Open Thread - Friday, February 1, 2019

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When I think of death, and of late the idea has come with alarming frequency, I seem at peace with the idea that a day will dawn when I will no longer be among those living in this valley of strange humors. I can accept the idea of my own demise, but I am unable to accept the death of anyone else. I find it impossible to let a friend or relative go into that country of no return. Disbelief becomes my close companion, and anger follows in its wake. I answer the heroic question 'Death, where is thy sting? ' with ' it is here in my heart and mind and memories.'

- Maya Agelou -

Last night marked two years since I held Sue.

Sue meant more to me than words can express. The pain of losing her persists. I know the anger Maya Agelou speaks of. Eventually, the grieving process arrives at the angry at the world state. The agitation and confusion are overbearing. A part of me died with Sue. There is a hole that can not be filled.

We had been together since 1978. We grew up together. She made me better.

We had good times! Live music, sporting events, walks in the woods, traveling, raising a family, volunteering in the community, drinking beer, cooking, eating, talking, snuggling and enjoying our lives, together.

I have a flair for rowdiness, exuberance and rambunctiousness. Sue helped me color within the lines, when prudent. Absolutely, better than I could have accomplished on my own.

I had always conceived that I would die first. During Sue's ALS convalescence, I had time to try to adjust to her dying. I could not accept the eventuality. I did everything I could to enhance her quality of life and keep her with me for as long as possible. She never gave up. I burnt out, but never gave up. I kept her home for as long as possible. Sue was in residential hospice for eleven days. Even though I knew the eventuality, I was not ready to let her go.

The grieving process is much longer and more complex than I ever understood. The first year flew by. I was busy with things like probate, selling handicap van, getting car, wandering among the ambulatory world and reestablishing my identity. Eventually, malaise and a darker mood set in. The loneliness and emptiness really sucks.

I can still feel Sue. She has left the physical world, but she did not cease to exist. She is a part of me. So many things remind me of Sue. I always play music on random, and sometimes I could swear she is picking the songs. I still have the strength she gave me.

I think I will go for a walk in the woods, listen to the birds, sit in the dappled light, and think about the love that was is.

Thank you for being here.

Have a great weekend! The thread is OPEN.

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The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.

John Muir

The New York State Democrats are showing why they can't get anything done with cannabis legalization. I'm never voting for my assembly representative Patricia Fahey again. I've been sending emails to her with information about cannabis. There has been no response! Here is a link to an article from the Albany NY newspaper showing Dem's failing...

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NCTim's picture

@jbob I remember both Corey Booker and Chris Christie doing the Cannabis tough talk. I trust neither.

Yesterday, I was walking along the greenway and spotted a large bird roosted above a swampy spot. It was about 30' away and facing away from me. At first I thought it was a hawk. An awfully big hawk, because the profile was roughly the size of a rugby ball. Then, while I stood admiring the bird, the head rotated 180 degrees to observe me. The elusive owl! I had walked away before remembering that I had my phone and could have gotten some good images of the owl.

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The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche -

Raggedy Ann's picture

Maya is correct. I dread the passing of those in my life that I love. I am not afraid of my own demise, however, and sometimes look at it as a relief from the heavy burden of life. Now, I understand my parents readiness for the end as they moved into their 80's.

This year will be 32 years since my Tom died. I've been married to my current husband for 25 years. I still think of Tom everyday and his name comes up in conversation most days.

My point is that Sue will be with you the rest of your life, but I think you're already figuring that out. Feelings will come in the waves you've already experienced, but in time, the waves might not look as big. That's been my experience. Your experience will be different, but similar. Grief is a bitch, which is why dying is for the living.

Hoping everyone affected is surviving the polar vortex. We should have a decent weekend here in the land of enchantment.

Have a beautiful day and weekend, everyone! Pleasantry

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The UFO’s are coming to unify us.

NCTim's picture

@Raggedy Ann

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The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche -

NCTim's picture

@Raggedy Ann Hot chocolate is wasted on children

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The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche -

Raggedy Ann's picture

@NCTim
Here we go - wasting it on kids again!!!

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The UFO’s are coming to unify us.

detroitmechworks's picture

I can't imagine. I hope you can find your joy again, for it is the only thing that seems to make life worth living for me.

As for me, I'm enjoying writing. Every day. It may not be as much as I want, but I'm at least sitting down and writing, every day. Again, nothing I feel like sharing right now, because this feels very, very special to me. Maybe If people are interested I'll bring some to the Meetup. Smile

And just a little funny song Mocking America to try to improve the mood.

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I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

NCTim's picture

@detroitmechworks

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The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche -

Lookout's picture

The Peace of Wild Things

When despair grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting for their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Wendell Berry

peace...

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

NCTim's picture

@Lookout

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The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche -

mimi's picture

@Lookout

When despair grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,...

I wake up, but don't want to get up anymore.

Only stubborness to not allow myself to be a frigging despairing self-pitying idiot, gets me up after a while.

I need work. Just to pass the day and at least being able to say I have done something.
Pretty banal. I miss my mother and my son. One died without me being at her side, the other didn't die and can't get over the thought that he didn't die, but others did. What's the godly logic about it? I ask. There is no logic, is the answer from nowhere.

Anyhow, we are all born good cute babies people. How the bad entered the equation I don't know and all I get is silence when I ask. So, WTF, I have stopped asking.

Be happy, all.

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Lookout's picture

@mimi

is of concern to me. I accept without fear my own death will come someday. I'm saddened to think most living things on Earth will perish because of our greed for oil and profit.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

mimi's picture

@Lookout
here in Germany people discuss what and why the INF treaty was cancelled and explained that the West, NATO et all said the Russians have built and stationed and tested too many new weapons in Russia, and therefore NATO wants more bases in Europe especially near the eastern border to keep the Russians in check. Apparently the weapons Russia has now are nuclear weapons that can be fired from the ground and all can reach European countries. So, the news anchor very dryly stated that we are going to be in the same cold war we were in the fifties to mid sixties before. Hallelujah, great shit, no? They showed Reagan and Gorby signing the INF treaty and it felt really nostalgic. The worst thing is that within Europe there is already a great divide. The former East European countries like Poland want American bases as close as possible to be protected by the Amis from Russia. Many more Western European countries are not that eager to have the US military sitting in their backyards everywhere.

I always wonder what is the most important thing to have in case of a full environmental destruction of the land and a full born war? Is it to have uncontaminated water, uncontaminated soil or clean air? To own land just to have it to leave as a refugees fleeing the US bombs and the Russians bombs doing their idiocies on the European continent again wouldnt help much if all the folks would try is getting away. Like my parent generation had to. I prefer not to be on an island, as to flee from an island you need a ship or a plane and food will be scarce to feed yourself, as the islands are way too small to feed its population.

That makes me nervous about Hawaii. To get out you need to be very rich and not too chocolate colored to be able to bribe the folks to get you on a ship or plane.

I can smell the misery in the air and people get nervous and angry.

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janis b's picture

@mimi

Only stubborness to not allow myself to be a frigging despairing self-pitying idiot, gets me up after a while.

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loved her and therefore how much you would miss her. Maybe no single sentence or single post did that, but, collectively, yeah, you did a great job of conveying that and also what special people you both are and what a special love you have. And that is coming from someone who joined the Friday open thread crowd relatively late in her illness.

Death sucks. There is no getting around it. And it doesn't suck for only one day or one year. At the very least, you know that you she knew how much you loved her. When a loved dies after a fight, or when you feel you should have been better toward him or her all along, it stinks even worse.

The time does come when the pain and longing is not as constant or as great. It does. You'll just have to trust me on that one. Until then, maybe some new hobbies, travels, projects or activities? They are not a cure, but they can help! As does anything that puts your mind to work.

Our best to you, always. Seems like weak sauce in the face of death, but it is heartfelt.

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QMS's picture

US govt. shuts down blaming Dems
US media ends relationship with truth because Google
USAID stops all assistance to Gaza because Israel
US borders close because of brown people
US trade withers with China because of greed
US financial markets in death throes because of Wall street
US loses world respect due to missteps in Venezuela
US hegemony loses leverage over EU trade
US dollar taking a dive because of unsustainable debt from wars
US loses war in Afghanistan because of stupid
Ya think things are looking kinda bad for the capitalist ruling class?
Just wait and see what the next tantrum reveals...

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NCTim's picture

@QMS

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The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche -

mimi's picture

Bernie Sanders Introduces Dramatic Plan to Tax the Rich

Called the For the 99.8% Act, Sanders’ plan aims to tax only the estates of Americans who inherit over $3.5 million, just 0.2 percent of the population. Everyone else “would not see their taxes go up by one penny under this plan,” aides to Sanders told Stein.

This is not the first time that Americans with estates over $1 billion were taxed at 77 percent. MarketWatch points out that the figure “is a return to the top rate from 1941 to 1976.” MarketWatch adds that for those who are millionaires but not billionaires, “The tax would kick [in] at a 45% rate on estates valued at as little as $3.5 million.”

Why are normal millionaires not taxed at 77 percent or so?
Normal people can't even pay the rent by themselves. Are the mlillionaires a greedy bunch.

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NCTim's picture

@mimi

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The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche -

enhydra lutris's picture

say is that from your writings I discern that Sue would not have wished you to grieve, mourn, or suffer overmuch. The forest is good, and settling and inspiring, always. So is a memorial beer. When lives get entangled the entanglement takes on an existence of its own even though those entangled are ephemeral so she is still there with you and not really gone. As with most things, I find that reading the haiku of Basho and Issa helps.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

NCTim's picture

@enhydra lutris The first Mother's Day, after Sue's death, Thing2 and I went out for a beer and dinner. I brought along her ashes, placed them on a stool between us and order three beers.

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The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche -

NCTim's picture

@enhydra lutris I miss the warmth and intimacy of spooning while we slept. The skin to skin contact, her heartbeat, her breathing, her essence and the contentment of entanglement.

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The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche -

janis b's picture

@enhydra lutris

Their haiku is so evocative and leaves so much room for one's personal expression.

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janis b's picture

@janis b

How different from Basho, yet complimentary.

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The Aspie Corner's picture

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Modern education is little more than toeing the line for the capitalist pigs.

Guerrilla Liberalism won't liberate the US or the world from the iron fist of capital.

mimi's picture

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janis b's picture

It is all so touching. At the moment I'm listening to 'Across the Universe'. What a sublime strength your relationship built.

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