July 28, 2017

I think what people don't realize is that no matter how much they hurt me, I've already been cut deeper and survived.

I wasn't invited to a friend's birthday dinner this evening.
He hasn't called.
My housemate brought home dinner and left mine in a box, while plate-ing theirs and eating it in their room.

It made me feel isolated and hurt. Single. Lonely. I'm single, but I'm not lonely. I ended up at a friends picking something up from her for tomorrow's costume event and having a lot of fun. I spent the rest of the evening home relaxing.

I surprised myself when tears started falling. I miss him terribly. I like this new guy more than I should, and I know he's always going to let me down. I hate it when a bucket with a fuck in it appears in my hand. I need to remember my faith in the future. Someone new will come along and shake things up, and I'll wonder why I was hung up on a known disappointment. But right now I care and it hurts.

It's just a small hurt, though. I can handle it. I've lived through the last year and the four years before that, and this is not even a thing.

No man will ever hurt me again like that. I can't say for certain that's the worst thing that will ever happen to me; I can say that I've survived it. I have so much to do here, and I'll keep on surviving.

Oops, there goes that bucket of fucks.

July 17, 2017

Hi. It’s been a while. 

It’s been over a year since I started this. Am I still the hot grieving MILF?

Of course I am. Somewhere in my heart, as long as it keeps beating, I always will be. 

Some days it feels like I’m fighting to stay off the antidepressants. 5htp, l-tryptophan, staying away from things like alcohol and too much indica. Some days it feels like that and a well of inner strength, source unknown, are the only way I can stay off the anti depressants. Keeping myself going at a breakneck pace with work and school and kids and dating. 

Not today. Today was a good day. 

I miss having a partner, one who doesn’t play games, who rolls with the punches. Mature, kind, understanding, and, just as importantly, whip smart and ridiculous amounts of fun. 
For now, the dating is okay. It’s entertaining me, and it’s filling some needs but not all needs. I’ve realized I’m 46 years old and terrified of commitment. Terrified they won’t be alive the next time I want to see them. I don’t trust life. I don’t particularly trust death, either. 

Truth is I enjoy it. I’m good at it, dating. Sometimes it blows up in my face. I keep one around too long, a month instead of leaving them behind at the conference, and they say:
“You’re bossy.”

Um, single mom, triple entrepreneur, MBA student. HA! Yeah, and?

Sometimes I am surprised one comes back for me, and I handle the first sign of bad behavior head on. I receive a sincere apology, and I hear:

“I can’t play with fire as hot as you and not listen.”

That’s one of the hottest things I’ve ever been told. I have a secret box with love letters, dirty notes on cocktail napkins, and cards that arrived with bouquets of flowers. I guess I’ll have to print this one off my phone. 

Sometimes I call an old friend with high status and ask for a favor and receive an enormous gift. One that opens doors and warms my heart immensely. 

My marketing presentation was very well received. My personal book project was given the green light tonight. 

I’m alive. I’m living. I’m on fire. 

April 17, 2017

A friend asked me to read this with her. Wow can we talk about mixed emotions here? I’m excited to grow and learn and gain wisdom from this highly recommended book, and yet the reason I’m single is because of a motorcycle accident. I know how to love deeply beyond “the Games of Seduction.” I had it and he died. 

I believe someday it will all make sense somehow. 

April 7, 2017

Previously, I’ve been devastated because he’s gone. Tonight, I’m devastated because I’m moving on.

It was supposed to be this faery book romance. Instead, I’m moving on. 

Rupert and Absinthia took us both by surprise. We were friend zoned when we were teenagers because I was dating one of his housemates. Flash forward 20 some odd years and a drunken hook up after the Dead reunion tour – our first Show together since ’89. We fell in love. And then he died. 

Nine months later, I find myself grieving again. It’s been building over the last week or two, I can see that. And here it is. Emo music, tequila, tears, and all. This wave is different though. I’m not devastated because he’s gone, I’m devastated because I’m moving on. I’m moving on and I’m starting to see that clearly. Knowing that makes me ache. Its breaking my heart. 

I’ve had three lovers since he died. Beautiful people, inside and out. They have been one right after the other, short term but, strangely, serial monogamy. Brief and intense. Just days between each. Sudden, intense connections with limited face to face interactions. Two long distance, the other a bridge between. The ends of each have lingered with tangled emotions, with one deliciously continuing on from afar. It’s like I’ve lived years in the last nine months. I feel myself moving on after Rupert, and it feels right and wrong and I don’t want to be but I am and I need to. I have to! It’s important. Rupert is dead. He crashed his motorcycle. He’s not coming back. It hurts to be getting over him. It hurts more then any things ever hurt in my life. And yet, I’m doing it. Three lovers. That counts as moving on. 

I would like to find a way to take something positive from this. I don’t want to be hardened and unable to allow myself to make a connection with another man. This lifetime is teaching me male loss. Why is there so much male loss in my life? I don’t know how much more I can handle before I rid myself of the lot of them. Men. Fucking assholes. Too bad I really, really love men. Tall little boys, taught to be serious and to win, with their easily awakened silly sides, unsure of women and themselves and arrogant and entitled all at once. Not to mention their smell…mmm. Sorry, where was I? Right. 

Throughout my life, I’ve experienced father  abandonment repeatedly, divorce (my choice so that seems really different), the deaths of Alexius Stephen Rupert. My two gay husbands and my lover. Partner. Boyfriend. Late boyfriend. Men I never wanted to say goodbye to. Is it a wonder why it’s so much easier to say I love you and feel love with my female friends? Do I hold men at a distance because of this? Have I? Am I now? Will I, in the future?
That’s not who I want to be, walking away from this tragedy. I am moving on. I can choose how I will be. 

I choose connection. I choose love. I’m not going to be rash, but I’m not going to hold back. I do it in an invisible way, the holding back. You can’t see it but you can feel it. I’ll be open, and I’ll listen so much better than I talk. 

That’s where my work begins. 

March 18, 2017

“It’s March, and 2017 already has a body count.” 

I overheard my friend say this as I walked into the bathroom at the party last night. “Amen, sister,” I replied, and we held each other for a moment. 

Her lover’s memorial was that morning. 

He was married, and the relationship was known and approved and everyone was cool. But when we learned he had jumped from the Golden Gate Bridge, she knew his wife’s grief came first. She described how she’d been handling it, and I think she’s doing it with incredible grace and respect. I reminded her that she is allowed to grieve. I invited her to come grieve at my home anytime. It’s a good place to fall apart. It’s safe here. 

We all danced the night away. A large dance room, a chill space with a small DJ booth and dance area, and a beautiful quiet room with a waterfall altar. I found myself meditating there several times. The first time I walked in, I saw the six cushions in front of the altar and didn’t think I wanted to sit there. Then, someone got up and I found my way to his seat. In a large dark room, I had one of the six seats in front of the altar. I didn’t feel I deserved it. 

The meditation came on powerfully. The amount of pain I carry with me each day revealed itself to me. The amount of strength I use to carry on despite that pain revealed itself to me. Of course I deserve a seat at the altar. Everyone deserves a seat at the altar sometimes. I guess I forgot I’m the Hot Grieving MILF. Remember when I almost gave up the name a few months ago? That was the strength talking. You know the me that is insanely busy, traveling and working and being a good mom to teenagers, one 3,000 miles away at school, working hard at graduate school, and now landing a very promising sales job? That’s the strength. The me that notices the empty chair next to me, that wants to date everyone and no one, that wants to find an easy, process free, it-just-works partner and never wants to be in love again, that still wears his ring 24/7? That’s the pain. 

I was on a panel this past week discussing the Safer DIY Spaces coalition that I helped create. I spoke 5th out of 6. All the talks were very technical – how to pass an inspection, how to fill out a special event form, what’s happening with one architects work to change the city code. I stood up, walked to the podium and said: 

“I’d like to start by telling you why I created the Safer DIY Spaces coalition, and then I’ll tell you what we do.”

I took a deep breath. 

“They say that grief is our birthright. On July 3rd, 2016, I got the call that my partner died in a motorcycle accident. Of all the feelings I experienced, helplessness was one of them. Five months later to the day, my phone started blowing up with what we later learned was the death of 36 people in a warehouse fire at Ghostship, just two miles from my home. I wanted to take that helpless feeling and do something with it. I knew I could make a difference raising money to help those who live in unsafe diy spaces so that this doesn’t happen again.”

I got into the technical bits after that, and wrapped up by asking for fiscal sponsor referrals, donations, and to please send anyone who needs our help to the intake form on our website

My presentation was so different than the others. We had a short Q&A, and no one asked me anything. What happened after the event amazed me. I now have four fiscal sponsorship opportunities to explore. A graduate student getting her pubic policy degree wants to take me to lunch. A woman in a sister organization pulled me asideto talk about the death of her partner six years ago. Lastly, the MC emailed me to say she had been in the Ghostship fire and was grateful for my words.   

It is so easy to get distracted by the busy and by the details of life and forget the grief. Push it away, hit the ground running, and if you don’t stop, it can’t find you. 

You have to stop. You have to acknowledge the pain. It hasn’t gone anywhere. It may change and you will carry on. But the grief never leaves. It needs to be acknowledged. Last night, I said hello to my grief and let it embrace me. I let my grief and my strength meet each other. Look each other in the eye, and agree to coexist. 

I’m grateful for them both. 

March 15, 2017

This evening I was on a panel at SPUR in Oakland, presented by Intersection of the Arts, called Safe Spaces. We discussed the various efforts following the Ghostship fire. With me were members of WABA, Oakland Warehouse Coalition, ProArts, and architect Thomas Dolan, who designed and built the first live-work in the US and had just come from Sacramento proposing new code laws to the Senate. 

It was a huge honor to be on this panel, and I was nervous about being nervous. I wore Rupert’s ring and pictured him in the audience, and it calmed me right down every time. I talked about him, too. 

I talked about why I helped create the Safer DIY Spaces fund, based on my grief of Rupert and the 36 souls who died in the fire two miles from my home five months to the day later. I started with, “Grief is our birthright.” How his death made me feel, among other things, helpless. How much I wanted to help after the Ghostship fire. How I channeled my helplessness and attended a meeting a week later, where I met like minded people that wanted to help, too. 

I haven’t enjoyed public speaking this much in over three years. It really came together, and I’m so relieved. I felt in control and clear. 

I wrapped up my presentation with my ask:

Please send anyone who needs help making their space safer to our website and have them complete an intake form 

www.DIYsafetygroup.com

Please attend a fundraiser, use our Sparxo code when you have an event with tickets (we get the fees), host a fundraiser for us, or donate to tinyurl.com/DIYdonation

After, I was approached by people with offers of new fiscal sponsorship (3!), lunch by a public policy grad student, and a new foundation that wants to meet me for a possible fundraising role. 

What an amazing evening.