Friday, April 30, 2010

Random April

Settle in, people, this one's bloated…

Arizona has just passed a very interesting new law and it was almost enough to make me barf again (make sure you read the comments). Lindsay Lohan has fun with her own image and if you're going bald, have fun with it (no, there is no reasonable segue in any of this post so far, just take the whiplash as it comes). Amazing pictures from the Icelandic volcano eruption and tips on how to pronounce Eyjafjallajökull. A woman takes defending her spouse to the nth degree and while we're talking about books, here's an article about the typo that pulped 1000 of ‘em. A fascinating article about Danish company that only hires artistic autistic people (Dragon misunderstanding - thanks LynnM for spotting it) , what happens when there's no support for those who are vulnerable (a.k.a. going to extremes to keep your roommate around), an evolving correspondence regarding permission seeks to an Easter play and if you can't let go of some bad memories, call Death Bear.

And speaking of politics - we were. Several sentences ago - Another Outspoken Female sent me this link about Australia's Dignity for Disability Party winning its first seat (I suspect there'll be a post coming down the line as I percolate on this some more) and while we're down under, Gill’s latest newsletter included a link to old surgical tools - not for the squeamish, yet incredibly fascinating and - again, no discernible segue, other than the Australian angle - WT’s Dirty River Dancing had me howling. Frida Writes send me cute videos of small and large dogs getting new boots, parenting suggestions and a novel use for a power chair (scroll down). and Janet sent me the accessible stairwell (yes, truly), as well as pixels and cartoon Tetris and the animated version.

John/TinkPapa contributed a rescued menagerie and absurd warning labels. LynnM of the comments contributed an article about how changes in language changed the name of a Canadian magazine, tree lobsters (don't ask, just click), strange spa treatments and back to the volcano, someone theorizing about the benefits of all that ash. She also sent an interesting op-ed piece about the other Catholicism and the Designing Women game (that one is hysterical and will suck up a significant amount of time). Trevor's contributions include the kind of sign that makes you go huh, the perfect comeback, a segment from Japanese television about how to introduce anger in the business card exchange and staying with the business card theme, a mind-boggling video of the Master of business card throwing (I had no idea it was a sport).

This month David shared the new design for the Edmonton Public Library card (I crave one), quack, why there'll never be a Smurf movie, a pictoral exploration of the trustworthiness of beards, the difference between nerd, dork and geek, more time machine ponderings and some heavy metal artwork. If you've ever taking pictures of your food, this article will make you feel much more normal, human Tetris, nature videos include a rather large snake and an octopus steals a camera and makes first film, just how quick (or how slow) can a 40-yard dash be and lastly, Ricky Gervais cracks up Gordon Ramsay of Hell’s Kitchen (definitely NSFW - the name of that vodka, by the way, is the name of a Danish licorice),

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Juvenile Arthritis: The Ultimate Teen Guide – A Review & Interview with Kelly Rouba

We're doing something new on MyRACentral - this week, we launched an area on the site for teens and young adults living with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (when I first got it 40+ years ago, it was called Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis). There isn't a lot of information and meeting places for that age group out there and I'm very proud that we are creating a space for them to connect.

The launch piece is a review of a book about JIA an interview with its author:

"In the US, 300,000 children and teens live with
Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis or JIA (previously known as Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis), but most of the resources about the disease is geared towards parents. Until last year, when Juvenile Arthritis: The Ultimate Teen Guide (It Happened to Me) by Kelly Rouba was published."

The rest of that post is here (it's a great book) and tomorrow, I'm posting about body image, self-esteem and identity. I can't wait to see where this goes...

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Anything Can Be A Toy

After mor's party last Sunday, Morgan and I played a game. She was a fire fighter, I was (no surprise) the firetruck and the balloon served as the hose.

I don't know which one I like best. This one, for the look on Morgan's face

Or this one, for the sense of sheer abandon

(Photos by John/TinkPapa)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Everything's Blog Fodder

I've had a spectacular weekend.

That was sarcasm. The unvarnished truth - and this is where the title of this post begins to make sense - is that I picked up a stomach bug. Ordinarily, one of the benefits of having limited shoulder, elbow and wrist movement is that you'd can't touch things like door handles, elevator buttons, etc. (except with a collapsible stick you carry in your purse), which blessedly means I tend not to pick up too many of whatever maladies that are floating about and deposited on public surfaces. Considering my suppressed immune system, this is an excellent thing. However, there's a stomach thing trotting about and despite not knowing anyone who has it, I somehow ended up hosting a rather enthusiastic party for it. I’m thinking of blaming my doctor - she's the one who told me about the thing, citing evidence from the nursing home where she works. I may start calling her Typhoid Mary.

It's been fun (again with the sarcasm). It started Thursday evening and continued into the weekend, days worth of my bowels frequently entertaining me with the ominous gurgling we all know and dread followed by profound episodes of ... well. You can imagine.

I did learn a number of things in the past 4 days, though.

Keep bland and easily digestible foodstuffs on hand.

I've been on Biologics for my RA for five years and they tend to put a cork in you (this entire post will be TMI…). As I’m looking in my goodie drawer Thursday evening, a theme develops. Brown rice crackers, 12-grain crackers, my beloved Wasa crispbread (intensely high-fiber), black licorice, prunes… There is not one thing I can safely eat while in the throes of stomach flu.

Exercise extreme caution when eating, despite appetite suggesting otherwise.

By dinnertime Friday, I was ready to start gnawing on my dining room table and as this seemed to me to possibly be in the high-fibre category, as well, I stuck to steamed rice and toast and both tasted like manna from heaven. However, eating turned out to be a bad idea, as the gurgling and subsequent consequences increased exponentially and by the end of the day, I was weak as a kitten, flirting with fainting at regular intervals and positively green around the gills.

Bland and easily digestible foodstuffs don’t taste good.

I don’t like ginger ale at the best of times, but flat? Nauseating. And why does it take upwards of 24 hours for it to go flat?

Premium Plus crackers without salt are what I imagine fluffy cardboard would be like. Almost aggressively bland.

Steamed rice eventually gets nauseating, too.

Sometimes, you get lucky when a cat picks you.

Lucy is one of those cats who, when she senses I'm not feeling well, will park herself on my lap as if attached there by crazy glue. For days on end. Which was lovely.

The Universe has a perverse sense of timing.

Getting this sick when you have a deadline for not just one, but three articles at work sort of interferes with your ability to think. I could almost hear Her cackling while muttering “let’s see how you manage this, you cocky twit!”.

Have the video version of easy listening on hand at all times.

I’d rented two movies – Young Victoria and Sherlock Holmes – but due to diminished mental faculties, both felt entirely too complicated and demanding to watch. Of course, anything more advanced than The Teletubbies would’ve been too complicated and demanding, so mostly I sat and stared while Lucy gurgled back at my nether region.

Independent living has its limits.

Having to wait for an attendant to come help transfer you to bed forces you to choose between staying up while the room spins like a carousel to have access to toast, rice and fluids or collapsing into bed without same between trips to the bathroom torture chamber. And then there’s having to wait for an attendant to come help transfer you to the seat o’ torture multiple times a day.

Sometimes, you get lucky when you find a man.

Saturday, David came and made it so I didn’t have to wait for assistance or choose between bed and fluids. Which was lovely and by Sunday also healing (3 naps!), but not before my 29.5-year record of not barfing bit the dust. Yes, it’s been twenty-nine and a half years since I last tossed my cookies and it choose that exact day to give in??? Single, least romantic moment of our relationship. Despite the embarrassment, I am closer to being myself today because of him – thanks, my love.

Life teaches you lessons. I don’t remember signing up for these.

Friday, April 23, 2010

In Which Confusion Reigns

Two things have me confused this week.

Thing the first is an article in the Wall Street Journal about President Obama ordering a change in regulations governing hospitals that participate in Medicaid/Medicare programs, requiring such hospitals to respect advanced directives and other legal documents designating people outside the immediate family for visitation rights. As well, the new regulations will require hospitals to respect legal documents that designate people other than family, including same-sex partners as decision-makers for healthcare if the person can no longer make decisions for themselves. This will finally grant gays and lesbians the right to designate their partners as not only decision-makers, but also the basic right of being allowed to visit.

A man named Peter Sprigg who works for the Family Research Council (socially conservative, as many organizations with a name that includes the capitalized version of the word family) is quoted as no objection to gay and lesbian people visiting or making decisions for their ill partner (really? How refreshingly forward of him), but states that this order "undermines the definition of marriage". Huh?? Does that even make sense or has it just become the go-to soundbite of organizations such as the Family Research Council? Of course, opponents of this policy change forget that this kind of role benefits people who had been widowed, people who live in Hawaii and whose family live in Maine, people who are estranged from their families and need I go on?

Thing the second is an article on CNNMoney sent to me by David. In this article, CNN talked to six people who are choosing to pay the penalty rather than buy into the new health insurance in the US. David did warn me that I might end up screaming at the monitor, but I read it anyway and… well. Forced Lucy to sit on my lap because I've heard that petting an animal can lower your blood pressure. A few quotes from the people interviewed include a company by my comment:

"if I get sick I can just purchase a policy when I need it because pre-existing conditions won't matter" (and I guess if you get hit by a bus, you have the time to wait with CPR and re-attaching limbs until the policy takes effect?)

"I haven't had insurance since 1997, and I don't miss it. I went to the doctor only once a year - so not worth it." (And obviously you plan to continue to be healthy, just as the rest of us do? So glad to hear that you have somehow managed to learn to control that)

" Instead of turning to medical care, we live healthfully. There is so much evidence that we create our reality with our thoughts, feelings and beliefs." (This one could be a post in itself, but suffice it to say that I think she's read The Secret a few too many times)

What strikes me about the people interviewed for the second piece is that they're all white, able-bodied, middle-class or higher and the very people of whom I was thinking when I wrote about the arrogance of the healthy. If I may be forgiven for being self-referential "[t]he healthy never quite believe that illness or disability can happen to them. It is a tragedy that happens to other people, but they eat right, don't smoke, exercise and somehow, this lends a shield against illness behind which they can smugly assert that there is such a thing as paying too much for getting your life back." I would like to believe that the pipes in my apartment won't burst, either or that my neighbor won't fall asleep smoking, but I still protect myself with tenant insurance.

And more than, I find it increasingly astonishing that I have never met a Canadian or Dane person who thinks universal healthcare is a bad idea - in fact, when the CBC held a contest to determine who is the greatest Canadian, Tommy Douglas handily beat rest of the field. Who's Tommy Douglas, you ask? The man behind universal healthcare in Canada. And yet the other part of that astonishment: the fact that people who don't have universal healthcare can get to that point. How does that happen? What fundamental differences is there in the US psyche that can persuade seemingly sane individuals that getting sick is for losers and if and when they do, they'll be OK with dying quietly because they can’t afford to be treated or somehow magically will have enough money to pay for treatment? And why is it that they never consider car accidents?

But I digress. Although I could probably rant about this for a good long while, the point of this post was to take one step up and look at both of these issues, the opposition to the ability to designate someone other than family to visit you or make decisions for you and the decision to opt out of health insurance. Because they both confused me with their entrenched position, an almost reflex trotting out of statements that have no basis in fact or, for that matter, thoughtful consideration. We all hope to have family and for it to be the kind of family that’ll drop everything and come to your hospital bed within 30 minutes, but it doesn't always happen. People die, people move and then where will you be? We all hope to stay healthy our entire lives, but aside from the built-in obsolescence of our bits that happens to all of us as we age, shit happens. People get cancer or trip down the stairs, kids get rheumatoid arthritis, other people drive badly and ram into your car in an intersection.

Is it obstinacy or lack of imagination?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Moment of Danish Humour.

My mother recently purchased a kitchen knife. One of the really good ones, the super efficient scary looking kind of knife. So scary that I wouldn't want to have one in my kitchen - just having it lurking in the drawer would make me nervous.

You can see where this is going, can't you?

So last Thursday, shortly before Survivor was about to begin, I get a call and mor tells me that she'd been cutting up pork tenderloin for a stirfry and had chopped off about a quarter of the tip of her finger, including the nail. After I suggested that she go to the emergency room instead of calling me and she grudgingly agreed that perhaps she should risk missing that nights episode of Heroes versus Villains, I asked her if she had the part she’d chopped off, in case they could reattach it. Nope. She looked through the pieces of pork, but hadn't been able to find anything that looked like it might belong on her person.

She goes to the emergency room, comes back and reports no stitches required, it'll heal and lock pretty close to normal, then says she has to clean up the kitchen, to throw out the pieces of pork lying on the cutting board. I jokingly say "you're not going to eat that?" She laughs that she doesn't think so and then I said…

I dunno, it's finger food.

Drumroll, please.

Monday, April 19, 2010

75th Birthday Party

Mor's birthday party was held yesterday with a fantastic turnout of almost 60 friends and family, ranging from 3 months to 90+ years. The Birthday Goddess was suitably attired in a tiara for the duration

Stewart has a serious discussion with Morgan

The youngest, Aryka

And on the other side of the continuum, Edith

Then we discovered the playground

Three friends who've known each other for decades

Friday, April 16, 2010

Introducing Lucy

It’s all about the right cat at the right time.

I’d expected it’d take longer before I was ready to share my life with another wee furball, but once Janet pointed me in the direction of Petharbor, things accelerated (OK, got a little obsessive – that site’s dangerous. Enter at your own risk). And last week, I decided to send out the message to the universe that I might be getting ready, called my vet and asked them to keep me in mind should a cat need a home at some point. To which Eric the Cat Whisperer – immediately taking on the additional role of Cat Pimp - said they had three, all about 2 years old, transferred from the shelter to be spayed and adopted out. So Saturday, we went on a meet and greet there and at the Toronto Animal Services South Shelter. I met at least 10 cats that day and it was the first one who stood out as having everything I was looking for. Don’t think I had much choice, actually – she obviously chose me from the word go. She came home Wednesday afternoon.

I named her Lucy. Not after any particular famous redhead, but because it suits her. However, she's turning out to be very much a goofball, so it fits in many ways. She's got a sweetness about her and is very smart, learned very quickly to jump up on my lap if she wants attention, knew her name and came when I called by Wednesday evening and have already understood that when I go "beep-beep", it means she needs to move.

There's a slight blue tinge in her green eyes and when you combine that with her elongated profile, we suspect there may be Siamese somewhere in her family tree. She's certainly chatty, calling out with a very melodious meow and communicating in various inflections of chirp.

Photo by David

Aside from the Siamese suspicion, I'm pretty sure she's part Doberman, as well. When she hears noises in the hallway, she freezes, all attention towards the front door, a low rumble coming out of her throat. It's simmered down a tad as she's gotten used to the place, but her fondness of carrying things - her things, my things, she's not particular about ownership - around in her mouth lends credence to the canine influence.

Most of all, she's a love bug or as David more bluntly, and perhaps more accurately calls her, a touch slut. She doesn't care what you do to her, as long as your hands are on her and she will actively seek it out and stick around for long time.

Subsequently, I haven't been getting a lot of sleep, what with frequently being awoken by Lucy shlumping down on top of me, a loud, raspy purr vibrating her entire body. When she's had her fill of cuddles, she’ll nose around on my bedside table, drink my water, come back to the bed, stand on me - she really likes getting a massage while standing - and happy dancing madly. My triggerpoints are very well massaged. In other words, I'm exhausted and sore, but very happy.

And I’m pretty sure she’s happy to be here, too.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Staying Safe

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month in the US (in Canada, it's in May), so my latest post is about staying safe when you live with physical limitations:

official stats say that 1 in 5 women and 1 in 33 men have been sexually assaulted at some point in their lives, but that just reflects the cases that were reported - estimates of true numbers are much higher. As stated in the Presidential Proclamation of Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), the term sexual assault covers rape, as well as verbal harassment and molestation (e.g. unwanted touching). Much as we don't want to admit it, living with a chronic illness like rheumatoid arthritis that may affect how fast we can move and how strong it seems we are and can therefore make us more vulnerable. How do you protect yourself if you live with chronic pain?"

The rest of the post is

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

All or Nothing

The new season of Dancing with the Stars has started with what they call "the most talked-about celebrities ever!” and if you're preparing to click right by this post because dear god, the woman is rabbiting on about reality shows again, please stick around, because DWS is incidental to this post. Much as I'm enjoying myself watching the show, it's serving as a jumping off point today.

Kate Gosselin is one of the contestants and… hang on. Brief sidetrack. I had no idea who she was before the divorce from her husband. I'm pretty connected to entertainment news, know about shows even though I don't watch them, but somehow, completely missed Jon and Kate Plus 8 for years. When I found out about it, I was gobsmacked. Sure, raising that many kids is expensive and you do what you can to bring in money, but seriously? I mean, seriously?? Anyway, she's now on DWS, representing (I guess) regular people who can't dance. And boy, she really can't dance. There have been wooden dancers on the show before, but they've all had more musicality and flair for performance than she does (check out one of the judges, the hilarious Bruno Tonioli on the George Lopez Show opining about her). There's even an Internet campaign called Free Tony to save her pro dancer from his misery.

On Monday night, the package introducing her dance (where she was still awful, but slightly less so than in the first couple of weeks) had her talking about how much she wants to be there, how intimidated she is by the other contestants who have performance experience and how much she wants to be there (she mentioned that a lot) and how she couldn't leave the custody battle taking place in public behind so it was hard to learn and… Seriously? If you want more privacy about your divorce, why are you on a reality show? But my main question is this: if you agree to be on DWS, why are you not letting go and throwing yourself into it? You know you have no dancing experience, you know you're going to suck compared to some of the other contestants (although Buzz Aldrin gave her a run for her money, but c’mon, the man’s 81 years old and has an excellent excuse for moving sort of stiffly), but do you best anyway.

It bugs the snot out of me. It really does. Aside from the fact that there are dozens, if not hundreds of other D-list celebrities who’d give their eye teeth to get the kind of name recognition that comes with being on DWS, why do anything if you're not going to do it wholeheartedly? There were times where I’d suggest to my father that perhaps he didn't need to pay the same attention to mowing the lawn as he did to the details of a business deal, but I get the all or nothing deal. I especially get the all or nothing deal when you take on a job where people give you money for something. I've been exposed to people who work very hard at not working, finding ways to do what’s minimally required and find it incredibly offensive.

Being unemployed for a long time is part of it – when you can’t find a job and watch people making $20 an hour doing their best to not work, it gets on your nerves, but it's not just that. It's more than someone agreeing to perform a job in return for which you get money and then not doing the job, even more than the fact that there is no such thing as a bad job - you may not want to scrub other people's toilets, if but if they give you money for it, aren't you going to leave that for the bowl so clean you can eat off of it? - it's the part where you promise to do something and then don't do it. You hate your job that much? Go find another one. You're having trouble at home? Leave it outside the door - you don't get paid to be moody. And sure, there are times when the stress is so high that it ripples into other areas of your life, but we’re all adults and that means you suck it up and act professionally. You may be quiet, but you do the job and you certainly don't take your anger and frustration out on the people you work for or the people you work with.

Maybe I do understand my dad and the lawn after all…

Friday, April 09, 2010

Forget About the Silly

I want to thank all of you for your comments on Wednesday’s post. They warmed at what is for various reasons a pretty bleak time. I’d like to email you all personally, but my blasted comment system won’t record your emails/URLs (I’m working on changing that, stay tuned), so this will have to do. Thank you. Each and every one felt like a hug.

And now on to other things...

The other day, I read an article in the Toronto Star about two men who are on trial for trafficking in marijuana after their church was raided. The men are turning the tables and are doing a constitutional challenge regarding Canada's drug laws infringing on their right to freedom of religion because, they say, in their church, The Assembly of The Church of the Universe (COU), cannabis is used in worship as a sacred substance enabling worshipers to connect to the divine. The church is small - 4000 members across Canada - and its practices and beliefs are somewhat unusual and to some, may sound silly.

But my question is this: if you forget about the silly and the unusual, why is the use of cannabis any different than say, the use of wine in communion? I'll admit that I don't know much about the particular alcohol content in the wine used in communion - only tried it once when I was about 11 - but the wine and bread are used as a way to connect to the divine. Is it just acceptable because we've been doing it for 2000 years?

The Crown argues that the COU “offers no insight or answers into the existential questions (of) ‘ultimate concern’ which are the chief domain of religion; offers no comprehensive system of belief by which to live and offers no moral or ethical code,” but I checked out the COU website and their FAQs and although it's somewhat unusual, appears to be a sort of collection of partly Christian, partly spiritual, partly pagan and partly homemade ethics and ideas, they seem to be connecting to the divine. I haven't actually attended a service, so I can't tell you for sure, but could we not possibly be judging it because of what we think is the silly?

Which brings me to my next question. If you think about it, really think about it, most of the established world religions of long-standing have silly and unusual bits to them. I'll start with taking on Christianity because I'm most familiar with that and suggest that things like burning bushes, God speaking to you and turning water into wine (there's that intoxicant again): when Christianity first arrived on the scene, it could be argued to be somewhat unusual. Feel free to point out the silly in your own faith in the comments if you want...

This is not to say that faith is silly, because I take it very seriously. I know a lot of people who have a very sincere faith and practice living according to their faith every day. I have my own beliefs, as well, beliefs that guide my actions and inform my personal code of ethnics. However, what I'm getting at is that religions that are different from our own are judged severely and the faiths that are judged depend entirely on the culture within which you live. 25 years ago when I first arrived in Canada, Sikhs in the RCMP were ridiculed for insisting on wearing a turban instead of the regular Mountie hat, but these days, the accommodation has been made because the Charter of Rights and Freedoms states that people are entitled to express their individual religion. In downtown Toronto where I live, it's normal to see Muslim women wearing the hijab, but it's being banned in France and Québec is trying to prohibit women from wearing the niqab, not just in matters where proving your identity is important, but pretty much anywhere (this column is a rather brilliant and scathing explanation of how ridiculous this is). Wiccans are ridiculed, Jews have been persecuted, we point fingers at Scientologists, the Amish are just plain (!) weird and to people who don't believe in a divine being, all faiths are silly. In other words, anything that vaguely unfamiliar or done in a way that's different from what represents the norm - i.e. what the majority of society does - is judged. And aside from having a vague memory of a certain important person in the Christian faith telling us "Judge not, or you too will be judged" (Matt.7:1), it just seems silly to me and I'm not sure we should forget about this particular application of the term.

Why are we so busy with the judging? Why are we so busy questioning religion, faith and religious expression? If whatever you do, be it taken over by the loa, whirling, drinking wine to represent the blood of your god or smoking marijuana to connect to your idea of the divine, etc., doesn't hurt anyone, why do we care so very much? Is it just because of the silly? And why do we always forget that our own customs may look weird to people from other cultures and faiths?

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

In the Midst of Learning

It's been the kind of week that makes you crawl gibbering into a corner, rocking as it all finally catches up to you. And then, because you at last stop moving, are no longer barricaded against it all, what you need to know arrives and the learning starts again.

Last week, there was a moment where I caught myself, having disappeared far into work for a very long time, rendering me oblivious to what I was doing, just focusing on doing, doing, doing. There were seven tabs open in my browser and I was actively working in three of them at the same time, switching tabs as one page loaded, writing something there and clicking post, then moving on to tab 3 to read another paragraph or two in an article, only to switch back again to, #1 while I was thinking all the time about the four other tabs, the notifications in my inbox, the document open on my desktop and the list, as ever longer than is possible to get done in a day. And by the time Thursday arrived, I was gasping for the long weekend to come, thinking I richly deserved one after having worked 12 days in a row with no break (I am self-employed and my boss is a bitch). And Thursday evening, I wrecked my shoulder in a massive way, doing something that I do several times every day and there I was, furious at yet again having to spend my precious time off healing yet another injury.

And then it occurred to me that perhaps these things were not unrelated.

So the long weekend was spent away from the computer, doing nothing but attempting to heal while I read, watched movies and finally, for the first time in a very long time, had time to think. Time to feel. And it wasn't pleasant, because while it is amazing how much you can get done when you're trying to avoid something, what you’re avoiding backs up, gets bigger while it sits there, waiting for you to pay attention to it.

Two quotes got there at the right time:

"Life is made of moments. The faster you move, the more you’ll miss."

- Jon Kabat-Zinn in Mindfulness for Beginners (paraphrased)

"All these years, a lot of us fell for the great palace lie that grief should be gotten over as quickly as possible and as privately, that after a while, it's gratuitous suffering verging on hysteria, Charlotte Brontë with PMS. But what I've discovered is that the lifelong fear of grief keeps us in a bare and isolated place and that grief may be the way home ... wouldn't it be better to take some time because if you move away from the dead too fast, well, there goes the person ... if you have the courage to really feel the loss and losses, the wound is deep but heals cleanly and there will always be a scar, but the healing will have taken place and the self, no longer trying not to feel the pain, relaxes."

- Anne Lamott, The Long Way Home (transcribed from Bird by Bird with Annie: A Film Portrait of Writer Anne Lamott)

And the ridiculous thing is that I know this, have written about this before, have counseled others to slow down, said that disappearing into work, into activity just delays and warps and sooner or later, you'll have to deal with it anyway. Saying it is a lot easier than living it, though. But the reminder came and I remembered what I’d not wanted to think about because the road there was strewn with pain I did not want to feel.

Pain is not the worst thing that can happen. The worst is to not have had the love.