The More True-to-Life Stages of Grief.

Don’t worry. It gets sarcastic.

When I was 14, my mom lost her mother. My mom’s mom was her BFF, was only 63, and inexplicably died of a heart attack without a single warning sign. (I know! Right?) We were all close and I was sad to lose my grandma, but it paled in comparison to watching my mother suffer through such a debilitating loss. And then she proceeded to miss her mom every day for nearly 29 years. Until history effing repeated itself and started this whole messed up cycle again. What kind of bullshit is that? I would like to think that, had my mom had a choice in the matter, she would have adamantly rejected any scenario that would put me through what she went through. Yet here we are. And I’m kinda pissed.

What stage of grief is “anger” again? I’m guessing it falls somewhere between the “WTF?” stage and the “Well, that was a bunch of bullshit” stage. (Note: I have not properly researched the traditional stages of grief but I’m pretty sure mine could catch on.)

Anyway. I’ve also had darling and well-intentioned friends and family tell me that something good comes out of everything, no matter how bad. But my family was already close, I already appreciated every day and didn’t take people for granted (thanks to the aforementioned Grandma) and I was friggin’ strong enough already. Not sure I’ll ever see a silver lining to this shitty little cloud. We’ll call this the “Don’t give me any of that ‘personal growth’ crap” stage.

In other news, I think I’m training Steve not to use the word “need” with me because when he makes the mistake of asking me if “I need anything,” I inevitably answer “yeah, I *need* my mom.” And this leads to the “I should probably try to stop making the people around me uncomfortable” stage. I’m not to this stage yet.

I am, however, simultaneously in the “It’s 10 a.m. on a Saturday and that is clearly late enough for wine” stage and the “I swear to God, if I don’t stop crying, I’m going to sew my tear ducts closed” stage.

And this. This definitely has to be one of the stages. burrito of sadnessBecause Mexican food is always good.

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#tweetstoheaven.

I was out with a good friend last night and she told me that after her cousin died when they were teenagers, she wrote him a letter and left it on his grave. The problem with that idea for me is that I’ve been to the cemetery and I’m pretty sure that’s not where my mom is hanging out. But the idea of sending a message out into the ether seemed oddly comforting – and they probably have internet up there (minus all the annoying advertisements and spam).

So, I may have finally found a use for my Twitter account  – aside from stalking celebrities. Not that I do that. That would be creepy. Anyway. I could send random tweets about the kind of nothing I used to share with my mom twice a day out into the ether and she could read them and then we could be all caught up on our discussions about nothing. Well, it makes sense to me. This is the way I see it going: tweetstoheaven 1tweetstoheaven 7tweetstoheaven 6 tweetstoheaven 5tweetstoheaven 8

These are just examples. It could work. And then it could catch on and become wildly popular and the Twitterverse will be overrun by people having conversations with dead people. Then I’ll have more to do on Twitter than checking to see if William Shatner has been fighting with any fans lately or whether Nathan Fillion is finally gonna reply to one of my tweets. Not that I tweet him. That would be sad. #celebritystalker.

The Two-Week Mark.

Not to turn my snarky, sarcastic blog into a sad place, but I’m not particularly funny lately. Unless I’m making some inappropriate joke at an inappropriate moment to make the sad people around me laugh.

The two-week mark is strange. Because when your 67-year-old, healthy, sassy mother’s heart suddenly stops beating for no good reason, people around you are still in shock as well. They can’t imagine what you’re going through. But the two-week mark is also the time when you’re expected to get back to the routine. Back to work. Back to normal. Well – the new normal.

So, I have this to report: I’m trying. I’m working. I’m hanging out with my friends. I’m taking the dogs for walks to the lake with my dad. I’m watching The Big Bang Theory reruns while making dinner and wasting time playing Candy Crush on my phone. And I have the uncontrolled fits of crying down to once a day. Usually.

The problem is that as the shock wore off, reality set in. And reality kinda sucks. My mom has left this void that is like a hole I keep tripping on. A dozen times a day. Every time I think of something I should tell her. Or something I need to ask her. Or something I want to gripe about. Or a decision I have to make. Or advice I need. Or if anything goods happens. Or anything bad. Or anything at all.

December 23rd, the day we were burying my mom, my parents’ sweet little dog died. (Cue the Depeche Mode, right? I don’t want to start any blasphemous rumors, but I think that God’s got a sick sense of humor?) Anyway, their older dog that followed my mom everywhere? Still alive. The younger one? Died, inexplicably, that morning. My father was devastated. But in his state, it was more like icing on a cupcake (because heartbreak when you’re already heartbroken and tears when you were crying anyway…seem to get washed away in the flood). So after the tragic morning at the cemetery, we all went over to my dad’s that afternoon to bury the dog in the backyard. And I made inappropriate jokes. And people laughed.

And then we went through all the motions of celebrating Christmas Eve and Christmas Day like good little soldiers. Cause that’s what you do.

So, I’ll undoubtedly keep tripping on the void like an uncoordinated, three-legged dog. But, as I said to my dad Saturday, on our way back from picking out my mom’s grave stone, it only hurts this much because we had it so good. And that sure makes it hard to complain.

Erin and Mom

The Goodbye List.

I can’t get my thoughts in any kind of order except when I write things down. And I don’t keep a journal, I keep a blog. So it has to go here.

In no particular order:

  • I’m glad that my commute was 20 minutes each way and that I called you nearly every day to and from work to talk about absolutely nothing in particular.
  • I’m mad that you didn’t live long enough to be a burden. You know Jeff and I were fighting over who you and dad were going to go live with when you got elderly and senile. I’m mad that you didn’t live long enough to become elderly and senile.
  • I’m glad that you randomly called me Sunday morning and asked me to meet you at that store because you were having trouble choosing a Christmas gift. I’m so glad I rolled my eyes, threw on some jeans and met you down there.
  • I’m glad that my house got shown by a realtor on Sunday afternoon even though I wasn’t feeling good because I had to vacate my house so I went to your house and even though the realtor was in and out in 15 minutes, I hung out at your house for 3 hours.
  • I’m glad that I’m a 42-year old woman who’s never picked out a single house paint color without your input.
  • I’m so pissed that you won’t be here when I finally get published. You were my biggest cheerleader.
  • I’m so sick of saying “I just don’t understand.” It’s true, but every time it comes out of my mouth, it sounds repetitive and useless.
  • I’m so glad you didn’t suffer.
  • I’m so mad you didn’t say goodbye.
  • I’m so glad you and dad celebrated your 50-year anniversary this year. I’m so mad it was the last one.
  • I’m pissed that I’m writing this to a healthy 67-year old.
  • I’m so mad that now I’m a 3-legged dog. Sure, I’ll learn to run again, but my balance will never be as good and I’ll never be able to overlook what’s missing.
  • I’m glad you were my best friend.
  • Still pissed about the 3-legged dog thing.

DSC_0022

“Baby It’s Cold Outside” (aka “The Christmas Date-Rape Song”).

Baby its Cold Outside

Because nothing says Merry Christmas like a little GHB. So this song is catchy and disconcerting at the same time. You’ve all heard it, right? It’s a duet between a girl making poor decisions and a guy who is apparently a follower of the philosophy that 50 “no’s” and a “yes” means “yes.” Let’s look at the lyrics:

“Baby, It’s Cold Outside”
I really can’t stay
(But baby, it’s cold outside)
I’ve got to go away (Yes, girl. Run.)
(But baby, it’s cold outside)

This evening has been
(Been hoping that you’d drop in)
So very nice
(I’ll hold your hands, they’re just like ice)

My mother will start to worry
(Beautiful, what’s your hurry?)
My father will be pacing the floor
(Listen to the fireplace roar)

So really I’d better scurry
(Beautiful, please don’t hurry)
But maybe just a half a drink more (Let the poor decision-making begin.)
(Put some records on while I pour)

The neighbors might think
(Baby, it’s bad out there)
Say, what’s in this drink? (DANGER, Will Robinson! Seriously?)
(No cabs to be had out there)

I wish I knew how
(Your eyes are like starlight now) (Undoubtedly from whatever you doped her with.)
To break this spell
(I’ll take your hat, your hair looks swell)

I ought to say no, no, no, sir (See what I mean? 50 no’s and a yes?)
(Mind if I move in closer?) (Creeper.)
At least I’m gonna say that I tried
(What’s the sense in hurting my pride?)

I really can’t stay
(Baby, don’t hold out) (Getting creepier.)
Oh, but it’s cold outside

I simply must go
(But baby, it’s cold outside)
The answer is no (Seriously. Is anyone keeping count?)
(But baby, it’s cold outside)

This welcome has been
(How lucky that you dropped in)
So nice and warm
(Look out the window at that storm)

My sister will be suspicious
(Gosh, your lips look delicious)
My brother will be there at the door
(Waves upon a tropical shore)

My maiden aunt’s mind is vicious
(Ooh, your lips are delicious)
But maybe just a cigarette more
(Never such a blizzard before)

I’ve got to get home
(But baby, you’ll freeze out there) (Translated to: if you don’t spend the night with me, you’ll die.)
Say, lend me your coat (I have a feeling he isn’t gonna lend you a coat.)
(It’s up to your knees out there) (See?)

You’ve really been grand
(I thrill when you touch my hand)
But don’t you see
(How can you do this thing to me?)

There’s bound to be talk tomorrow
(Think of my life long sorrow) (Wow. Guilt trip much?)
At least there will be plenty implied
(If you caught pneumonia and died) (Once more, sleep with me or die.)

I really can’t stay
(Get over that old doubt)
Oh, but it’s cold outside

Yeah. Cheery little Christmas ditty. So what have we learned? (Aside from how creepy men in the 50’s were.)

50 No's and a Yes

Even at Christmastime, apparently. So have fun singing along with this song in the future and good luck not focusing on the fact that this guy kinda needs his ass kicked.

And to all a good night.

If It’s Good Enough for Jenny…

So, as I’ve mentioned, I’m a big Jenny Lawson (the Bloggess) fan. Jenny’s hilarious ramblings and questionable love for taxidermy always make me laugh and her occasional heart-warming, insightful posts always seem to be interjected just when we collectively need a little inspiration (or a kick in the ass).

Well, Jenny decided to play along with this thing going around the internet where you Google your first name plus the word “meme” and see what you get. And then she posted about it. And I thought it was pretty hilarious so I yes, I’m copying Jenny.

Here are my equally disturbing results:

53351650

Um. Thanks? For the nightmares.

54487478

Not sure why we need to make this about age, Ron.

b70c1b2c02cf6040c4236d516dd6f3118adb2f70691df9d8aa1d8335aa58eb42

Look at that adorable little demon-spawn. And this one doesn’t even have my name.

Who-the-fuck-ekfsnl

If I had a nickel for every time I heard that one.

images

I feel like this one is both a little judgy, but also sort of issuing a challenge. Thanks, Bill.

This was good – an exercise that’s both frightening and fun. And makes me think that people should probably have to submit to a breathalyzer before creating memes online.

They Forgot to Include ‘Zombie Apocalypse.’

I was reviewing radio contest rules today that included the most complete disclaimer regarding force majeure I’ve ever seen. Except for their glaring omission of “zombie apocalypse(s).” (I guess it wouldn’t be plural…one would probably take care of it.)

The Contest Entities are not responsible or liable to any entrant or winner … for failure to supply the prize or any part thereof, by reason of any acts of God, any action, regulation, order or request by any governmental or quasi-governmental entity (whether or not the action, regulations, order or request proves to be invalid), equipment failure, threatened terrorist acts, terrorist acts, air raid, blackout, act of public enemy, earthquake, volcanic eruption, war (declared or undeclared), fire, flood, epidemic, explosion, unusually severe weather, hurricane, embargo, labor dispute or strike (whether legal or illegal) labor or material shortage, transportation interruption of any kind, work slow-down, civil disturbance, insurrection, riot, or any other cause beyond the Contest Entities’ sole control.

Now, is that any ‘public enemy’ like Bin Laden or Kanye West? Or is that ‘Public Enemy,’ the rap group. Cause I would be pretty pissed if Flavor Flav interfered with my winnings.

Chicken Soup For the Soul…Unless You’re a Chicken.

I spent half the day yesterday making delicious, homemade chicken soup…‘for the soul’ as they say. Unless you’re a chicken, in which case I spent half the day boiling your dead and then barbarically ripping their flesh from their bones before unceremoniously dumping their ravaged carcass into the garbage.

Poor chicken

“Why, you rotten son of a bitch!”

Yeah. Sorry about that.

I Look Like a Movie Star.

If you’re a movie star from the 90’s with big, curly, red hair. I’ve gotten the whole, “you know who you look like?” question for decades. Inevitably, it is a big-haired, redhead that I don’t resemble at all.

Case in point, Julia Roberts and Nicole Kidman. No, no, no. Not today’s more glamorous Julia and Nicole…the circa 1990 big hair versions.

Julia

Nicole

And of course, the one defining trait that makes this make any sense at all – me sporting the big, curly, red hair.

Erin 1999

Holy shit, right? I’d like to take this moment to thank the inventors of the ceramic flat iron. Anyway – point being – I don’t actually look like Julia or Nicole, but people could seldom get past the hair. The only other consistent I’ve gotten throughout the years, curly or straight, is Elizabeth Perkins.

Elizabeth PerkinsWhich, I guess I can see, but no offense to Ms. Perkins, I’ve never really taken as a compliment. Then this last weekend at a conference, I randomly was told that I look like the “woman on that episode of Agents of Shield who could control men.” Luckily, I’m a nerd who feels obligated to watch every Marvel show they throw out there so I knew he meant Lorelei (Elena Satine).

LoreleiWhich would be awesome (however unlikely) but I’ll take it if for no other reason than the fact that this chick is probably at least 10 years younger than me.

So – given the frequency with which I hear the “you know who you look like?” question, I went and found a Celebrity Look-a-like Generator online. This is what it came up with.

Celebrity lookalike generator Now, I’ve gotten Celine Dion on more than one occasion, but let’s skip right to the elephant in the room: Rob Schneider? I am an 86% match to Rob Schneider? Go home, Celebrity Look-a-like Generator; you’re drunk.

But Was It a Radioactive, Genetically-Engineered Spider?

So, I was in Maui last week. It was lovely. A bad week in Maui could trump a good week most other places, I think. I did find Maui to be a little bitey, though.

Radioactive genetically engineered spider bite

I didn’t see the biter, but it looks like an odd bite to me. So I told Steve I thought there was a decent chance he was about to married to a super hero. He asked if my spidey-sense was tingling, but after locating my spidey-sense, I still couldn’t decide whether it was tingling or not. Then again, what if it wasn’t a spider? Maybe it was a radioactive, genetically-engineered mosquito and I’m checking the wrong sense for tingles. Although, despite hating spiders, I do think I would prefer to be a spider-based super hero than a mosquito one. Or, God forbid, a bed bug.

This post got weird fast. Anyway, I think there’s a chance I could be one of the Avengers in a few months. Like one of the freaky-deaky ones – not one of the ones that are just really good at shit. Although I’d settle for being that kind, too.

I’ll leave you with this sexy picture of Maui. Lest you think it’s all about the spiders.

IMG_20141027_113103_638Aloha.