Tag Archives: Death


Is there a slimier way to make money than by pressuring grieving mothers/fathers/children and spouses? Arbor Memorial, in my experience with them, is an extreme example of what happens when human beings lose their sense of morals and ethics, in favour of money. I get it, I really do, they are in it for the buck however, that is no excuse for their methods and their operations.


There are plenty of alternatives out there – find one and stay away from Arbor Memorial.

They are a horrendous organization; taking advantage of people when they are, without doubt, most vulnerable. The pressure tactics on my Mom, following Dad’s passing, became evident when Mom passed and I dealt with another company, chosen by my mother, in advance, following her experience with Arbor.

The former tried to milk Mom for every cent; charging outlandish fees and pushing for unneeded items. When Mom was about to make an economical choice, the saleswoman looked at her, with what I assume was a practiced look of disapproval, I gather it was meant to imply that this was a less than appropriate choice for Dad’s memory. She ended up having to borrow money, just to bury her husband.

When Mom passed, we saw how this business SHOULD be run as opposed to Arbor’s business methods. The company my mother had chosen, for her final arrangements, following the needlessly painful lessons learned through our dealings with Arbor, were supportive, explained everything clearly and worked with us, during the entire process and also followed up, with such empathy and kindness that the pain was easier to bear. We were never, ever made to feel that our choices were “cheap”.

They asked what Mom would have wanted, and did their level best to ensure that this is what happened. They didn’t try to pressure us into anything.

Our unfortunate dealings with Arbor were not over though; they collect your name and use your information for sales calls.

My husband and I were approached, AT MOM’S GRAVESIDE, IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THE FUNERAL, to meet with a rep from Arbor to discuss our own plans. Gave us her freaking business card…at Mom’s graveside… No excuse for that kind of behaviour but that isn’t the end either…I received phone calls from Arbor in the months that followed Mom’s passing. Always the same, pre-pay your funeral arrangement, with the pushy sales tactics.

The final straw came, this year; I received a call from a particularly onerous individual, also from Arbor – at dinner time. He proceeded to try and sell me funeral arrangements, when his hard sell was, obviously, not working, he went full slime ball, calling up the memory of my parents as his hook. “Don’t you want to rest near your Mom and Dad?” And then his piece de resistance: “Don’t you want to save your children hardship of making arrangements?” adjusting his using a tone of voice to one, that I imagine, was supposed to instill guilt.

I wanted to go through my phone and punch the crap out of him.

If there was ever a question regarding my last arrangements – that bastard answered my question. NEVER, in a million years, will I permit Arbor as an entity for my funeral arrangements.

Of course, they are in it for the money; duh…it isn’t a charity business however, the way that Arbor and its representatives go about earning their cut is deplorable, inexcusable.
There are far more economical business entities out there and while Arbor may be trying to monopolize an inevitable need – it is in everyone’s best interest to avoid this company.


Oh sure, they are apologizing now because they have been outed for what they are…bloodsucking leeches, preying on people as they grieve, and their thought processes interrupted.

If you want to make your arrangements ahead of time? Do yourself and your family a favour – avoid Arbor at all costs. And if you use them? You best believe those costs will be unreasonably astronomical.

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American Corporate Influence or Life in the Losing Lane

Meh – I will probably get into trouble for this. Hey, look – I have 6 years in the workforce left; you wanna can me? C’est la vie but if I can get one person to think about life’s true priorities? I’m happy. Life is too short to guard your words, thoughts because of a corporate entity.

Obviously, I work for a corporation. I am a child of the late sixties and seventies; the movement that guided North American youth left its mark. I was too young for Woodstock but I remember seeing what corporate and corrupt politics did to young men in Vietnam, to people of colour in the south. I was old enough to follow Watergate and the junk bond crooks of Wall Street. My opinion of corporate and political minions were formed and as I started to move into the workforce, those opinions were validated and set in concrete.

As a Canadian, American points of view are everywhere but I am also a Quebecoise. As a Quebecois, I am influenced by the life view of Europe. We are Americanized on the surface but scratch that surface and the European culture runs deep.

Many of us work to live – we do not follow the American or the Americanized Canadian “live to work” philosophy. We know that this leads to a shallow and sad sort of life. A life bereft of real family connection, of true enjoyment of life.

Here’s a confession; I am connected to my job, 24/7 and I am working toward changing this. I am connected through my home computer, through my cell phone. I am tethered…no…I am willfully shackled to the company. What will this get me? If I’m lucky? A pat on the head. My problem is that I truly believe that customers are important – their needs, their requirements are a priority. Why is this a problem? Because when you work for a corporation with American talking heads? The real priority is the bottom line and if this means cutting staff and working the current employees into heart attacks, breakdowns or quitting in disgust? No matter, as long as a profit is shown.

Europe stands back and gazes in scorn. A few American corporations “get it” and as a result, leave other corporations in their fiscal dust….Google for example, Microsoft used to be thus but I’m not sure anymore. These are corporations that “get it”. They strive to attain balance between the priority of attracting and retaining staff that and to be quite blunt “give a shit” in their job. These companies encourage pride, reward hard work and maintain that work and life must be in balance. Wall Street and the big auto makers look down their noses at the policies of the Silicon Valley yet, although dot.com took a beating, it was the cream that rose to the top and the cream remain strong while Sally May and the auto companies had to go in search, as is viewed by the great unwashed, with hat-in-hand for bailouts. A bailout is failure. Not that the execs care. They still get their salaries and perks.

You see, the US and some of Canada is no better than the worst of the medieval world of Seigneurs and serfs. This is the feudal system gone 2017.

But, just as the serfs found ways to enjoy their lives, one day – the inequity, the cruelty will become too much and the serfs will find a way to fight back. Look up the word “sabotage”. The French and Russian revolutions are extreme examples but this is what happens when you treat the people, who allow you to feed at your trough, with no regard. History is replete with warnings. A lot of Europe took notes but the US and Canada seem to have forgotten their roots. We all arrived here due to some sort of feudal jack booting.

I have learned some valuable lessons in the corporate world – I learned the most valuable lesson of all, through the passing of a good friend. She died and corporate didn’t even take notice. She was a good worker, she had strong ethics and should have been a shining star but her ethics had her deemed a “troublemaker”. Work was heaped on her and when the stress began to show? She was the problem…not the company.

I lost my folks and a few good friends over the past 7 years and I deduced that life is too short to be indebted to a corporate entity that won’t even notice my departure – whether it is a moral coil departure or a “take this job and shove it” exit. It took a while for reality to set in.

If I drop off the face of the earth tomorrow? My seat won’t even be allowed to cool before the next peon is put in my chair. The corporation won’t comfort my husband, my kids or grandchildren. These people, these special people in my life don’t exist in the corporate milieu where I work, far more than those 8 hours a day, I am “technically” contracted to work.

So, in the future, my priorities will change – my ethics will not be set on the backburner, my family will not take second place. I will not be overburdened because corporate requires cutbacks. I will say “No.” I will re-set myself – a hard boot, so to speak.

All of this to say; wake up. The corporation will eat you up and spit you out. Your family will be cut loose. You are killing yourself to make someone else rich. You are those serfs from the middle ages. “Please sir, can I have some more?”, even though YOU are the one who has put that gruel in the pot.

I’ll do my job to the best of my ability, because I come from a family with a strong work ethic but I am also Quebecois and I now know that a line needs to be drawn. The corporation doesn’t care that I’m darn good at what I do. They can and will fill my chair with someone with less skill if they can find a cheap way to do it.

My life wasn’t given to me to be a sap for the rich. My life needs to be enjoyed because, goddam…it is too short to waste slaving for strangers who don’t give a damn.

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Don’t Tell Me How to Remember

I was asked, a few times, why I don’t like to go to the cemetery where my parents’ urn has been placed….

First, it really isn’t anyone’s business but if someone is crass enough to question this – here is my answer:

I have gone, but the result is not what my parents would have wanted. Neither of them were known to make visits to their own parent’s graves. They both hated it and I know why…it is pointless.

I went yesterday and placed a few flowers in a vase, in front of a marble columbarium. There was a plaque with Mom and Dad’s date of birth and their deaths. A cold structure that does not reflect them or my memories of them. The visit did not elicit warm fuzzies but instead, brought back nothing but sadness, heartache and grief. If you knew my folks, you would know that this would have been anathema to them.

I remember my folks, daily – not a day goes by without a memory flooding back. A happy memory. A smile in my heart.

Yesterday, I stood there, in front of that monstrosity and cried. After 6 ½ years of my Dad’s leaving us and 3 years to the day of my Mom being gone, I still cried. This isn’t what either of them would have me do.

My memories of my parents are in my heart, in my brain and they are good memories. They are happy memories. It is how they would have wanted to be remembered. Now, I must spend a good amount of time, wiping the thought of that plaque, the cemetery, regardless of the scenery, from my mind. Nothing happy is connected to that place.

I don’t know why I went to the cemetery. So that tongues wouldn’t wag? Possibly. No…probably.

I won’t do it again. No one has the right to determine how I choose to remember my parents. If I choose to avoid a place of endings, of death, of grief and choose instead to recall happy times through memory and through photos, that is my choice and a choice of which my parents would approve.

Keep memory in your own way and allow others to keep memory in their way. Few things are as personal as honouring loved ones who have left us.

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Heaven, Hell, Valhalla and Paradise

You will need to listen to the video to understand my commentary. I recommend listening to the video even if you don’t care to read my diatribe 😉   It is no secret that I love to hear Sam Harris speak; he brings to life, the things that I believe to be true but lack the ability to verbalize, particularly in such an eloquent manner.

Over the past 5 years, I have lost some of the most important people in my life; my parents, a beloved uncle and several dear friends.

Do I believe they are in heaven?   No.

Do I believe that when I die, we will be joined, once again?   No.

Do I believe these people are watching over me, loving me from the ethereal plane?   No.

Mr. Harris, I believe, is on the money, in his analysis of the concept of creation and the underlying fear that when we die, that’s it. That’s all she wrote. The trip has ended and there’s nowhere else to go.

This doesn’t fill me with fear or grief. It simply reinforces my belief that we are here for a short time, too short a time to act like assholes. Too short a time to worry about the nonsensical behaviour of others. The time we have, this very finite time, should be spent widening our horizons, doing the best we can for others and for ourselves, without some selfish desire for reward from some unseen cartoon characters, created to explain the inexplicable.

Many of us laugh at the ancient constructs – that volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and floods are the physical manifestation of a severe scolding by some mythical, unseen, super-creature. We are horrified when learning of human sacrifice by human ancestors, in order to appease the aforementioned mythical super-creature(s).  The ancients are viewed as superstitious and ignorant of the ways of the universe.

How is what these ancients did, any different from what we seen now or what occurred in our not-so-distant past?

Iran, Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. The Holocaust. The Holodomor. The Salem Trials. The actions of the KKK. ISIS(L). The Taliban. The Crusades. The Inquisition. The strife between Palestine and Israel. We actually make our ancient ancestors look like pikers in comparison.

Jehovah Witness believers hold that only 144 000 souls will make it to heaven. The rest of the 7 299 856 000 souls, (est. current world population) are doomed, as are the trillions who walked this earth before this moment.

Sound silly? No sillier than believing that the likes of John Wayne Gacy or Clifford Irving could be floating around in some god’s grace because at the very end of their lives, they were contrite and apologized to this god for raping and murdering someone’s son or daughter. (I have no idea whether they were contrite or not – just an example).

Would it be comforting to believe that my Mom and Dad are in heaven, watching over me, together with other family members who have died?  Of course.  But it would be great to believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny as well. Who doesn’t want some unseen force wrapping us up and protecting us from the evil in this world?  But I don’t. I don’t believe my loved ones are sitting in some celestial parlour watching my antics on earth.

I believe that I was more than just fortunate to have shared some time with these people. I believe that they gifted me with love, laughter and more than a few groundings (as a teenager).  While they were here, they protected me.  They showed me that being a good person was the only true way to live my life.  They taught me that it is never too late to change and to grow.

I don’t need to believe that they are in heaven. I don’t need to believe that Hitler and Stalin are burning in hell (it IS a nice fantasy, but just a fantasy).

I do need to believe that humanity has to stop this whole god thing and look around at what we can do, in the here and now, to be more human. To live with compassion and to learn, to grow, to evolve.

It is never too late for anyone to change. We have a small window of opportunity, as men and women, to improve this earth, NOW. There is no “later”. There is no reward or punishment when we die. There is only death.

Gone Girl/Guy.

It isn’t a bleak concept. It is reality. Be compassionate because it is the right thing to be, not because you get a big old cookie when you cease to exist in this mortal coil.

When we take our last breath, the antics of our politicians, the abundance or dearth of funds in our bank account, the size of our vehicles or homes, won’t matter. Think about it – these things simply won’t matter. They don’t matter now and they won’t matter later.

He who dies with the most toys is, none the less, dead.



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Bad Week

Sith LordsIt has been a rough week, all the way around. A daughter lost her mother, a mother lost a daughter, a brother lost a sister and I’ve lost a good friend. She passed away on Monday. Sudden and unexpected. It is hardest on the younger staff members of my office because the cold hard fact is that when you hit a certain age, death has introduced itself, it forces you to find a way to deal and maintain. I have to admit that my Pagan belief system serves me well in times like this; while I have eschewed most of dogma and whatnot, there is a certain amount of common sense approaches that I’ve retained as useful. The philosophy toward death is one of them. It will happen to everyone; it is the eternal cycle of life. I grieve but the grief is limited to my understanding and acceptance that the emotion is, basically, selfish. In essence, we grieve what WE have lost, what WE will miss, as individuals.

My friend was spiritual but not religious. I just have this feeling that this is a whole new adventure for her. I am happy that she will not have the incredible burdens of worry anymore. And a part of me does believe that I may well see her on the other side. This may be a coping mechanism, I am aware of that but as no one has, of yet, been able to prove unequivocally that we cease to exist, absolutely, I will retain that bit of comfort.

Lyne and I are/were the same age. We shared a lot of the same experiences, opinions and knowledge. We have been there, done that. It was good. Conversations in the kitchen, away from prying eyes and listening ears. Honesty, in a workplace, is a hard thing to find. We found it. A couple of middle aged broads sharing. I am going to miss that. She was more sensitive than am I. She was hurt easily. I like to think that our conversations eased that hurt a bit. Put things in perspective. Again, this may stem from the selfish nature of grief but hey, it’s my psyche.

Politics drove me mad this week as well; Quebec is a lot of things…boring is not one of those things. A 15 year old girl, strip searched by a principal (female) and a teacher (also female) and for what? They suspected her of holding pot. POT!! Not crack, not acid, not X…weed. In living rooms and bedrooms all around this big world, Moms and Dads are having a toke after a long day. Colorado and Washington have legalized the stuff. It is for sale in Holland, in stores! And this girl is strip searched, without her parents present nor were they called – no cops…just two morons who felt they were above the law or above the Canadian Charter of Rights.

There would have been no sanctuary for any school employee who attempted to strip search one of my kids. The apocalypse would have seemed like a Disney World vacation in comparison to my reaction. To compound the issue, the Minister of Education, Yves Bolduc, came out and said that there was nothing wrong with it…as long as it was done in a respectful manner. The mind just boggles and hurts a whole bunch. The parents are going to sue. I hope they do and I really do believe criminal charges should be laid. Abuse of authority. Fire their butts. Nobody that stupid should be in charge of educating children.

Then the Liberal Party and Justin Trudeau broke the straw on my back. They welcomed two despicable human beings into the party. Prior to this, I was none too happy with the Liberals but I figured, I would give them a chance to prove themselves worthy of a vote. Disappointment. So I wrote my local MNA and advised him that I was cancelling my membership. Francis Scarpaleggia. As with other e-mails – I’ve written to this man – no response. Then I wrote the Liberal Party and requested my membership be cancelled and all donations were to cease. No response.

So now I have to contact my financial institution, at my cost, to cancel any further withdrawals to the Liberal Party. It isn’t much; $10.00 a month but the Liberals do not deserve my hard earned money, regardless of the amount.
Looks like I am left with no choice this election – I will have to go Conservative. I don’t like Harper but he is the lesser of a whack of evils. It won’t make much of a difference; I live in a community of sheep – they always vote for Scarpaleggia. As the sun rises…so does Lac St. Louis vote Liberal. The party could parachute Eve Adams in here and she’d win…it is rather sad, actually.

Worries about Ukraine; Putin terrifies me. He is a psychotic despot, disguised as a legitimate leader. He was raised on Stalinist propaganda and seems to apply the same theories and practices. He should terrify the world. A 3rd World War will not begin because of the Middle East; it will again, be ignited in Europe. And I have no doubt, the designer will be Putin.  I wouldn’t be surprised, in the least, to learn he was Stalin’s lovechild…the man is insane.

A tiny human being lost his life due to our Canadian weather; he managed to get out of an apartment, at 4:00 am and wander outside, in nothing more than a shirt, diaper and boots.  He froze to death.  There is no fault to be assigned, although the armchair critics are all over this one.  It is a tragedy, plain and simple.  3 year old children are very resourceful. I’ve raised 3 of them, myself and I was one, once.  My mother caught me sitting on top of a fridge.  To the day she died, she had no idea how I managed this.  Perhaps it is a false memory but I remember climbing on the handles of drawers to the counter and then hitching a step up on a kitchen shelf.  3 year olds are little human beings, with minds, and the ability to figure out problems.  This could have been anyone’s child.

It has not been a stellar week.


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Misanthropy – A Big Old Whopper

misanthropeMisanthrope (n.) “one who hates mankind,” 1560s, from Greek misanthropos “hating mankind,” from misein “to hate” (see miso-) + anthropos “man” (see anthropo-). Alternative form misanthropist is attested from 1650s.

I don’t believe in misanthropy. I believe that misanthropy is a word created by someone who loved humanity too much and could not fathom the depths of depravity to which a human can descend. It is a word that constructs a shield around the individual who dons the mantle. It is the easy way out.

To adhere to the philosophy of misanthropy is to stunt, to shackle and limit intellectual, psychological and emotional growth.

Without a doubt, there are some totally miserable, immeasurably greedy and terrifyingly cruel 2-leggers out there, masquerading as human beings. People who would take pleasure absolute in the knowledge that they have been instrumental in the creation of the misanthropic shield of another individual. Oh, how this would get them off!

Consider, however, for a moment, creating that shield, maintaining it and to surround oneself with darkness, with cynicism, to willingly blinding the mind’s eye of all that is so immeasurably good, astoundingly beautiful, to bind intellectual and artistic pursuits; the pointless energy that is required.

The intelligent human understands the various levels of humanity and understands that to pull on the cape and cowl of the misanthrope is to permit lesser men and women to have the power to change the course of an individual’s life by robbing them of their ability to see the world, clearly.

Misanthropy may also be a tool for the intellectually lazy. It is so much easier to find evil than it is to find good. Evil delights in the spotlight, while good is harder to find by virtue of what it is – good. Good doesn’t drawn attention. Good is as prolific as is evil, it requires a little more work to discover. An example would be gossip; one rarely hears tales of others good deeds, “I saw So and So donating time at a homeless shelter!!” but fart in a meeting or make an unwise sexual choice and it will be on Twitter in a nanosecond. The current topic around the water cooler or over the backyard fence.

Misanthropy can be justified every time a headline blazes across a newspaper. It takes a stronger root with every talking head’s news cast. This justification is also proof positive of intellectual indolence. It is, ironically, becoming the very thing the misanthrope hates. Designing a selfish, self-centered and narrow minded persona. Anyone can become a misanthrope. It is so very boring, so very limiting. It is the easy street.

It is far more difficult to create a personality that allows for the foibles of fellow human beings. It is far more difficult to understand the human condition. It is so very, very hard to accept the existence of evil and to understand that we have no control over the behaviour of the malevolent. We are not gods. It is work to remove the ability of the poisonous personality to influence our world view. Sometimes it may seem insurmountable but once that blockade is removed, the view is stunning. The world becomes the place it is meant to be. A place where, although our time is limited, we can have a positive impact. Every small kindness, every smile to a stranger, every helping hand we offer creates a reality that moves evil just a little further back. Not much, but enough to bring some light into our lives and the lives of others.

We have that power. We can disallow evil and the dark from controlling our lives. It will always be a struggle but in the end, when we have to look back on our lives, we can look back and feel satisfied that in our own way, we were frontline soldiers against all that would see us wallow in the muck.

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When Your Life Takes A Hit

Mom and Me Pauls wedding My mother passed over. Monday of this week – May 12th. She has been in hospital since April 21st. She had a heart attack last fall and things went downhill very rapidly for her. She passed away, quietly, having lost consciousness during the night of May 11th.

I’m in a strange state of mind and I think Mom is the author of that state, she had spent a good deal of time teaching me that she was not immortal and that she was ready to join my Dad.  She had been living with us for close to 4 years, following my father’s passing in Dec/2010. It wasn’t because she couldn’t look after herself – she was totally independent. The family home was simply too large for her to keep, too many stairs and too much property to maintain. An apartment would have been a waste of her financial resources and again, it would have required maintenance and in her early eighties, she would have been a prime target for those slime-balls who favour the elderly as their victims of choice.

My husband and I wanted her close, wanted her to be a part of our daily lives and so, she downsized the home and moved in with us. I loved it. She was safe, she was wanted and loved. We live in a good community, all amenities were close and so this was a good thing.

But, she missed my father dreadfully. You don’t spend 60 years of marriage without the significant other becoming an extended part of you. She would write little notes to him, about how much she missed him and thought I didn’t know. I did. I saw a couple of them and it broke my heart. I’m a fixer. I don’t like people being unhappy and I try to fix it. Life doesn’t work that way so I’m often frustrated. We tried to ensure that while she grieved the loss of her life’s companion that she knew that she was an important part of our family. Not just as my mother but as a member of the household.

Then she became ill. Very ill. She was in a lot of pain. Her quality of life was diminishing rapidly. She was unable to drive. She had doctors’ appointments every week – one specialist or another. Blood tests were a weekly routine as well. We would drive her and it made her so sad; she felt that she was being a burden. She wasn’t and although we tried to tell her, she still felt bad about taking me away from the office. Or when she needed to go shopping – taking up our spare time. Ridiculous trend of thought to us but she was so used to coming and going as she pleased.

During the 4 years she was here, Mom often spoke of her death. She wanted me to understand what she wanted and what she didn’t want. She did not want me to be victimized, as she felt she had been, by unscrupulous funeral directors. She did not want me burdened by the bureaucracy of death (I live in Quebec, there is NO avoiding the bureaucracy). So she had pre-arranged, up to a point, what she wanted in the event of her death. She also set about trying to prepare me for the eventuality.

I didn’t deal with my father’s death very well. He had not prepared and there was so much to do, afterwards. I was executor because I speak French and because I had already closed 3 other estates. My Dad was the executor of two of those estates, my husband was executor for his late father; I have the dubious skill of being able to navigate through paperwork. And I do speak French which made filling out the reams of government forms easier that it would have been for Daddy. I was busy with the paper shuffling for some time and didn’t allow myself to grieve. I didn’t allow myself to examine what was going on in my head. Couple that with extreme work pressure and I melted down. I went into a severe depression and melted down. I had to take almost a month off work and be on medication. A real wake-up and shake-up for me. I thought I was, emotionally, invincible. Apparently? Not.

Mom was living here when I did my impression of Chernobyl. She knew the root cause. She would bring the subject of Daddy up, very carefully. She didn’t want a repeat performance so she also began to prepare me for her leaving as well.

I am trying to allow the grief process to work itself through. I know Mom was tired. I know she was in pain. I know that had she survived this round of assault on her health, her quality of life would have been non-existent. I know that she was ready to leave. I know all these things on an intellectual level but I am still a daughter who has lost her Mom. There is so much to do, so many forms to fill out and legalities to close. So many people to worry about – my husband loved my mother and this is so hard on him. He is stoic. Doesn’t express emotion easily. He is busying himself looking out for me. Telling ME it is okay to cry. To grieve. He is being the husband – the protector. He is not being the grieving family member.

My brother. I worry about him. He is emotionally vulnerable and is hurt easily, deeply. He didn’t handle my Dad’s passing very well and it led to a wedge being forged between him and I. Mom’s passing seems to be wearing away at that wedge. We were together when Mom passed. We shared this. It is bond that, while not one either of us would have ever chosen, it is a bond that will bind us forever. We shared our hearts breaking for someone who gave us life, who loved us regardless of the bonehead moves we’ve both pulled in our lives. That is a raw moment that can’t be erased by time.

I’ve tried to ensure that he is involved in the decisions I have to make. Mom took care of most of the arrangements herself. She left me instructions on how to proceed – which funeral director to be used, how the ritual of death was to be handled. And with my husband and my brother’s help; we have stuck to her plan.

I’m not sleeping very well. It’s the grief process – I know this. I also know that I need to sleep otherwise the serotonin levels go out of whack and depression sets in before you know it but I need to think. I need to analyze all of this. I know Mom is at peace. She is no longer in pain and that her passing was a blessing to her. She was ready, even if we were not.

I feel her around me. I feel her peace but I can’t seem to hold on to it long enough to apply it on a personal level. It is like seeing something beautiful in a distance and being unable to reach it. Like a rainbow. As a child, I would run toward it and of course, never reach it. It’s like that. I want to grab that peace and hold onto it but it isn’t MY peace. It’s Mom’s. I want to share that peace with my family. I want them to know that she is relieved, that she is happy to be gone from the pain but I have no tangible way to prove this to them. Hell, I can’t even prove it to myself. I just feel it.

Sunday afternoon will be the final chapter – the closure absolute. It is a reception to celebrate life – specifically Mom’s but all life as well. I am tasked with ensuring that this is a gathering of family and friends who will share laughter, love and a positive memories of who Mom was, not tears, sadness of her leaving. I hope that I am able to fulfil this wish of my mother’s. I hope that the reception is just that – a reception of life, love, happiness and the importance of living life now.  Then, I will grieve. 


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Where I Am Coming From

idealism-v-vendettaI was involved in a very interesting discussion with a young man, earlier today. A young man who could back up his side of the debate; I LOVE that. You learn from each other, the whole point of debate in my opinion. Care to debate that point? (ROFLMAO..sorry, couldn’t resist.) At any rate – it was interesting not only that he was able to back up his points of view from his perspective but also that he managed to remind me of my own idealism back in the day. It’s gone now. Gone the way of my waistline. Never to return.

The debate centered around a particularly onerous piece of garbage reporting on Fox News; little trio of morons trying to talk about Paganism, a topic they had not, and made glaringly apparent, researched and of which they knew less than nothing. There is a petition that some are signing to demand an apology from Fox CORPORATION. I have capitalized “corporation” for a reason…hopefully, it will become apparent as I babble on (sometimes I kill myself…Babble on…Babylon…Thelemites will get this…).

Back in the day – some 20 years ago; I was resident on a soapbox demanding respect for my beliefs. What beliefs you may well ask? At that point in time? Wiccan. I would get into debates with mainstream Christians who and rightly so, maintained that Wicca was a modern invention/concept/religion…whatever. They were right and I learned exactly how right, fairly quickly. Mind you, it isn’t that Christianity, Judaism or Islam is free of fairy tales either. None of us can truly proclaim authority on religion, God or what is and what is not a faith.

A lot of things came into play over the years. I worked for corporations, I became familiar with political processes, I observed society and delved into history, religious, social and political.

My idealism flew out the window. In all the millennia that we puny humans have walked, upright and formed societies – nothing has changed. Not really. The wealthy still control the great unwashed (that would be us)up to a point. Freedom of thought is something they have yet to truly control, although they are working on it through our education systems and media. Does anyone truly believe the news anymore? It isn’t news – it is canned opinion fed to the news CORPORATIONS via press releases. The news is fed to corporations by corporations. Government is a subsidiary of the corporate business world. To think or believe otherwise is akin to still believing in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.

Nothing we do outside of our thinking processes is not controlled in some way, shape or form. I love that young people believe in change but I also love that little kids believe in a fat guy climbing down and chimney to toss out freebies, grab some cookies and milk on his way out. It doesn’t mean that I think this is reality. I just love the fantasy of both concepts.

I know, intimately, how corporations work. I know, intimately, how government works. On $$$ and the power it buys. And if you are like me? You have neither. Probably never will but I continue with an optimistic outlook because while they have the $$$ and the power? I have total control of my own thoughts and feelings. I also take great personal satisfaction in knowing that regardless of how much money, how much power they have? They still shit and piss like the rest of us. And they will die, become worm food just like the most humble of their victims.

I no longer have religion – they are all corporate in structure or wannabe. I have a philosophy and it fills my needs. I believe I have a life that is mine. I may have to slave for the corporations, political and business for 8 hours a day but the other 16 belong to me. I will continue to make the most of what I have, make the most of my thoughts and continue on as have my ancestors back when fur was the only option for clothing. The world is run by corporations and no amount of petitions, no protests in the streets will change that unless the corporations see a buck to be made.

I am the great unwashed, the proletariat and I do accept that. The acceptance is the taking back of personal power and negating the potential of injuring myself, butting my head against the wall of authority. Oh, I’ll continue to snipe at it but just for the fun of it and continue to wonder if their money and power make them any more tasty to the worms and death beetles when they die.


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Death XIII

First, I’ll tell you an insider secret – the Death card is never good. A reader – to whom you’ve paid cash – may put a bright spin on it because, after all, who wants to pay money for bad news; this is a kind of “Don’t shooting the messenger” thing.

Death is death; the end, game over – bucket kicked. The only real question is how an individual interprets the end. Death could be the bottoming up of a relationship. Could be the death of a style of life. Death can also mean, absolutely that – death. Readers shy away from this card more than any other. It’s a scary deal, even for the reader. Death is, probably, the most taboo of subjects for a good lot of humanity but that’s a topic for another conversation, at another time.

Death can represent the end of a situation but beyond death, there is rebirth but the rebirth in this context is under the complete control of the individual. When the card indicates an actual death, end of a life – we can drown in the inherent grief or we can undergo a rebirth of our own. Some find a renewal of their beliefs, some find a new system of beliefs but the key here is the moving on past death and creating something new, finding something in the death that we can turn around into something vital and alive.

Nothing that is thrown in front of us is without reason; every situation can be used as a tool toward a better life, a healthier psyche, a stronger individual. Particularly death.

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