Top funeral moment

Kailey: So does this mean I get to join the dead dad club?
*awkward glances exchanged across the table between friends whom have all lost a parent*
Laurina: *AHEM*
Kailey: Sorry, dead parent club.
Aaron: Both my parents are dead to me?
*high fives and laughter all around*

Death in the age of Facebook.

I've noticed a startling trend happening in the FB world when someone dies:
Being the first to post about it.

I understand that you're grieving, you're upset, you want people to reach out to you and hold your hand... and this is the way you normally go about getting this kind of attention these days. However, are you thinking before you post?

This morning my friend posted this "I really hope all ive heard is bullshit but fuck if not _____ ______ my brother fuck i love you man dont let this be true please ... I dont wanna have to use those three letters again" which sparked an out cry of responses - mostly of people not knowing their friend had -potentially- passed.

The poster has admitted they don't even know if it is true. So what are they getting from spreading this horrible news?

What this does is spread an awful stomach hollowing panic amongst the people you love, who, I'm sorry, but deserve to find out in a better way.

On a more personal side, when my sister passed last August NO ONE in her direct family posted to facebook and had not informed everyone close who were slowly being called (have you ever called someone to tell them someone you both care about has died? This is not a fast or easy process to deal with) before someone posted the classic "RIP you will be missed" to her facebook page. And then the messages and phone calls start flooding in. I hadn't even left the hospital while I'm getting crying phone calls from people asking me if it's really true.

Two days before she had died (she was in ICU for 5 days) some shmuck who wasn't even close, just a FB friend posted "RIP" with a touching message about how the world will miss her BEFORE SHE HAD EVEN DIED. When I asked him what he was thinking he said he just wanted to express how much of an impact she had had on him. But there were no messages on her wall saying she had died, no other whisper that something wasn't ok on the internet, because we were trying to keep it that way. So why did this guy (who's not even a close friend) feel like it was ok to start the memorials?

There's been a major desensitization regarding death in social media - and that needs to change.

So please, while you are going through the panic, chaos, heart ache and despair of losing your friend, loved one, acquaintance... Please wait a few days after the death before posting about your loss to social media. It is not just your loss, but a community's, and everyone deserves to find out in a more personal way. Where they can talk to someone, cry with someone, learn all the details that are available, and lastly not feel like they weren't important enough for a phone call.

Think about the reasons why you want to post about it. You are not less of a friend for posting or finding out later, you don't need to prove you were in the loop. If you want to tell people about it, call your friends, CALL THEM. If you want someone to reach out and help you through this, maybe opt for a "I got some bad news today, can someone please call me" post. If the family has posted all over their wall turning it into a memorial page, then it is ok to start posting, but please... follow their lead before shouting it out to the world. Sometimes you may be doing more harm than good.

Death becomes her.

I don't like Thursdays anymore.
Today I remembered that I got the call about my sister on a Thursday. It was on a Thursday when I understood my sister was going to die.

I had a girl tell me that my life is a tragedy. We were drunk on a beach in Thailand, playing in the surf under the light of a full moon. She splashed me and screamed at me to stop telling sad stories "your life is one big tragedy". I resented her for saying that. I was happy. Sure, bad things happened, but look how I'd grown and over come such shitty circumstances. My life was going no where but uphill.

Palmira dying has been harder to accept than the others. When my father died it was my first. I was seven. He was diagnosed with cancer when I was six, I was given time to process it. I was sat down by both my parents, I was given books about dying, I was explained everything at every step. From hospitalization, to chemo, to bone marrow transplants... hands were held, tears were shed. My mom was strong for me and did most of her crying alone in her car I found out many years later. For me, life went on as normal as it could.

When my best friend committed suicide ten years later I was shocked. I knew things like this happened, but not in my world. Not in my circle. As soon as the shock settled all the signs became clear, and I realized maybe we could have seen it coming. My heart ached for my lost friend, for my loss, it was a selfish death. Not only on her part, but on my path from it. I was upset for me, for my abandonment. I took it all very personally. I quickly had everyone around my try and fill gaps, I had an amazing list of people there as support. I was never alone unless I wanted to be. I felt alone all the time, and it's not until looking back that I realize most of it was self inflicted teenage torture. It's hard to know how much was real grief, and how much was already there from a prior depression. I still think about her, but I also realize how much I grew and changed into a much different person because of her death. She inspired change in me, in a way she never could have in life.

After that I spent my early twenties feeling a bit invincible to death. Two major losses in my life by sixteen, I was covered. A lot of people I know haven't even lost a grandparent. I had filled my quota and in my head wasn't going to have to deal with something so extreme until Temper (my canine companion) dies. Don't get me wrong, my day dreams sometimes turned dark and I'd find myself wondering what would happen if Marcus died, or if my mom died. I'd wonder how we would go about putting the pieces back together and who would be there, and what would people say at the funerals... What would I say. I never day dreamed about Palmira. She was untouchable. My older sister was going to be with me through our mother's death, she was going to help me sort through Terre's things when we were old and had kids playing downstairs. We would laugh and share stories about our childhood and make light of all dark things that were happening. She was always the light in dark times. She was supposed to always be there.

I have a hard time thinking about the future now. Who's going to stand beside me when I get married? Do I have to have kids now because she won't be the one having them for us to play with... I won't ever get to be the cool aunt for her kids and that loss of children who will never be born hurts almost as much as losing her. Who is going to be there when our mother dies? I will be all alone because all of my family will have passed. Putting things in boxes and sorting out affairs. The paralyzing paperwork that I can never bring myself to fill out.

Then there is my new ten year fear. I've lost a parent, a best friend, a sibling... Is Ray just going to collapse when I turn 36 and leave me all alone? Probably not. But it's there, as a silly fear I laugh to myself about... but don't dare say out loud, because it feels too strange.

Pal's death still doesn't feel real. I've spent months sitting in my house waiting for the shock to wear off. To start to feel better, to feel like myself. To have that "life's too short" realization and go forth and live a fun and exciting life again. But instead I still feel paralyzed. I still feel hurt. And I still have no motivation to even go outside. I want to be better than this. I want to live a life that would make her proud of me. I want to grow and live and learn and be... But I can't. I feel stuck. I'm anxious and worried, I'm tired and lethargic. I don't do anything, and that's not helping me get better.


I'm turning 26 in a couple of days. This means I will no longer be able to say "I'm in my early twenties".

Oh well. On to bigger and better things.
I will be saying goodbye to Nanaimo this spring, which is something I've spoken of for ten years and never done.

Let's move on shall we?

(no subject)

An open letter to news media,

Black bloc is not a group of anarchists. They are not some magical group that travel country to country attending all protests they can. They are not some super group of lawless individuals who only come out when trouble is brewing. Black bloc is a TACTIC that can be used by ANY and EVERY person. It is commonly a TACTIC that is used by anarchist groups to avoid being identified, and to, theoretically, appear as one large mass, promoting solidarity.

Black bloc is when a group of people all with a common goal dress in all black and conceal their identities. The idea is that the mass all look the same so that they can protect each other as a whole. If a couple of people strike out of the group to action (vandalism, etc...) when they step back in it is near impossible to pick the individual out of the crowd.

I am not sure where this misconception started or how it became a common fallacy, but over the years it has simply spread rather than be corrected. So please disregard all you think you know on the subject and next time do some research before trying to sound like an expert on something you don't understand.

Thank you,
J. Smith.

(no subject)

Home from Vancouver. My cousins are growing up into real people which is nice to see. My aunts were kind enough to donate more than what is currently in my bank account... so I am left feeling blessed for rich family...
I feel weird spending it, like it should be saved for something like school... but...
I will probably buy a nice camera. I've been lusting for one for years now.
I didn't have the heart to tell them that all the money I got last year went to my chest piece. I think they would stop giving me money... haha

Cambie staff party is starting now, so I should probably leave the house now.

(no subject)

There is an empty vinegar container on the side of the sink in the bathroom. Along with it is a pocket ashtray completely full of cigarette butts and a tooth brush laying in a small congealed blob of what presumably is toothpaste. I feel as though toothbrushes should always be kept inside something, it's not just the airborne poop factor. It's the texture of toothpaste when it is anywhere but the inside of a mouth, it's the splash back of sink water, dirty hands and dust... But mainly it's the airborne poop particles. The ashtray I do remember placing there as the garbage in the bathroom is the only one with a decent lid on it and I hate the smell of stale cigarette butts. I was cleaning out my bag and got distracted as I was scattered throughout the house doing too many things at once. The vinegar... I honestly just can't figure out why it's there. It's one of those pieces of garbage I come to question. Is it there by a similar means of the ashtray, or is it some sort of modern art piece I need to analyse while I pee. Marcus tends to collect garbage and create random art bits with them. I've convinced him to not clutter the bedroom with dead flowers in chinese takeaway boxes anymore, but now the bathroom and kitchen are getting an interesting spill over. I go through the house returning empty glasses to the kitchen or throwing away junk mail and I have to stop myself from peeling the gauze wrapper that has a lightning bold sticking out of it from off the wall. I leave the gallery in tact for its weeks showing and then finally take it down without complaint. If the piece is removed too soon I will awake the next day to find more up in protest. The walls in the living room are sacred. I am allowed once piece of art on the wall and that is only there because I kicked and stomped until I had my corner. The rest is his gallery. Thankfully 96% of the things on the walls are sellable paintings, and not things found on the walk home or in his pockets at the end of the day.

(no subject)

I'm watching Die Hard 2 right now, in true holiday fashion. Watching the trilogy is probably the only tradition I still hold on to each year.

Home is where the dogs are...

Completed my cross country journey and am home. I'm kicking myself for not writing while I was away, but it just didn't seem worth recording at the time.

I could see myself living in Winnipeg, Montreal (if I spoke french), and Halifax... (maybe even Sackville) Thing is, winters here are too cold for me. I don't think I'd survive anywhere colder. Locals would try and convince me, saying it really isn't that bad. But they haven't seen my winter wear for west coast living, I'm in long johns by October. Realizing that I could see myself in another city was actually more depressing than a relief. I need to find a place I could physically stand or I may be held in Nanaimo forever because I am simply a skeleton with skin.

I've been considering school lately, which has lead to a lot of reconstruction on what I want to do with my life. And I came to the realization that there is no job I could see myself doing for a long enough time to warrant a degree that... I may just not get one. I don't want to invest four years at this point, but there are certain classes I would love to take, expand my mind and tame my writing skills. This way I also wouldn't need a student loan and could pay as I go. People go back and get degrees later in life, if I feel so inclined, I can do it then.

I keep getting that "oh my god I'm 23 I need to do something with my life" fear kick in the ass and need to talk myself down and say "you're only 23, live"
I am okay with where I am at and what I have done. I need to stop letting society breathe down the back of neck, it's freaking me out.