people's minds is that his death may have involved drugs. Smoking a bit of changa on the waterfall edge maybe, or simply being a bit too stoned, or maybe even just drunk. We figured that the people who were with him would not give such detail to the police, but that they would trust us. The dilemma was what we would say [and to who] if we did find out drugs were involved? We decided to cross that hurdle when we come to it, but for the moment the information was just for our own peace of mind. So we mapped out his consumption over the last week and found that he was very fond of alcohol - although that seems to have been the influence of a particularly infamous group of friends he was hanging out with :blink: . There was the occasional joint too. Most importantly though, he had been getting involved with aya rituals and this was to become the main clue as to what happened [ie didn't happen] on his last day.

He had been camping with friends the night before, having a few drinks and smoking joints. In the morning he was by all accounts sober albeit maybe a little hung over. This had quickly cleared. The day of his death he had not consumed anything inebriating. We think this is mostly due to the fact he was preparing for another aya ritual on saturday which would have required him to stick to a diet and abstinence. he was taking things pretty seriously. he also knew that changa could seriously alter the neurochemical profile for a couple of days so would not smoke this before a ritual. In any case he never smoked this alone if he could share it with others. While his blood test is going to come back positive for a whole host of interesting things, none of these had any bearing on his death and it will be interesting how the coroner [and the family] interpret this. I am personally completely satisfied that he was not under the influence of anything at the time of his death.

On Saturday we decided to go to the waterfall with Zoe, the girl who was with him that fateful day. On the way to the waterfall is a lookout where they had jumped the fence and sat on the rock outcrop overlooking the gorge. It's a straight drop from here onto the rocks below, about 50 or 60m. The perfect suicide spot. Then we walked to the waterfall. As soon as Zoe started explaining where she was having her dip and where denis was heading it became obvious what had happened.

The waterfall isn't a 'fall' at all, but rather a cascade. No one in their right mind would chose this as the spot, especially with the perfect suicide spot just 50m away. But standing at the top of the fall you look down about 20m to a ledge. It calls out to you as the best spot to enjoy the views, the rainbows and the sounds - even to someone like me who is terrified of heights and would never ever go anywhere near it. It was still calling out to me. And it calls out to most others obviously because other visitors who arrived couldn't resist climbing down to that ledge either. The difference between them and denis is that most would be content with the side parts of the ledge, rather than having to make it to the middle. Anyone who knows denis would also know that he would HAVE to make it to the middle. But that's where things get dangerous. You have to jump a V shaped gap, landing on polished granite covered in algal slime. Jump with right foot first and if you slip your body would be catapulted into the V shape and down the cascade.

The realisation that his fearless and ever exploring character is what killed him made me very sad, but it was also a relief. Denis died happy, doing what he loved, and while being completely silly. He would have gotten knocked out almost immediately, so even if he survived the fall and died by drowning in the pool below, he would not have suffered. This was the kind of way it was always going to end for him. We loved him for being like that, but knew the implications. It was good to finally know what had happened and why, that he was happy, and that there is nothing anyone could have done to prevent this.

I cried a lot, but my mind became calm. It was time to let go.

==============================================================

The view from the top of the falls. Other visitors are drawn to the ledge, but stay on the left part of it. Note the V shape where the left waterflow is, and then the large centre ledge that calls out to be explored.

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Adele standing on the safe part of the ledge. Note the angles [she is obviously upright].

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View along the ledge. It's that little bit of water he would have tried to jump, but there is not a lot of solid ground and virtually nothing to stop him if he slipped.

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Thanks for giving us your impressions from that day so we from abroad could also make ourselves a vague picture of the ceremony by reading about it. I feel sad because i wasnt able to partake at the memorial ceremony of a great and very interesting person. The view of that watterfall scares me just from looking at it. He really lived his life to the limits. I once heard someone say that there are some people who live more intensive in 30 years, than others in 80 or 90. Denis was surely one of them and from what i knew of him, he lived his life a very unique way. Im sure he´ll never be forgotten at this place. bye Eg

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Very informative Torsten. What a wonderful place to take your last breath, as sad as it is , but Better there ,with nature , than under a car or in a Hospital room.

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Thank you Torsten (and co!) for taking the time and effort to collect and present this enlightening (in more ways than one) info.

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Thank you for sharing Torsten.

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Thanks T.

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"The other big issue that weighed on a few people's minds is that his death may have involved drugs. Smoking a bit of changa on the waterfall edge maybe, or simply being a bit too stoned, or maybe even just drunk."

Torsten, on further reflection I am not sure I completely understand your conclusion that you are "completely satisfied that he was not under the influence of anything at the time of his death" especially when you say Denis was drinking and smoking pot the night before, to the point of others recognizing him as being somewhat hungover the next day.

Wouldn't it be more reasonable to infer that despite his companions perception of him as having 'sobered up' by the time he went to the waterfall, the fact that he was drinking and smoking pot the night before may have affected his judgement and reflexes?

Not trying to start an argument here, just wondering if you have any further thoughts on this?

Edited by .:illegal:brain:.

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Thanks for the photos, it was different to what i had in my mind and it helps a little as i'm quite a visual thinker.

Intoxicated or not, to me i don't really care, it's irrelevant. If people need to discuss it that's cool don't mean to restrict others expressions.

it's not getting much easier, still can't really make any sense of it, may have met him at the library in previous years, but most fond memory was meeting denis and natasha (&adrian!) at the early eb up north out at macas, he drove me around for nothing, had breakfast and a look around in town, surreal to have lost both of them, it's perculiar but i remember that morning spent with those 3 visually so clearly, much more clear than the rest of that weekend besides the great time spent with tantra and others until sunrise, broom flower, marshmallow world. Stay safe all.

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illegalbrain, CS was sober enough to drive very early in the morning. MAY have been a bit hungover at this time [only according to one person who doesn't drink much] and then 6 hours later [ie more than 12 hours after finishing drinking] goes to a waterfall - I'd think there is more chance of him having been affected by lack of sleep than of alcohol . he would have had to have been at least 12 standard drinks over the limit at the time he stopped drinking to have still been affected by alcohol, and we know he didn't drink that much [and I also know he metabolises more than one standard drink per hour so the number is even higher]. Alcohol is the easiest for the coroner to estabslih for the report, so it would be silly for me to gloss that over if there was a chance of it being implicated.

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Yeah of course Torsten, I didn't think you were purposefully glossing over anything, and certainly wasn't thinking of the legal implications... have just been thinking about it a lot and got to wondering about a few things, its just how my mind works.

Anyway, thanks again for the info and further elucidation.

*edit*

Gerbil: "Intoxicated or not, to me i don't really care, it's irrelevant. If people need to discuss it that's cool don't mean to restrict others expressions."

This is similar to how I feel, I wasn't asking because I need to discuss things for emotional reasons or anything, I was just curious.

Edited by .:illegal:brain:.

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I' used to be a very very keen rock-hopper...(rock fisherman) and the risks I took so often to get to a suitable ledge to fish from certainly seemed suicidal to others, yet as it where, I took the risks with rods and heavy bags, to jump and land, mostly on green weed covered ledges and low lying platforms that waves washed up on occasionally...so I can see and feel how Denis had to do what he did, I would have definitely wanted to do the same thing, there is something about getting to rock surface that you can see will give the best vantage point or view or access, it's an addiction of sorts, can't tell you the amount of times I've come undone and slipped and thought oh shit I've done it now..!!

I'll hazard a guess and say Denis is a Sagittarius, the free spirited reckless type, who constantly looked for greener pastures, risks aside it's something that makes us happy..people like Denis are never afraid of dying and live for the moment. I seriously doubt after reading Torstens roundup that any drugs or suicide had come into play here, he was gunna get to that platform regardless, it had to be conquered, also another trait of the free spirited type.

Thanks for the post T in my mind even though I never met the guy I know and love the type and feel a warm smile upon me when I read your post.

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people like Denis are never afraid of dying and live for the moment. I seriously doubt after reading Torstens roundup that any drugs or suicide had come into play here, he was gunna get to that platform regardless, it had to be conquered, also another trait of the free spirited type.

100% spot on.

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was not expecting to be much affected as i didnt think i knew denis that well but hearing that cutting female voice singing about making a deal with god and i got that tightening up feeling and a little teary.....kate bush,running up that hill.....he had more impact on my life than i realised...

t s t .

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Man.......

Thanks GCF and Ronny.

Excellent work....shit what can I say?

Ya still missed ol mate.

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