stories.. that expose both the depths of what was taken from them and the challenges of rebuilding the lives they once had
"Since I was a little girl I’ve been afraid of monsters. I’d put garlic on my window ledge to ward off vampires and sage in the corners to protect me from zombies. Even as a young adult I lay on my ratty futon surrounded by library books terrified someone or something would break into my apartment. After my daughter was born, my fear escalated. I’d check the front door several times a day to make sure the deadbolt was secure and the chain latched. At night I lay in the dark, my mind sending out waves of panic."
"For my mother and women like her, now in the final chapters of their lives, people crave a narrative that forces adoption as the only possible solution." "Overwhelmingly then, adoptive parents, like myself, decide how the mothers who birthed our children should be perceived." [more inside]
a lost possibility: women on miscarriage (an open discussion on a topic that nobody talks about) [more inside]
MeFi's own jscalzi suffers the loss of his beloved pet. Ghlaghghee (pron. "Fluffy"), a.k.a. the world-famous BaconCat, has passed away after a brief illness. John writes a quiet, typically wry eulogy and appreciation.
"A song, a poem, a scene from a film triggers memories. You’re startled, moved, shaken. And you’re faced with two options: 1) engage with the work and the memories it calls up, or 2) retreat, postpone, avoid. Option 2 is very attractive." Matt Zoller Seitz remembers his wife Jennifer, who would have turned 44 today. [more inside]
On July 2, 2014, Hannah Richell's husband Matt was killed in a surfing accident at Bronte beach. [more inside]
Keen to win the contract to supply The State of New York with office supplies, Staples offered to supply many expensive items at one cent apiece, on the theory that profits on the sales of full-priced items would cover the losses on the one cent stuff. Um...not exactly.
Good Grief, an animated short film from Australia about the process of grieving and the lessons learned from adjusting to loss, made using stop-motion animation and recorded interviews with real people.
"Why am I not constantly grieving?" The wonderful Roger Angell on love, loss, sex, death, time, and the view from age 94.
Jeremy Cowart photographed John Schneider (Dukes of Hazzard/Smallville/Haves and Have Nots star), but didn't get exactly the experience he expected.
I went through a pretty rough break up this year and it was not great. I wrote and made this in the midst of all that. It's a tombstone and love letter and I hope you enjoy it.
I’ll always remember it. It was the last time I saw her "The whole Monty Python group was there, most of us from the show, a lot of other funny people, and Gilda."
These days, selfies are how we make ourselves real, to ourselves and to the outside world. So, it’s no wonder that some of us turn to our iPhones in these moments of loss. It’s a way of saying, “I still exist.”
"After she passed, the chimps examined the body, inspecting Pansy’s mouth, pulling her arm and leaning their faces close to hers. Blossom sat by Pansy’s body through the night. And when she finally moved away to sleep in a different part of the enclosure, she did so fitfully, waking and repositioning herself dozens more times than was normal. For five days after Pansy’s death, none of the other chimps would sleep on the platform where she died."— "Want to Understand Mortality? Look to the Chimps", by Maggie Koerth-Baker in the NYT [more inside]
Save Points is an essay about gaming after the loss of a friend.
'Loss is difficult at any time of life. It can be particularly difficult for teenagers, who are still navigating their way, sometimes clumsily, toward adulthood. They know they need help, but are sometimes reluctant to ask for it. And often, because of their youth, their loss may be the first death they have ever known.' For a year, a reporter from the Cincinnati Enquirer sat in on meetings of a grief group at Archbishop Moeller high school, for boys who had lost a parent... and learned The Rules of Grieving.
English singer-songwriter Keaton Henson's video for Small Hands, directed by Joseph Mann. [more inside]
"In the space of My Darkest Year, in no particular order, these things happened. My younger son died. My marriage ended. A rabbi and renowned jazz musician whom I’d only met once performed my son’s funeral. People applauded. I fell in love with a blond poet suffering from PTSD. It didn’t work out. My divorce was granted. The only Jewish funeral director in town admitted to me, unbidden, that her life’s passion is improv comedy. My ex-husband threatened my boyfriend’s balls via Facebook. I fled—and sold—my dream house. My older son lost his first tooth and entered kindergarten. I performed stand-up comedy. People applauded. I fell in love again. I realized I’m not afraid of anything." Michelle Mirsky's column No Fear of Flying: Kamikaze Missions in Sex, Death, and Comedy won the 2011 McSweeney's Column Contest. It's funny, aching, gutsy, and heartwrenching.
A catastrophic freeze has wiped out about 80 per cent of Ontario’s apple crop and has the province’s fruit industry looking at losses already estimated at more than $100 million. "Warm temperatures got fruit trees blooming early and when temperatures plummeted Sunday morning it damaged or wiped out much of the $60 million apple crop and 20 to 30 per cent of Ontario’s $48 million tender fruit crop which includes peaches, cherries, pears, plums and nectarines." Also see Michigan (tart & sweet cherries, apples, pears - "what sets this year apart is not just the severity of the damage but the variety of fruits affected") and western NY ("The erratic Rochester weather has taken its toll on local fruit crops... as much as 90 percent of apples, peaches, cherries, and raspberries in the area [are] destroyed").
She is gone. A Valentines story of love and loss.
LOST Magazine covers things abandoned, displaced, and lost, with many issues covering a particular theme: food, money, sounds, print, lost in space, at sea. Other issues are collections of journalism, memoir, poetry, photography, and fiction: first-person accounts of lost memories, diary entries, crime scenes, ruins, languages, relics and lost species, among many others. [more inside]
The List. After losing his wife Meghan to breast cancer, Adam Warner has set out to complete his wife's to-do list, which has already taken him in a train across Canada and on pilgrimage to India. From the (newly revived) Chicago Public Media program Love & Radio. [more inside]
But that was [yesterday] is a flash game about learning to move forward.
Ben’s 120lb Journey. “Christmas of that year, I realized I was unhappy with my life, and just being there being with [my grandmother], I realized it was the time to do something about it. So I started my blog, BenDoesLife, wrote the address on the card, and gave it to her as a Christmas gift. She got me a shirt, which was two sizes too small. I told her rather than take it back, I was going to work on fitting in it. And eventually I did.” Ben running in January 2009 and then at his second weigh-in. Recent Interview with Ben.
Rapper and actor 50 Cent has slimmed down to 160 lbs. for his role in an upcoming film in which he plays a cancer patient. Here, a gallery of other actors who notably lost or gained weight for their craft.
Deep Grief: Creating Meaning From Mourning (Article from NPR.) How some parents have channeled their grief over the loss of their children into memorial efforts that provide for others. [more inside]
As George Carlin once said, "it is an infinitely more interesting news story for a team to repeatedly fail at the highest level than it is for them to finally win." After ten years and over 1,500 episodes, last night's Who Wants To Be A Millionaire (the US version) featured its very first Top Prize Loser. Ken Basin, of Los Angeles, incorrectly guessed that LBJ prefered Yoo-Hoo over Fresca, and walked away with $25,000 instead of $1,000,000. [more inside]
Look around you. On the train platform, at the bus stop, in the car pool lane: these days someone there is probably faking it, maintaining a job routine without having a job to go to.
Flight No. 3407 crashes in Buffalo, New York. This, after the flight that landed in the Hudson, and all the people were saved. The Plane crash on YouTube as of now.
There are lots of people who post weight loss videos on Youtube. But none of them faced as many challenges as Jeremy did. Morbidly obese, and bedridden, we watched while he struggled to walk again and defeat obesity. Despite those that were rude to him, nobody seemed to have as much spirit and drive as Jeremy did. Even Jeremy's last video was filled with optimism. But even though so many of us struggle against obesity, some of us lose the fight. Even though Jeremy has passed, Roberta's videos dealing with his loss remind us how fortunate we really are.
Sad -- such a sweet-looking kid, the smile on the face of a future suicide. Sad -- "If she only knew then how things would turn out…" Sad -- "I chose to kill her." Sad -- "You could see her personality break through the coma." Life is dukkha, said the Buddha -- a Pali term that means something like "suffering" or "the incapability of satisfaction." (Or as Mick Jagger put it, "I can't get no...") Here's the tangible evidence.
Death (?) of a Small-Press Legend The link points to a page dedicated to Bill-Dale Marcinko, one-time gonzo Rutgers University newspaper editor, small press publisher and a character it seems no one who knew could ever stop thinking about. Marcinko, who had been supporting himself selling CDs on eBay, apparently died in a house fire when firemen were held back by cardboard boxes full of his collections. Still, he did fake his death several times before. His friends, most of whom haven't spoken to him in years, are hoping this is just a more elaborate prank. Clifford Meth's tribute page celebrates Bill-Dale and his work, including AFTA zine, described as perhaps "the first comics 'zine distributed to book and comic shops that combined comedy, politics and reviews on books, films, and comics. It was very much an underground version of Crawdaddy, though with vastly personal content." (via Mike Appelstein, a contributor to the Rutgers Livingston Medium)
family at war an excellent documentary of a family who lost their son in iraq - particularly moving is the soldiers determined, soft-spoken mother who is examining the reasons for her loss.
LossofPrivacyFilter: 1) Patriot Act Expansion Bill Approved in Secret, which now provides a new ‘administrative subpoena’ authority (that) would let the FBI write and approve its own search orders for intelligence investigations, without prior judicial approval. ...Flying in the face of the Fourth Amendment, this power would let agents seize personal records from medical facilities, libraries, hotels, gun dealers, banks and any other businesses without any specific facts connecting those records to any criminal activity or a foreign agent. ..., and from the Justice Department: 2) Most health care employees can't be prosecuted for stealing personal data, and finally, 3) Citibank admits losing 4 million customer files.
These 3 examples all within the past few days--any others i missed?
These 3 examples all within the past few days--any others i missed?
Public Lives: Freddie Mercury, Arthur Ashe, Rock Hudson, Brad Davis, Perry Ellis, Eazy E, Michel Foucault, Amanada 'Miss Kitty' Blake, Roy Cohn, Halston, Keith Haring, Robert Mapplethorpe, Rudolf Nureyev, Anthony Perkins, Willi Smith, Liberace, Ricky Wilson. Private lives: Gail Farrow, T Billy, Bob BJ Johnson, Nkoosi Johnson, Terry McCormick, Catherine Margaret Cory. Public or private, we've all had losses. Is there anyone you are remembering today?
Ever dream your teeth fell out?? I did. I used to think it was because some of mine really did once (through violence, not poor dental hygiene). Turns out everybody dreams this.
There's a guy with an "immensely detailed, three-dimensional, interactive, constantly updated map of New York City," which "could provide the DNA for a re-created city" if something happened to destroy New York. Besides the nitpicking (do you want to recreate every awning and kiosk?), there's the big question: does it make sense to try to recreate in detail something that's gone? Or as the article puts it, "At what point do we accept the reality of loss?" And if a city were destroyed so utterly it couldn't be recreated, would its surviving inhabitants wander the world endlessly, keeping their lost home alive in their hearts and customs, like R.A. Lafferty's Angelenos?