a Personal letter to Brittany Maynard

Brittany Maynard

I have taken great care to not write this letter.  Not because I believe I have something to say that would influence your decision, but instead, because I thought that I would receive a barrage of shit that I was not sure I could handle.  However, I cannot let the possible storm that could happen stop me from saying something to you, from my inner most self.

First of all I want you to know that I am sorry.  I feel heartbroken for you, and your loved ones, because no matter what you do, or do not do – you will not be here in the capacity that you and they had hoped and dreamed for.  I am sure that this has caused them, and you, some considerable pain and grief.  I know that things like this in my own life have done so for me.  I have read article upon article about your situation.  I understand both sides, I think, pretty well.  I can understand the mass’s fear about an epidemic of suicides.  I can also understand your statement of, “choosing to die with dignity.”  I do believe that both sides have inestimable value, and I do not negate either argument.

I do not condemn you for your decision.  I really detest the condescending and arrogant comments that say you are wrong because they do not agree with you.  I cannot say that I agree, nor disagree at the current moment.  But, I can say this. You are not a coward for wanting to live the best you can, and die as you wish.  You are under an immense amount of pressure, and not just from your illness.  You have the erroneous tidal wave of flashy human emotionalism being forced upon you.  You have the caviler exposure to cruelty and harshness, because of your firm footing, and where you are choosing to stand.  Sometimes, all I can do is shake my head at the human race, and offer a shoulder and out stretched hand to the one that supposed humanity has cause a further and serious injury.  This is what I am intending to do with you.

I know you do not know me.  I know that you don’t need anything that I have to say either. But, I do need you.

There are not many people who stick out as loudly and kindly as you do.  Your story inspires more than you will ever be able to realize.  So a loud amount of people wanna treat you with disdain and hate you for your choice, that does not make what you are doing wrong, AND did not change what you wanted to do, and what you have already done.  Of all the things I have read, I see you as a warm and loving person.  You married, and have fulfilled your “bucket list” with passion and charisma.  You have such a light with in you, it is difficult to know that you will be gone very soon.  At the same time, I cannot say that I would not do the exact same thing.

What of the loss?  Do you feel that you are gone already?  In many ways your reflection has changed as a result of your current fight.  Change, though inevitable, cannot be stopped.  We all are changing every moment of every day.  But “normal” change is expected, while mal-adaptive change is not.  You have a knowledge about what has been, what is now, and what to expect.  The fact that you were diagnosed and that the illness has progressed as ferociously as it has has changed you and the world around you forever.  This was what spurned you on to make a decision that is so much more that just life and death.  You are brave. You are strong.  You are loved.

I am praying for you this morning.  Not praying that you will change your mind, but praying that you will find peace – no matter what your ultimate decision will be.

I have been suicidal many many times.  I came to the conclusion that the world would be a much better place without me.  I was so afraid of hurting other people that I tried to eliminate the possibility by taking my own life.  Obviously it didn’t take.  I have been in pain too.  I have been given chemo therapy, pills and medications ad infinitum, I have gained more than 200 pounds, and lost only 100 of it, I have brittle bones, poor immune system, constant migraines, and I am losing my hearing.  I have been through abusive situations that completely mess with my head, and usually, for the most part, people do not believe me.  That is okay, I don’t want to MAKE anyone see things from my perspective.  It can hurt, and I do cry about it, but I believe me – and usually, that is enough.  Suicide has been a constant companionized thought in my mind.  Some days I just want a break!  I sleep, on average, 45 mins a night, and when I sleep I am flooded with PTSD-istic ‘dreams.’  My life feels more like an “experiment in terror” rather than something to be pursued.  Yet, I do have moments that make me smile.    Little moments that mean more to me that all the horror and the pain.  I treasure these moments, and value them highly.

I know that you understand a lot of that.  Mental anguish, painful body, disturbing medication (and weight gain) and mental image.  Some days the future can seem more bleak and effed up than anything else, and fear can cause me to make a decision that I can be quite impulsive about. This I don’t see in you, and I find that admirable.  You are doing your very best, and you are living every day to the fullest, and then you are planning to die with the dignity you recognize that you deserve.  I hope that things go as you hope that they will.

You have inspired and infuriated many many people.  The best part of that, is that you are getting people aware, and causing them to think and feel about something that most tend to hide from.  That deserves a standing ovation, and so I am gonna set my laptop down and stand up and clap, please hold…

There, that was for you.

What ever you decide to do, I am proud of you.  If you change your mind, or if you follow through – either way, you have caused a sensation to a society that had a heart as hard as Carbyne my dear dear exemplar.  That is a pebble dropped in a calm pond that will cause a ripple effect that can in NO WAY be measured … at least not presently.

Thank you for your passion.  Thank you for being brave.  and thank you for being “real” and honest.

God bless you Brittany Maynard.

Sincerely,

me.

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Are you ‘LIKE’ me?

Have you ever thought to yourself, “Why can’t I be like ‘so and so’?”  Do you ever wonder why life appeared to be so easy for someone else, only to condemn yourself for the trials that seemed to so easily beset you?  Do you look for ways to be apart of a society that you don’t completely understand, but deeply yearn to belong to?  Has a line from a movie, or a quote from a book, ever had an impact upon your heart that caused a stirring inside of you – a strong desire- revealing a need that you desperately hunger to fill?  Have you ever been in a crowd of friends and felt completely isolated?  Has anyone in your life who meant a great deal to you, broken your heart?  Have you ever allowed fear to dictate your actions instead of leading with your own full sense and intent of purpose?  Do you understand the make-up of a lie, and cherish it anyways?  Do you get angry, hot headed, and complacent with people in general, or at the very least, with yourself?  Do the actions of others lead you to believe in things that simply aren’t so?  Can you sink in your own despair while simultaneously insisting that others be lifted up at all cost?  Have you ever drawn a conclusion from an experience, and found out later that it was the experience that was messed up, and not you?  Did you ever contemplate the possibility of aliens?  Have you ever laughed at a joke that you didn’t understand the meaning of at all?  Have you pretended to belong somewhere, or with someone, but your heart was not in it?  Can you imagine what it would be like if we all let down our guards and spoke with love and zeal, and loved with pure intentions and on purpose?  Is there something great inside of yourself that you see, but that you are afraid to show others?  Do you want to help others to believe in the good, but you find yourself skeptical of the good when it comes to you and good sharing in a companionate relationship?
Do you question things insistently?  Do you ask and ponder situations and try to chew out the correct consistency for digestions, only to puke it up later because it was not consistent with your own sustentative needs?
Why do you question anything?  Should we question everything? Can you be happy to be wrong?  Do you NEED to be right?

I don’t know why we all think that we are so alone!  We are all made up of the same things, just put in different and complicated row of assortments.
So, since I can be like you… feeling stuff I don’t want to, wanting feelings I am not feeling, eating when I am not hungry, doing something way too much, or way to little, or not at all….  Over simplifying or highly dramatizing situations… and in short – feeling oddly detached and unique … I ask you this question…

Are you LIKE me?

I was totally wrong, and this is my morning confession!!!

In my ever searching quest for light and knowledge, I have got to completely admit that I have been TOTALLY INCORRECT about my perceptions and understandings about what TRUE LOVE is. While I can appreciate a declarative statement that allows me to say I have been wrong, I am also delighted to say that I “might” have an inclination as to what the proper and more fitting definition could be. Yesterday I was richly blessed to take part in a ceremony that was marking the “Celebration of a Season.” I have been trying to put the past behind me in a way that I could live my present and look forward to a future that was not so daunted by my own fears that nothing seemed of value. I say “try” because though I have put in some effort, I did not believe it was possible. The proof seemed lacking, the people seemed mere shadows, and the “love” that everyone spoke of sooooo often appeared to me as a great ‘idea’ and NOTHING more. I was diluted in my own way, as we all can be from time to time, and I had decided – with great fervor I might add – that ‘love’ and ‘like’ and ’emotionalistic based decisions’ were a path to the “dark side” and mere tricks and ploys used by those who knew how to masterfully manipulate the huddled masses and they were by no means anything more. In my stuffy arrogance I diagnosed everyone else who lived by pure and raw emotion as contemptuous and fickle (to be kind,). When a person would promise me something, anything!!!, I would hold it in myself that they were attempting to do some part of a good thing. When they would not follow through, which seemed way more acute in a time gone by than the current present, I became numb to this strange phenomena, (at least that is what I let myself believe,). I have tried to be a ‘keeper of my word’ type of person. But not for the reason that I think it is right – though I do think it is right. I did it because I was hurt!! I hated the disappointment and the pain and fear associated with a broken promise. I didn’t consider myself better than anyone because of this. In fact, I drew a circle around my sentimental sensitivity and quite simply did not allow anything to penetrate the barrier that I set up. I failed a lot! I too broke promises and hurt peoples feelings. I cannot be perfect, and each time I hurt another, even when – especially when – my intentions were of the purest caliber, I created a harder and more fortified wall to not only shield me from the world, but to shield the world from me as well. Laughingly I look at it now and see how silly the whole thing is! My biggest fear is that I am gonna hurt someone, (anyone…Everyone!) in a way that they will be completely damaged and the recovery would be impossible. I don’t wanna break peoples, not one! I want to
“be a blessing!” I want other people to be loved, and have love in their lives. How hypocritical of me to assume that others deserved to feel that way, and still think that I ‘know’ that I never had, certainly didn’t now, and that there was no feasibility nor was there ever a likelihood that I could also be deserving of something as inestimable as LOVE.
More than 20 people were at my home yesterday to walk through this ‘celebration of a season’ with me. ME? People sang beautiful songs, spoke with their hearts, cried and hugged me (on purpose) to demonstrate the credibility of their commitment to assisting me in my life and to help me to process the losses, and move on. Why did they participate? I value this kind of community, in fact it was a dream I thought about often, and here it was! I watched their facial expressions during each performance, I smiled at their smiles, and I puzzled at their tears. Their personal part in the ceremony, tears and smiles, though they were dangerously apprehended initially…yet, slowly … ever so slowly… became the missing pieces that have lead to this sense of practicality for emotionalism, and for my own sense of value and quite possibly, dare I say it, worth. It’s funny how so many people can look at a creation of God and see how its odd shape, and quirky demeanor make it a beautiful addition to the world, and sad how that creation can see it self as only odd and bizarre in a way that is all exclusive, instead of completely inclusive. So, it comes down to this. Do I want to be afraid forever, and thus ALONE forever? …hmmmm…. no I don’t!   Can I afford the effort it requires to believe, to trust, to give up giving up, and can I relearn how to love?

My reply and deep gratitude for the lesson of Saturday is a resounding, sincere, and wildly enthusiastic………………… YES!

Unfamiliar Now……..

Did you know I wasn’t here

When my body at last rested?

Did you know it wasn’t clear

Why my everything was tested?

Can you hear me when I call

And do you really care for me?

Meager inside I feel so small

And I hear

“I love you Auntie Bri!”

I do not know where I am

Your face is warm and kind

The air is different, I’m a ma’am

I am allowed to use my mind

Is there something I have done

For you to respect me so?

In your heart, you are one

Yet how, I just don’t know

Have I been a best friend for reals

Helping and being adored?

Shall I wake with a heart that feels

Only to be ignored?

God in heaven I cannot express

What a mess my heart is in

But my gratitude for all of this

Wants me to let even You in

I thought my heart was dead

And I would live in hell forever

Then I heard what she said

Now I know I’ll never

I was lost and now am found

A sinner with eyes that could not see

Now I will sing a joyous sound

Because I know You care for me

8/31/2014

SLEEP!!

What is the longest time you have gone without sleep?  Do you know why sleep is important?   I wrote this little ditty on my 5th day (after 4 freakin nights of NO SLEEP) … as you read it, you may get a slight sense that I am a bit more than indifferent…

SLEEP!!!

You devil!

You deceiver

You undiscovered wake

You fiendish thief

You vulgar expression

You explicative remark

You anger ridden demon

You tease

You heaven forsaken nightness

You night forsaken day

You wide eyed betrayer

You body fatigue

You muscle unrepairer

You wretched waste

You time stealer

You fatherless child

You female dog

You immaculate angel from hell

You Lucifer

You bearer of false hope

You life taker

You candle burner

You butt

You taker of breath

You showerless monkey

You filthy war monger

You accidental overdose

You imperialistic withered flower

You sycophant

You daughter of fire

You icy heart

You escape artist

You slippery little sucker

You wave leaving shore

You tsunami and shadow

You ranibowless fall

You sunless sky

You evil being

You sour sugar

You salty cake

You vomit face

You crappy ending

You waste of space

You terrible nightmare in the day

You death of life

You betrayer of souls

You manipulator of the body

You indignant psychopath

What if I told you…

That the version of history you were taught as a child was heavily revised to favor your own parent’s agenda while hiding their crimes, In doing so this fostered an unrealistic sense of loyalty and false family pride used to manufacture your allegiance to an entity masquerading as people who loved you???

What if everything you thought you knew, you now know… is a lie?

-Anonymous

Moonlight Prayer

Now I lay me down to rest, running low on feeling foxy
Wishing I had more zeal and zest, yet, still glad I am not considered doxy
Looking back upon my day, I know it was not my greatest
And though I did reach out for help, my path was not the straightest
So while some will take a breath and pray, to the one “up in the sky”
As I lay here, wide awake, salt water leaks out of my eye
Should I die before I wake, a statement that haunts me now
Is it a dream, or just a fake… does one say ‘amen’ or ciao?
Did I do all that I could, to share what to me is good
Was anything I did of value to another….did another feel understood
Was I kind to any friend
Could I have helped someone broken to mend
Was I hiding too much, Did I fearfully cower
Was I too in love with my own power
Was I truthful, and eager to please
Did I bully, or nag, or tease
Was dude “upstairs” on my flowchart
Did I celebrate others genius, or did I think that only I was smart
Was I cruel with good intention
Did I blame others, hiding my own invention
And if I die, before the morning
Could I have done better, left a message or forwarning
Sometimes I will make a major mistake
I don’t murder, or steal…. but I can be fake
My meaning of fake can be different I know
By that I mean following societal norms, not letting feelings show
So, God, if you are listening, I am sorry once more
I am forever happy that you don’t keep score
Thank you for the days I have known
And thanks for the ups with the laughter, and the downs with a moan
Thank you for my friends, and thanks for the light
Thanks for the ones who bump in the night
Thanks for all the stuff in middle
For the beginnings that are difficult, to the ends… some fragile and brittle
Sorry for the sins I do
Sorry mostly cause they hurt you
But, if I tomorrow I get another chance
I will seek to share this divine romance
So,
As I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord the world to keep
Help the children young and small
And please please catch them when they fall
Help the teenager to to learn and grow
and head the direction you’d want them to go
Keep the married and the unwed
In safe places in and out of their head
For those of us who have to dream
Help us to know what they mean
and Lord, if it is not asking tooooooo much
Help me to not use FEAR as a crutch.
If I am gone before tomorrow
Helps others not to bear alone their sorrow
Instead, if it is possible, and You are God, so it has to be
If I wake in the AM, please oh please
Help them to see YOU instead of me. . . . . . . .
– le porteur de mortalité- (by morti)

25 Things About Me…

25 Things about Me!!

1. I have 11 siblings that I have met! (only 5, that I am aware of, that I have not met.)

2. My favorite color is Blue, followed closely by yellow!!!

3. I feel like my life is very blessed right now! I love Jesus, and He has saved me! I have good friends! I am in a home that is considered safe! I have a good support network. My mind is clear, and………… special people hear and understand me. (that is huge!!!!!)

4. I am a voice coach, and adore my “students” and love watching them grow into their talents!

5. I can be super intense, OR super flat emotionally. (sometimes simultaneously… figure that one out! ha!!)

6. I love love LOVE auto correct!

7. Laughter is the best!! Some days, I assume that is the main thing keeping me afloat!

8. The rules are simple! Don’t follow me ever! Follow God, period!

9. I won’t say things to intentionally piss you off, but I won’t lie to you either.

10. I mess up A LOT! It is part of the humor that keeps me going!

11. I do not need your validation for my existence, however, feeling encouragement from loved ones is usually super cool.

12. At least once a day, my goal is to show God to someone. I am not saying I am fantastic at it, some days are better than others, but I know that God works through all of us, and I wanna do what I can whenever I can!!!

13. I do NOT believe that ANY religion will save you. NONE! Only Jesus can save you….

14. I do not automatically assume that people are stupid. I have my days … and some with extra “special moments” where my brilliance appears significantly dull. But, if I want to know and understand something, I ask the questions! Difficult or not! It is around the time that I realize that people are being ignorant of a situation on purpose that I begin to wonder if they tie their own shoes, or not…. my motto is: If you really want to know something, you have to ask the question! Even if you are afraid to ask it, ask it! You cannot learn the answers if you do not search for them!

15. I am NOT perfect! and I DON’T have to be! yay, there is sweet sweeeeeeeeeeeeeet freedom in that!!

16. I say “sorry” way too often! I mean it deeply each time, however, that is a piece that is broken in my head… I am totally working with God on that one, cuz DUDE my contrite self-condemnatory guilt-ridden attitude about me is getting soooooooooooooooo OLD!

17. Once I love you, and I mean genuinely admittedly authentically love you.. I will always love you!

18. I don’t know how to kiss. bwa ha ha ha… bet you didn’t see that one comin’ did you!?!?!

19. I highly favor “odd” food mixtures.
20. I also highly favor “odd” people, “odd” ideas, “outside the box” thinkers, and “different” than run of the mill, dull drums thinking!!!!

21. If I cannot make sense of it, I tend to obsess about it until it I fall asleep (could be days and days) or! I successfully get distracted by a situation that does not involve that part of my obsession.

22. I am sad 70% of the time. I am scared 90% of the time. I am happy 35% of the time… but I am loved 100% of the time.

23. My fears are real to me! Sometimes I get really apprehensive and melancholy when I believe other people more than I believe in myself. I have come to realize that experience, for the most part, dictates the ways in which our minds process information. Because experience fills in the meanings to the questions of life… (life being filled with experiences) I often questions people’s perception of reality. I search emphatically for meaning and purpose. I strive with great fortitude to understand the psychology behind human choices, and my own choices as well. I admittedly get “stuck” in legalisms and logistics. I am not of a monolithic mind, but more of a multi-fractured ambidextrous pliable and resourceful, many-sided …. mind.

24. Relationship are confusing to me! (because people are confusing to me!) I do not have enough experience to be un-daunted and sanguine about interpersonal communication as I would have a preference for. Nevertheless, I refuse to ‘throw in the towel’ and buckle under the pressure of an impending invariable line of failures – that want to see me defeated! I am gonna keep trying……

25. I am not like the admirable people who say that they are thankful for their past, and they do not regret any of it because it made them who they are. I do regret a lot of my past. I do NOT always like who I am. I regrettably live in the land of “wishes” from time to time. I do NOT want to be who I am all of the time. I am afraid of my feelings, my past experiences, finding out who I really am, why I am the way I am, and who I can become… all that freaks the ever living piss out of me!!! Still, at the very same time, it is also very appealing and provocative! The self-same things that “freak” me out, also stir me on to discovery! Innovative conclusions, and paths of discovery (especially recently) lead me to considerably presume, a bit more than to speculate, that there is indeed HOPE of POSITIVE change, and THAT is not just a verisimilitude but IS a tangible and indisputable place to draw strength from. God lives there… and He is kewl like that!!!

“Do you see how I see you?”

This morning is very interesting, already! I was thinking backwards as I pondered the many people who have come into my life, and who have left. It seemed to me that the things that I have valued the most at the most intense times of my life are gone. That might sound simple, but with that painful recollection, I also realized that the difficulties of each and every ounce of those moments were eased in some way by the special ones who ‘could’ be there with me. Most of them didn’t even know 1% of my experience. That wasn’t as important to me as just sharing the same space with someone who had good thoughts and intentions towards me. What seemed epidemic for some time, losing the people I wanted to love, created in me a sense of loss and deeply rooted sorrow. I wasn’t sure why these people had to die, or – got to die. Each time it happened I felt abandoned, and not just by them.. but ultimately by God as well. This effed-up idea influenced my internal self deprecating dialogue…. how very sad. In the past, when I looked at the memories and old pictures of these people and I could not understand why they refused to see the bright and beautifulness about themselves that I SAW!!! Why would they leave in such a tragic and dark way? Having had a “few” difficult situations in my own life, I understand the seductive idea of being free of pain and sorrow. I get that suicide can seem like the perfect kind of divorce that would rid a person of significant hardships! I have been in that frame of mind many many times. I am sooooo NOT better than anyone who has ever had the thoughts, attempted and failed, or who succeeded with the idea.
This line of thinking led me to the “interesting” part of my already deeply personal introspective morning. I am looking at a few of their pictures right now. I am also in a few of the pics … puzzling with stringent inquisition I stare in disbelief at their refusals to see themselves the way I did!!! and still do!!!
Then, this idea pounced into my mind very vividly!!!! It said, “Do you see how I see you?” I actually jumped, and looked around! I am the only one awake in my home right now, and as I settled back into my previous thoughts dismissively… the thought came again. “Do you see how I see you?”
Have you ever felt an extreme flash of a thousand images, people, words, meanings… in a matter of microseconds? From my young and tender green years to my old decrepitude (35 lol ), it felt as if I were going through each person who ever told me what they saw in me. Many were painful, and I felt the pain as if it were acid eating away at my healthy mental image of myself, and the world around me. As each of my beloved friends, who have since passed in the tragic way as said previously, I remember how I felt around them. It was completely different. These people were warm and loving. They were accepting and kind. They were meek and bold. They had a zeal for life I never felt I could attain. I felt I could be the real me, what ever in the hell that was, around them… for they were not cruel in the slightest. The tragedy was that they didn’t feel that way about themselves.
“Do you see how I see you?”
I wonder how many times God asks us this question? I wonder why we don’t see it, or hear it?
Even though my morning began with tears and sorrow at the loss of these fantastic people in my life…. along with that I am very happy they were in my life at all!!! The pain sucks, don’t get me wrong, but they were worth it… and they still are. I do not remember them only with sorrow and regret – though it is still a piece of it. I remember their smiles, their laughter… the things that they did that inspired me, especially how their eyes sparkled as they were true to who they were…
I have many special people in my life today. I cannot say how blessed I am because there are not enough words to adequately speak to even a small percentage.
The realization this morning came from the past painful and present list of emerging miracles. To the ones of I have lost. I love you. Thank you for the lessons you are still teaching me. Sandra Fickstead, Ginger, Destiny Winder, Billy Liniar, Jessica Parker, Dani McKallestar, Joseph Jenkins, Sanderson Pancus, Jo Jo Myners, Brittney Candelson, Debra Halesten, Chris Kidenns…
Others who were taken, in forms of external violence: Kristopher S, Sylvia S, Brandon… unnamed children………
Prayer “God, sometimes I am so overwhelmed with the difficulties of my life, that I forget to remember you. I get so lost in my own head that I don’t even consider things from your perspective. I am sorry that I make it all about me. I want it to be all about you! You are so loving and kind, more than anyone I have ever met. These people in my life were such forces of good, and I realize that you used them to help me to find you! I am eternally grateful for them, and you! Thanks for the question, ‘do you see how I see you’… I will try to keep you in my mind all day long today… To see things from a heavenly perspective, and not my own biased and xenophobia. Thank you God so much! In your son’s name I pray, Amen.”
……. and now the next great adventure….. breakfast