1,825 Days


It has been five years since my best friend took her last breath. It has been five years since I began learning how to exist in a world without the love of my life to lean on for support. I am eternally grateful for her unconditional love, her compassion and her strength – all of which she instilled in me. These are the things that keep me going, that enable me to put one foot in front of the other every day. There are no words that could even begin to convey the immense loss and void that has been felt for the last 1,825 days that my mother’s physical presence has not existed. I will feel it tomorrow as I feel it today as I’ll feel it for the rest of my life and that’s okay. In honor of her spirit, I’ll keep going, too.



The Fullness


My heart is full of you, especially tonight. It beats to the rhythm of your life altering presence in my life. And while it couldn’t be forever or nearly long enough, I’ll keep dwelling on the fullness for that feeling shall suffice.

At the Edge of the World

I have come home in anxious pursuit of unlocking my mailbox to find that letter – that letter from the Los Angeles County Courthouse confirming my freedom, proof that my divorce is final. I have done this every single day for the past two and a half years. I have yet to receive that letter but I know that day will come. I know the day will come that I am no longer addressed as Mrs. (insert married last name), and my past mistakes can truly become just that – a part of my past.

Everyone jokes that a celebration is in order once I do obtain that piece of paper but I don’t find it a joking matter at all – I most definitely intend on celebrating in a very grand way. Ever heard of a divorce party? Well, it’s a thing and it will be a thing in my life – hopefully very soon.

I mull over the last two and a half years since deciding to end my marriage and that repetitive saying that, “life is crazy” doesn’t even begin to describe the roller coaster ride I have been subjected to. Life is downright insane! Life is a bitch as my mother liked to say. I’m a fucking survivor and I have to hold on to the hope and the belief that there will come a day where the fight, the struggle, the need to survive isn’t so necessary anymore. In the meantime, I’ll hang on to enjoyable memories that make my heart go pitter-pat and meaningful distractions that remind me of life’s greater pleasures.

I have been forever young, basking in the wondrous delight of indestructible spirits and I have inhaled the recycled air of last breaths, sharing space and time with destructive disease. I have spent lingering nights tasting the cool, crisp earth of immortal youth and reveling in its naïve sheen and I’ve laid next to death’s inevitable, unbiased truth, shivering in its finality. I have danced in the dim candlelight, made time stand still for an entire song and I have shed endless tears to a single repetitive chorus, red, swollen eyes shielded by a culmination of metal and plastic. I have soundly slept on winter’s sand at the edge of the world without the anticipation of another sunrise and I have wished to peacefully fall into a permanent sleep, one where my mortality calmly meets with a world I am unsure even exists.

It’s Okay

I deeply envy those who still have their mother’s wisdom to consult, their mother’s hand to hold and her number to call. There is no consolation for the devastating void I have felt every single day of my life for the past 1,430 days. There is nothing and no one that will ever fill it – it is simply something one must learn to live with and that will never be okay.

I have recently begun reiterating that last line to myself after listening to a plethora of interviews with one of my favorite authors, Cheryl Strayed. She said that in reference to the loss of her own mother and it has since stuck with me because I think in the days following the overwhelming loss of a loved one we’re constantly looking for ways to “make it okay” or waiting for it to at least “feel okay” when the reality is that it will never be okay and that is okay.

Not only do I envy, I feel angered at times – mostly when I witness young people taking their parents for granted or speaking as if they have all of the time in the world – this immature sense of invincibility. I recognize it because I used to be this way. We all think we’re going to live the “typical,” “normal” life where our parents will die when we’re in our fifties, at least. Unfortunately, one cannot teach experience or cast the agonizing pain he/she feels upon naïve beings, if only for a brief moment.

Yesterday evening, I had an interesting conversation with my eighty-five-year-old grandmother, my mama’s mother, about death. I asked her if death became easier to accept the more loss she experienced throughout her years. She replied that she believes that it does. We both agreed that if we are to look upon life with such endearment then we must learn to do the same with death because without life, there would be no such thing.

We agreed experience forces one’s perspective to change and influences one’s thoughts. I told her how I think about death on a daily basis whereas when I was, say twenty-two, I did not think of death quite as often. It was a lovely, candid conversation to have with someone who has an extra five and a half decades on me, who has lost three children, her husband, several siblings, and her own parents.

Focusing on one’s immortality can positively impact self-awareness, promote consciousness and produce immense amounts of anxiety. Daily, I face the pros and cons of this reality I was catapulted into four years ago. With self-awareness comes the ability to check myself when feeling envy – I am able to be genuinely happy for those who can consult their mother’s wisdom, hold her hand and hear her voice at the click of a button on their phone. The anxiety can become overwhelming at times though I am working intensely hard to manage it through therapy, through writing and other outlets.

I feel as if I am a sponge, soaking up all the experience I can handle until being squeezed dry and sharing with the world all that I have learned, hopefully inspiring and consoling others. I am on a constant self-improvement and growth regimen and my words are only a minute, but intentionally momentous piece of this journey. And, this is okay.

Self Inflicted Misery

I have mistakenly discovered that writing is a sickness of the self-inflicted variety – not a virus but a disease. An earnest writer, one with candor and humility must drive a dagger through her heart, allowing the darkened, profuse blood to spill out, never cowering under a band-aide, never permitting sutures to make her whole again.

She must lick her wounds willingly, knowing that each and every lockbox of stored, past memories will be forever opened with a single master key amidst the dagger’s path. The key – damaged, unable to lock anything away again. The writer must trudge forward with the open wound that inevitably carries with it an unavoidable illness – an illness so lethal, it will one day kill her. And she’ll die – glad that she let it.

Some of the greats have described this is in other, more concise words…

Hemingway – “There’s nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”


Steinbeck – “In utter loneliness a writer tries to explain the inexplicable.”

Bukowski – “He asked, “What makes a man a writer?” “Well,” I said, “it’s simple. You either get it down on paper, or jump off a bridge.”

Misery, I tell you. Complete and utter misery. The indescribable though palpable passion to write is the acceptance of one’s downright madness, embracing it like your closest kin. Vulnerability becomes a consistent way of being.

And when you’re not writing, that, too, is absolute misery. There is no escape. I chose to tell my truth and there is no going back.

Someone once ignorantly said to me when I informed her of my planned return to the west coast from New York, “I can’t help but think that you’re trying to run from your problems.”

At the time, I probably scoffed, shook my head and ensured this person that this wasn’t so. I didn’t feel the need to explain because the truth is, my problems, in fact, most people’s problems are not problems that can be ran away from. If the solution to my problems were as simple as a cross-country move, I probably would have made that move a lot sooner.

Alas, my biggest problem then and my biggest problem now are learning how to live in a world where my mother doesn’t exist –  A world where I cannot pick up the phone and hear her voice on the other end, a world where she is nowhere to be seen or heard. There are no solutions and there are no cross-country moves that will ever make this okay so I will just write. I won’t run and I won’t hide – I will simply just write – About that – About life, love, and my experiences. I will sit at my computer or my notepad and I will bleed.