And, finally, what NOT to say or do when one loses a loved one…

I promised to write this post. We’ll consider it a public announcement in…bereavement etiquette?  I can’t believe some of the things that have been said, done, requested in the past month, but I am learning that my philosophy of people and personalities is true: We’re all crazy, some just camouflage it better than others.  Please don’t be offended, this is as much for my therapy as it is to inform. See, I have issues with saying “NO” and voicing what’s truly on my mind, not to mention setting boundaries, which leaves me feeling like

which often causes .

Of course, I have coping mechanisms: (writing about imaginary retreats. fyi: I need a REAL one!) and

But, this post is about common sense and consideration when dealing with the bereaved, so let’s continue. Here we go, things NOT to do/say:

1.  “Where’s the funeral? Have ya’ll come up with a time?” (Three hours after you’ve left hospital, 20 minutes after you’ve finally drifted to sleep)

2.  “You’ve never done this? Oh, well now’s a good time to learn.”

3.  “Services are Wednesday.” (Just b/c you aren’t satisfied with actual day and therefore decide to create your own.)

4. “We’re coming over anyway…”

5. “What was her name?” (When you’re married to the son of the deceased mother you’re inquiring about. It’s self-explanatory. After several years of being married to the son, you should know the deceased mother’s name.)

6. “Can you do {this, that} then go {here, there}. Do you have any {insert this, that}.  (On day of funeral, when it is irrelevant to occasion and inappropriate to ask on such occasion.) Ex: find me some end tables, etc.

7. “Make my sister-in-law a copy of that write-up in the paper. You know the one: Man Hit by Train. Oh, yeah, I need two of them.”

8. “Well what about { insert inappropriate/completely none of your biz questions here}.”

9.  “Hey….you don’t remember me? I’m your fifth cuz on your auntie’s uncle’s nephew’s side. Listen….{insert ridiculous request here}.”

10.  Any comment or remark you wouldn’t want someone saying to you if your father abruptly and accidentally passed away.

Bonus:   Nah, I won’t even put that one. It’s too wild, straight over the top I-know-she-didn’t. But this one comes to a close second: “Well I bought ya’ll a flower. So I should be able to get THAT flower.” (Stepping into the family circle and taking plant out of the back seat, a huge green foliage ten times the size of the one she bought. I have yet to know who woman really is. Wasn’t fam.)


PLEASE don’t do these things:

1. Insist on coming over next day and writing a novel-length obituary, listing every deceased aunt and uncle ever alive, while leaving out the grandchildren and /or taking under the consideration the exhaustion of those who’ve only had three hours of sleep. Better yet, don’t take over the obituary, period.

2. Insist on extras to fit your taste when you’re not immediate family and refuse to contribute to said extras.

3. Come completely undone at family hour, causing  daughter of deceased to have to comfort you instead of other way around. (Sometimes this happens. You are forgiven, but only if it doesn’t happen, like, all the time. Either way, this is negotiable.)

4. Call at all hours of day and night for crazy stuff that doesn’t pertain to concern, condolence, or funeral arrangements.

5. Put rumors out that aren’t true.

6. Take photos and then post them on social networks without permission, or at the very least, a warning!

7. Just…don’t post dead pics, period.

8.  Bait the grandchildren to acquire info that doesn’t pertain to you.

9. Whisper behind the bereaved’s back so loudly  they hear you.

10. Do anything you wouldn’t want done during your time of grief.

Bonus: Make me go into aunt’s house, take five cater size pans out, and put them in car because they don’t belong at her house, they belong at mine. (Not my idea, the idea of a very good cook who loved my sister and me so much she cooked enough for a party of 30. A very enjoyable meal after the embarrassment of removing it from aunt’s kitchen counter.)

This public service announcement was brought to you by, S, better known as Whatevertheyaint.



The Walk Through (Mental Mantra)

This too shall  pass

HE never packs on more than we can carry

Every tunnel has light down yonder


When life hands you pee, make apple juice

All is well if we think it

Look for the funny in everything

Keep your head up  


Trials teach us to help others

Heaven help us all

Resilience makes us stronger

Our stories are a collaboration

Understand that, and you’ll get by

Give, and you just might forget

How hard your own struggles seem




YOUR TURN:  Do you have a mental “walk through” or mantra when things get tough?  If so, what is it?  Do share.

Random: A through Z

  • All things considered, life is good.
  • By the way, I’m stalling on a writing project. (Bad, bad, shameful)
  • Could you just…bob your heads and pretend you’re listening?
  • Determination will get me through this draft.
  • Either way, I’m going to write something of significance tonight.
  • Forgive me if it takes a couple of hours.
  • Guess what else?


  • Hurricane Issac passed our city.
  • It appears all we’ll get is a nice, comfy drizzle.
  • Just in case, I bought water and bread. Do hotdog buns count?
  • “K” is kind of hard to come up with.
  • Love.  I’m sick of it! Sick of all the cheesy movies and love-struck couples.


  • Maybe I’ve been married long enough to know that love is…compromise, commitment, chaos, and all the other c’s.
  • No, I don’t have a point.  There is no point to this blog post.
  • Occasionally, I make list, just for the heck of it.
  • Please continue to read anyway.


  • Questions–I have one for you–at the end.
  • Reaching. I’ve reached for the same thing for a long time.
  • So…are you still here?
  • Tempted to step out into uncharted territory and grab my dream.


  • Ultimately, it’s all improv (life). Seriously, how could we possibly script LIFE?!
  • “V” is also hard. Oh, my vacation was…interesting. I’ll have to write about it one day.
  • What happens to a dream deferred? Langston never really told me.
  • X-temperaneous nonsense. That is what this is.
  • Your turn.  Try it.  It’s fun!
  • ZZZZZZZZZZZ. That means…goodnight, and have a great Thursday/Wednesday night, everybody.






The Thing About Blogrolls…

Is that I can’t fit everybody over there in that little corner and I love you all, not in a weird, stalkery loonerish (yes, I’ve created my own vocab) kind of way, but in a you-all-deserve-your-props type adoration.

If it weren’t for you guys and your dedication to reading this blog, I’d still have a 1 in that intimidating space that says blog stats.  By the way, it is nearing 1,000, which is something I never thought could happen.  Seriously, I stared at that lone number 1 for weeks.  Radical Amazement at thanks for being my first reader and follower:-)

Then, there were the friends who dropped in–whom I made drop in, rather, because, surely, something had to be wrong with the analytics.  Barb at Mommy of Three thank you so much for sticking with me through good and bad and all the hilarious moments in between.  May we remain friends for life; we have to, you keep me laughing when the going gets tough.

To the top readers and commenters,

Miss Elizabeth , inspirational storyteller extraordinaire,

Alunderblog at , English teacher and writer whose writing voice I dig,

Mr. R better known as Rixbitz of music and book reviewer,

and Sharmistha Basu of the same name here at word press who is big on form poetry and often comes over to check out mine.

Not to mention the other folks who have decided to follow this blog.  Trust me, I drop in and read your blogs and websites too.   In fact, that’s what I’ve been doing all morning, ever since the babysitter called to say her and her daughter are taking a spa day and, well, sorry.  I don’t blame her.  She rarely takes days off.  Meanwhile, if I don’t hurry up and do something besides piddle around here, my family and I will all starve!  The irony of no babysitter is that I’m on a 3-day medical leave (naughty lupus flare) and I’m supposed to be on bedrest.  Bwahahah…

But back to what I was saying:

Know the Sphere 

Titillating Thoughts

Cyril Cliffette

Maggie Mae

Guy Nickwell

Miss Carol

Four Blue Hills

Jean Sica-Lieber



Maggie Mae

The list is long but I appreciate everyone on it, okay…

And others who have taken the time to comment or share words of wisdom and support:

Kate Meadows

Kathy of Lake Superior

Trina Lynne


…and those on the blogroll

(see aforementioned blogroll located to the right of the screen)


Prepare for virtual Kool-aid and cookies when I reach a thou. Seriously, I can’t even imagine that many people, but in any event, here’s to celebrating each day of our lives.  Have a blessed Monday.

Constructive Outlets for the Stressed

Imagine this:  You wake to an overflowing commode and bathtub.  Soon, the entire living room floods, reminiscent of some action drama in which the kids jump atop the couch and yell, “run for higher ground!”

You then discover your insurance doesn’t cover sewage problems, thus setting you back $250 dollars (Only to have the issue arise again three weeks later, but we aren’t talking about that.  Just keep imagining).  Upon arriving to work you discover you’ve left your wallet (No lunch).  And, to finish it off, you’re confronted with blue lights upon returning home. (You were just trying to find a place to pee, and, if you were swerving, it was because…well, look what kind of day you had!

This  all happened in November, on the same day, all while trying to complete the Nano challenge.

However, more recently than that, just three days ago, I misplaced my keys. Scrambling round, trying to figure out where the WORLD they could be, I feared I’d finally lost my mind.  Elated to find them–three days later, beneath a stove burner–I set out to run errands.  Except there was a problem.  “You know your tire is on a flat,” Dad yelled, backing out of my driveway.

So, I went to a station, aired the tire, and discovered a huge nail in the tire.

Isn’t this a depressing post thus far?  Let’s get to the good part.

Life is full of irony and surprises.  Take your present, your “unpleasant surprise,” or whatever ya wanna call it, and smile; find a way to make good of the experience.  Move on.

But how do we keep from becoming overwhelmed, over-stressed, depressed lunatics?  I’m no scientist, or doctor, or therapist, but here are some things I’ve found uplifting when anxieties take over:

The Laughter & Conversations of Children

Just hearing the sound of little ones running about and giggling creates a sense of nostalgia.  Once upon a time, life was easy, simple, and fun.  Why not find that place again.


It is a scientific fact; music saves lives.  Whatever your ailment, I bet you there is a song for it.


I have my favorites:  Golden Girl’s, Everybody Loves Raymond, The Jefferson’s, House of Payne, anything that brings out the ha-ha in me.


I balked at this one, especially when the gym instructor said, “Come before work; trust me, you’ll have so much energy afterward.”  I thought, “I’m already tired; why be exhausted before work?”  However, dude was right—instant energy booster.


Speaking of wit, Sophie Kinsella is my go-to author when I want light, funny, and poignant, with a hint of mystery.  She is a chick lit novelist, but there are always some deep dark secrets lurking about, wrapped in hilarious text.  Try “I’ve Got Your Number” or “Remember Me”  for starters. I also enjoy inspirational pieces, such as those by Karen Kingsbury and Patricia David.


The end all, be all, and cure-all.

Imaginary Retreats

Having the type job in which vacations come with so many restrictions I might as well take random days in January, I’ve created some outlandish retreats, preferably the Twisted Retreat, taken some time in June of 2010. Totally imaginary—no passport, money, or luggage needed.

Other ideas have included a set of high-thread count sheets, grapes, cheese, wine, a black & white movie, a sitter, a working spouse, and a bed.  (But MAKE SURE the spouse is working or away.  Or else you’ll end up with a papa bear in your bed, eating all the cheese, flipping sports channels, and asking what you’ve been doing all day.)

 You May Also Want To Try:

A short road trip

A picnic at the park

Acrylic painting or watercolor

Pencil drawing

Coloring (Trust me, this is so relaxing)


Blowing bubbles

Bubble bath or bath salts



A small get-together with family or friends

Bed & Breakfast retreat

Brisk walking

Dance lessons

An intimate rendezvous (With a significant other of course)


Talk therapy



Journal writing


The list is endless…


*Your turn*  What is your go-to method of dealing with stress?