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15

Apr

Dumb Sh*% People Say

foreverlovedforevermissed:

(Inspired by the “Dumb Shit” chapter of Tré Miller Rodriguez’s book “Splitting the Difference: A Heart-Shaped Memoir” [whiteelephantintheroom])

Although I am grateful to have very understanding friends and I have not yet been told to “get over it,” these are the comments that have taken me aback: 

  • 3 days after the accident: Merry Christmas!
  • 9 days after the accident: Happy New Year! Wishing you and your family a happy new year for 2014!!
  • 11 days after: Try to relax. Chat soon, and don’t forget we have the rest of that TV series to finish.
  • Around a month after: My mother in law recently lost her husband and has been having ups and downs too. After 61 years of marriage I think she just intensely misses her husband.
  • A month after: Keep being awesome
  • A month after: I just broke my ankle so I’m cooped up inside feeling the fomo [fear of missing out] of everyone enjoying Australia day
  • 2 months: I hope you’re finding some normalcy again
  • 2 months: [from HR personal of my work] If you are unable to return to work by XX date we will have no choice but to terminate your employment [yes actually used those words]. You would be eligible for rehire and you would be provided the same consideration as all other applicants. [Come on… you’re title is HUMAN resources! A little empathy wouldn’t hurt!]
  • 3 months: Hope all is well and life is starting to resemble something normal for you.
  • 3 months: I’m sorry to hear that it has been so tough for you
  • 3 months: I miss my gossip buddy so if you’re even in the mood to hear me talk about my own personal dramas let me know
  • 3 months: Have you ever thought of it from this angle.. From what I hear he was a truly good person. Maybe so good that God whisked him away to a higher place.
  • 3.5 months: You’re doing remarkably well for only just over 3 months in (see recent post about said comment)

Although not nearly as shocking as some of the things Tré experienced (it’s still early so I may get some doozies later on), I still just find that people don’t really think sometimes. 

Holy hell, this brave Millennial is blogging her way through YEAR ONE. Her willingness to grieve so openly hearkens me to the early days of White Elephant, when heart shapes from strangers kept me writing through the pain. You guys are no longer strangers to me, but after seeing her Dumb Shit List, I imagine your heart shapes might help her feel less alone on her grief path. 

14

Apr

I found ‘White Elephant in the Room’ today and through tears, you have given me hope. My best friend was widowed just two short months ago…the elephant is so huge at this point, there is little I can say or do. So I will be gifting your book to her. Thanks for your strength and for sharing this story.
— Corey, Oregon ()

12

Apr

Want to roll my eyes at yet another annoyingly James Franco artistic endeavor, but this gender-bending show at Pace NYC is better than a late-afternoon buzz.

Want to roll my eyes at yet another annoyingly James Franco artistic endeavor, but this gender-bending show at Pace NYC is better than a late-afternoon buzz.

09

Apr

Arriving at the TBSP Book Club to read Heart-Shaped Memoir & encountering their prosciutto-shaped platter in homage to Alberto. 

Arriving at the TBSP Book Club to read Heart-Shaped Memoir & encountering their prosciutto-shaped platter in homage to Alberto. 

08

Apr

"Either all of us are going to die together or we are going to learn to live together. And if we are to live together, we have to talk." — Eleanor Roosevelt

"Either all of us are going to die together or we are going to learn to live together. And if we are to live together, we have to talk." — Eleanor Roosevelt

06

Apr

Ring in the New

Gayson is the guy who helps me flip my 100-lb. mattress and shop for cabinet organizers. The fellow with whom I have spontaneous cooking adventures every other week. Gayson keeps all my secrets and calls out my bullshit. He’s the only person with whom I will FaceTime when I don’t have my face on. Despite his own whirlwind life, he remembers to ask me how this meeting or that date went down. 

And damn if he didn’t just propose to me in a tea shop—like only your best gay could—with a Bliss Lau ring that’s a little bit diamond Jesus and a whole lotta finger corset. 

For the first time in four years, I’m staring at a diamond ring on my left hand that was created just for me. And for the first time ever, the ring captures my yin and my yang but doesn’t change my last name. 

03

Apr

I’m 20 years old, and although I haven’t lost anyone close to me, “Splitting the Difference” has changed my perspective on grief and death. The thoughts and stories you’ve shared in your memoir are allowing me to stop fearing the deaths of those close to me. Thank you for writing so beautifully, honestly and with such rawness.
— Megan, Canada (all-good-children-go-to-heaven)

02

Apr

For a girl who has trouble unlocking her bike, this is quite the glory moment. 

For a girl who has trouble unlocking her bike, this is quite the glory moment. 

26

Mar

I am loving these articles about you and your daughter. I can see her in you, and you in her, and I remember how I felt the first time I saw it in my birth mom. And now, how special it is to seeing it in my own daughter.

I think it’s really important for people to see positive examples of adoption (instead of the twisted Lifetime-movie version), so thank you for sharing your story!

— Kris, Chicago (ashamedtosay)

25

Mar

Getting interviewed by celeb journalist Jane Mulkerrins for Grazia's UK Mother’s Day issue was absurdly flattering.

Being the subject of a photo shoot—rather than a behind-the-scenes PR girl—was a giddy, memory-making experience with Laurie. 

But seeing the article in print with the faces of Alberto and Phil on one page and those of me and my bio daughter on the other takes the difference-splitting to a wholly visual level.

24

Mar

"Does this candle make my tattoo look big?"

"Does this candle make my tattoo look big?"

Celebrating Gayson’s nameday at Bobo with the force of nature that is designer and icon Bliss Lau.

Celebrating Gayson’s nameday at Bobo with the force of nature that is designer and icon Bliss Lau.

5 Ideas for Facing Deathiversaries

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In the five years since my 40-year-old husband, Alberto, died of a sudden heart attack, I’ve had a recurring nightmare involving his funeral.

Specifically, I’m tasked with planning it all over again. Making the awful phone calls. Writing the obit. Delivering the eulogy. I wake in a sweaty panic that evaporates only when I remember that it’s no longer 2009.

The dream usually comes to me in the month leading up to his March 15 deathiversary: a not-so-subtle nudge to make a plan for the date. Whether it’s the first or fifteenth year since your loss, anniversary reactions shouldn’t be a thing we’re embarrassed about. Our lives were permanently altered on that date, and there’s no shame in acknowledging it. While there’s no one-size-fits-all prescription for a deathiversary, my hope is that these ideas offer a guide for making your annual peace.

Read More

22

Mar

Seeing your essay mentioned on the same Australian cover as Drew Barrymore is surreal. Landing a bylined, 3-page story in this publication is the stuff writers’ dreams are made of. But reading Laurie’s 500 eloquent words (click red sidebar above) about her adoptive childhood + our reunion = immeasurable prouds of the motherly kind. 

21

Mar

So glad to see that the dates which once knocked you down so hard are now becoming a time of joy and remembrance of what you and Alberto were, of what you two are now, and will be, forever.
— Scott, California (scottswords)