psalm_onethirtyone: (Annie with Red Hair)
Three more poems. There's only one other one besides these, but Friday is the last editing day, so I haven't quite finished it yet.

Death )

*this poem is a re-imagining (not really a rewrite; but it's based off the same poem) of a poem I wrote two years ago called "Swan Song". Which is here, if you're interested in contrasting (I thought it was interesting).


Warning, I guess: this is a poem about trans* people, and it's a bit more graphic than my usual; there's mention of rape and suicide and trans* people being killed. Every death in this poem is based on a real thing that happened; the second stanza deaths were both news items I was made aware of.

Six Ways I Don't Have to Die )


Diane )
psalm_onethirtyone: (Narwhals Narwhals Swimmin' in the Ocean)
This summer, as I'm pretty sure I wrote, my advisor's son was killed by a drunk driver. I wrote him a card at the time to tell him how sorry I was; I didn't really know what to say (what do you say to a parent who's just lost his child?), but I had been working with a lot of people at the time who had lost children, and I wanted to say something.

He didn't say anything about it when I got back to school, so I really just assumed that he didn't want to -- I know when people comment on my really emotional posts I rarely know what to say, and usually end up not answering, but always being glad on the comfort that people offer, so I figured it was like that. He's mentioned his son once or twice in class, and I always feel sad, but certainly don't say anything.

Anyway, to-day I checked my mail for about the first time in a month, and there was a note from him thanking me. And he included a picture of the beach where they scattered his son's ashes. And I just stood there in the post office and cried, because -- I can't imagine. I can't imagine how big and terrible it would be. Scattering my grandparents' ashes was, in a way, easy to do, because they both lived long, full lives and I had plenty of time to make peace with their deaths. But to lose your oldest child right after he'd graduated from college, when you hadn't seen him in a year, and to have to give him back to the earth -- I just can't even begin to quantify how much grief you might feel. I just can't.

This kind of thing makes everything, especially me, feel really small. I wish I could do so much more to make things better, but my own power is so limited. In a way it makes me know that hospice is the right place for me, and in a way I feel bad even saying that because this isn't about me at all.

I guess what I wanted to say here was how moved I am that he took the time to write me a note and share the picture with me, which he didn't have to do at all, and I'm just so sorry.
psalm_onethirtyone: (This is My Way out of This)
So... this metaquotes post. I have feelings.

I have worked in nursing homes and had experience with hospice since I was fourteen, and I think -- I think the OP's point is something that I have noticed all the time, which is that people get tired sometimes and run out of emotional resources. All the time I have told folks about respite care by explaining that while it's great that they are taking care of their loved ones, and that it's a beautiful measure of their love, almost everybody gets worn out sometimes, and when that happens, it's okay to take a break. Respite care, for example, is provided by some hospices as the opportunity to let the hospice take over the patient care for a week or a month before you resume it, and it can be such a big deal for patients in helping them avoid resentment or having nervous breakdowns themselves. The same is true of putting folks in nursing homes. Sometimes the emotional burden is just too much, not to mention the degree of specialised care, and that is o. kay.

I have had friends who left me because they couldn't deal with my mental illnesses. I understand why they did, because as incredibly difficult as it was for me, I believe it was pretty hard for them, too, watching me suffer and feeling helpless to do anything. I don't think they're bad people. I think some folks are cut out to provide constant emotional care, and some aren't, and the folks who aren't shouldn't be punished and reviled for that fact. Not everybody is an empath. That's just a fact.

My aunt couldn't take care of my grandparents when they got dementia/Alzheimer's. It wasn't that she didn't love them any more, it was that she was so incredibly broken down at feeling that they weren't her parents any more, that their memories of being her parents were gone. For my mother, she was devastated, but she was still able to care for them. It's really an individual emotional makeup thing, and you can't force yourself to be able to cope with terrible situations if you aren't that kind of person. Also, some people need to mature emotionally before they can handle big stuff -- when I was thirteen I refused to visit my dying grandmother or go to her viewing because I was terrified of death and I wasn't capable of dealing with the reality of it. Now, if I could do it over, I would have done those things, because dying people don't frighten me any more, but I don't think my younger self was a bad person. Just somebody who wasn't ready at that time.

At the same time, I do understand the anger at feeling abandoned when you've gotten sick. The friends I talked about before, at the time I was pretty angry with and hurt by; the zenness has come with time and a better understanding of how people's emotional resources work. ALSO, I think it's okay for me to feel angry and to acknowledge their feelings; there's nothing wrong with feelings, as long as you act on them appropriately (as we taught the kids in our kindergarten conflict management classes last year!); I can feel abandoned and understand why it happened at the same time.

Anyway, I'm posting this here because the comments to that post are kind of a clusterfuck and there's a fair amount of blame being thrown around, but. Everybody suffers, and they deal with it in different ways. You have to expect that.

The dying process is often much more difficult and complicated than the actual occurrence of death. That's why I want to be a hospice pastor; I want to be able to help families deal with their reactions, as well as to be spiritually available for the folks who are dying.
psalm_onethirtyone: (He Does Not)
Originally posted by [ profile] neo_prodigy at Spirit Day

It’s been decided. On October 20th, 2010, we will wear purple in honor of the 6 gay boys who committed suicide in recent weeks/months due to homophobic abuse in their homes at at their schools. Purple represents Spirit on the LGBTQ flag and that’s exactly what we’d like all of you to have with you: spirit. Please know that times will get better and that you will meet people who will love you and respect you for who you are, no matter your sexuality. Please wear purple on October 20th. Tell your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors and schools.

RIP Tyler Clementi, Seth Walsh (top)
RIP Justin Aaberg, Raymond Chase (middle)
RIP Asher Brown and Billy Lucas. (bottom)

REBLOG to spread a message of love, unity and peace.

This is not okay, not in our world.
psalm_onethirtyone: (Therefore Be Free)
The good: we got the bees in just right. We picked them up in their nuke box from Andy, drove them home, waited until dusk, and then put them into their new hive. They seem to have settled right in, and we're going to check them to-morrow to see how they're doing, as far as the queen and such.

My fish remember me; I went and sat by the pond yesterday and the day before and they sucked on my toes, which is the weirdest and nicest feeling. One of them has a super long tail. He's really beautiful.

I am in charge of monitoring the broody hens, since Maria will be away about the time their clutches are due! I'm so excited. I have to go in and check them every day and see if they have chicks or poults, and take them away right away if they do. Then I whisk them upstairs to the brooder shed that we have slapdash put together in the laundry room.

Maria and I finally saw Iron Man 2, which was awesome, and then spent the afternoon at Michael's spending the gift card I got for my birthday--we bought all this cake decorating stuff we've been coveting for ages, a beautiful set of dyes and cake glitter in two colours and shimmer in one. We're making cookies to-morrow so we can use it all. We're super excited. To-day we cleaned the house while Mama was at work so she wouldn't be in such a bad mood when she got home (she and Dad are arguing about horse fencing again).

the bad: Perci died while I was away at [ profile] mhari's. Mama thinks she didn't keep him moist enough, which I don't know if that's true or not but I don't want to say that it is because I know she'll just feel worse. I haven't buried him just yet, but I will to-morrow. Dad says he lived a really long time for a hermit crab, but since all the websites say you can keep them alive for ages I feel like I just screwed up somehow.

One of the barn kittens died, but I didn't notice in time, so the barn cat moved all the rest of them somewhere else and I didn't see where. I am going to look for them to-morrow--I think they're still in the barn because she's still lurking around in that area and there's plenty of warm, dry hay that's gone loose. I have to bring a flashlight, though, since I tried a cursory look around yesterday and couldn't actually seen in most places.

So--that's all the news.
psalm_onethirtyone: (Just Clothe Me in a Blur)
My mother called last evening to say that my nana was expected to die sometime during the night.

There is so much I regret.
psalm_onethirtyone: (Soujin's People)
This morning in Anthropology we watched a film about old Jewish folks living in Venice Beach, California. It was beautifully made and the interviews with the people were great, and I burst out sobbing at the end and continue to cry through the entire discussion.

I realised how much I miss Granddad, and not just Granddad but my people, Charlie and Gayle and Anna and Jennie and Bobby and everybody. Knowing that things are better for them doesn't mitigate the loss of them. I mean, it does, to a degree, but--

On the way back from class I met my therapist, which was fortunate, so I cried at her and she hugged me and made me tell her good memories about Granddad and then made me promise not to be alone to-day (that woman is wise to me and my ways, which is not exactly a bad thing). So I'm going to try to remember to do that.

For now I've decided to lurk here in the student cafe until they bring up the soup. It's supposed to be turkey rice, which would be nice, because otherwise I don't have much incentive for not skipping French like a bitch. It is not my favourite class ever.
psalm_onethirtyone: (Clock Sheep!)
So, guys, you probably know that [ profile] mhari's father died the day before Thanksgiving. It was completely unexpected and their family was in no way prepared--he went into the hospital with a slight fever, got an infection in his heart, and had to have emergency surgery without having time to get off his blood-thinners, and as a result he bled out during the surgery.

Currently her family is. Not doing well financially. They don't have a source of steady income, and their mom (my Other Mom) suffers from clinical depression and will have a really hard time finding a job.

Now is a really important time for them to be able to keep things together from a monetary standpoint while they're grieving and dealing with the aftermath, and with that in mind, it's time for a fanfic drive.

So you probably can guess the drill! I will write a hundred words of anything you like per five dollars donated, ad nauseam. I write Arthurian (in many incarnations), Les Mis, Westmark, Biblefic, some Firefly, Star Trek TOS, X-Men: Evolutions, and any and all crossovers of the above. I'm good for het, slash, and gen. I will even (God help me) continue the great Gawain-is-a-Vampire Romance Novel. You name your price, my friends.

Please feel free to pimp this to anyone you know who also knows [ profile] mhari, as I am nowhere near friends with all her friends.

psalm_onethirtyone: (Times of Woe)
My Hiro got hit on the road to-day. Oh my God. oh my god.
psalm_onethirtyone: (Gotta Surface Soon)
On the way out the driveway this morning, Daddy hit Spock. He died in a few minutes.
psalm_onethirtyone: (Gotta Surface Soon)
In brief:

To everyone's surprise, Natalie is not the one who's pregnant. The honour goes to Val, Daniel's long-time girlfriend. They're getting married. I'll be an aunt.

My grandfather is dying. He has inoperable cancer; we can't tell him because he won't remember. Mama said we'll be lucky if he lives to his ninetieth birthday in December.

I'm giving blood on Tuesday and God, I need this so bad.

I'm serving Eucharist at church to-morrow and should really be in bed right now, especially given that I haven't taken my antipsychotic mood stabiliser* yet and it will put me out for about ten hours.

*not that I'm bitter

I have got to get out of here, things have got to even up, the natural order of things is still natural but I'm losing my ability to handle it anyway. Oh, God, I wish it were a different day. I don't know how to face church right now.
psalm_onethirtyone: (Our Lesson)
Resquiat in pacem, Nellie, Black Peter, and a random Jersey Giant. Despite our best efforts, including me giving all three pullets mouth to mouth at Maria's tearful insistence, they suffocated to-night while moving to their new home.

In an amazing display of restraint, I did not tell Daddy to go do unspeakable things to himself after he tried to tell Maria she should have expected it. His insensitivity meter appears to be broken lately, since he has really been unbelievable about a few of our more recent tragedies.

Please God let things start getting better. June has been awful for this whole family, but it's almost over. Please, please, please let things start getting better.
psalm_onethirtyone: (Times of Woe)
My dear, sweet fishies died. I went to feed them this evening and they were both dead.

Cyrano was at least two years old. He was a foot long and had the most beautiful whiskers in the whole world. Levin was only a year old, but he was eight inches and one of those beautiful gold and white and black speckled koi that are so pretty. They both came when I called them, and Cyrano sometimes would eat from my hand.

Mama is worried that it might be something on the bottom of the pond, since Cyrano definitely was a bottomfeeder and she thinks Levin might have been too; but Maria thinks it's the blue heron from the Mahantango (only if it were the heron, wouldn't it have eaten them instead of leaving them?).

I already miss them so much. RIP, beauties.


psalm_onethirtyone: (Default)

January 2012

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