Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Grief Share

I started at Grief Share yesterday. I had a panic attack before and after. How do you talk about suicide and your grieving process when the video specifically says the Bible is against it. (This was in reference to wanting to commit suicide because of your loss.)

I thought the mentally ill got a pass? I am operating under the assumption that my mom is in heaven and is cured of all her earthly problems. I AM ONLY FUNCTIONING BECAUSE I ASSUME SHE'S IN HEAVEN AND SAFE.

After the video I couldn't bring myself to open up to the group. Their loved ones died from illness or old age. We're still trying to figure out how my mom died. 

Maybe next session I will be able to talk. I just want to protect her from the judgement of outsiders.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

My Harry Potter shelf

I've had complaints from my one reader that this blog NEEDS MORE COWBELL ... err ... crafts.

With this in mind I present to you my Harry Potter shelf.
The shelf started out as a couple of potion bottles. Then I got a knock-off Hermione wand, the U.S. Postal Service released some stamps and I learned how to make golden snitches. Folks, we have a problem here. The tiny bottles are mostly souvenirs from various trips.

First up is veritaserum or the truth serum. The bottle came from my friend's antique store and all the labels featured come from here. My friend The Scientist and I printed the labels out one at a time on to sticker paper. Next we carefully cut them out. We originally planned for an afternoon of heavy duty crafting but this was easier.

Hagrid's slug repellent
A little draught of living death, anyone? No? The bottle came from my sister C. It was a Patron tequila bottle. I removed the labels and all the ink with rubbing alcohol. Just squirt a little on a napkin or Q-tip and scrub away. I did have a wash it out once or twice to remove any traces of booze. The cork, for me, is the best part.

Additional potion bottles for from my travels or the travels of others. The unmarked bottle came from my partner Willis.
The golden snitch is my latest addition. This one was the prototype for a few Christmas presents. I want to make some fancier ones for next year. The tutorial for this snitch came from the crafting site Epbot.

Willis made this for me for the last Harry Potter premiere. I wore it on a black hat and carried a large camera around. I was a hit with the kids.
One thing I would have done differently is spray the stickers with a anti-fade solution. It's expensive but works really well.  

That concludes the crafts for my Harry Potter shelf. I hope to add a fancy bottle of Skel-o-grow and the "Monster Book of Monsters" in the future.

My hope is to one day have a whole corner of my house dedicated to Harry. I also have the Hogwarts book trunk and framed Dumbledore quote.

Have you done a Harry Potter craft? Tell me about it in the comments.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Shit that gets me down

1. Talking to my mom's husband. That shit gets me down for three days on average.

2. Talking about attending grief counseling, counseling or Al-anon.

3. Reading the Al-anon literature. I have been dutifully doing the readings all week.

4. Depression. That shit is hard.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Grieving lessons

When I get past the worst of grieving I will be a better friend, co-worker, employee, sibling and overall person. For right now I plan to take my friends advice and just work on getting back to being myself. I was a really good - if high maintenance - friend before all of this.

There is no timeline for what I am going through.

I've learned that the people who are shitty friends all the time do not magically become good friends when tragedy strikes. They will also make excuses. Don't call bullshit on their excuses. (OK, call bullshit when they are not around.)

You'll know which people will help you.

Don't take offense when people say "What do you need?" and then don't deliver. (OK, take slight offense but do not do it yourself in the future.)

Suicide and a regular death will not be treated the same. PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD TREAT THESE TWO THE SAME. After my mom died (and there is still no ruling on the cause of death) I kept waiting for people to come over. None of the people I assumed would be there showed up. You don't have to say anything real or correct. Just fucking sit on that couch and take up space.

People will stare. Don't try to be funny about this. Their staring is their way of comforting you.

Sunday, February 15, 2015


I think when people die in a really terrible or unexpectedly shitty way you question why they are not here.

When my mom died I kept repeating, "She's not dead. She's not dead. She's not dead." and "She has things to do." It would eventually become chant that led, mostly, to me hyperventilating.

She was someone who liked to be busy and the center of attention. My sister is getting married and she was supposed to be there to handle stuff like cooking for the bridal shower.

The finality of my mom being gone did not set in until I was sitting on the phone listening to my family making funeral arrangements.

I knew my family would not spend that kind of money if she was not dead.

Later that evening I changed my phrase to "She's gone and someone else will have to do the things she did."

I made people listen to me say it over and over again. It was my new mantra. I was afraid if I stopped confirming that she was dead I would lose my way again.


I also said "She's safe" a lot. Her life for more than two decades had been a chaotic cycle of drinking-unemployment-jail-bad relationships. There were stretches of calm and productivity, but there was always something waiting in the wings to trip her up.

Most of the time that foe was alcoholism.

At the funeral my dad's friend went around to a bunch of us crying and saying "She's safe."

It broke me and made me feel better that someone else was acknowledging the chaos and constant fear we lived in.

We held each other and I whispered "She's safe?"

"She's safe," my dad's friend said.


A few days ago I talked to my mom's husband.

Suddenly he said, "We had plans for the future."

"We had plans."

 Once again I felt my heart breaking.

It hurts watching or hearing about other people doing the things that she was supposed to be doing.

It is also good to know that my family is surrounded by so much love and support.

Support and love is probably what is saving and maintaining us all.