Monthly Archives: March 2009

If anybody finds themselves wondering, “Why the hell are you sharing so much with the world about this thing that should be so private?” – it helps me feel and figure out where I am in the process. I’m also hoping that other people that might be going through something similar can see it and connect to it – and that it helps them know that they’re not alone, and that they can get through it. I believe that we’re all here to elevate and help each other, after all.

I’m feeling a little better today. I cleaned my boveda and am prepping it for mom’s picture and ashes. I’ve already placed her charm bracelet, her engagement ring and one of her rings with a wonderfully fiery opal on it in memory of her. I’ll be going up in a day or two with the boyfriend to pick up my share of mom from my stepfather. I picked up a large green tropical plant for her as well. She always loved having the house full of plants. I also found the perfect cremains pendant to keep her in, which pleases me greatly. Things have changed a great deal in the crematory jewelry department since my friend Bear passed in 1998. There’s a surprising variety of very tasteful pendants available to those who wish to wear the ashes of those who have passed on. For me it’s more of a selfish comfort than an ‘honoring of ancestors’ kinda thing. I always want to feel mom near me. I always feel closer to Bear when I’m wearing the heart medication capsule that his widow put his ashes in for me.

Members of my extended Santeria family came by and took me to lunch today to help me get away and thing of other things for awhile. It helped greatly, and the burger and dessert was delicious. Everybody’s been very wonderful with the support. I want to thank you all. I just finished my first workout since mom passed and that’s also helping. Unfortunately, I suffered a hellish migraine and weeping last night. I think that this was mostly due to the fact that while I have been tearing up and crying from time to time, I haven’t completely lost it griefwise over mom no longer being reachable in the way I’m used to reaching her. I have a lot of tension, frustration and anguish stored up that needs to be released. I kinda want to run to the top of a mountain and have a good, long cathartic scream that just echoes eerily through the valley below. It’d end up being a bonus if the locals thought that I sounded like a strange alien many-tentacled birdthing descended from the icy depths of space to devour their planet. And mom would find it hilarious as well.

Did I mention that she started reading Poe at age four and was an enormous HP Lovecraft fan?

You think you’re strong – that you can bounce back from anything – and then you lose a focal point that’s been in your life from the very beginning. That one attachment that’s always been there – no questions asked. You’re loved unconditionally, no matter how bad you fuck up.

And then it’s gone from the immediacy of your life. And whether you see this person every day, or only once a month, it’s still jarring – that totality of knowing that this person is now unreachable. You can’t visit, you can’t call. That part of your life just…stops.

I know so many of my friends who hate their parents, or who are estranged from them. I grieve for them, that they were never able to experience with their own parents the kind of relationship that I had with my mom. I grieve for them as I can finally let myself grieve for her now – now that all the paperwork is finished and all the obligations of the living after those who have passed on have completed.

I was the last person she spoke to before she left this world and I couldn’t even understand what she was saying. I did my best to reassure her that I’d see her soon. Even though she’d been badly injured, I couldn’t get to her. She’d been badly injured before and had made it through it, so I guess I figured that this time wouldn’t really be any different. She was like the energizer bunny – she just kept going, no matter how much it hurt. The bad snowstorm that hit D.C. last weekend was coming in and I told her that I’d be up this weekend instead to see her, figuring that I’d have time. ..but I didn’t know she’d be leaving so quickly. I find myself conflicted because she was bedridden for years and her quality of life was pretty awful. She’d long lost her ability to read, to cook, to walk. She could barely see the TV. She was in almost constant pain. And even though I wouldn’t have her stay to continue to suffer to be here for me – to be my best friend – I miss the hell out of her. She’d be irritated that I’m grieving over the loss of her, but it’s my loss to bear until it eases. She can suck it up. After all, she’s dead now, so what’s she gonna do? *sigh*

“Do you want a viewing?” Christ, no – I don’t want a viewing. We don’t want to remember her ill and god knows she didn’t want us to. We wanted to remember her vibrant and smiling, so we followed her wishes and chose cremation with private familial services. My stepfather picked out small brass hearts that the funeral home will be enclosing the ashes in for us. I’ll be driving up to West Virginia to get the rest of her ashes – all four pounds of them, next week. I’m trying to come up with an urn design that I know she would like, and then I’ll be sending the design to a friend that’s a potter down in Tennessee that said she would make it for me. I know that at the very least, I want a lid with little holes at the top so that she can look out at the world whenever she wants to. I then plan to take a little bit of mom on all the trips I go on, since she was too sick to travel for so long. I’m also looking for a small, tasteful enclosure that I can place some of her ashes in that I can wear around my neck with the ashes of my good friend Bear who passed in 1998.

Man, she was a cool fuckin’ broad. She was a concert pianist at one point in her life, and I remember growing up learning how to play a baby grand piano that she would always play Für Elise on until it almost made me crazy. Even today I can’t hear the song without an eye twitch. I remember dad teaching me to play the song Has Anybody Seen My Gal and my mom rolling her eyes as I tried playing it over and over. It was a subtle battle of piano wits between us, I think. She painted – which I didn’t know until my stepfather showed me and my brother a painting she did while we were up there visiting and helping out this weekend. She wrote – in among all the old family pictures we pored over this weekend, we found a children’s story that she’d written that my brother is going to illustrate and see if he can get published in both their names. She traveled. She was an amazing typesetter and graphic designer. During demonstrations on the D.C. Mall, she would shuttle people from the suburbs into the city. And when her daughter was a sometimes ungrateful punk rock bitch, she’d still take in friends of mine who had been beaten or damaged by their own families and let them feel welcome for a time in our odd little family. She was a foster parent to numerous grateful kids that she helped, eventually taking in two teenage boys that became permanent and beloved family. She typeset an entire cookbook full of the recipes that she’d collected and come up with over the years that was filled with outstanding little cooking tips and tricks. The cover reads, “Your Sainted Mother’s Cookbook”. It’s one of the coolest presents she ever gave me. She brought light, laughter and a scathing sardonic wit wherever she went. She apparently also thought the world of the boyfriend – and he has found himself surprised with the loss that he feels at her parting as well. They didn’t know each other long, but got on like a house afire. I’m really glad she got to meet him before she left.

The memories of her remain – and because I love her fiercely I’ll do my best to keep them alive, but as all things pass into the next world, she is now gone from this one, and the loss hurts. The tears start and stop at the strangest times, although I’ve been doing a good job of fending them off them since monday.

Now, I can let them come. I don’t have to be strong for anybody else to help ease her passing for them, so now I can let go.

Vaya con Dios, mom. Give those bitches up there hell.

Love you. Miss you.

Your horrible daughter.

I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it. – Shug

Many years ago, mom and I had a conversation about ‘the other side’. We wondered if there would be a way to, when one of us died, let the person left behind know that they had gotten to the other side OK. We decided that whoever passed first would leave something purple in a prominent place where the survivor could find it, and be comforted.

Yesterday, I helped Chief euthanize his cat of 17 years. She was an awesome cat and I was honored to be able be there for him through this. It kinda helped me get out of my head about mom’s passing. It didn’t hit me until we were in the doctor office, waiting for the nurse, that the towel that he had wrapped his cat in was purple. I could almost see mom smiling and winking at me through that.

When I told my brother about this, later that night, he said, “Oh my god. While you’ve been telling me this, I’m noticing that there’s a purple card on the table in front of me.”

You rock, mom. It is awesome being your daughter. I miss you, but I’m happy that you’re finally able to dance again now.

Today, my mother passed beyond the veil. She had been bedridden for over a year, and was frustrated that she would likely never walk again. Mary Patricia Morehouse was a vibrant, wonderful soul who took people into her heart and helped them to find a friend – family, that they might not have had, or had been missing. She was one of the most generous people I ever knew. In the last 15 to 20 years, she had become more like a sibling, and we shared the most wonderful talks on politics, religion and damn near anything else we set our minds to talking about. I am grateful that she was able to meet the boyfriend several times before leaving this world.

I celebrate the fact that she’s now with the rest of her family and friends who have passed, and that she can now run and jump and dance without illness or pain.

Maferefun y Modupue Eggun Y Oya YANSA.

May those of you who are restless find comfort and love. Thank you to everybody who has shared their kind words with me. They have helped more than you know.