RIP Cameron Morrissey

Cameron Morrissey is dead. He killed himself earlier this week.

I met Cameron when we both started Year 6 together at Blue Mountains Grammar School back in 1992. Cameron and I were on our own table at the back of the room together in Mr Hewitt’s class and we spent the whole year in each others’ company.

My earliest memory of Cameron is sitting together on our table in the back row on the first day of Year 6. We were writing our names on our new exercise books and Cameron wrote “Cameron Roy”, then, realising his mistake, neatly crossed out the “Roy” and continued “Morrissey”. That confused me. What had happened there?

Eventually I was to find out that Morrissey had lost his biological father, surname “Royle”, and his mother had remarried a “Morrissey”. An absolutely heart-breaking thing to witness a small child do — making a mistake with his new identity — and the memory stayed with me forever, always colouring my regard of Cameron. To me he has always been a brave, tormented and beautiful soul, and when I think of him I will always remember that poor child who had to deal with the loss of his father.

In Year 6 Cameron and I spent heaps of time together. We both got the train, me from Glenbrook, Morrissey from Blaxland, and we spent an hour each way to school every day. Morrissey always used to play my Gameboy which I shared with him to play Mario — I think Morrissey considered that Gameboy essentially his own!

After Year 6 we went into high-school together and started to see less of each other. We were in different classes. Morrissey played volleyball while I played rugby. We didn’t see as much of each other but we had that kind of tempered and enduring friendship that happens when you’ve been childhood friends for so long.

So as it was I stayed in contact with Morrissey over the years, as we each went our separate ways, and he would always take my calls and talk with me about everything from what’s going on in his life through to the meaning of life.

I’ve always worried about Morrissey committing suicide. He had a troubled life. Things obviously weren’t working out particularly well for him. I stayed in touch with him as he moved to Canberra, and then later out West to find his fortune in the Australian mining industry, but apparently that didn’t really work out.

I think Morrissey deserved more out of life than he got, and I think it’s a poor indictment of our community that Cameron was lead to kill himself. I will miss him — and regret the loss of him — for the rest of my life. The world is a smaller and darker place without him. RIP my friend.

4 thoughts on “RIP Cameron Morrissey

  1. Thank you for writing this, and beautifully put.

    I knew Cam my whole life. Apparently we were in prams next to each other as babies. I remember running around playing in the grounds of BMGS when our parents were helping out organising fetes and fundraisers. Once, I locked myself in the canteen and Cameron sat outside the door and told me it was going to be okay because he would “go and get the firemans”. Something he repeated to me whenever I’d see him – “Missy, I’ll get the firemans”. It breaks my heart to think I’ll never hear it again.

    You have captured him so well. He moved around a lot but he was always there if you gave him a shout. That’s just how he was. And I always worried about him too… although, until recently, I’d always been able to get him to talk. We talked a lot about his father. Ultimately, I think Cameron carried the weight of the 8 year old, heartbroken little boy Cammy around with him. And perhaps it got too great, and he got too weary.

    Will miss him forever, and mourn what a loss it is for the world that he’s no longer in it. I regret all the things I couldn’t do.

    Thank you for writing this.

  2. This afternoon I gathered my 4 children up and together as a family went through our draws, collecting some clothes to take to Springwood for people now without homes. At 6pm I checked my facebook page to find out where to drop the items. To my delight I noticed an invite from David Bell, within seconds my gut turned. I messaged an old friend for confirmation, I could not believe what I was reading…. I felt nothing. About 20 minutes later my oldest and best friend Jessica called for confirmation….. We cried. Its funny what your brain remembers. Year 6 at BMGS in Mr Hewitts class I am sure all the girls at some point thought he was “the bomb”…… I remember school camp at Bungawarra he was wearing his new Redskins NFL cap…. he let me wear it for an afternoon, I had the biggest crush on him and my dad who also attended the camp knew it….. I remember at the end of the day my dad approached me and said “I think tomorrow you should wear the hat mum packed for you sweetheart”.

    I think my fondest memory of Cameron is a time in year 8, a period of time we both had a girlfriend/boyfriend and would spend our lunch hours on the hill overlooking the oval, then in the afternoon we would walk home from the train station together talking about what “moves” we would make the next day….. I always chickened out but he was always pretty brave!!! ;)

    I started thinking tonight we must be getting old, to be farewelling our school friends is surely a sign?? But the nature of this death is not a sign of time past. I hope Cameron is finally at peace and enjoying the view xx

    Much love to everyone thinking of all the awesome times spent with a truly beautiful soul.

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