My Angelic Inheritance / The Holographic Will

by angeliska on August 8, 2018

The 8th of August has rolled around again, as it is (thankfully) wont to do, and I am rolling my feelings around in my palms like the smooth sphere of pink rose quartz I meditate with – holding them gently, turning them this way and that, and just trying to sit with it all. As usual, it feels like a lot. This day holds so much for me, as death anniversaries tend to do. I’ve always used these special days to mark time, to examine my own emotional and spiritual growth and progress, and just to check in with myself. Where am I at? I feel: quiet, contemplative, heavy, grieving. My heart is full of longing and determination and love and sadness.

I’m thinking about inheritances, and what is passed down from generation to generation – intentionally and unintentionally. In the readings I give, I explain often about how lightworkers and healers have always known that pain is passed down through ancestral memory – but that only fairly recently, has it been acknowledged by the scientific community that trauma is passed down epigenetically, through our DNA. I’ve been working with my ancestors in a deeper way, in the past few years, and have found great peace in being able to integrate some of the painful stories that thread through my family line.

I’ve been focusing intently on healing, for myself, for my inner child, for the grief I carry, for my mother, and for all those that came before us. It’s a massive amount of psychic material to process, but I’ve had a lot of help along the way, from wise and generous teachers – and I’m so grateful for that. It’s been huge to step back and really take a look at how far I’ve come – how much I’ve moved through since I really became aware that if I didn’t, I might get seriously stuck in the sorrow, and in some really self-destructive patterns and coping mechanisms that I had no wish to hold onto. We inherit pain, and we inherit joy – or the capacity for it, and I’ve learned that when we protect ourselves from that pain, that we also protect ourselves from the joy.

I’ve been embracing joy more and more – and understanding that bliss is my birthright, is all of our birthrights. We didn’t come to this planet to suffer, believe it or not. We came here to love, and to be loved. So I’m holding that today – the love, and the sadness. I’ve discovered that it’s okay for them to hold hands, that it’s possible to feel them both at the same time, and came to understand that they don’t cancel each other out, but rather, support a deepening into both. There’s a saying about grief that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately – that grief is just love with no place to go. This is the place I come to every year, to put all my grief, and all my love. Thank you for coming to visit this place with me.

cacti 3
My mother’s prized cactus blossoming on our back patio

Grief, I’ve learned, is really love. It’s all the love you want to give but cannot give. The more you loved someone, the more you grieve. All of that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes and in that part of your chest that gets empty and hollow feeling. The happiness of love turns to sadness when unspent. Grief is just love with no place to go.” – Jamie Anderson

mama in gertie

Here’s my mom waving from the open window of her pride and joy, her legacy, a white 1959 Buick Electra Sedan she named “Gertie”, after Gertie the Dinosaur. She was so proud of that car. It was the culmination of years of longing and fascination for classic cars that she’d had since she was a kid, most likely inherited from the deep appreciation her father, my Grampy. Grover was a mechanic, and the rusted hulls that became our inheritance still inhabit the back pasture out in Lone Grove, down the little dirt road named for him – “Grover’s Paradise Lane”.

My grandfather’s idea of paradise was definitely a place where he could haul all the gutted chassis of his beloved old Morris Minor trucks and Datsun pickups and Rabbit hatchbacks and tinker with them and all his other projects to his heart’s delight, which is pretty much exactly what he did, until his dying day. The steel bodies of those old cars loom like the fossilized shells of massive prehistoric armadillos that used to roam over the Hill Country, paint jobs flaking away into dust, backseats and wheel wells now home to snakes and scorpions. Gertie’s still out there too, with flat tires and lichen growing on her back bumper. My mom would be heartsick, furious to know that she hasn’t been driven or really dealt with probably since she drove her out there, and then died not long after. When I look at the photograph above mom waving goodbye, forever. If only she could have driven Gertie over the rainbow, through the clouds, into the land beyond. Or had a Viking funeral in that car she loved so much, instead of leaving it behind to sag and atrophy, the finned and rusted hulk reminding us how we failed her. No one had the money, the capacity, or the wherewithal to do anything with that legacy. We were all just trying to survive, to weather what a loss like that will do to you.

My mother’s death was a slow, inexorable hurricane that blasted our entire family to smithereens. Thirty-two years later, and some of us are still picking up the pieces, putting ourselves back together from the storm of her loss. My aunt Ruth dropped everything to take care of my mom as she was dying, and then she did the same for her parents, as they eventually became more and more frail. Her kids, my cousins, who were like siblings to me, got lost in the mix, I got lost in the mix – though I know that all of our folks just did the best they could to make sure everyone got what they needed, that the basics were covered. Illnesses and deaths wreak such havoc in families. We’re only now really fully grasping the impact of everything we lost in those years, and how hard it was on everyone. There are so many layers to that time that I’ve long wanted to understand – because there’s so little I remember, being as little as I was, and pretty severely disassociated from the very upsetting present reality that was happening then.

I remember one of these August 8ths, a few years back, I went out to Lone Grove to visit my mom’s grave, hoping Ruthie would be willing to talk to me, tell me stories about the months, weeks and days leading up to my mom’s death that are still just an amber blur to me. Three years ago, she just wasn’t ready. Maybe it wasn’t the right moment, or she wasn’t in a space to, or perhaps it was because we weren’t alone, there were other people there who wouldn’t be comfortable hearing those stories – or perhaps she wasn’t comfortable with them hearing them. I was so disappointed though – I really wanted to know, to get a better understanding of what it had been like for her, for my mom, for me – for all of us. In the past few years, the memories have been flooding back to my aunt, and she’s been opening up – telling stories rich with the kinds of details I’ve craved, that I’ve longed for. She paints a picture for me, of our shared history – and I help her hold it, now that I am grown, and strong enough.

Out of the blue last month, the floodgates opened, and we were sitting at the table in my kitchen that Grampy made from cedar, when my aunt told me that my mom had fallen into a coma before she died. I don’t think I ever knew that before, or if I did know, I’d either blocked it out or didn’t understand what I coma was. It’s strange, the way we talk about it – like a coma is something you could just trip and fall into, like a deadly puddle, or like quicksand. That it might suck you down deep and never let you come back up for air again. Well, that’s what happened. Aunt Ruth had driven the hour and a half back to Austin for the first time in weeks, and was at home, finally, trying to achieve some semblance of normalcy for her own little family unit. She had just made a meatloaf and put it in the oven when the nurse called from Lone Grove saying she needed to get back up there as soon as possible – that it might be hours, or a couple days, but that it wouldn’t be long. These stories told in flashback, me putting together the pieces, all the events leading up to August the 8th, 1986 – the freight train running on its course to one inevitable end: the tracks running out, a dark portal at the end of the line, the black hole that my mom fell through.

My bedroom window in the dawning, illuminating cobwebs & crystals. I'm trying to focus on tiny wonders in the face of such immense destruction everywhere. Bowing my head in prayer and supplication to Mother Earth's very warranted wrath, and asking her to
My bedroom window in the dawning, illuminating cobwebs & crystals.

Before that, there was the morphine in the big brown bottle my mom had to drink for the pain. It only could be procured at one pharmacy a few towns over, and one weekend, there was an emergency – it had been a rough week, and the bottle had emptied faster. My mom was frantic, inconsolable, and sent Ruthie on a mad dash to get the prescription refilled before the pharmacy closed for the next few days. My mother was horrified at the idea that she’d become a drug addict, and was really freaking out about it, until the lady from the hospice came by the house to talk to her, and explain that she really did need this medicine for the pain.

I didn’t know about this, or that my mom had become obsessed with the idea that all our food was was toxic, fast food and sugar and junk. She was terrified by the idea of cancer-causing pollutants in the air, in the water. She wasn’t wrong – but it wasn’t doing any good. By then, it was too late. I think that hit her one evening when she was taken by a craving for a cheeseburger and french fries. I guess she had maybe invoked the “holy fuck it”, and asked Ruth and Grampy to take to over the Marble Falls to the Sonic, because Llano didn’t have one of those back then. They decided to eat at the picnic tables instead of in the car, as they were finishing their dinner, a father and two little boys sat down at a table near by. The boys were dressed in cowboy costumes with had cap-guns in little leather holsters, and were chasing each other around the tables, making a ruckus. At one point, one of the boys turned to my mother and fired his cap gun at her, yelling “BANG BANG! YOU’RE DEAD!” It upset her so much, she totally let loose on the kid, yelling at him in a rage. Grampy was mortified, not understanding her reaction – saying “Cissie, now why’d you go off and holler at that little ol’ boy?” I can hear his voice in my mind, exactly, asking that question. The boys’ father didn’t get it either, until Ruth went over and quietly told him, “My sister has terminal cancer.” The man’s face turned white, mortified, and he gathered up his kids and left.

I don’t think I’d ever heard that phrase spoken aloud before I’d heard this story. Terminal cancer. Or, again – maybe I had, but I’d blocked it out, or didn’t really know what it meant. I think when you’re little, death is just an idea – a very foreign one. For many adults, it’s still a vague notion. Something we don’t often talk about, or address directly. There’s so much fear around it, and so much denial – which we think protects us from it, but really it doesn’t. I think it makes it worse. I think it’s better to look, with clear eyes, at the honest reality of it. I believe there’s more compassion in that way – in the way of truth.

My mother’s organs were shutting down, one by one. Ruth told me, “The heart is always the last to go.” She observed that with my mom, and from years and years of seeing animals make their exits, both at home and at the animal shelter where she used to work. She said, “That’s how it is when a living being dies – the rest of you can be completely shot, ready to go, but the heart holds on tight until its last beat.” Life preserves life, or tries to.

I’ve been digging deeper into the ugly reality of what it is to die from cancer – how debilitating, how incapacitating that process can be. I’ve needed to really absorb what it was like for my mom, because I was so protected from the process as a child, and so really couldn’t fathom how much pain and fear she was experiencing. I didn’t understand why she didn’t have the energy to talk to me, or engage with me. I took it hard, thought it meant I wasn’t lovable. I think I’ve always had this gothic, romantic idea of the invalid consumptive, coughing delicately into a bloodied lace hankie, languidly approaching death while still penning letters and posing prettily with hair fanned out on silk pillows like a Victorian painting. I was kept out of the sick-room, but I’m pretty sure now that my mom’s death wasn’t anything like that. Knowing this helps me forgive her for not preparing better, for not leaving any messages for me, for not talking to me about what was happening to her, where she was going. I always thought that was because she didn’t care. Now I know that it’s because she was too sick, too out of it, too scared and also – deeply in denial. Up until the very end, she was praying for, and believing in a miracle that would save her life. She appealed to Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary, and even a faith healer quack doctor up in Houston. Instead, she went into a coma.

cacti 4

I guess I always assumed I’d go the same way – that there’s was only one real, concrete way to die that I’d seen firsthand, and eventually it would be coming for me, too. I’ve always pictured a long and agonizing convalescence for myself, ending up with the same cancer that killed my mom. It was never a matter of being morbid, really – it just seemed logical. Lately, I’ve been second guessing that forgone conclusion. I mean – I intend to live for a very, very long time (if I have my druthers), and would prefer to depart this plane of existence well into my as a nonagenarian if not (ideally) centenarian. I’ve been looking at my astrological chart, and given that I have Uranus in the 8th house, this would indicate that I will instead, one day die very suddenly (and potentially painlessly!) in very unusual circumstances. This placement is found in many of the charts of people you read about in the news who perish in bizarre situations. I think about this when I travel, when I’m doing something foolhardy, like climbing a rickety ladder alone in my house, or when I would fall asleep directly beneath my chandelier in New Orleans, from which radiated cracks into the crumbling plaster.

Despite those potential pitfalls, I’ve intentionally sought to make this one a fairly risk averse lifetime – I mean, I’ve done a lot of insane shit, and probably will continue to – but I’m not a thrill seeker. I don’t fly in tiny airplanes, go bungee jumping, skateboard, or parasail. I keep my feet mainly on the ground, and will try to hold off the reaper, hopefully for decades to come.

That being said, I’m finally doing something that I’ve said for years that I would do – something I’ve believed fervently that every adult person should do, but somehow never got around to quite yet: I’m writing my will. You’re really not a true adult until you do this. I’m embarrassed at how long I’ve known I needed to do this, and yet not done it. It’s such irresponsible, inconsiderate, avoidant bullshit to not to do it – and yet, we exist in a culture of denial around our mortality that supports a kind of superstition around actually talking about and preparing for your death, as if to do so might bring it closer. Death is coming for each of us, whether we prepare for it or not. To tiptoe around it or pretend like it won’t ever happen is to potentially put your loved ones into a world of misery and confusion when trying to figure out what to do with everything you’ve left behind, on top of the grief and sadness they’ll already be dealing with. It doesn’t actually take much to put your affairs in order, and so like a dutiful Capricorn (going through some major Pluto and Saturn transits), I’m gonna lay it out for y’all (and myself) as best I can.

Rainbow prism appearing like a little benediction over scars on top of scars. Today, I let myself rest. I've been burning with fever and plagued by cedar, and so I welcome in the year from my bed. I've been working so hard hard hard. Now I am surrendering
A rainbow prism appearing like a little benediction over scars on top of scars.
My mom always hung chandelier crystals in the windows of my childhood bedroom,
so that I would always be surrounded by rainbows on sunny days.

As I set out on my mission to cross this looming behemoth off my perpetual to-do list, I came across a term I’d never heard before: the holographic will. What a wondrous sounding thing! You might imagine a document made out of refracted light and prisms, or perhaps a glowing figure, the ghost of your loved one dictating their wishes from beyond, as a hologram. Strangely, it is neither of these things. A holographic will is just a handwritten document outlining your final wishes. These are not legal in all states, and of course it’s best to bite the bullet and have an official document drafted, witnesses and filed by a lawyer. But I know many of us might not get around to that, and something is better than nothing, right? Check and make sure holographic wills are accepted as legal where you live, and then sit down and write one out. Just do it, okay? Even if you think you have nothing. Chances are, you have some debt you’re leaving behind for your loved ones to deal with, plus all your stuff, and most likely, your body. What do you want done with all that? Don’t say you don’t care, or think that no one else willing. Somebody is going to have to reckon with you when you go, so make it easier on them – it’s just the right thing to do. Once you’ve dashed out (or calligraphed, or whatever) your holographic will in your own hand, being of sound mind, delineating what you would like done with your stuff and your body, and who’s in charge of all that, you’ll have a some kind of document to take to a lawyer when you’re ready to be even more official and adult. It can be really simple, if you want. It doesn’t have to be daunting, or sad, though it might feel that way. Feel those feelings, and DO IT ANYWAY.

“Holographic wills are common and are often created in emergency situations, such as when the testator is alone, trapped, and near death. Holographic wills often show that the requirements for making a valid will are minimal. The Guinness Book of World Records lists the shortest will in the world as ‘Vše ženě’ (Czech, “everything to wife”), written on the bedroom wall of a man who realized his imminent demise and made a swift attempt to distribute his chattels before expiring. It clearly meets the minimum requirements, being his own work and no one else’s. On 8 June 1948 in Saskatchewan, Canada, a farmer named Cecil George Harris who had become trapped under his own tractor carved a will into the tractor’s fender. It read, ‘In case I die in this mess I leave all to the wife. Cecil Geo. Harris.’ The fender was probated and stood as his will.”

So, at the very, very least – write something somewhere, and let someone know about it. As an additional note to creative people reading this – your writing, music, paintings et cetera are all part of your estate. What do you want done with that stuff? Who has the rights to it? Think on it, and then go read what Neil Gaiman wrote on the subject a while back on how to prepare. He even offers a template for a sample will that will help you figure out what to do with everything. As he says, “It’s a PDF file, which you can, and should, if you’re a creative person, download. Pass it on. Spread it around. And then, if you’re an author, or even a weekend author with just a few short stories published, or one thin book you don’t think anyone read or would want to republish, fill it out. Sign it and date it in front of witnesses. Put it somewhere safe. And rest easily in the knowledge that you may have made some anthologist, or some loved one, in the future, a bit happier and made their lives a little easier. Or better still, print it out and take it to your own lawyer/ solicitor or equivalent legal person when you get a formal will drawn up. Take it to a lawyer and discuss your choices. And the same goes for you artists, photographers and songwriters, although a few words may have to be changed or added.”

Quiet birthday morning in my bedroom. Sophia Rose came to visit me that day, & captured this moment. This is where I'm happiest.

Here I am, in my beloved bedroom, a few birthdays ago. What will happen to that room, that house, that bed and that Art Deco lamp and those blue bottles (all inherited from my mother), that chandelier, that stuffed goat head, that bathrobe, that body when the spirit has left it? Who will take down all the crystals I’ve hung in the windows, like my mom hung for me when I was little? Someone will have to, eventually. Again, it’s not morbid to think like that. It’s just real. Someone’s always left behind to pick up the pieces – even when you think you don’t have anyone. Chances are, you do. I’ve got a lot to sort out, it turns out. Tons of stuff to leave behind, to be dealt with. All my collections, my precious accumulations. Someone will have to sift through it all, distribute it elsewhere. What will happen with all my creative work, my writing, my home, and my dogs, should I not outlive them? I have some ideas, and it’s time to sit down and consign them all to paper, even if it’s just roughest outline. What is the legacy we leave behind? This is a good, and necessary question to contemplate. I come from a family of earth signs. We like our stuff, and we tend to kind of end of with a lot of it. You could call us collectors, though there is a marked tendency towards hoarding, on both sides of my family line. It’s something I have to watch, be very mindful of. A kind of sickness around objects can grow when you’re not looking – a fear of losing that turns into a hunger for acquisition. Being an antique dealer for so many years, and an intuitive/psychic being, I became very aware of the resonance carried by objects, the memories they can hold. Trawling estate sales showed me the intense pathos of a home stuffed to the brim with junk and treasures, the meanings and stories lost – only to to be pawed and fought over by strangers. It’s a very invasive and strange process, and eventually turned me away from wanting to work with stuff and objects, and towards wanting to work with people and their hearts instead.

Little me, rockin' a bowl haircut...
Little me, rockin’ a bowl haircut…

This picture was taken only a few years before my mom died. She was already sick, already struggling. I was so, so little. That pink shirt with the rainbow and the pot of gold was my favorite, and I was excited to wear it for picture day. It’s weird to think about someone this young not having their mom – and by weird I mean totally wrong and fucked up. I really needed her to be okay, and she couldn’t be. We didn’t have a choice in the matter. My mother made a holographic will, before she died. I’ve had a copy of it for a long time, since I was pretty young. My aunt gave it to me when I was a teenager, and I’ve pored over it endlessly, because it’s one of the only documents I have where my mother mentions me directly, aside from some letters, and the one journal entry I found. “The” List (as it is titled) was handwritten on a yellow-lined legal pad, in my mother’s clear and determined print that still reveals the pain she was in. It seeps into every line she inscribed. It’s only six pages, but holding it in my hands, it always feels very heavy. She wrote in these pages that she wanted us to treat her possessions as extensions of her, and she really meant it. I took this very literally.

When my Aunt Ruth started giving pieces of my mom’s jewelry and little things when I was just 13 or 14, of course an earring would fall by the wayside, the antique rosaries I wore to be punk rock disintegrated, rhinestone chokers fell away at raves and concerts, and I would feel this sinking sick dread in my stomach. I was losing her, pieces of her body, slipping away from me forever. And I thought she would be so mad, if she knew – that I wasn’t taking good care of her stuff, wasn’t respecting her treasures, her legacy. It was a lot of pressure. Sometimes it still is. After Hurricane Katrina, when people tried to tell me that line about everything I lost being “just stuff”, I tried to explain, usually fruitlessly, how it was for me. What if your mom told you that she lived on in the objects she left behind, and then died? How would you feel if any of those aspects of her were destroyed. It’s like losing her all over again. Thankfully, I have most of her beloved things intact, and I care for them and try to be a good steward for them, because I genuinely love and treasure them too. Not just because they were hers, but because I too find them beautiful and valuable.

the list

the list 2

This is my inheritance, from my mother. Her tarot deck, which has given me my life’s work, my livelihood, and one of my greatest passions. I inherited her banjo, her fiddle, her red cabbage teapot. Her perfume bottle collection, her rock and fossil collection, her car. The things that were most precious to her, and now are, to me. It’s a legacy I embrace, and have tried to uphold. I learned to silversmith, to make jewelry like she did, from her pottery shards turned into cabochons, like she did. One day, I hope to play the fiddle and her guitar, though her banjo was sadly stolen years ago. I’m working on the rest. It’s heavy, like I said. It’s a lot to carry, but I’m getting stronger and better at it, more able, every day. My cousin and I dreaming up a plan to get Gertie the Dinosaur Buick Electra converted to electric, and up and running again. I know that would make my mom happy, and I dream of the day I could cruise in that majestic boat down her favorite hill country backroads, in wildflower season.

angelic aura
An aura photograph of me taken by MOOD by MOSS. It shows deep love, eros energy, and the rare white lights of protector spirit guides. My angels. My mama watching over me.

What else did I inherit from her? Angels to guide over me and protect me. My name. My face, my body, every bit of me that she made in her womb. She gave me every eyelash I’ll ever have, my nose, my bones, my kidneys, my eyes. From her, I have astigmatism, and an appreciation for antique roses and piña coladas and Pre-Raphaelite art and freckles on my knees. Even though we only had seven years together, I’ve inherited her gestures, her way of carrying her body. We stand in the same way, one hip cocked, head tilted, the same appraising gaze. The crooked, self-conscious, knowing smile. We both hate drafty winds and fans blowing directly on us. There are so many other things I’ll probably never know, but am always hungry to find out. There are probably so many things I’m unaware of, or that I’m forgetting. It’s overwhelming. How are we the same? What of her is left in me? Is it nature or nurture? The things I go wild for – do I love classic cars and old country music and Czech Art Deco glassware because my mom was gaga for those things, or because they speak to my heart on some core level? I’m gonna go with the latter, because that’s what feels true. I’m a part of her, and she is a part of me. We’ll never really get to know each other beyond what we got, and I think that’s the part that pains me the most. Because I think we’d have so, so much to talk about now. I think we’d be each other’s favorite person. I know she’d be mine.

fiorucci angels

This is my angelic, prismatic inheritance, received from the pages of a holographic, handwritten will. It shifts, like the crystals in my bedroom windows, it refracts light, and bounces rainbows off the inside of my eyelids. It is so big, and so vast and so heavy and so, so beautiful. It is made of memory and my mother’s whispering echoing voice, and the smell of her favorite perfume and the scent of the long gone cactus blossoms she grew. It is made of starlight and dawning, and thorns and tears. It is a totally psychedelic and transdimensional dodecahedron made out of sighs and rain and brilliant diamonds that is continuously serenaded by a chorus of baby angels wearing heart shaped sunglasses. It’s hard as hell, and heartbreaking and gorgeous and miraculous, and truly – I wouldn’t have it any other way. It is fractured and it is perfect and it is my life. There is no greater gift.

cacti 2

If you’d like to read more about this journey of grieving, honoring, and remembering, here you go:
Foxes in the Rain
Triumvirate Lemniscate
Gustav + Mama – August 8th
cacti 1


So engrossing- I’m reading in front of the courthouse in Denver and cannot tear my eyes away. Beautiful.

by Abram on August 8, 2018 at 4:31 pm. Reply #

I grieve for you and what you have lost. You remind me to be kinder to my own parents – I have not lost them like you have, but I ripped them from my heart intentionally. It is difficult for me to see and forgive their frailties and pain – because mine were not honored. I am quite good at retaliating, it is true.
Your love and compassion for your mother is beautiful. I am so sorry she was in so much pain, and I am sorry her pain kept her from connecting with you as you needed. I find it lovely that you can cherish her so, as you cherish yourself, and can see the fruits of her in yourself. And that you honor your own heart, too.
I value your courage and brilliance, and your willingness to be frank and also very real about what needs to be done in life – like writing a will – to face one’s own mortality and to create legacy and ease the process for those we leave behind. Thank you for taking Capricornian responsibility <3.
I was truly humbled to be in the presence of you and your father this last Sunday. My empathic self had taken a Leo essence that morning (perhaps also why I was so withdrawn then, oddly… as in, Leo is not withdrawn, but the essence was specifically for healing heart trauma!), and I could pick up on the grief you both hold… but how you still do it with so much heart. I do not claim to know the extent of your family dynamics, but I am truly glad you can be there for each other. I was so, and am, incredibly moved by this.
Thank you for your vulnerability. Thank you for your brilliant beautiful heart. Thank you for all that you do to create a legacy of healing, compassion, humanity, and true abiding love. You are a treasure. You are in my heart today, as you move through this time.

by Megan on August 8, 2018 at 6:02 pm. Reply #

I love this! Healing is happening! I feel like this entry is different than past ones. I am so glad to hear you are sharing stories with your Auntie Ruth and learning what you have been missing for so long. Your mom’s “The List” reminds me of something Meredith wrote before she died: it wasn’t a will, but a list of books that we all should read, and she wanted us to know which ones. I miss her all the time, but also talk to her all the time, even though I know it’s not the same. Keep on down this path: there is great stuff along the way.<3

by Patience Blythe on August 8, 2018 at 6:29 pm. Reply #

It’s funny, isn’t it, the language we use, about the choices we don’t have?
The first time I heard that, “falling into a coma,” I thought the same thing you did. I thought it was like tripping, or plummeting down a flight of stairs. That was with my Grandfather. Later, when it was my own mother, I knew, like you did, so much younger, that it was science fiction. Just as you said. A black hole, falling forever.
The first time I heard that other one, I thought of trains. That was my grandfather, as well. Terminal cancer, and I knew what a terminal was. It was where the trains came. And so cancer, even now, always sounds a little to me like trains. Even now, always smells a little to me of hot creosote and cinder.
It’s funny how much I can wish there hadn’t been that black hole for your mom to fall into, how much “make that didn’t happen” is, no matter what, always the strongest cry of the human heart. It’s funny how looking at the face of that little, little you and knowing the size of the train bearing down into the terminal, I could wish it had never arrived. It’s funny, and useless, and wrong, since that is to wish the world unmade, a little, to wish the you that you became from that unmade a little. But i wish it all the same.
Thank you for telling your stories, and holding your history. Thank you for remembering. Remembering is important.

by kara on August 8, 2018 at 11:41 pm. Reply #

Hi, Angeliska.
Once again, I love to read what you write.
Today about an important topic- The Will- and a gentle reminder. Thank you for all the informative links!
My sister was with my mother when my mother transitioned.
They had an emotional bond that I never had with mom.
My moms death day anniversary comes and goes without a blip on my radar screen. I don’t grieve for any human. My cats, yes. Sometimes I wonder about that. Is there something wrong with me?
Thank you for sharing your story so deeply and clearly. It resonates, on some deep level. I’m there with you, feeling things with your little 7 year old self. My brother died when he was 16- he was the eldest, and it was a sudden and unexpected death- and I trembled uncontrollably in my sisters bed that night. But we never talked about what happened. We never grieved together as a famous my. My parents couldn’t allow themselves that space. We moved on.
My thought: yes, you are like your mother. And yes, you are feeling burdened by the legacy she left, and getting lighter. And. You are also uniquely you, in ways not like your mother.
And that is the part I am most interested in.

by Moxanne on August 9, 2018 at 6:37 am. Reply #

This might be my favorite thing you’ve ever written, that last paragraph filled my heart to bursting and my eyes with tears. I love you so much, my friend.

by Lau on August 9, 2018 at 8:32 pm. Reply #

Thank you so much for writing this! <3!

by LP on August 12, 2018 at 11:19 am. Reply #

As always- so thoughtfully, insightfully and intelligently written.

by Sue on September 24, 2018 at 7:00 pm. Reply #

This brought me to tears, especially the connection of your mother, ancestors and grief. I feel it deeply myself. Thank you for writing and sharing Angel.

by Jen on August 12, 2019 at 3:21 pm. Reply #

Leave your comment


Required. Not published.

If you have one.

ERROR: si-captcha.php plugin says GD image support not detected in PHP!

Contact your web host and ask them why GD image support is not enabled for PHP.

ERROR: si-captcha.php plugin says imagepng function not detected in PHP!

Contact your web host and ask them why imagepng function is not enabled for PHP.