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. 

February 20, 2017

I’m finding it harder and harder to share here without a mask. I had no private world when my heart was shattered open when Rupert died. And now I do. There are secrets to keep and filters to manage and feelings to consider. They are mine to guard. No one can do that save me. 

I had a realization the other night that I’m going to be alright. I closed a door last week that I didn’t want to close. While open, it shielded me and kept me from fully participating in my life. It felt safe in its distance. Once I closed it, life came and found me and quite literally kissed me passionately on the lips. It was, once again, magic that appeared on my doorstep and entered into my heart, showing me that I’m going to be okay. That I am okay. 

I am surrounded by love. 

I win at friends. 

I have ease. 

I experience positive outcomes. 

Fuck you, it’s magic.  

And while we’re at it, tee hee 🙂

February 13, 2017

Fuck you it's magic My 2016 mantra was “I got this.” The Universe went out of its way to prove that I ain’t got shit. 

My 2017 mantra was “ease.” It’s mid February and there’s no ease around here for miles. My favorite brat Billysirr has suggested I focus on POSITIVE OUTCOMES. I love that, because you know that if it doesn’t have a happy ending, it isn’t the end. So here’s to positive outcomes.

And magic. Because I STILL believe in magic. 

February 10, 2017

I’ve been off the antidepressants for about a month. I think the depression is back, but I’m functional. So I’m feeling my feelings and getting out of bed every morning. That’s a combination I haven’t experienced since Rupert died. I think that’s good. I’ve never been depressed before. I’ve told people it’s not in my DNA. I’ve just never felt it. I was surprised when I realized what a difference the Wellbutrin was making in September. Oh shit, I thought, I’ve got depression! By that point, I was able to get up and leave the house on my own. It felt amazing. 

Now I’m living life every day and I need to keep going. My career is on an amazing trajectory and school is going really well. My kids and I are loving, silly, and supportive with each other. I miss the crap out of Haley, but she’s happy where she is and thriving and I need to support that. I have so many amazing friends and love surrounding me. I should be happy. 

Am I happy? I’m not sure I even know how to define that anymore. I think I am happy, yet with this deep internal depression. I wonder if that’s a part of me now, or if time or something or someone wonderful dropping into my life might change that. 

How do you know if you’re happy? What is depression? Am I on the right path feeling the feelings, putting pants on every day, leaving the meds behind?

February 7, 2017

There is a difference between being lonely and being alone. I can get out and see people whenever I want, and I do. Being suddenly single because my partner died last summer, it feels somehow harder to be alone this time. Different than a breakup. But deep down I know I’m not alone. There’s three other people in my home – my daughter and two housemates. All amazing people I love who love me. How many hugs did I give and receive in Sunday? I’m going to guess around 50, no kidding. These are the anchors I travel back to late at night when I’m tired of studying and I get into bed alone. Lonely? How could I be? Just alone. I have a busy day tomorrow and will see a lot of people. I’m going to focus on hugs. Let’s see how many I can get. I’ll report back tomorrow and let you know.