Back to Me, You can’t know what you don’t know…

Post 5.

If you are new to this blog, scroll down to post 1 to start at the beginning. XO M

Unvarnished excerpt from the upcoming book Viking Funeral…

***

I threw the covers back on our bed and got out. I grabbed a random pair of jeans from my closet, stepped into them, forcibly, awkwardly hopped, pulled them up and on as I made my way to the end of the hallway at the top of the back stairs. I leaned over the railing to tell my darling husband this very unexpected news. I knew he would be down there watching the Sunday morning cartoons a.k.a. political (bad) news shows in our family room at the bottom of the stairs. As much as I didn’t want them to, the words fell out of my mouth. “Babe! My mom just called, Dave died this morning!”

My husband adored my brother, well everyone did so we will start with that. He hopped out of his chair and into view at the bottom of the stairs. He was looking up at me waiting for more information.

My teenage son Steven’s, (Sven from here on out because I am too lazy to type a couple extra letters or pronounce a whole extra syllable, even in my head) bedroom door was directly behind me. My words woke him. No pun intended, but that kid sleeps like the dead, I did not expect to see or break this news to him until many, many hours later. He heard me through the door which he quickly threw open, startling me. He poked his head around its edge. He was wrapped in his bedding, shirtless with a mess of waist length curly brown hair and a look of sad shock on his bed-wrinkle-imprinted face. His eyes conveyed everything wordlessly, shock and sadness.

Shifting my gaze between Sven in his doorway up here beside me and my darling husband at the bottom of the stairs, witnessing these words strike them, feeling them take in this news face-to-face was harder than listening to my mom’s voice on the phone. I had been buffered by the blind distance of a phone call and my focus on Dave being cut loose from that shitty body. At this moment I was not buffered by any protective barrier, real or imagined. I stood a bit frozen in discomfort trying to figure out who to go to first. I had been miles down the road in my thoughts already, feeling elated for Dave. I had not anticipated being reeled another direction by feeling their thoughts or what I thought they might be thinking play out in my head. I was prepared for none of this. I didn’t know what to expect. My calm was gone, my mind was racing every direction and nowhere helpful or productive, fast.

My darling husband felt connected to Dave as he did his own younger brother who lived in failing health until a few years prior, he too surprisingly departed one morning without much warning other than general poor health. I knew instantly that this psychological nuclear bombshell I just dropped compiled with the worry he was already carrying for his ailing mom, that all of this was just more shrapnel slashing through many already tender and bleeding places in his heart.

Sven had just lost another uncle, his dad’s brother, the weekend before on the fourth of July as a result of cancer (more seeing of dead people). He was a kind, fairly young man whom Sven was frequently compared to in his dad’s family because they looked alike and had very similarly sweet, humorous personalities.

Sven and I lived with my parents and Dave at their home the first five years of Sven’s life. Besides being a lovely human, brother, son, cousin, friend, Uncle Dave was an amazing and loving uncle to Sven, seven other cousins and ‘bonus’ nieces and nephews in the children of family friends. He looked out for them, taught them how to look out for themselves in crossing the street and other life circumstances. He shared cookies with them, he coached them through baking cookies, took them on rides on his electric wheelchair, made them better people for growing up with the aware heart that comes from having and helping care for a family member with a severe disability. Most importantly, he introduced them to Pink Floyd and other critically important classic rock music he loved that was not part of the genre of music they would have typically heard in their age ranges.

I thought maybe one or both of them might join me to go to my mom’s house to be with her. This is the instinctive thing to do, go be with the people left behind. We all process grief very differently. I know and accept this complicated aspect of life that you simply can’t know until you find yourself in the middle of it.

As I looked from my son’s face on my right to my husband’s face looking up at me from downstairs on my left, I realized neither of these sweet, tender-hearted people could do this with me right now, and neither was volunteering to do so either. I could not address or stop their silent emotional bloodshed right this minute. They had their own processes and would need a moment or more moments at a minimum.

I was living in the exact opposite of whatever the worst opposite of ‘my favorite’ could possibly be described as, in fact, they were my very least favorite moments living on this planet ever, from waking up to all of 10 minutes in, this day is the worst day ever, so far. I hated being connected to delivering these words. Nope, worse, loathed, I LOATHED this moment.

It was clearly obvious that I would be making the trip to my mom’s house alone that morning. I headed back down the hall to our bedroom. I said I would be there. Damn it, why did I say that? I didn’t see any way out of it, so it was settled. Fuck this fucking day and damn it to hell.

Most humans have a need to know everything in a situation like this as part of the general perspective of understanding, maybe coping? I can’t say for sure. Everyone and I mean everyone asks, “What happened?” My husband broke the silence with this expected question. I told my two people all I knew, “He apparently woke up dead. That is all I know–I don’t really know.”

I have a clear sense of memory which leaves me with just about any recollection as if it just happened yesterday, forever. It’s similar to photographic but hard to explain. For this reason, I do not like, want, or need to know the minute details of bad news, because it never leaves me. I didn’t ask my mom what happened. “I’ll be right over,” I cut her off, didn’t really give her any room to tell me. When people feel the need to vomit out every gory detail of the And THEN….AND THEN…infinity, as they process earth-shattering experiences, I evade listening altogether by selectively ignoring, usually by finding a reason to leave the vicinity.

I made it through most of my education through grad school by half-listening in class. Stuff just stayed with me. People, for the most part, don’t understand how that works. I don’t either. They also cannot fathom how unpleasant information could get trapped in there too. Or repeated complaining. I have to remove myself from either of these, bad news and repeat complaining. My self-preservation behavior is often completely misinterpreted as uncaring or disinterested. I stopped trying to explain how my memory works long ago nor can I expend energy worrying about what anyone thinks they know or understand about me. Regardless of all the above, I was pretty sure I was going to have to hear everything no matter what today. This was too close to me to completely avoid and walking away from my mom was not a choice I had the luxury of making either.

I had witnessed Dave’s challenging path for what felt like forever. He was hurt when he was 18, and I was seven. I was now in my forties. That was 84% of my life, almost MY forever. MY Forever until now that Dave had been paralyzed. I grew up under the same roof with him until I moved out in my early-20s, then back and forth a couple times through my mid-30s, restructuring a new life plan each time. The only people who spent more up-close time living life with him as he struggled with grace, dignity, and humor with that paralyzed body of his were our parents and maybe his best friend, Brian.

As I brushed my teeth, I felt myself becoming more and more relieved and dare I say ecstatic that his life-sentence being shackled to that stupid wheelchair, bed or his body was finally completed, time officially served. I finished getting ready, basically, just the brushing of teeth. I felt bad that I was incapable of consoling my two favorite people properly other than a hug before I rushed out the door by myself less than 15 minutes after my mom had called.

© Mardi Linane Copyright 2019

***

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Friday, July 8, 2011 (Two days earlier) I knew it, “I see Dead People.”

double-doors

Post 4.

If you are new to this blog, scroll down to post 1 to start at the beginning. XO M

Unvarnished excerpt from the upcoming book Viking Funeral…

We have a large extended family. Our mom was the youngest of nine children. There are five children in our nuclear family. My parents have eight grandchildren. They are reproducing their own broods now. We originally had 15 first cousins between southern and northern California. When the time and space allow, we enjoy seeing each other.

I had planned a family brunch for that particular Sunday. Some local (Southern California) cousins and my local siblings (including Dave) had been invited to come to our house for brunch to visit with another cousin, Mary, from Northern California. As it turns out, Mary broke her foot a few days before and could not travel that particular weekend.

Subject: hello…

Fri 7/8/2011, 10:19 AM

Hi, Mardi:

Looks like I won’t be able to make it:(. I had an unfortunate step onto the curb yesterday and have a broken foot. I go back today to see what to do about it….it is quite painful. So, don’t think it would be too easy to trek on the plane and hither and yon, so I am so sorry to have to decline your lovely invitation.

I know John is looking forward to seeing you on Sunday….what is your address and phone number again to pass on to him? Thought I saved it, but can’t find it…

Have a wonderful visit…so sorry not to make it down….will work on another time….hello to all in your family for me…

Mary

Instead of hosting brunch for the rest of us, because we all have to eat anyway, I felt the need to cancel. I called everyone and did just that. My darling husband, Rick’s mother, had been ill. She had been rushed to the hospital several times in recent months. Each trip turned into a stay for a week or more. She had a weak heart and fluid was building in her lungs. She was 80-something (she wouldn’t want me to reveal her actual age which no one knew until her death- but that is another story altogether), frail and I felt her departure from this earth was near. So near, that I thought we might get the call any minute with the news that she was gone.

It would be awkward to get that call in the middle of brunch or right before people arrived. I don’t like making people feel awkward and speaking of grave situations or death, in general, makes most people pretty uncomfortable. They don’t know what to say. They question if they should say anything? Will it make things worse if they do? It just made sense to cancel and hold our breath through the weekend without having to put on the happy face of the host of a family party.

I called everyone the Friday before to let them know that Mary was not coming, that it was “probably better that we cancel because my darling husband’s mom is gravely ill.” Everyone understood without question. I did not speak directly to Dave who lived with and was cared for by my mom. I called and canceled with my mom, who would obviously pass on the news to Dave because that is just how I expect messages like that to be filtered down.

Dave called me back later that day and left a voicemail message. He told me how sorry he was to learn this news of Rick’s mom. He was very kind to call, and his words for my husband were very heartfelt. Dave was very fond of my darling husband, and he was very thoughtful in that way anyway, supporting people with kind words, at the right time.

I noticed that it was a little bit difficult to understand his message, understand him, as his words seemed, it is hard to describe, muffled, garbled, slurred. It’s hard to define exactly other than his voice seemed far away.

Maybe it was the connection, we do have crummy cell reception at our house to this day. Maybe it was the recording of the message itself. Maybe he was tired. He seemed a little tired the last time I saw him. Or maybe it was a new medication. Some of the medications he took for severe muscle spasms unintentionally knocked him out. I decided he was just tired or medicated or medicated and tired. I spent no more than a moment trying to analyze. I passed the message on to my husband as requested. I deleted the message and felt touched that he had called, not worried. It may be important to state that in general I am analytical but not a big worrier. Statistically, I find comfort in the fact that bad things don’t happen that often. I try not to let my thoughts go to the darkest place possible, all things being considered.

I don’t think I am any more sensitive to the happenings of the universe than the next guy but my sixth-sense “I see dead people” radar, feeling that grave news was indeed upon us was picking up vibes all right, but apparently, I was slightly off.

Dave was not on any radar as he was never ill, NEVER. He had, however, been having unusual experiences in the last weeks of his life. Here come some of the weird things I alluded to previously. He was noticing light and colors were becoming more beautifully intense when he was outside. The colors of the leaves were a brighter shade of verdant green, the sky an electric blue more green and deeper blue than he had ever seen. He was also seeing people he did not think he should be seeing, namely, dead people.

He thought he was losing his mind. He told me so much in a conversation not long before his death. Being paralyzed he was very concerned that he was losing the only thing he felt he had left, his mind. He asked me directly, “You know you gotta take me out? You can’t let me be a vegetable!” I assured him in the most unexcited tone possible “Nothing is wrong with you and NO I am not going to break the law or murder you in the face until you are dead. You KNOW I would get caught. It’s who I am. You’re fine.” Come to find out he was hedging his bets and had asked my mom to do the same, her response? Exactly as mine. “Oh, You’re FINE!” Fruit apparently really doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Truth is, I fully support the right to choose life or death. California is a right-to-die state so that really would not have been a problem. I would have done whatever was needed to help him leave if, in fact, something happened to his mental faculties and he became a vegetable. Good news though, none of us had to make such a difficult decision.

I shared these details of Dave’s unexplained experiences the weeks before his departure with a dear family friend who also happens to be the most spiritual being I know. I wasn’t looking for insight. He asked me what happened, I told him. My friend concluded in a reassuring tone without skipping a beat that, “Oh yep, his door was just opening very slowly.” To which I responded “Oh.” Pregnant pause “That makes sense.” Trying to sound like I understood. I didn’t know what else to say, as I had never heard a human departure from the planet being phrased quite that way.

Well, the door was ajar to elsewhere for someone, I clearly felt the draft from the opening. I just had the wrong person, my mother-in-law at the threshold that weekend. Dave apparently had other places to be. My mother-in-law passed away two days later. Maybe because it was a commercial-sized double-door opening that I felt the draft so strongly, I don’t know, but it was visceral to me, to say the least.

There were four deaths in our lives within ten days that July. Another family member my cousin John, also unexpectedly died in September and the husband of a dear friend later that fall, which was just plain exhausting. It felt like I was at a funeral every few weeks for the rest of the year.

I missed lunch with a friend because I was attending another funeral. I was hysterical about forgetting my friend, standing her up. I envisioned her sitting at the table in the restaurant all alone. Pretty sure she is still mad at me. I’m still sorry Penny Mc.

I was disoriented for months. I blame it on dehydration from so many tears shed. I cringed every time the phone rang for fear of raining more dead people for about a year after what my husband and I referred to initially as “the summer of death” which morphed into “the season of death” as more people dove into the dead pool.

This is not a collection of ghost stories, by the way. I do not claim any ability to explain things other-worldly. I am not really sure how I feel about them myself. They are simply part of the permanent record that I observed and am reporting.

 

© Mardi Linane Copyright 2019

***

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Sunday, July 10, 2011, Bad Fucking News

Title Page

Post 3.

If you are new to this blog, scroll down to post 1 to start at the beginning. XO M

Unvarnished excerpt from the upcoming book Viking Funeral…

I was awakened early on a Sunday morning by a call with bad fucking news. I had lived through this bad news in a dream years before, as odd as that sounds. I know. It doesn’t get any weirder than that. Well, wait, depending on your threshold of what you define as weird, there may be a few more things that meet or exceed weirder in the upcoming pages. I wish I had that creative a talent for storytelling to have made that part up, but I don’t. My talent is simply in my ability to observe, remember and document.

Where I physically was on the planet within this live déjà vu moment was different from my dream, nightmare to be honest, but the broken tone, the pitch, the timbre of my mom’s voice, the syntax of the words and the way the news tore through me were exactly the same. Nothing like some bad fucking news to bitch-slap you awake on an otherwise pleasant summer Sunday morning lie-in.

It is a bit unnerving what we perceive in a familiar voice, something as simple as a change in the way someone draws a breath in before saying something. With one word, my mom, saying my name “Mardi?” conveyed in that split second that I knew bad news was to follow. My mom half-choked out the words mixed with unsuccessfully held-back tears, “David…died this morning.” By this morning, she really meant minutes prior to picking up the phone to call me. A shiver that only comes from either a déjà vu experience or really bad fucking news, combined with an instant jolt of adrenaline that rushed through my body putting me into a state of freezing cold, shock. I didn’t ask what happened. I loathe unpleasant details. I apologized to my mom, “I am so sorry, Mom. I will be right over.” I hung up.

I returned to the still warm place in my bed where I had been enjoying the last delicious moments of sleep. I closed and opened my eyes waking myself up in an effort to determine if I was having a hypothetical nightmare or if this was really happening. I regarded the ceiling in our bedroom, I thought it excruciatingly bright white with more sunlight than anyone should have to be forced to face on a morning with bad fucking news like this. ‘Why on Earth did I get these stupid sheer curtains?’ Even if I were a morning person, it was way too bright today.

An unexpected calm began to wash over me as I warmed up in bed and deliberated these embarrassingly ridiculous, unimportant complaints. I breathed in several slow deep breaths as I was involuntarily forced to process the reality that my darling Viking Fucking Warrior of a brother had, in fact, left the building. But, and this is a big but, he also had finally been released from that stupid jacked-up paralyzed body he had been stuck with since his freshman year of college almost 40 years prior.

The comparison of these two opposite realities created an unrelenting loop in my thoughts, in my reality that could not be resolved at that moment. It felt like a newly found scratch on a favorite record that skips repeatedly, causing you to cringe until you directly tend to it. I was on one level entirely eviscerated by this new certainty that definitely sucked for me, but LUCKY HIM!!!

© Mardi Linane Copyright 2019

NSFW Warning!!

NSFW

Post 2.

If you are new to this blog, scroll down to post 1 to start at the beginning. XO M

Unvarnished excerpt from the upcoming book Viking Funeral…

FFWD>>>Full Disclosure Explicit Language Ahead!!

Fast forward several years post Viking Funeral. My husband and I hosted a small family gathering. The crowd thinned to just the younger generation of adults who were staying the night at our house. They were collecting themselves at the table for a game of cards and to enjoy another round of booze. Three of Dave’s and my nieces: Kelli, Stephanie, and Jaclyn, my son Steven, another cousin Brad, and a friend of the family, Nick, were finding places to sit down at our dining room table to play cards with my husband and me.

Kelli and I had been talking about my work (varsity procrastination foot dragger) on this epic failed autobiography moments before sitting down while everyone else was in place shuffling the cards, trash talking each other in pre-game fashion as to who was going to win. Among the banter around the table, someone made my son Steven burst out laughing. Kelli’s eyes flashed with a stunned look on her face as she pointed at Steven, her eyes instantly brimming with tears as she said, “Oh, My God, that laugh!” Steven, oblivious to Kelli, was still laughing with his cousins. She continued, “It sounds JUST like DAVE’S!”

Jaclyn and Stephanie were peeled away from their laughter with Steven by Kelli’s comment, and they, too, realized what they were hearing, that same inward laugh. It sounds like a seal breathing inward sharply, catching its breath, maybe recovering from a seal asthma attack. It’s hard to describe but once you hear it, you never forget. I instantly teared up at both Kelli’s reaction, the collective change of focus at the table and at the realization of what I too was hearing. It was unexpected, that long-lost barking seal of laughter of Dave sitting at the table with us. How had I missed it? He is my 25-year-old son! I suppose I was too close to the fire or the forest or the trees to have noticed how Steven’s laugh had changed over time from the cute whinny of a pony when he was little to the barking seal of a laugh now in adulthood. THAT laugh that sounded exactly like my brother Dave’s hilarious and infectious laugh. This entire realization and brief sniffle lasted mere seconds before we burst into laughter at ourselves and got on to that round of cards, more spirits, and much more laughter.

Admittedly, I have a bit of a potty-mouth. I get excited and use colorful language for good or bad circumstances in life and, subsequently, in this book. No one ever wrote a book about nothing interesting happening at all using blah blah blah language. Expletives abound in this book driven by some very extraordinary events, so be prepared to deal with it. Not Safe For Work warnings officially given and all that, meant to convey intense emotional emphasis, not to offend.

Now that everyone is on the same page here; knowing that our hero is in fact gone; that he is missed to tears years later on; that I have a potty mouth; and that there is absolutely NO poetic license taken. I hope you enjoy time travel through these biographical essays that happened in the real life of my Viking Fucking Warrior of a brother, Thomas David (DAVE) Linane. No bullshit. See what I mean? I type pretty fast, and it just slips out.

Here is how it went down:

 

© Mardi Linane Copyright 2019

Dave Linane’s Birthday March 13

Post 1.

In honor of Dave’s birthday, I am releasing this preface for the book. I hope you enjoy and join me as I unfold these unedited excerpts from this Viking Funeral…

Spoiler Alert: Our Hero does not make it out of this life alive

This isn’t one of those thinly veiled “BASED ON A TRUE STORY” stories that we recognize as cruel, manipulative Hollywood bullshit formulas that dictate when you laugh or cry based on music cues. There will be no explosions where our hero outruns the blast and fallout of concussive flame-y fury to fight another day. There are also not going to be any tense phone calls between the good guy with an Irish brogue hinting at “a particular set of skills,” and the bad guy, as awesome as THAT would be.

Now that you know what this biography is NOT, I can tell you what it IS. A story of one particularly pretty shitty day stalked by relentless love, friendship, laughter, celebration, and more laughter. You are going to love him, no doubt, even without my taking any poetic license to spice up the story for interest. But, I formally state, for the record, that our hero does not make it out of this life alive. There, Band-Aid ripped off. Truth in advertising and all, I mean FUNERAL is in the title, so it should be obvious someone is no longer mingling freely among us mere mortals.

There are billions of ways to die, and most of us don’t have a choice in that. But we do have a choice in how we live and how we celebrate a life well-lived when our loved ones move on. This book is about both of those things and everything large and small in the middle of those two things that make up an ordinary magical life.

Vikings burned their boats when they arrived on the beaches of lands they intended to conquer. Their strategy was to forge ahead or die trying. There was never any going back. Dave was a powerful athlete who dealt with his broken neck, the result of a college football accident, with dignity and grace. Just as there is no crying in baseball, there was no crying for himself in this life, he just rolled forward with purpose.

He was the original YES man. He was game to try anything and everything he could, from spicy food to adventures with a ride-or-die attitude, a huge smile and his infectious bark of a laugh. He applied that same energy when forging his radically altered life path and didn’t let bureaucracy, transportation, “sleet nor snow,” or steps get in his way. He found his true professional calling after a ridiculously uphill battle. I thought of this Viking Warrior description of him as I wrote his obituary tribute. He was too modest ever to have claimed ownership of such a bold title plus, as far as he knew, we weren’t of Scandinavian descent. It was an honorary title I bestowed upon him because I do not fear the Viking Semantics Police way over here in California.

It was the tradition at a Viking Funeral that gifts would be offered to accompany the warrior on his travels to the next world, Valhalla. The gifts and warrior’s earthly body would be burned and therein be transformed into the next world. Folklore has it that they were placed in a boat upon the ocean and lit on fire by flaming arrows and their ashes spread to the ends of the earth. But really, they were most often burned within the confines of a ship shaped monument of stone on land. Fire would transform them to Valhalla. The ashes would be spread to the ends of the earth by the wind.

The idea for our Viking Funeral grew from this posthumous Viking Warrior title. I wanted a celebration that represented him and his enormous spirit: Dave’s favorite food and booze followed by a bonfire after dusk with people sharing stories and we would let people put gifts in the fire by way of written notes to help transform Dave to modern day Valhalla.

In Dave’s early 20s our family home transformed every weekend into the hottest bar in town for Dave’s friends, occasionally a poker parlor; we hosted hundreds of BBQs, dinners, holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, bridal and baby showers, four weddings and a funeral, our dad’s. This well-visited home for all the aforementioned celebrations would now host Dave’s Viking Funeral our best party ever.

I sent his tribute and invitation to the Viking Funeral to our local newspapers, the college where he worked (San Bernardino Valley College), the university where he attended undergrad and grad school (Cal State University San Bernardino), as well as anyone whose email address I had. Both the college and the university honored his passing with dedications to him on their website home pages, because he was very well-known at both campuses.

When our dad passed away, my two thousand-word-plus biography was printed about him in three regional papers–a completely cut and paste job. My dad had been a world-class athlete and home-town (Redlands) hero. My brother was even more well-known than my dad because of his accident and news coverage at that time, but the paper had changed ownership for what felt like the hundredth time, and no one in the now corporate conglomerate upper management at the paper knew anyone local, so no story was printed.

The newspapers that had been so vapidly eager to cover his tragic accident decades before, now wanted a ridiculous amount of money for an obituary paid upfront before they would consider running the tribute. We didn’t really care about a story, we just wanted people to know that he had “left the building” and to invite them to celebrate because we knew they would want to. I was very irritated. I joked that I would save money with the shortest obit ever: “Dave died, party at our house.” All the right people would know what that meant and where to go. I chose slightly more tasteful words, “David Linane passed away unexpectedly on July 10, 2011. A memorial will be held at 6:00 p.m. at the family home Saturday, July 16, 2011.” The newspaper charged more than $600 for this brief obit but didn’t run the tribute, which I might add, was beautifully written. Jerks.

I am literally stuck writing this “surprise” and epic failed autobiography against my will, since he woke up unexpectedly dead one morning before really getting it started. It isn’t the writing that is the stuck part. I, along with everyone who knew him, would much rather have more days on this earth with him, enough days for him to finish his autobiography as intended, or to hear him laugh, that barking seal of a laugh ONE MORE TIME.

Update: According to My Heritage DNA services, which was used by my husband and me on a curious whim driven by a deep discount, I discovered that I am 18% Scandinavian, which was a hilarious shock. Retroactively Official Viking Warrior!

© Mardi Linane Copyright 2019

Solution To Writer’s Block

Fingerprint

Creating the identity of the biography (Viking Funeral) by fire that I’ve been writing about my brother’s life under duress has been a challenge.

He’s permanently unavailable to interview.

I have had to rely on memory for everything.

I have to decide how to tell the story, what to leave in, what to leave out.

I have struggled for seven years with the ending. SEVEN. YEARS. SEVEN! I don’t talk too much about the book with my darling husband, because it makes him sad. I promise it’s not a sad story, my DH is very tender-hearted.

Ok, maybe there are some moments that tug at a heartstring here and there. Anyway, I’ve written 100k words. I wrote 35k right after Dave died. Then writer’s block. Then the balance was written two years ago. It’s a biography, so I can’t just make shit up, plus I’m not a creative writer. Unable to decide how to finish, I have filled my time with reading biographies, just so you know what I’ve been doing the last seven years.

Tonight I told my husband of my struggle with the ending. In less than 10 minutes of Q&A, a few moments of silence while he was “thinking about it,” he made the perfect suggestion.

I initially thought, no, I’ll have to rewrite everything. Then I realized it was the perfect ending and I could not stop laughing. My husband saves the day… again! He is a natural visionary. Man I could have had a Pulitzer YEARS ago! hahahahahah.

Writer’s Avoidance…Anyone?

Avoidance

The process is addictive. Or maybe it is me hanging on to my grief for fear of forgetting him? Not every person we come in contact with or, in some cases, not all those we are related to leave a gaping wide hole in your life when they are gone, like a category 5 hurricane.

I’ve found a few more biographies to read thanks to my constant cruising around Instagram. I’m convinced my continued search for more books to read is all part of my subconscious avoidance of finishing this Viking Funeral biography.

I swear I’m almost done. My foundational metaphor was there all along and now, with the gorgeous artwork featured on the cover by Doug Cavanaugh @celtichammerclub ,
I really understand why I was so drawn to this gorgeous Norse mythological creature Fenrir. DOUG!

I really should get back to work and stop finding diversions already. XO