Grieving the Loss of a Treasure

Ah, grief and mourning.  A hellish place but more and more often grieving the loss of Dan has begun to take on a sacred tone.

Dan’s death opened a tear in my soul like that of the Grand Canyon’s on the face of the Earth.  I looked down on the Grand Canyon from the air years ago. It’s a ragged, angry-looking thing that looks like a monstrous wound.

I miss Dan a lot of course.  A year ago he might have been sitting in “his chair” in the room next to where I am right now, muttering something about doping in the upcoming Tour de France or, God help us, politics here in the US.  It’s the chit-chat and just missing the person’s presence that’s so hard. The everyday stuff.  You know, going to the grocery store together. Shooting the breeze while sitting in the car at a red light.

Dan Grating Cheese in Livingroo Summer 2013.png

Dan Grating Cheese / Mr. Al Looking On – 2013

My grief now is becoming more about about honoring the man Dan was, honoring our time together – memories…oh the memories – and honoring that he chose to spend his life with me.

A death has occurred

and everything is changed

by this event.

We are painfully aware that life

can never be the same again

that yesterday is over

that a relationship once rich

has ended,

but there is another way to look upon this truth.

If life went on the same without the presence of

the one who has died,

we could only conclude

that the life we here remember

made no contribution,

filled no space, meant nothing.

The fact that this individual

left behind a place that cannot be filled

is a high tribute

to this individual.

Life can be the same after a trinket has been lost,

but never after

the loss of a treasure.

— Paul Irion

People who society would think should be hugely important to me have died but their death hasn’t caused me much more upset than a ripple.  (A sad fact about my incredibly dysfunctional original family.)  As a matter of fact, the lasting emotion has, in large part, been relief.

But Dan?  Dan, was a treasure.  And that says a lot about Dan.

Love you.  Miss you forever.

April 24, 2016 at 7:29 PM 3 comments

Flowers for Dan

My dear Dan would have been 65-years-old today.

This, from a T-shirt he wore to shreds:

If you smile at me

I will understand.

That is something

Everybody everywhere does in the same language.

—  Crosby, Stills and Nash

That was Dan.

Flowers for Dan 4-23-15.png

Miss you.  Love you.


April 23, 2016 at 7:40 PM 5 comments

Disposable Sheets? Really?



Sheets via Wikimedia Commons.png

Don’t we have enough disposable stuff already?  Disposable napkins (instead of cloth), paper “towels” instead of washable old dishcloths, Starbucks-style coffee “cups,” plastic water bottles? When car parts are found in the stomachs of whales and they’re gorging on plastic, it’s time to stop this horrible disposable thing we humans do.

But no!  Now we have — wait for it — disposable bed sheets!  Yes, we can now buy “luxury disposable sheets” that are “so easy” they can be used “for weeks” and when they need to be changed, we “simply” discard or compost them.

It’s so easy!


April 4, 2016 at 7:25 PM 5 comments

Excess Beyond Words

As regular readers of this blog know, I volunteer at a food bank on Friday mornings and have for more than seven years.

Thanks to the tireless work of the food bank manager, several times a week we pick up day-old items from local grocery stores belonging to national food chains lest that food end up in a landfill.

Today was such a day.  A volunteer picked up about 300 pounds of food from a national chain’s local store:  Loaves of bread, individual pastries that our clients would consider a splurge, half-opened packs of AA batteries; slightly dented cans of veggies and soups.  Thank.  You!

And then there was this.  It was called a “candy cake.”  M&M-type candies on the top, licorice-like strips around the side and a candy ribbon wrapping it all up.  Oh, and there was frosting under those M&M-type candies and the cake was chocolate.

Candy Cake 4:1:16.png

There were two of these monstrosities.

The other one had the same M&M-like topping but it had KitKat-like stripes around the side and “fun size” individual candy bars stuck into the top, amidst the M&M-like things.

In all my years volunteering at the food bank, I’d never seen anything as indescribably excessive at this “candy cake” and neither had some of my fellow volunteers who’ve been there for years as well.

I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but I can’t help but think this is indicative of the over-the-top, irresponsible excess that’s roiling the country right now.

(H/t to Alice for the pic.)

Oh, and no, this is not an April Fools’ joke.




April 1, 2016 at 7:16 PM 3 comments

Time to Shovel!

We got something like 13.5″ of snow over the last 24 hours here in Boulder, Colorado.  Looks like I’ve got some shovelin’ to do!  It’s okay.  I see it as a much-needed upper body workout (I say without having yet lifted a finger).  :}

Deck Chairs in Snow 2-2-16.png



February 2, 2016 at 5:29 PM 2 comments

Grief Isn’t Something We Plow Through

One of my brothers – Eric – committed suicide in 1988.  It’s been a long time.  I forgot how bereaved I was but my long-time therapist hasn’t.  She reminded me recently that I was beside myself.

The way I picture my grief over Eric’s death now is it’s like a room in my head. It’s a room that that I go to now and then.  When I open the door to that room it looks just like it did the day Eric died.  Nothing has changed.  The huge NOOOOOO! is still there.

I thought about Eric every hour of every day for about a year. Then I didn’t.  I remembered him as he was but not as often though that room was still there.  And it still is, though I don’t open that door as often or go into that room as frequently I did years ago.  But, it’s still there.  In my head.

We don’t “get over” losing someone.  This is what we do:







January 15, 2016 at 8:27 PM 2 comments

I Hate This Way of Describing People Who Die of Cancer

This is how the trashy New York Post announced the death of Celine Dion’s husband, Rene Angelil:

Céline Dion’s husband René Angélil loses battle with cancer


It isn’t just a rag like the New York Post that frames the death of a cancer patient this way, it’s common; it’s everywhere:  The patient lost the so-called “battle.”

The implication is that the cancer patient didn’t fight hard enough, that maybe the person was weak or gave up. So unfair and so unrealistic. It’s cancer for god sake.  Is that a disease we routinely “win” a battle with?  No.  It’s as preposterous as a headline announcing that my husband “lost his battle with hydrocephalus” after his fall.  He did everything he could to live but the hydrocephalus (fluid) caused his brain to die as it slowly filled his skull and crushed his brain tissue.  How in the hell was Dan supposed to “battle” that?  Likewise with Mr. Angelil.  He cancer cells were dividing and spreading.  How was he supposed to “battle” that?  Physical things happen that kill people.  There’s no “battling” them.

Anyway, rest in peace Rene Angelil.  Sorry about the idiotic headline.




January 15, 2016 at 4:50 PM 1 comment

Older Posts Newer Posts

Follow Me On Twitter