Sunday, April 16, 2017

Hey, my life is real great...

The song* started with..."Hey, my life is real great, feel I'm well on my way to my dreams coming true and I'm getting to do it with you."

Sometimes I feel your absence strongly, at moments when I am not expecting it.

I wish you were here. 
I wish I was getting to do this with you.

* Listen here.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Writing again...

You know that feeling you have when you read something you wrote a while back and you think..."Ha, yes, I remember that day. I remember how I felt." And then you can acknowledge those emotions and sit still with them at the present moment and honor them? 

That's what I feel.

I keep forgetting how good writing makes me feel. Writing is my connection to myself and also to Jesse, among other things. 

Maya is five now. Her face has you in it. Her personality has you in it. 14 and soon to be 15. Smart and beautiful. 

We have all moved forward, in our own way. Here we are. 
Here I am. 
I rode the wave and here I am.
Still riding that wave. But, it is a tad bit calmer. Persuadable. 

I used to be angry at the world around me for moving forward while I mourned you. I kicked and screamed . I didn't understand it. 

Now I welcome it. It is like the smell of rain in the backyard after a night of California rains. I wake up and smell it, mingling with the smell of sage. 

I have the urge to dig my fingers into that mud.

I realize that I will always have stories for you, Jess. The context might have changed, but there are always stories. You knew my love for stories. We always had stories for each other. 

The stories were always there.'s to more stories. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


These past few days I have been feeling like I have lost my connection to you.
Where are you?
I feel like I took a took a few steps forward, and that is a good thing.

However, I feel like I am leaving you behind.
I miss you.
I miss you.
Everything about you. The laughter, the love, the holding hands, the companionship, the way our eyes met, the way we spoke.
The way we slept each night, your arm around me, our legs intertwined, your breath on the back of my neck.

Breathing. In and out. Warm air. My home.
You were my home.
You are my home.

Our silly fights
intense conversations
your foot rubs
making up after a fight
cooking together
reading together
movie nights
crazy laughter
crazy uncontrollable laughter.

I miss it all.
I miss every inch of you.
and your spirit

I don't see you in my dreams anymore.
But I feel you around.
Here's the thing.
I feel you around, but I feel like I am not acknowledging you.
I feel like I am supposed to be stopping to do something to recognize that feeling.
That's the disconnect.

I do recognize though.
I think of you fondly.
and other times with sadness, with love, with laughter, with music, with silliness, with anger.
It is confusing.

You left me here.
You left me.

But Jess...
You left me with so much love in my heart.
Still to give.
We had so much love together.
You left me with memories
With the girls.
our babies.
You left me with my resilience
and a reminder that others can be resilient too.

You left me with moments
Moments are permanent
unlike life.

You left me with
Faith, that one day I will find my purpose again.
A bigger purpose.

I love you.


Saturday, November 17, 2012

My new normal

Thanksgiving is around the corner.
It's the first one since Jesse's death and I don't know what to do.

We weren't big on the cooking turkey and hosting bit, but we did have a tradition of having Thanksgiving dinner at Christian and Nicole's home and then leaving town for the next few days, usually to Mendocino or Pismo or some other beach town.

I don't know what to do next week.

Of course we have been invited to Christian and Nicole's home this year as well, but I don't feel comfortable enough in my skin to do that this year...without Jesse. I am also scared that I might have a meltdown and then bring the whole party down.

I am still anxious about social gatherings.
Not quite there yet.

I am looking for my new normal.
I want the kids, especially Isis, to have some sort of a celebration of life and love and thanks as well, which of course is encouraged in our home everyday, not just once a year.

So I am thinking of actually making dinner as a family, and sitting down and eating while we share laughs, stories, memories and give thanks to all we have and also give thanks to having Jesse in our lives.
And I am also considering taking Isis to the homeless shelter and volunteering our time for a few hours and donating some of her toys and clothes.

So yeah...working on our new normal.

I still miss you so much babe.
I love you.
Good night, sweet Jess.

At Mendocino last year for Thanksgiving. Isis and Daddy.

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Hey baby,

I know you are watching everything and seeing what's going on. Right?
Isn't life crazy babe? Some of the things going on right now and some of the things I am finding out.
People who said that they were "friends" of ours doing ridiculously insane shit.
What the fuck?
And watching how life is treating some others...

But I am still just thankful for my life, our kids and and their health.
I know you are proud of me for waking up every morning and functioning and I know that you are cheering me on.

Just continue to watch over us and keep the kids safe.
I love you.
I miss you.

I think about you all the time.
And one day...we'll be with each other again.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Six months

It's been six months since you've been gone.
I am sitting here, on a Friday, looking out into the bay. This is the place where we celebrated you after you were gone.

This is the place where you were cremated.

I just needed some time to myself to be with you today. I know you are always around me...

I miss you Jesse.
I love you.
I miss your face and your smile and your heart.

The pain reminds me that I am still alive.

Sunday, August 26, 2012


Well...I really don't know much about zombies, but I feel like one these days.

I am forgetful.
I went to Target twice in a row and forgot to get the frozen fish. When I came back home, I didn't even realize that I had forgotten it. It was one of the reasons why I went to the store.

Sometimes I get lost in thought and miss my exits and my turn.
Sometimes I don't remember my drive to or from work. I just know that I went to work and came back home.
I still don't know how I am keeping this job and actually doing well at work.

Music makes me cry...all the time.
Sometimes random things makes me bust out the tears.

Stickers or cars, licence plates that I think you'd dig.
news on the radio...
watching fathers with theirs kids
Airports, airplanes, trees, paintings, poems, showers, the park, people, school
restaurants, food, bagels, sushi, wine

And this one gets me all the time....people talking about our children.

Maya is beautiful...
Isis is such a sweet child...
Yeah...our kids.

I still haven't written that narrative like I thought I would, for me, and for the kids.
I started to write it but then I stopped and couldn't pick it back up.
One of my reasons for writing it was because I thought my memory about that night would fade.

I was wrong.
It is something that I will never ever forget.

I will get that narrative done though.
I love you sweet Jesse.
I miss you, always, with every single breath I take.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Dreaming. Keep your eyes open.

I haven't had a Jesse dream for a while, but I had one early this morning.
The last one I had around a month ago was scary and disturbing.
I woke up in a state of panic, heart racing.

In my dream, Jesse was holding Maya by her tiny feet, upside down, she was naked, and he was shoving her head in a bucket of water trying to drown her. I raced toward him and asked him what the fuck he was doing and grabbed Maya from him.
Jesse didn't say a word to me.
He just stared.
I took Maya and ran...

After I woke up, I went to Maya's room to check on her to make sure she was ok.
I didn't try to analyze that dream and I didn't think much about it.

This morning I had a dream that Jesse had cheated on me. Not only that, he was totally being a dick about it asking me to get the fuck over it and stop complaining. My heart was aching in my dream and I could literally feel the pain I was experiencing. So I calmly told him, that I was leaving and then I packed up my stuff and left him there.

Then I woke up.
Felt that heartache.

While I lay in bed...I had a realization.

What if he is asking me to let him go?
What if he is telling me to move on?

When our relationship was fairly new, I told Jesse that there are two reasons for which I will absolutely end the relationship and leave him. I had to make that clear to him.
No exceptions.
One, if he deliberately causes me or either of our children physical and emotional harm and two, if he cheats on me.

The thing is...the way Jesse was in these two dreams is such a contrast to the man he really was when he was alive. He would intentionally never bring harm to me or our kids and he had way too much integrity to cheat.

In my dreams...he has done both.
He is asking to me "leave him".

Probably these dreams are unpleasant and severe because I am holding to him and it causing me pain rather than bringing me comfort.
I guess it is also a way of bridging unconscious to conscious, unknown to known?

Also contributing to the way I am thinking at this the book I just started reading, which I am finding extremely helpful.
I really don't like grief books. And this book is not a grief book, but it is positively affecting my grieving.
It is called: "Life After Death: The Burden of Proof" by Deepak Chopra.

Literally a few hours after Jesse's death, I found myself in front of the computer, obsessively googling "life after death" because I wanted to know what just happened to the man I love. He was just here. Now he's gone. Where is he? Where is his body? His soul? Is there a soul?

This book has been helping me develop my own spiritual understanding about life and death and what comes later.

I think my dreams are trying to tell me that is ok to always remember him and celebrate him and continue to love him, but to also let go the pain that is coming from holding on.

He will always be with me and our children.
I feel his presence all around me and I love that.

And finally, he is telling me and our children to keep our eyes open...
and to embrace the great unknown. 

I love you Jesse.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Daddy will be here in spirit

Today has been a hard day for me baby. I miss you and I wish you were here to listen to me and talk me through things, like you always did.

Isis' tenth birthday is coming up soon and she wishes you were here too. Today she said to me, "I know daddy will be there with me in spirit but I still wish he was here physically to celebrate my birthday"

We love you and miss you so much.

Maya is sprouting her first tooth.
She is adorable and looks a lot like you. You'd be proud of both our kids baby.

Goodnight...wherever you are.
Love you Jess!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Hey baby!

Remember the grape vines in our backyard that I wanted our gardener to chop off last year, and you asked me to give the vines another chance so you could use them for making your wine? you go.

For you.
Just for you.

I love you!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

From our Midwife, Jeri.

Giving birth to my daughter Maya, was one of the most beautiful, and nourishing experiences of my life. It was also something that further bonded me to Jesse in a unique way.

Jesse, Maya, and me...we were our own team with Jeri and our nurses by our side constantly. I will never forget the look in his eyes when he saw Maya's head pop out and when he helped guide her out.

He was so proud, amazed, and it was look of pure joy.
It was a special kind of joy.

Then he looked at me for a few seconds, with that same joy, and we didn't say much to each other during those last moments, but we spoke through our eyes and our hearts.

I saw Jeri two days before Jesse died and she reminded me again to talk to Jesse about possibly co-authoring a book about pregnancy and childbirth. She was shocked when I called her a few days later to give her the news. Although she couldn't be present during his memorial service because she was busy guiding another baby into this world, she wrote me this wonderful passage, which was read, tearfully, by Jesse's aunt Ann.

I think about my pregnancy and the birthing of Maya often and I continue to miss his presence in my life immensely.

I love you Jesse and I miss you every single day.
I was honored to assist Priya and Jesse as their nurse midwife for the birth of Maya.  It was a beautiful and inspiring birth particularly because of how hard they both worked at being a team.  I will always recall clearly how gifted Jesse was in his role as father and husband to Priya on this special day.  Jesse had an instinct for how to touch Priya, how to calm her with his voice and with his powerful presence.  His love, support and wisdom reminded me so much of the skills of a midwife.  It was his hands, his eyes and his voice that spoke to her and calmed her and comforted her so much.  I had never seen a father who acted as spontaneously as Jesse.  At one point just before Maya arrived I realized I was watching a man with so much talent and love and heart that the best thing I could offer to both of them was to support and respect the intense connection they had with each other and with Maya. I was so amazed!  After Maya was born Jesse and I talked about how we would write a book together to guide other fathers through their own experience of birth. I let him know that he stood out to me as a loving, strong and kind father and how much he could give to others who hoped to possibly be able to do the same.  He will forever be in my heart as an incredible man who really understood himself and was fearless in giving that back to others.  

Sincerely:  Jeri Zukoski, CNM
New Life Midwifery Services 
Berkeley, CA

Thursday, June 21, 2012

It's been three months

It's been three months since you took your last breath and left me behind.

I haven't written here in a while because there is so much going on for me at the moment. It still feels very chaotic, but I also feel calm every now and then.

Calm or numb?
Can't quite tell.

But at all times, I feel your presence around me.
You are with me.

I went back to working full time again.
I find healing in working with my clients, although I wasn't sure I was going to be able to do it.
I want to do it now more than ever.

I feel lonely and sad when I cannot talk to you during the day while I get a moment at my desk.
I look at my phone...hoping it will light up with a text from you.

Ting ting.

I saw your phone last night...sitting there, staring at me.
I picked it up and began looking at your pictures and videos.

There were many videos in there of you and Maya that I hadn't seen
the times you spent with her while she was up odd hours at night
and the times I was away when you forced me to take a break and take care of myself.
You spoke to her all the time, sang to her, snuggled her, showed her things.

She will see these videos a few years from now and get to know her wonderful daddy.

I also found one of the many videos you made for me a few months ago.
I also wish you were home with your love bug right now.
Miss you too babe.
Good night.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Creating a narrative

My friend Sara and I were talking about the blog this past weekend and I was thinking to myself about what I feel when I write and what I decide to share and why. I have read some of my old posts here and they make me cry. They take me back to the emotions I was feeling at the moment as I think about our life.

The life that was.
Our life.

The grief book also talks about creating a detailed  narrative about the loss during the early stages of grief and about how helpful that can be during the journey.

I want to create that narrative.
Not just for me, but for the children as well.

I think Isis and Maya would want to read the narrative in the future to know about these moments, my pain, their pain, our pain, what happened to their father and how it all happened and why it happened.
We are still waiting on the "why" part.

I think the narrative will also be a poignant reminder of what we overcame and how strong we all are as a family and that you are part of that strength too.

I am not sure how much Isis will remember and of course there are certain things around your death that she is not privy to at the moment.

It will be a private narrative. Just for me and our girls.
The girls can decide if they want to share it in future with others.

I have spoken about the details of the events quite a few times now. During the first few weeks after your death, I would share the whole entire story from our last weekend together up until the time of your death with whoever was willing to listen. Looking back, I needed to do that.

I still do that...but only with certain people, and only when I feel comfortable doing it.
And then there are those days when I don't feel like talking about you or what happened.
I just tell people that my husband is dead and that's all there is to it.
I have also realized that I have a special "short version" of the events for strangers and other random people at the bank, doctor's office, or social services agencies.

I plan on creating this narrative sometime this week.
I think one day...way down in the future, I would want to read it. I would want to revisit the pain. The other reason why I want to do it is because I know how memories get tainted as time goes on. Right now, everything that happened all the way up until the paramedics sat me down to tell me that you were dead, is fresh in my mind like it just happened yesterday.

I also remember the first time I saw your body, your memorial service, the time when I was told that you were cremated, and the day I sat alone in that dimly lit room with your ashes in front of me.
The "urn presentation", as they called it.
I remember the words that I said to you.
Words between us that nobody heard.

I remember those days.
I remember those moments very well.
My narrative will hold these memories.

I know this pain will never entirely go away. This wound will heal and leave a big, thick, scar that will stay with me for the rest of my life. The scar will throb every now and then to remind me of you, Jess.

The wound is still raw now.

I miss you so much every single day.
I think about all the things we used to do together, big and small.
Your voice and your laugh...still echo in this house.

I think about all the things that I cannot do with you anymore...all the places I cannot see with you...all the joys I cannot share with you...all the weirdness in the world we can't talk about...all the cool things we cannot admire together...all the things our children cannot experience with you.

I love you Jess.
I love you so much, my cuddle bear.

Good night.

Friday, June 8, 2012

This week

  • Cried quite a bit, but mostly at night.
  • Read that grief book for more than five minutes in one sitting.
  • Actually spoke about to you to strangers and didn't cry, choked up, but continued to have a conversation.
  • Cried (bawled) while I spoke to a child therapist on the phone.
  • Almost called the 24 hour support line to talk about you and what happened, but couldn't get myself to.
  • Teared up when filling out a form because I started to write your name under "Emergency Contact". 
  • Learned that I can never write your name down again on that line.
  • Identified as a single mother for the first time to a stranger.
  • Changed beneficiaries on my bank accounts. You were my beneficiary.
  • Every now and then, I used the term "died" instead of "passed away" to see how it feels. It is still painful. I am going to continue to go with "passed away" for now.
  • Wondered about how you died. I wondered a lot about that the first few weeks after you were gone, but as days went by, it didn't really matter anymore. You are gone. Nothing is going to change that. But this week, I wondered about what really happened to you. How?
  • I realize I am still scared to call the coroner's office to find out.
  • Had our first bug encounter at home without you coming to the rescue. There was a spider in Isis' room and we both freaked out and the next five minutes were dramatic with bug sprays and tissues ready in hand to squish the thing, but neither of us could do it. So we settled for carefully taking the jacket outside and throwing it out on the deck so the spider could walk away. Yes, of course Isis said, "Oh no...daddy is not here!"
  • Actually dialed your number even though I cancelled the service long time ago. I just wanted to dial your number and I did.
  • I am slowly beginning to realize that some days will be better than others and to try and enjoy them if possible.
  • I learned, after talking to Mama, that I am going to have to build and get used to a new "normal". The old one was gone along with the last breath you took.
  • Maya is growing up so fast.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

I am sorry

I haven't written in a while.
Like I was telling Clancy...I feel like I will die from grief if I start talking about you.
I am in some sort of denial stage.
It is all too painful.

But I still have been thinking about you.
Of course. Always.
I look back on our life together and think about all the times I could've done better, been better.
I guess I will be in the guilt stage for a long time?

I am sorry for picking on you when you didn't do things my way.
I am sorry for taking life too seriously, most of the times, and making sure, obsessively at times, that we had all kinds of "plans" in place.

I sure didn't plan for this babe!

I am sorry for the times when I didn't give you all of my attention.
I am sorry for all the nagging about keeping the house clean and for making you clean over the weekends and for griping about the video games.

It was all so bloody trivial.

I am sorry for allowing you to feel like you couldn't burden me with some of the difficulties you were having a few days before you left me.
I wish I could've done something.

I'd give anything to have you back.

Thank you for loving me just the way I am and for loving our life just the way it was.
Our life was good.

I miss you Jess.
Just a few minutes ago I walked past your ashes, I paused, I opened the box because I wanted to see you and touch you.
But I had to stop because, again, I felt like I would die from the pain.

I love you, my muffin chicken pot pie.
Yes, I did call him that.
It is what's engraved on his wedding band
that hangs solemnly around my neck.

Maya holds on it every time she nurses.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Another week gone...another sunset without you

These past three of four days have been intensely painful without you. Not the normal everyday pain since you've been gone, but excruciating pain.

I don't know if it is the initial shock wearing off?
I bet that is what the grief books say.
I can't read those books for more than five minutes at a time. 
I just can't.

There have been multiple times when I didn't want to move forward Jesse.
I want to be with you.

I listened to one of your old voice mails today, twice.
That's all I could do.
I cried.
I bawled.
I look at your face in the pictures around the house and I close my eyes.
This house no longer feels like home.
I hear your voice, I see your smile.

I go out every now and then and I end up getting anxious and restless because you are not there.
It makes me physically sick and I get nauseous.
I hurry and get back to the house.
I feel like you might be waiting for me at home.
Or maybe you might be coming home soon to be with me

I look at Isis' face and think about how she will remember you as she gets older.
I keep talking to her about you.
We both talk about you.
Sometimes we also avoid talking about you.
It's the pain.
I want her to always remember things you taught her and remember your values and what was important to you.
I want her to remember her daddy who loved her so much and lived only for her for many years.

I look at Maya's face and I look for you in her.
I wonder how I am going to tell her about you.
I wonder what I am going to tell her about her daddy.
I want her to know you.
I have started talking to her in Malayalam, like you've always wanted me to.
But what's the point since you are not here to watch me talk to her in another language.
Every now and then I stop and think about what you would've said to her while pushing her in the stroller while she looked up at you with her beautiful smile.
Twinkling eyes.
The funny faces you would've made to make her laugh
Rushed to her side when she woke up from her nap, crying
Snuggled up next to her while she slept

Where are you?
How are you?
What are you doing these days?
Do you miss me?
Do you watch over the girls?

Will you show me the way?

Saturday, May 26, 2012

His last poem

Jesse often...almost every day...wrote me poems and little love notes. He would write mostly on his train ride to work. I usually fell back to sleep with Maya after he left and I would wake up a few hours later and his poems waited for me.

Sometimes, I awaited their arrival. And they would show up...eventually.

He fondly called me Priya Pop.

The engraving on my wedding band reads: " My sweetie Priya PriyaPop"

Yes. I still wear my wedding band.
Yes. It is still on the same finger.

I love you, JLSP.

Here it is...

in which the POP

I see you in every
smile, even the
empty, vacuous, teens'
air-headed vanity...

Your mischievous grin
lights up my face
in bright warm response
-to even the mem'ry.

I wish for you here at
my side, that we
could poke fun and giggle
at every inanity...

So we too would be
labeled as fatuous
and, giggling, we'd be
suspected of having lost
our own sanity.

For it is so,
it is true,
it is,
Reduced to a
am I-
a slave to your
-beauty and soul-
('tis gods' cruel truth!)
"In love", I cry-
And so, alone,
I cry (in love)...

- JLSP, 3/20/2012

Monday, May 21, 2012

Two months

I love you so much!

It is still hard.
My heart cannot be mended
It bleeds with pain.

They say it gets easier...
I don't want it to get easy either.

I miss you.
I miss you.
I miss you.

Tears and heartache.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Maya is five months old today

There have been very few days when I just go about life and such without actually crying even once.

It doesn't mean that my love for you is fading
It doesn't mean that I am moving on
It doesn't mean that I don't miss you

It just means that I was alright that day
It means that I was able to get by that day with you close to my heart
The heartache was somewhat tolerable that day

Mother's Day came and went.
It was a hard day.

Maya is five months old today babe.

I dressed her in the same dress she wore two days before you left us, for her three month birthday.
It fits much better now. She has grown.
Every time she smiles and laughs I think about you and I miss you.
It breaks my heart that you are not here to hear that laugh.

You never heard her laugh.
She started laughing for the first time on the day of your memorial service.

I hear you laugh sometimes.
Your voice is still fresh in my mind, my heart.

I hear you call for me sometimes.
Sometimes, in the middle of the night, I wonder when you are going to turn off the video games and come to bed.

Isis said she heard you call out to her the other day while she was playing.
"Isis...over here. Look over here Isis..." that's what she heard you say.

She is writing in her journal every night for you.
She wonders if you are reading her letters.
She calls them letters.

She was sad today when she saw and heard a little girl call out for her daddy at the park.
I held her tight.
I hold Maya tight.

Today has been a crying day for me.
The heartache has been intolerable.

I miss you.

I wish I could just hold you
just one more time...

Maya, a few hours old, with daddy.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Ms. Farnan, our superhero teacher

As a young girl, and also in my adulthood, I have had the pleasure of connecting and knowing wonderful teachers and professors, who became my mentors, some of whom I am still in touch with. They have each played a special role in shaping me into the woman that I have become today.

Isis has had wonderful teachers in her life, but she really didn't build that solid, healthy, nurturing connection with anyone until last year...when we transferred her from the Oakland school to our public school in Union City.

There she met Ms. Farnan, half way through third grade.
And from day one, she has looked up to her with reverent awe.
She hoped, intensely, to be with Ms. Farnan for fourth grade as well.
And she did.
She was beyond thrilled!

We heard wonderful stories about Ms. Farnan every single day. Isis would even write stories for her class assignments with Ms. Farnan as the superhero who killed the monsters and zombies and saved the day. It was amazing to watch how much she connected with her and above all how much interest she showed in reading and learning since then. Isis always loved school and wouldn't miss a day for anything. There was one day last year when she was sick and I decided to keep her home from school. Isis , clutching her belly, "Mama, I will be okay. Can I please go to school. Today Ms. Farnan is going to read us a special book. I will try not to throw up in class! Please?" 

Still makes me chuckle.
She stayed home.

After Jesse passed, Ms. Farnan and the school community have been there for us and especially for Isis in so many ways.

They are family. 

Ms. Farnan made sure that Isis was okay in class and she made sure Isis got her personal space when she became sad thinking about daddy and needed a moment. All her wonderful classmates made cards for her, which we displayed at the service. Isis was so happy. And of course, she announced to the whole world that Ms. Farnan was coming to the service and that the rest of the family members could meet her then.

Ms. Farnan was also thoughtful to do some research and pick out some great children's grief books that we could read together.

"Tear Soup" was one of them.
We have read it together a few times and it has become one of Isis's favorites.
I knew she would love this book because of her love for cooking. 

A book that described grief, the uniqueness of grief, ways to handle grief, including a recipe to make tear soup...sure winner in Isis' world!

This is her favorite page in the book and we often use it a scale to measure how we both are feeling.

This post is dedicated to Ms. Farnan.

I know that you have affected Isis' life in a significant way and no matter where life takes her, I am sure Isis will look back, and fondly, and proudly remember you.

As parents, Jesse and I have always been huge fans and supporters of teachers.
Ms. Farnan continues to fuel that support.

Thank you Ms. Farnan.
We love you!
Isis and Ms. Farnan, Halloween 2011

Friday, May 11, 2012

Rebecca goes to the May Day rally in NYC and I get Deb

A good friend of mine from grad school, Rebecca, decides to attend to the May Day rally in NYC to get inspired because she is all about the advocacy and also because she is awesome.

She and a few other grad school friends of mine have been an immense source of support for me during this hard time. They have patiently listened to me while I rant, they have offered kind words, and above all... they have been comfortable with my silence and given me the space to reach out to them however and whenever I have wanted to.

I love them!
Every time I look around the corner when I am lost or scared, there they are.
Ever willing.


Rebecca attends this rally and then emails me the next day about running into an organization called the National Lawyers Guild in NYC. It was through their resources that I found Deborah Lagutaris.

When I reached out to Deb, I was beyond broken.
I was tired and I was ready to give up and give in.
I didn't see much hope and I honestly didn't expect much from her.

Now, where do I start talking about Deb?

We spoke on the phone and I explained my situation to her, all the while trying not cry. Deb heard me patiently and said, "I will work on this with you. Please don't worry." She was also honest with me about her fees and made sure I was alright before proceeding further. I then sent her a few documents and she began working on my legal paperwork right away.

Because of my horrible experiences with finding legal help and because of being ripped off by organizations who claimed they could help me, I was skeptical about Deb in the beginning. I didn't tell anyone about her. Not even Rebecca. I even wondered if I had made another mistake by trusting her.

Naivety had me feeling stupid not too long ago.

But Deb was real.
Deb was actually helping me.

She stayed in touch with me for the next few days and held my hand and got me through a significant legal hurdle. Even though the hurdle is somewhat behind me, Deb continues to assist me.

It was an emotional experience.
I am glad she was with me.
Above all, I am glad she is genuine.

When I met Deb, we spoke about our lives and our experiences and Deb also spoke briefly about a significant loss in her life.

We were able to connect with each other through our grief and through many unspoken words.

Deb was there for me at a time when people haughtily turned their backs toward me. She was the one person who was willing to stand by me, listen to me, and make sure she did her best to help me out, like she said she would.

When people are grieving, struggling through a recent trauma, have had a significant loss in their lives, or experiencing any other life altering transitions, there is really not much they need other than a listening ear, a willing heart, compassion, and people who keep their word when they say they are going to do something. I am not sure if this is true of everyone, but it is for me.

Oh...I also need hugs. Lots of them.

I am fragile at the moment, and trust is important to me.
Deb gained my trust and she keeps my trust.

I cannot thank you enough for everything you have done for me and the girls, dear Deb.
Jesse would've loved to to meet you and he thanks you as well.

If you are interested, you can learn more about Deb and her services here

Side note: Advocacy is important, not only for yourself, but also for the community you live in. You never know who you will run into and who you might end up helping in return.

Jesse, Priya, Isis and Maya in the belly saying thank you.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

And here's to you

And here's to you...

Today was a big day for me, for us.
You know what I am talking about.
You know what's going on...
I know you were watching over me to make sure everything went alright.

And it did...
Here's to hoping that the rest of the journey will also be alright.

Here's to the strong you
the compassionate and vibrant you
here's to the confident you
the you that didn't break easily
the you that was open to asking for guidance when needed

Here's to you that spoke your mind fearlessly
naming injustice without hesitation when you witnessed it
and here's to you who encouraged me to do the same.

Thank you for being you.
Thank you for loving me and allowing me love you.

Continue to watch over us.
Thank you for sending Deb my way.

Tomorrow, I am going to dedicate my post to a special person named Deb.

Tonight, I am going to be kind to myself, drink some wine, and get some sleep.
Maybe you will come visit?

I love you. Goodnight.'s to you.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Not just yet

Today I was in a place doing something that needed to be done. A lady there was having some sort of a medical emergency related to her heart. I was calm in the beginning and even offered to help in any way I could. Then her friend got on the phone with 911.

That's when I froze.
It all came back to me.

I stood up and moved myself away from the area, but at the same time, I had to remind myself to stay calm because I was there to get something done and it wasn't the time or the place to break down, if I could help it. All the medical professionals arrived. I watched them as they actually took their own sweet time to get to the poor lady.

My heart was racing and I was actually getting angry at them.

I kept thinking..."Hurry the hell up assholes!"

I wondered if they took their own bloody time to get to Jesse that night.
Maybe if they had hurried?
I know.
I know he was gone for at least a little while when I found him.

I also know I need to start seeing my therapist again. All the skills that I teach my clients as a therapist seem difficult for me to use for my own good.

I am not ready to be in therapy yet.
I am not ready to do the work.
Doing work means having to start the process of moving on.
I don't want to move on, yet.
I don't want to heal.
Can I be a functional human being meanwhile and keep my shit together so I can provide for the girls?

My grief is my own.
I don't feel like tearing my heart open to you and showing you the raw insides.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Tears and patterns

I cried a lot today.
I had some good cries.

Some that felt like my heart would burst open with sorrow.

I burst into tears randomly.
I am fine one minute and the next, I can't talk or breathe or focus.

I cried for a while in the bathroom, alone.

I cried while I lay next to Maya and my sweet angel woke up to look at me...with those eyes, her father's eyes

and her face was saying..."Don't cry mama..."

And then I looked over next to her face and saw the pattern my tears had made on the sheets...

Yes. Jess...
I know...

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Supermoon and fingerprint

I missed the "supermoon"
I wanted to watch it in the sky and feel close to you
and wonder if you were watching it too
But life distracted me
distractions are welcomed
they keep the ache at bay, at least for a moment
I cry when I am alone.
I cry at night

I think about that night often

While driving away from home today
I pictured them driving away with you that night...
as our home grew smaller and smaller and disappeared
leaving us behind
taking you away from us
I wonder if you screamed then
or were you by my side all along?

I wear the print of your finger
around my neck
reminds me of the touch of your skin
the way you gently moved your fingers back and forth, on my hand, comfortingly,
while you held it
the fingers that touched my face once
while your eyes looked at me, intensely

I looked at the lines closely for a long time
to see if they would talk back to me
I thought about your life
paths you walked
your big, bright, embracing presence
the lives you touched
The lines
fused with the lines on my fingers
the lines
touched the freckles on my face

This was planned
I am touched
I will always feel
feel the warmth
of you and everything you are

and these lines of yours
around my neck
will envelope me
while I continue to move
and hope
that the lines on my hands
will touch yours
one day
and we'll pick up
from where we left off
while the lines enmesh
fade into one day