New year blues

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Happy new year! Which path are you taking for 2016?

So here we are, at the end of the first week of the new year, and I’m already talking about depression. Unfathomable, right? Or is it really? After all, we have just come out the other side of effectively two months of US holidays.

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In Which I Deal with Death Doubled

This week my essay on grief was published on Modern Loss, an online journal containing resources and personal accounts about death, loss, and grief.  It’s a piece I’m proud of, and I’m delighted it was published, but it’s also a piece that causes such turmoil in me.

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Tiny Acts of Revenge

 

The blue and white pot glares disapprovingly at me from the mantle.  In death, in ashes, as in life, my mother has the power to make me feel inadequate.

“Bury me in the ground.  I don’t want to be burnt to a crisp and sit cooped up in some urn on a mantlepiece!”  She imagined herself marching steadfastly into the afterlife, intact and all limbs where they should be, hatted, gloved, and handbag slung over her left elbow.  She’s a fearsome woman, my mother.  Is.  Was.  No, is.  She’s still giving somebody gyp for not behaving the way she thinks they ought to.  Right now, that somebody feels like me.

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The Other Side

She wakes with a start.  The air feels stale and cold.  In the darkness, she fumbles for the bedside lamp, and jostles the bottle of whisky that stands vigil.  Night must have fallen while she was asleep.  The gentle click of the lamp reverberates in the silent room, but there’s no light.  The power must be out.  The sheets are crumpled from her thrashing body, a glass lies shattered on the floor, an empty pill bottle, the lone warrior, in the midst of the shards.

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