Friday, January 15, 2016

That which shall not be named

I love words. They have power, they let us play with communication. A full vocabulary allows you to be specific and descriptive. But words can also allow for cover ups, for dancing around the issue.

So. Let's talk about euphemisms.

They're a way of talk about something uncomfortable a bit more gently.
Euphemisms are substitution of an inoffensive word or phrase for something generally considered offensive or insensitively explicit. It's good talk, it's literally the opposite of blaspheme, evil talk.

doing it, hook up, sleep with - have sex
expecting, knocked up - pregnant
full figured, big boned - fat

What about death?

Kick the bucket, buy the farm, at rest, give up the ghost, six feet under. These are rather silly ones and there are a million others.

But the one I don't like, really don't like, is passed away.

I hate that people say my mom passed away. I hate that my mother in law passed on. I hate it. I hate that  in order to make the horrible truth that we are half-orphans palatable we have to say something more gentle and kinder.

Our moms didn't pass away. They fucking died. They died. And that's that.

No amount of soft talk makes that better or gentler or OK. I want to shock people with the shocking words of "died" and "dead" because you know what? It is shocking. It's still shocking a year later. It's shocking to me and I want other people to be startled by the unkindness of that word. It's hard and harsh and real. And it's true.

I'm sorry that the word died makes people uncomfortable but, that's the way the world is. It's uncomfortable when your mom dies. So your faint-heartedness can suck it.



Sunday, January 3, 2016

New Year - the cliche'd post

At this time of year the internet is full of year in review posts. Of looking back on the best and looking forward to the new year. I'd like to join in. I remember when I was on the top of my blogging game, back when people read blogs, back when this corner of the internet was full of people just like me, sharing their clothes and their lives (where did everyone go? To have babies, I suspect) and I did a 4 part series of the past year. Of all the exciting things that happened to me and my people. I miss that girl who wrote that. I miss a lot of things.

2015. The year of grief. Of all consuming grief, of the missing, the ache that was constant in my mind and in my heart. I miss my mamabear so very much. I fear forgetting what she smelled like and what she sounded like and what her laugh was like and what her love was like.

2015. The year of death. Of losing my mother in law. Of losing this strong vital woman (who I told was terrifying, when I meant to tell her she was strong). Of another family tree losing its leaves, losing its roots. This was a year of sitting in the same room in palliative care that I sat in 5 months before. Of sitting in the same lounge chair in the same hospice room watch another woman die of a sneaky disease that the same doctor couldn't fix. This was the year that her face lit up the room when I walked into it. And feeling blessed that I got to be part of this family, part of this love, part of this loss.

2015. The year of home. My love and I bought our first home together. We walked in and didn't ever want to leave. And then when we finally moved in I cried and cried because our moms would never know this place that is our home, that we feel safe and loved in. This home that is full of coziness and love and, yes, still loss.

2015. The year of love. My sister got married to her person. I got be be there to witness their love and their life and their committment. And all the laughter and all the tears that come from getting married without your mom. The jealousy that I have about other friends who get to have their moms there.

2015. The year of hope. The year my niece was born, just barely. The first baby in our family. The first wee one that we all love so very much already. I've never held a baby that was less than 24 hours old. I've never loved someone so much that was so tiny.

So I guess that was it. That was the year. It felt so heavy and so long and so short. Oh and I guess I got a new job too. But that seems so minor. That seems not not even matter anymore. I could be a barista and make gorgeous coffees and make people's day more positive or I could be a mid-level manager in government or I could be a super-spy or I could be a potter or I could write the great Canadian novel. I feel like I have equal amounts of aptitude for any of those. I hope I'll get to know more about my job and learn how to make it mine and how to make positive changes and how to be engaged in making a better world. But for tonight. I hope that the people I love are warm and cozy and know that they are loved.

And as for 2016? I honestly just hope that no one dies. Sad? Maybe. True? Terrifyingly.