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11 Mar

If Prayers Were Horses, Grievers Would Ride

Emilia wants to know what happens when we die. She asks a few times a week, on average, sometimes more, sometimes less, depending on whether or not we’ve spoken about my dad or about Tanner or about dinosaurs. Today, she asked because they’d been talking about the Easter story at school. She wanted to know why Jesus got to fly up into the sky, and Grandpa didn’t.

You burned him, didn’t you? she asks. How could he fly after that?

Explaining death is one thing. Explaining the cremation, the afterlife and Divine resurrection are something else entirely.

12 Jan

Icarus Didn’t Have Sleep Problems


I’m not even going to joke about the gods any more. They clearly regard my ambitions to master sleep as akin to donning wings and taking aim at the sun, and every time I speak out loud about those ambitions they smite me. Pride, apparently, really does goeth before a fall, and seeing as the falls that I’m having don’t actually result in anyone losing consciousness, the divine smackdowns for prideful reporting of sleep victories are getting kind of frustrating.

That said, f*ck the gods.

11 Jan

Psst, Shhh, Hey: WE’RE SLEEPING

The boy is sleeping in his own bed. The boy is sleeping in his own bed. THE BOY. IS SLEEPING. IN HIS OWN BED.

And I’m not even afraid of incurring the wrath of the sleep gods by saying so. Well, mostly not. I may need to sacrifice some stuffed barnyard creature as a precautionary measure, and I am certainly going to be knocking any all things wood-derived and I’m going to keep the victorious fist-pumps to a minimum until we’ve got this sleep thing conquered, but –  let’s all keep our voices down here – I’m pretty sure that we can conquer it, the wrath of the gods notwithstanding.

8 Jan

We, Who Need Such Great Mysteries

I think that I’m stuck in the denial stage of grief. It’s not that I deny the fact that my father is dead – his ashes sit in a box on my mantle, surrounded, at the moment, by a few Christmas ornaments and my kids’ picture with Santa and Emilia’s bardo-drawing – it’s that I can’t wrap my head around the fact – is it a fact? – that his death is the end, that his life is over, that I’ll never see or speak with him again. The absoluteness of it all, the finality: I’m having trouble accepting this. I can’t accept this. My heart aches from its stubborn refusal to accept this.

4 Jan

What A Difference A Snow Witch Makes

I wanted this year to start with laughter and smiles and cookies and fizzy soda. I didn’t want confetti and champagne and fireworks and streamers – I just wanted smiling. I just wanted this year to start happy.

I’m still trying to find the happy. Yes, my heart lifts when I hug my children and my lips curve when they giggle but the last week of last year and the first week of this year have been covered in a thick blanket of fever and snot and heartache and it’s been hard to find the laughter. And although Nyquil takes the edge off the fever and snot, there aren’t sufficient meds for heartache, Ativan and Xanax notwithstanding. Last week was much, much harder than I thought it would be – doing the final clean-up of my dad’s place in the week between Christmas and New Year’s was, in hindsight, less than ideal timing. Coping with the heart-punches of the holidays was difficult enough without throwing myself into the line of fire of the gut-kicks and soul-wedgies that came with seeing the last of his things carted away, his home wiped clean of his presence.

24 Dec

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Last night, I was writing a post about having had a particularly bad day while Christmas shopping. It was a post about struggling with grief over the holidays, about the heartache that comes in those moments when you’ve gotten caught up in the holiday spirit and forgotten that something – that someone – is missing and then you suddenly remember and OOF. It was a post – again, again – about my dad. I was struggling to write it. I was wondering, as I always do, why I persist. I was feeling sad.

As I was agonizing over it, I heard a small voice from the other room, singing, in very high, measured tones, hallelujah.