When Bob and I got married Halloween weekend, I never thought that our anniversary would come to mean something other than a happy occasion for me. As I widow, I've learned that dates can haunt you. They sneak up on you when you're not expecting them.

You'll be cruising along, happy days, and then WHAM, brick wall to the face. Much like getting your period when you're not expecting it, you check the calendar, but it's not Aunt Flo. Nope. It's a symbolic date of some kind...an anniversary, a milestone, birthday approaching, or some magic moment of sadness come to haunt you when you least expect it.

How does your body know?


I want answers. Also, naps. It's exhausting. I used to love Halloween. It was one of my favorite holidays. I can't even find my favorite decorations anymore.

Colored Ribbons: Fucking Cancer

Steve Jobs' death was just announced. In a month awash with pink for one of only many types of cancers, I can't help but be pissed.

Are we really working to cure cancer or are we creating industries that thrive on its very existence? How many pharmaceutical companies would be gone in the face of a cure? It's a disturbing thought, but one that crosses my mind as I see every pink ribbon, pink t-shirt, pink Kitchen-Aid mixer, pink magnet stuck to the back of another SUV spewing exhaust from a fossil-fuel powered vehicle, pink foil lid on a Yoplait yogurt laden with rBGH until 2009.

Where would we be without cancer?

Maybe I'm jaded. With three maternal generations of breast cancer in my family, a best friend dead at 34 of breast cancer, another friend dead in her thirties of cervical cancer, and a husband dead at forty of lymphoma, I've had my fill, and I'm fairly certain that I'm not done.

Stop sticking magnets on your car. Stop buying pink hats. We're all aware of cancer.

Start preventing cancer. Start finding the cause.

I'm tired of burying people I love.


Some organizations that don't pinkwash:

The Breast Cancer Fund

Think Before You Pink

Recon Missions: Moved In, But Not Out

I keep going back, less and less often now. Each time I find myself there for shorter periods. I pull up in front of the house, take a deep breath, hold it, open the front door and run in. I grab a few things or don't. I wander around, open cabinets that have a few items left, bedroom doors that reveal rooms with a few stray things inside, and a garage I cannot begin to pack. It holds His Things. Too many of His Things.

You see, while the kids and I have moved to our new home, our old home is still there. It's the home filled with the memories of Us. Of Him. Of our children and our pets and our lives together. It's where we lived and loved. It's where he took his last breath.

Welcome Home

I don't think I can pack the rest of it. I don't think I can move the rest of it. Yet, I have to. The landscapers have come and readied the yard. The painters will need to come to prepare the inside for a new family; paint over what made it Our Home, cover Peanut's black walls and Bug's kiwi bird.

My daughter's tree will still grow in the front yard. It will still be our house, but it will no longer be Our House.

And the attic. Fuck. I haven't been up there in so long. Christmas decorations and bins filled with memories from years past. So tempted to lock it and leave it.

So tempted to find a way to stop time or fast-forward time or make it all not be this hard. Do they make a giant broom that sweeps it all under a giant rug? What about a shovel that scoops it all into a moving van in one push?

Do they make anything for these tears that won't stop falling?


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Toothpaste And Deodorant: Making Room For Something New

Banana ToothpasteImage by AZRainman via Flickr

I'm cleaning out closets. And drawers. Also, bookshelves and cabinets and corners. It's time.

After a year, I am ready to do more. I am ready to let go of more of my pieces of me, more material things, and more clutter that's blocking my path.

You might think, mistakenly, that the clutter I'm referring to belonged to Bob, but very little of it did. Sure, a few of the books amassed from each new job were his. The book du jour that each company felt was necessary to convey their culture. Those were his. He never read them. It was easy to drop those into the brown paper bag of donations.

Next, I attacked my shoes and clothes, letting go of things that don't fit, unworn items, and anything that doesn't make me feel fabulous. Life is too short to keep clothes that don't rock your world. Into the donation pile they went.

Then I came upon that dreaded bag, again. That damned duffle bag from our final hospital stay. Every time I do this purging thing, I come across that bag. Every time I am able to cull a few more items from the bag. This time, I plunged into the final purge. And it was the oddest combination of items that reduced me to a sobbing mess—his tiny tube of hospital-issue toothpaste and travel-size deodorant. I was undone by toiletries, people.

As I took them from the bag and dropped them into the trash, (because what was I going to do? Save them? That seemed too morose, not to mention a little unhygienic) I felt that hard ball of pain in my throat. My eyes burned. The tears soaked my cheeks and I knew I was done for the night.

Sometimes you have to sit with your grief; give it space to be, let it soak your face, kick you in the gut, have its way with you, you know?

The duffle bag is finally empty. My heart still hurts, but I had time to feel the pain I needed to feel at that moment. I am so blessed to have people in my life who understand how important that is, who aren't threatened by my need to grieve, and who love me. It makes this shitty process so much easier.

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Counting To Three: Nearly A Year

Three days.

In three days it will be one-year since Bob died just a few feet from where I'm lying in my bed right now as I type this post.

Three days.

In three days it will be the 365th day since I became a widow, since my children lost their father, since Bob's parents lost their youngest child, since his brothers and sisters lost their baby brother, since so many of us lost our best friend.

Three days.

The world changed on April 18, 2010. The world changes every day. The important things I've learned this year are to make sure to keep going, keep changing, keep moving, keep living. Most importantly, keep loving. There's a beautiful world out there left to be enjoyed. Bob certainly enjoyed the hell out of it while he was here.

I miss you, babe. I love you. Thank you. You taught me so much. You will forever be my hero.

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Things I Do Not Regret: Living In The Moment

I came across an old blog post this morning when I was still awake from a sleepless night. It made me sad, at first. Then I realized a deeper message in what I'd written, and it made me remember something Bob and I talked about quite often—our priorities.

Bob traveled a lot for work, and when he was home, he chose to spend his time either with us, his extended family, or his friends. He didn't spend his time doing many things around the house, and sometimes we let things slide that probably should have been a priority, but with the little time that he had at home, we always felt that he and we had our priorities straight.

Things I do not regret:

  • sitting next to my husband in bed while we ate our meals together, watched TV together, napped or were online
  • allowing other people help with laundry, meals, childcare so that I could be at the hospital and doctors' appointments and chemo with Bob
  • unschooling our children in a way that allowed them as much time with their father as they wanted, given the circumstances
  • spending time with my husband instead of spending extra hours cleaning my house, working in the yard, walking the dogs, washing the car, sorting the mail, or any of the other "shoulds" that just don't matter that much in the scheme of things
  • lying awake listening to him breathe rather than sleeping even though I was exhausted because I just wanted to hear his breath

I regret none of those things. My actions were purposeful at the time because I loved him deeply and loved spending time with him. I am so very glad I lived my life with him the way I did.

There will always be toilets to scrub and laundry to fold. Sometimes, those tasks can be better done by others of left undone so you can enjoy the here and now with your loved ones. The laundry and toilets will still be there. They're patient like that.



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People Still Don't Know: Telling A Friend In Target


I ran into a friend in Target this week whom I hadn't seen in a while. Well, it's been a long while, I guess.

"How have you been?" she asked, as our small-talk grew into something more substantial.

"You know my husband passed away," I said.

That's one way to move a conversation from, "Hey, how's things," into "Holy shit, we need to talk, it has been way too long."

It turns out she'd lost her little sister and a good friend in the past year. Hugging commenced. Ice cream defrosted in my cart. Salmon steaks, too. It didn't matter. It just wasn't important anymore. What mattered was reconnecting with this friend, this person who'd fallen out of my life and now reappeared at just the right moment. In Target. In the pasta section. (Yes, our Target has groceries. We have alcohol, too. Hate us because we're beautiful.)

We talked about feeling lost in those early months, then regaining our footing. We talked about our kids. We talked about macaroni. We talked about grief. We talked about houses. And breaded topping for the macaroni. What? Some kids are picky eaters.

What we didn't have to do was start over. I love that about certain friends, the ones you can pick up with like no time has passed. I love friendships that flow like life flows, with natural drifts, unforced. No apologies are made for lost contact or guilt felt for time apart, but you can fall right back into the rhythm of conversation you had before.

So much of life is really fucking difficult. I like when things are easy for a change. I like when life hands you the gift of an old friend in the pasta aisle at Target and a hug when you thought you were just there to buy toilet paper and groceries.



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I Wasn't Pollyanna; Was I Enough?

Maybe it was because we'd already lost a friend our age to cancer, but I had I hard time shooting pompoms up in celebration when Bob first started treatment and things were going well. I did it anyway. I hid my fears, initially. I hid my knowledge about the statistics, unless he asked outright. And, I sighed in relief when he went into remission.

I confided in one friend that I didn't think it was sunshine and roses, that I didn't think it was as easy as it looked on the outside, that I didn't trust that this would work in the long run. He understood. He knew all too well. He'd lost. He knew. I don't remember my exact words to him or his response, and I don't have the strength to go back and read it yet.

I don't make a good Pollyanna. Funny, really. I loved reading Pollyanna as a child. I loved getting lost in that fantasy, but it crashes. Fantasies crash. They aren't real.

So, I powered through Bob's illness armed with knowledge about his disease and a fierce will to fight. I knew that statistics applied to groups, not individuals. I fought for an individual--my husband, a man I fiercely loved and adored with all my heart.

While I was unable to stick my head in the sand about what was ahead of us on our journey, he often thanked me for being his partner in the fight, and I thanked him for being mine. That's what mattered most.

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Your 41st Birthday

You would have been 41 tomorrow. You loved being 6 months younger than me, so you could call me your old lady. Thought you were pretty damn funny.

Kauai 08

I'm not gonna lie. It's been a hell of a rough week. Worse than usual. I know it will pass, because it does. Every wave does, but this one feels enormous.

Peanut talks a lot lately about how unfair the world is. What she really means is how unfair it is that we lost you. I try to tell her that we were blessed with having you for the time we did, but I also tell her she's right.

It is unfair.

But life isn't about fair, unfortunately. It isn't balanced or pretty all the time. It has sharp edges. Some of it cuts you and leaves scars.

That's just a lot for a 12-year-old to understand. It isn't fair.

It's not easy being green.

Bug misses you something fierce these days. He waivers between wanting to sit in your La-z-Boy and not being able to be in the space where you died when his hurt is too raw. He's nearly as tall as me now. Your heart would melt if you saw him. Mine does.

He lights up your parents' lives, that kid. They adore him, and he still adores them just as much as he did when he was a toddler. As soon as they bring him home, they're asking when he can come back. I am so glad they have that connection to you through him and that he feels like their house is his second home.

Sun v Son

Peanut is so confident in her riding now. She's planning to show Jordan again this spring. We are blessed to have such a great facility, but even more importantly, an incredible trainer who "gets" her. Being at the ranch is a time when I see her relax, have confidence, and connect with the world.

And me? I'm lying here surrounded by a pile of your neckties. I was trying to organize some of your things into boxes for storage last night. The ties ruined me. I think I bought every single one of these ties for you. I remember attending events with you where you wore certain ties. I remember you asking me in the mornings which tie you should wear as you were getting ready for an important meeting or trip. So, I'm here in a pile of ties, covered in tears and snot, mostly me, not the ties.

His ties

Some people have suggested I make a quilt out of the ties, or a pillow, or skirt. Maybe I will. For now, I just want to curl up with them and remember you. And miss you. And cry on the eve of your 41st birthday.

I love you, and it's not fair.

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2010: Life and Death

There aren't words to adequately summarize losing my husband, my children's father, being stalked online by his brothers, then betrayed by someone whom I trusted to care for my children and allowed into my home, chastised by my parents for not meeting their needs during my grief, and losing a lifelong friendship because of deceit and loss of trust. 

Fortunately, I loved and was loved by an amazing man for over two decades. I had that gift. My children had the gift of an incredible father who loved them. We have rich memories and strength to draw from when all of the shit hits. It has made us stronger as a family. We are a united force. We are fiercely protective of one another. My children may bicker like an old married couple, but do not mess with our family. We do not keep secrets in this house, and it makes us all the stronger when the attacks from the outside come. We laugh together. We yell together. We make mistakes together. We cry together.

And we have family and friends who make sure we are never in it alone. Thank you all for making sure we made it. Whether you sent us a single word or support of offered us your time, financial assistance in those early days, or never-ending physical presence, you have made all the difference in our lives. 

In 2011, I have no resolutions, as I never do. They aren't my style. I do have some wishes. I would like to just be. Get that amp off eleven. Travel some. Love some. Eat good food. See friends. Hug my kids, a lot. Live, because I didn't die.

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Shoulds And Shouldn'ts

painImage by califmom via Flickr

I should be celebrating my 16th wedding anniversary this week. With my husband. We should be deciding where we want to go for the upcoming weekend, who will watch the kids, where we’ll eat dinner, what we’ll pack, and who will watch the dogs and cat while we’re away.

That’s what I should be doing this week. What we should be doing. We. Not I. WE.

I shouldn’t be crying.

I shouldn’t be missing him so much my heart feels like it’s being yanked from my chest with vice grips.

I shouldn’t have a pain in my stomach like a searing knife being twisted through to my spine.

I shouldn’t be wondering if I’ll ever know what it’s like to love someone that much again.

I shouldn’t be wondering if I’ll ever be loved that much again.

I shouldn’t be sitting here feeling sorry for myself, making a list of shoulds and shouldn’ts. Life isn’t about that. It’s about living, but today it just fucking hurts. It’s going to be a long week.

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Wanna See Mah Bewbs?

Yeah, really. I’m serious. Well, I am. It’s for a good cause, though. And, sorry to disappoint, fellas, but there’s no nip. Maybe next time.

It’s that time of the year—BEWB FEST ‘10 is in full swing raising money for Susuan G. Komen to help fight breast cancer.

If you want to help fight this shittastic disease AND check out some of the lovely bewbs and mewbs of the blogosphere (yes, it’s an equal-opportunity contest), go vote for your favorites early and often over at Bewb Fest ‘10.

I’m #42.

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Breaking A Little

Fuck CancerImage by califmom via Flickr

The night before last, a friend recommended a TV show called Breaking Bad. Cool. I needed something new to watch. It was kind of late, but I'd been sick and napping a lot, and couldn't sleep, so I downloaded the first season from iTunes. If you haven't seen Breaking Bad and don't want me to spoil it for you, stop reading now. Some of the plot details are key to the telling of this story.

He told me the show was about meth. Again, awesome. I thought. Like Weeds, I thought. I love Weeds

More intense than Weeds, I was promised. 

Perfect, I thought.

I am so over watching endless episodes of CSI and NCIS with my kids. One more crime scene and campy set and I'm going to become forensic evidence.

The show finished downloading. I fired up Episode 1. I'm in love. The show sucked me in like a Hoover on full tilt. I didn't pay much attention to the fact that the main character's motivation is his recently diagnosed inoperable lung cancer. 


I was too busy riding the high of the drug culture I know nothing about. The chemistry. Literally. Mixing, cooking, making "glass." One character coming undone while another comes together. Bodies dissolving in acid. The decomposition of human remains into basic elements. 

This doesn't cause me to bat an eye. 

I watched more episodes.

The coughing, struggling to breathe, spells of obvious illness within--the hidden signs that cancer is eating his body? They made me wince a little, but I ignored them as the plot jumped into the next adrenaline-pumping scene. Until it didn’t. Until it jumped into an oncologist's office.

And I started to break. Just a little. But the show slid along just in time for me to get it back together.

And then it skipped ahead to him lying on the table, lining up the lasers on his chest for radiation, and I started to shake. 

Because I couldn't be in the room when that happened. Nobody could be in that room but Bob. It took only two minutes each time. It did nothing to help him. In fact, it probably just made things worse--let the cancer go crazy everywhere else while they tried to target that one spot. I had to sit by helplessly waiting, wondering if it was working, watching him die, watching him know he was dying. So, I shook. And the tears welled up.

Then the character sat in the chemo chair. His wife sat alongside him, like I sat alongside my husband. The camera went in for a close up of the red liquid going into his vein, like the red liquid that went into Bob's veins, the one that he could taste in his mouth the minute they started to inject it. The same one Bob's sister could taste as she sat with us because she'd had it twelve years earlier and it's THAT kind of taste--a taste you don't forget. 

And then, much like the last year of my life, I don't know what happened next. I don't remember if I turned it off or kept watching. I want to keep watching. I feel like I need to keep watching, just like I needed to take my friend to the hospital the week of Bob's funeral so I could get over that "first." Just like I needed to take my daughter to a doctor's appointment and watch them take her vital signs so I could get over that "first." 


Growing up, I rode horses like some kids rode bicycles. We lived next to BLM land. We'd ride for miles behind our house, and unlike falling off your bike in front of your house, falling off your horse that far from home made for a long-ass walk back. When you got thrown from your horse, you had to get back on. Plus, the view was better than staying there on your ass. Maybe this is one of my horses, trying to throw me. Fuck it if you think I'm not getting back on.

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The Only Grief I Own Is My Own

GriefI lost people close to me before I lost my husband. I’ve lost close friends. I’ve lost grandparents. I’ve lost friends so dear to me I thought my world had stopped. But until now, I didn’t know what it was like to have other people look to me to be the person responsible for their grief, the person responsible for doling out pieces of another person for them to hold onto, the person controlling access to their love for him, their memories of him, their unresolved issues or regrets.

The problem with looking to someone else--the widow, the parent, the sibling, whomever--of the person you’re grieving for, is that they can’t facilitate your grief because that person is grieving, too.

It’s normal to feel angry and want to blame someone or lash out, but directing that anger and blame at the people who loved the person you lost isn’t going to bring that person back and it’s just going to damage the relationships you have left with the living. It isn’t going to make you feel better. It isn’t going to help you heal. It isn’t honoring the memory of your loved one to attack each other.

I feel safe in saying that relying on a widow to do anything short of wake up each day is insane. I can’t remember if I shampooed my hair on the rare occasion I remember to shower. I go where people take me. Any appointments are made for me by the people who need me to sign the papers, and they come to me, for the most part. I only know what day of the week it is if I check my phone and I don’t remember five minutes after I look. To say I am in a fog would be an understatement.

My priorities are narrow in focus and animal in nature. I need to keep a roof over my family’s head, keep my children and myself fed and clothed in some fashion, and make sure the three of us are safe. Anything beyond that is icing on the cake right now and most of it is being provided by people who accept us as we are, fog and all, warts and all, unshampooed hair and all.

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We Buried My Husband Today

IMG_3607 It took everything in my being not to crawl into that hole with his ashes and those flowers and ask them to bury me with him. Everything. Every. Thing. Because as much as I was not the one who died, there are so many moments in the day when it feels like I did.

But I didn’t crawl in the hole, not that one, anyway. I’ve crawled into the hole I’m supposed to crawl in right now – the hole where I grieve the loss of my husband. I don’t plan to stay in it forever, but I need to stay in it for a while. I have to take a break from being strong, and stoic, and making it all look easy, because it’s not.

There are a few reasons why I didn’t crawl into that hole today. Let me show you them. Pictures, as they say, are worth a thousand words.



IMG_3601  IMG_3611IMG_3609 IMG_3628 IMG_3632IMG_3633

IMG_3618  IMG_3627IMG_3602

So, I’ll cry. A lot. I’ll fall down. A lot. I’ll lean hard on my God, my family, and my friends. A lot. (When I remember to let them know I’m falling apart, which I’m woefully inept at doing.) And I’ll make it through this absolute shithole that I’m in. Occasionally, I might even shower and wear clean underwear, but I’m not making any promises, yet.

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The Meaning Of The Butterfly Is Revealed


Image by califmom via Flickr


My husband was raised Catholic. He attended Catholic school until eighth grade, made first communion, confirmation, and didn’t leave the church until just before we were married. At that point, he became Protestant. When he knew he was dying and we were making his funeral plans, one thing he wanted to do for his family was to have a Catholic mass. It was his gift to them. It was a beautiful gift.

Bob and I had never met Father Gus before Bob passed. I had no idea exactly what he’d say during his homily. As I sat between my children with Janell just to the other side of us, Father started to tell a story about butterflies and caterpillars.

I quickly looked over at Janell through tears and a smile. Father continued on. “On Earth we are the caterpillars climbing the stalk of the plant trying to reach the leaf. In Heaven we become butterflies.” Or something to that effect…my mind was a little fuzzy, but that was the gist of what he was saying. Caterpillars here. Butterflies in heaven.

I cannot explain the peace that came over me. I got my sign. I think we all want a sign from our loved ones when they pass. Whether you believe in signs or not, you want that comfort from knowing that things will be alright. I had my butterfly.

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We Interrupt This Butterfly Story To Bring You A Kidnapping Story (A Good One, I Swear)

I was in the middle of telling you all about the butterfly when I was pleasantly interrupted by a surprise. Seems my friends had planned a kidnapping of sorts for me and the kids for Mother’s Day so that I wouldn’t be sitting home alone curled up in the fetal position or rocking on the bottom of the shower floor – at least not at home or alone.

Instead, Saturday morning, just as two of my friends were preparing to leave my house to return home, I saw what I thought was another friend’s car drive by. Odd, I thought, because she lives a couple hours away in Pacific Grove (Monterey Bay for the non-Californians reading along). A few minutes later, as my friends were loading up to leave, we were saying our goodbyes in my kitchen, and in walks Kim and her daughter.

And off the kids and I went for a weekend of pampering and changing tidesplaying at their house in PG. play timeEverything had been taken care of, right down to the house-sitting and pet-sitting back home. All we had to do was throw our stuff in suitcases and jump in their car.Mother's Day

The kids had a great time playing togetherNerf healsand I got to take my mind off of paperwork and bills for a couple days, and just enjoy being with my kids and friends.

Peanut on the beach

Mother’s Day was still hard, especially stumbling across my recent anniversary card from Bob in my suitcase that day. I hadn’t taken the time to clean out the bag before I threw my stuff in. The last time I’d used it we had gone away overnight to Marin to see David Sedaris for our 15th wedding anniversary. It seems like a lifetime ago, not last fall. Reading his handwriting and words to me made my heart stop, but they lifted me up, too. His love reached me, once again – keeping that promise to watch over me.

I cannot thank my friends enough for making this weekend getaway happen. It was an absolute godsend and I would never have taken the initiative to do it myself with everything that’s going on. You all are my angels. I love you.

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Finding The Butterfly

I am the kind of person who is most comfortable when she’s cloaked with sentimental objects. My house is filled with things that belonged to my ancestors, and I use these things every day because they give me comfort and a connection to my past. They give me strength.

The reason I wore a bright turquoise blouse the day of my husband’s funeral was so that I could wear a necklace my husband had given me for Christmas. It is a Superhero necklace made of bright glass beads. I wore it a lot when Bob was going through chemo. It made me feel strong. I knew I would need strength to get through that day.

On my wrist I wore a bracelet that I’d also worn to many of Bob’s chemo appointments and all of his hospital stays. When I’d sleep next to his hospital bed or sit next to his chemo chair, I’d fidget with that bracelet. It has a bead on it that says “HOPE.” My friend, Janell, gave it to me. It didn’t feel right to suddenly give up hope. Bob wouldn’t want me to stop hoping. I knew my children would be sitting with me at the funeral and they like to fidget with the beads sometimes, too. And so I wore the bracelet.

I’ve already explained the hat, but I also carried a vintage handbag. I have a collection of them I inherited from my two grandmothers. They make me feel connected to the strong women who came before me. My father’s mother was a young widow, too. Her children, my father and aunt, were just about the age of my kids when my grandmother lost her husband. I wonder if she wasn’t watching over me. I wonder if my other grandmother, the daughter of a mother whose husband left her to raise my grandmother on her own, was watching over me. It felt like they were. My matriarchs. With me.

As we got ready to leave, I was frantically trying to decide what to put into my purse. What would I need? I grabbed my lip gloss, some gum, my glasses, the typed copy of the eulogy, and my wallet. Then, I asked my friends if they thought I’d really need my wallet. “No,” was the resounding response. So, I pulled my wallet back out of the small purse. As I did, I noticed a brilliant orange monarch butterfly sticking out from the edge of my wallet.

I turned to Janell, showed her the butterfly, pressed flat and whole and asked her if she knew what the significance of a butterfly might be. I had no idea. She had no idea. We had to get going. The butterfly dropped to the floor as I tucked the wallet back into my other purse. We gathered the kids into the van with the rest of our group and left for the church.


to be continued…

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Dear Service Industry:

I appreciate that you have a script that prompts your employees to begin and end their conversations with bereaved callers with, “I am sorry for your loss.” HOWEVER, and I must stress the “HOWEVER” oh, how I must stress it, HOWEVER, it would behoove you to train them to skip, altogether, the pre-programmed autopilot ever-chipper, “Have a great day!” you’ve ingrained into their pea-brained little heads. Because, really? Really? Are you shitting me?

I just got done being transferred to your special department for estates so I could close my deceased husband’s account and after your employee claimed to be sorry for my loss, in the very next breath, she actually said, I shit you not, “Have a great afternoon!” Um, okay. I’ll get right on that.

And your local life insurance agent who’s available to help with my claim was so kind to call and leave a message with her cell phone number and office number and offer her condolences along with her hope that I’m having a great day. A great day? My husband just died. I can assure you that I am having many things, but a great day is not one of them.

Holy fuck, people. It’s not a difficult concept. Say, “I am sorry for your loss.” STOP THERE. That’s it. That’s all. All done. That’s plenty. If you’re closing the call, say, “Once again, I am sorry for your loss, Mrs./Mr. X.” All. Done. Stop talking. I’ll have a nice day some other time.


Not Having A Nice Day

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