Golden Hours

In my head you’re out in the sun wearing a yellow sundress (is that too cliche?). Hair braided but wild, wisps blowing in a bit of summer breeze. Barefoot running through wildflowers, nestled under a tree with a pile of books around you.

This is what I hope after is for you. Wild, free, happy, comforting. Happy birthday dearest person of mine. I miss you like hell.

Year 2

I made this in the morning of your D-day before I did a mix of chilling and getting out a bit for adventures/random driving.

I wanted to write more on this trip but the bits and bobs that have been floating in my head the last few weeks now that I have the time are stunted. Stuck. Trying not to read too much into that.

I miss you, my person. Always.

Year 1

I wrote a piece about grief for year 5 with Aaron, but I think so much of it is true for you too that I’m going to roll with a variation on it. Hope that’s ok.

There are so many things about grief we don’t talk about. So many tiny elements in our minutes in the after that go under the radar unless you’re also living them. 

There is a connection felt with those who carry loss with them. Our atoms feel each other. 

The stages of grief are bullshit. You’ll feel every one of them on and off from day to day, month to month, year to year. Monday I might accept you’re gone, Tuesday’s denial and Wednesday too, Thursday I’ll be angry at you and Friday I’m back in shock. 

Other people live in a timeline where there are limits for your emotions around your loved one. Fuck that. You feel whatever you need to feel when you need to feel it. You’re not wrong for laughing two days after you lose someone and you’re not wrong for being a blubbering mess years after. 

You’re never the same after you lose someone. Death changes you. Your life becomes a time before/time after split. It sucks. 

Memories you make after get this really fun new layer of guilt with them because inevitably you think at some point ‘man, I wish X was here/could have seen this/done this/existed in this moment’.

There will be an insane amount of pressure from outside forces to move on. I’ll always question people who suggest that, and wonder why they’ve never loved as fiercely as I’ve loved. There is no moving on, there’s just moving.

You will hurt. Mentally, physically, emotionally. You’re going to feel some shit. You’re going to learn to carry it with you, you’ll earn the strength to do it, but it’s a bitch of a journey. 

Closure is complete bullshit. I’ll never stop wondering if one small outreach could have made a difference.

Your last moments with them alive will replay in your mind. A lot.

Life events and milestones will be bittersweet. Places you go will have a tick mark of before and after.

Why are entire years strewn
On the cutting room floor of memory
When single frames of one magic night
Forever flicker in close-up
On the 3D Imax of my mind

No day but today. 525,600 minutes. Out Tonight. There’s only us, there’s only this and then, it’s gone.

Facebook memories will not be as fun anymore. OneDrive ones, even less.

You will find an exorbitant amount of things in day to day life that will remind you of the person you lost. A butterfly, a bird, just a stormy sky feels like a hello or a hug sometimes.

Finishing a book will always have a moment of sadness that I can’t pass it on to you to read next, or that you didn’t tell me about it in the first place.

People will play grief Olympics a bit. Let them, you know how you feel, love is not a show you have to prove to anyone. 

You’re going to feel numb sometimes and raw others. 

Meeting new people who have never/will never know your person is weird as hell. You’ll never feel like you describe them effectively or give their personality justice. 

You may buy movies and never watch them purely because they remind you of them. 

Explaining your person died doesn’t get easier. If anything it gets harder to hear ‘I’m sorry’ or worse yet no reaction at all to this information.

Sometimes, you’re just going to need to throw up. 

Anyone that judges your grief process deserves swift removal from your existence. 

What you lose with that person will sting. You will learn things and be pissed you cannot share them. You will hear songs and be pissed they will never hear them. 

You will wish you had taken more photos, more videos and that you’d saved voicemails just to hear mundane words from them again.

Loss is loss. There is not a scale for worth that differs between friends and blood. 

You will blame yourself. You will reply conversations wondering where you went wrong. You will blame others. You will blame yourself for not noticing the mistakes of others. You will blame science, religion, existence itself.

Nothing you do or that you learn about them after will really change the love you hold for the person that died. They earned it. They get to keep it.

Everything really is pretty fucking awful. 

Music will run the gamut between healing and breaking you all over again.

The dead never really leave us completely. The indents in our hearts they built carry on in every tiny thing that reminds us of them.

Traditions will continue or be built from the ashes. You’re so special you get two holidays in my life now. You both do.

You really don’t get over it, you don’t even get used to it. You just learn to survive it. 

You will cherish every hug you ever shared. Every cup of coffee, every silent afternoon reading books. Every failure, every success. Every tiny and huge moment.

Buffy will never be the same. My Anya with a healthy dash of Glory. One-eyed chicklet in the kingdom of the blind.

Cliche bullshit will become amusing.

Gas pumps will always make me chuckle a little. The fact that I brought you Red Bull after giving birth will always be amusing. Yellow will always make me smile remembering the cavy and how proud you were and I was of you.

Armadillos, hostess cupcakes, sweet dream cigarettes, more stories by the lake, more moments, more tequila, more love, more anything. More is better.

If the people we love are stolen from us, the way to have them live on is to never stop loving them. Buildings burn, people die, but real love is forever.

Thank you for being there for me in some of my darkest moments. I’m sorry I wasn’t there for all of yours, but I’m forever thankful for the one that solidified our friendship. I’m glad I decided to follow you home and sit on your porch with you.

You will always be my person. Always.

To Be Free

Glory: I look around at this world you’re so eager to be a part of and all I see is six billion lunatics looking for the fastest ride out. Who’s not crazy? Look around, everyone’s drinking, smoking, shooting up, shooting each other, or just plain screwing their brains out ’cause they don’t want ’em anymore. I’m crazy? Honey, I’m the original one-eyed chicklet in the kingdom of the blind, ’cause at least I admit the world makes me nuts.

Feels really stupidly fitting that today is World Suicide Prevention Day. I feel like you’d laugh if you knew that. The dark humor is palpable.

I miss you my person. So much. I still don’t care how fucked up we all are. We had each other and that was enough. I thought. Maybe not. Maybe someday I’ll know. I’ll be up near our place this weekend, think I may have my cards read so ya know if you have something to say feel free to pop in there.

Storms at lunch today seemed fitting. Happy Birthday.

Anya: “I guess I just realize how amazingly… screwed up they all are. I mean, really, really screwed up in a monumental fashion. And they have no purpose that unites them, so they just drift around, blundering through life until they die. Which they-they know is coming, yet every single one of them is surprised when it happens to them. They’re incapable of thinking about what they want beyond the moment. They kill each other, which is clearly insane, and yet, here’s the thing. When it’s something that really matters, they fight. I mean, they’re lame morons for fighting. But they do. They never… They never quit. And so I guess I will keep fighting, too.”

I’ll keep fighting, at least I’ll try. Sigh. This never gets any easier does it? Hasn’t with Krausie, probably won’t with you either. Your rituals are different as you were but I’ll carry the torch until I can’t anymore.

The Maggie Wall

There’s an episode of The Simpsons where Bart and Lisa ask Homer and Marge why there are no pictures of Maggie in the house. Ultimately this culminates in Homer telling them he has all the pictures of her where he needs them the most to lift him up, work.

My cube is pretty much my Maggie wall, even more now that I’ve re-printed some old favorites with Jess and Aaron in them. I can’t physically see you guys anymore, at least I can have you here with me I guess.

I don’t hate my work or feel stuck in it nearly the way Homer does, but having these visual reminders of the times past and the people I made into my family helps.

Especially lately, I need em. I need youse.

Steven Spielberg, it’s your turn again.

I’m writing this down with what little I can remember of it so I don’t forget it, again.

The universe brought you to me. I don’t need to know why or how, it just did.

I think Heather and I were at Denny’s. Smoking, drinking coffee, talking as much as we could because neither of us wanted to go home. For different reasons. As we did when we’d get to a point we didn’t want to talk any more, we started playing the Celebrity Name Game we did often then.

The game is simple. One person starts by saying a name of a person (we pretty much let everything roll, fictional and non) and the next person has to come up with another person who’s first name begins with the first initial of the last name of the previous one.

We could, and did, play this game for hours.

You piped in at a lull, and we just took you into the game. You moved your coffee and ashtray over and that was it. You were in.

Months later, I’d sit with you in the wee hours, keeping you company in a moment I just didn’t want you to have to live alone. That was it, you were my person from then on.

I hope you knew that hadn’t changed. I may have been mad at you for pulling away, for what I likely misconstrued as shutting me out, but had you come by even just to get your book that would have melted away in a second.

I shut you out too, I know that. We had a weird thing where we never wanted to burden each other even though neither would have seen it that way really.

Humans are weird. I miss yours.

Track Five

She jumped from one happiness to the next.
(You’re the only one.)
They made her smile (You’re beautiful)
until they made her cry.
(But I’m not looking to settle down.)
They broke her heart (This isn’t working anymore,) and her spirit (But let’s still be friends.)
Over and over again,
she trusted the fragments of her soul with others
(I’d never hurt you like he did.)
she thought they could fix her.
Once they inevitably abandoned her
(It’s not you, it’s me) she would end up
leaving with more of them than of herself.
And this is how a person’s own reflection
Can become unrecognizable.

Currently Listening To:
O.A.R. “Shattered”

  • Alicia Cook – “Stuff I’ve Been Feeling Lately”

The poetry thing is getting me through again, though as of late it’s rarely my own. The conversations we could have from this collection. Fuck. I miss you like mad.

The Gift

Give my love to my friends. 
You have to take care of them now. 
You have to take care of each other. 
You have to be strong. 
The hardest thing in this world is to live in it. 
Be brave. Live. 
For me.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer – Season 5 – “The Gift”

I did it. I finally fucking did it and of course now I wonder why I waited so long.

Fear. That’s easy.

There’s a lot packed into three little words and one punctuation mark. I guess I’ll start with the main inspiration, discovered by me on reddit not too long after Aaron. I saw a trend of people getting semicolon tattoos or tattoos with semicolon’s in them. That led me to and I was sold. I needed a tattoo with this involved.

The project aims to remove the stigma of talking about suicide and uses donations to help organizations like themselves in their goal. Their focus and work with teens stuck me as that’s when my own struggles began.

After Aaron, I thought about that episode of Buffy, and how I sometimes repeat the ‘The hardest thing in this world is to live it it. Be brave. Live” part to myself. Seemed fitting. The idea was born to put the two together, but like all my other tattoo ideas, I’ve just sat on it.

Jess was the last straw. So fuck it. Really the phrase for me is a nicer version of ‘fuck it’. You get one life, live it. Be brave. Do cool shit. Also, completely acceptable to be at home living a chill ass life. All are welcome.

I fucking did it guys. Holy. Shit.

Another Early Morning

Not too many years ago, had this happened then, I would have written openly and often. Now, I don’t want to perform my grief for anyone. I don’t want to join the ‘who loved her most Olympics’ or prove to anyone who she was to me or who I was to her. 

Same with Aaron now. I sit with it. Feels like I should name it. Perhaps I’ll call you George. 

I don’t want the sorry. I don’t want the what happened. I don’t want the hollow nature that our social network based lives has brought. Ok I did the thing, now what? As though one post negates the years ahead of you and hours and minutes with your soul crushed adjusting to your new normal. 

Some people will expect a timeline. Others will beg for silence. The rest you’ll just make uncomfortable. 

I never hated her choices. I only wanted to understand them same as anyone’s. The what has never been more important than the why. 

I may bitch about all of our faults but end of the day I still love unconditionally and would go to bat for any of my people. 

Maybe I just don’t want to make more connections to be inevitably severed. 

I can’t take more of this. 

Maybe I’m scared that I’m reaching a limit and now It would be easy to say I want to be with Jess and Aaron. 

I don’t know

I’m pretty sure there’s a tiny little girl in my heart
Crying because all her favorite toys have been taken away
I’ve shut her in, keeping her screams at bay
I can deal with shutting her in easier than living without you
So here we go, another layer to the wall
Another dark joke instead of truth
Tears for some and stone for others
Shields up captain
Second star and straight on until morning

Fuck It

The storm felt pretty perfect this morning.

Fuck it. I’m going to say the things you’re not supposed to say because I feel like you’d appreciate that.

I’m pissed off at you. Right now. This moment. My guts are churning with a fire that’s more familiar than it should be and the worst of it is, you know why.

Here’s the thing of it though, doesn’t matter that I’m pissed. The feelings never mattered for long, we kept going even if it was just to prove someone else wrong or prove to ourselves that we could.

I wrote this of Aaron this year but it’ll remain just as true for you now – The stages of grief are bullshit. You’ll feel every one of them on and off from day to day, month to month, year to year. Monday I might accept you’re gone, Tuesday’s denial and Wednesday too, Thursday I’ll be angry at you and Friday I’m back in shock. Well, it is Thursday as I’m writing this so look at that, I’m a little clairvoyant after all.

All that matters and will remain is this: You were my person. You are my person. You will always be my person.

Dias de los muertos (amended)

*Updated 5/22/2019

If the people we love are stolen from us, the way to have them live on is to never stop loving them. Buildings burn, people die, but real love is forever.

The Crow

The days you came, the days you left, they’ll never stop being celebrated as long as I breathe.

January 16
March 1
March 2
March 19
May 10
May 19
June 29
July 8
September 10
October 19
October 31
December 20

Day 2, 2.2, Version 2.0…Fuck I Don’t Know

You were always a magnet for people, sometimes you seemed to be the sun and we were all just planets in your orbit. Maybe that was just me. Maybe that was just Denny’s in the the early 00’s in general.

I’m reading all these people’s words about you. Some I recognize, many I don’t. All I can think about is how much did they know you? How much did I know you?

You had a wall, I knew that, but the veneer was magnetic to a degree I always envied.

I thought I was a stable port for you, a lighthouse beam to guide you back when you needed it. Never wanted to keep you, you hated that shit, you needed to be free. Just wanted to be something you could hold to, recalculate and head back out to sea.

Fuck. I missed you already, waiting for you to come back to shore…and now…I guess I’ll turn off the light.

saor ean

God dammit Jessica.

I’m saving all your LiveJournal entries right now. I can’t bear to read them but they are the only writings of yours I can get to with ease aside from emails and I need to do something.

I told Marty I had an urge to go to Petosky. Are you there? Is that why? Even if you were, you wouldn’t stay there long. That was never your style.

I want to be mad at you, but I also get it. I get it to a degree I wish I didn’t.

I guess it’s my book now, huh?

You got my dark humor like no one else. I’m trying to find a joke here but I can’t do it. This path is too familiar and I don’t want to ride this ride anymore.

You will always be my person. Always.

I hope you’re doing this right now, and I’m fully aware that I’m probably deluding myself into thinking of such a thing but it’s the thread I’ve got to hold on to right now so let me have it.

Go with the hot pink. I love you.