Today in My History

2000:  Back to Home Base
I'm in the Wrong Job
Walk a Mile in My Shoes
Back to the Bush
Black Holes
Is There a Black Cloud Out There?
2006: Leave Off the Mascara

The Music Man
Of Mice and Men

Books Read in 2007

Updated: 10/20
"Celebrity Detox"


You Tube

Mefeedia Video Archive

View my profile on NaBloPoMo

Visit NaBloPoMo

My Favorite Video Blogs

Desert Nut

(for others, see Links page)

Look at these videos!
Garden Wedding
Mother reads "The Martian Child"
The Martian Child (trailer)
1 Voice
Rockin' Cockatoo
Iran So Far
(SNL skit)

Family Stories Vlog
(updated 10/2/07)

New on My flickr_logo.gif (801 bytes)

SPCA Calendar


24 October 2007

Throughout our lives, we will have many families. 

There is the family of our origin -- our mothers and fathers and siblings, our extended family: grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins.  Sometimes we love 'em, sometimes we hate 'em.  We can't deny the blood relationship, but sometimes there is no "there" there and that's all they are:  strangers to whom we are related by blood.

In my family of origin, I have the broad spectrum.  I have relatives I love like I love my own children.  I also have relatives I couldn't pick out of a police line-up if I had to (and I'll bet some of them have actually been in police line-ups!).  There are even relatives that I know and don't like and have no desire to have any interaction with. 

When we move beyond the family of origin, we make family groups wherever we go.  The Pinata Group has been a family for nearly 50 years.  We have been a unique family.  I am closer to some in that family than I was to my own sister.  There are others I don't know well at all, but they've always been there and are part of the family. 

The family is hurting today.  The ripples from the initial shock of that first telephone call are beginning to spread out through the various arms of the family.  Richard contacted Char, Char contacted me, I contacted Jeri and Pat.  They are contacting their children.  Those who can are making plans to go to "Eric's Property" (the property Richard and Michele own in Mendocino, where we will scatter her ashes in a couple of weeks, on her birthday).

In the various corners of our lives, we are going on about our business, now with this big hole in our lives that used to be filled with Michele.

I didn't sleep last night.  I was up until after 1:30 writing the journal entry and making the video and even after that I couldn't sleep.  Then I was up, wide awake, at 3:30, trembling like I did after Paul died.  I watched TV for a long time and gradually dozed off sometime after 5, until Lizzie decided it was time for me to get up.

Later in the morning, I was really dragging and went back to the couch to go to sleep.  Walt admits that he checked me once to make sure I was alive.  I wonder how long we will start checking our loved ones when they go down for a nap, to make sure they are still breathing.

With the Internet at our fingertips, it's possible to create families that extend beyond our blood relative and our real life friends. 

I have been privileged to have found "imaginary friends" (as someone on CompuServe used to call them) in several places on the Internet.  There are a couple of discussion groups, there are the new people I've run across on Facebook and the weird way that people interact on Twitter.  There are those wonderful, creative people who have been participating in the Flickr 365 day project and whose work I now look forward to checking out and commenting on each day.  We've formed a rather nice support group ourselves.  And now I'm starting to "meet" folks who are participating in NaBloPoMo (those of us who have agreed to post one video blog each day for the month of November).

It was amazing the number of e-mails, guest book comments on my journal or on the video I posted yesterday.  Everyone was so supportive, so loving, so helpful.  Some knew that we are not strangers to death, others did not and tried to help us understand what the grief process entailed.  Some remarked about how their feelings about Michele, a stranger to them, had been shaped by the things I've written this month.

"I'm so sorry. I know you will let all her friends know that, through your writing, Michele had friends all over the world," wrote l'empress.  Wow...would she be amazed to read that.  I will certainly pass that along to her family.

"I can't believe the person with the big smile in the photo is gone. I am so sorry for your loss. You can tell from the photo that she would have been a person surrounded by happy memories," wrote Lindsay.  I don't know where Lindsay is from or (in all honesty) whether she has signed my guestbook before or not.

"Maybe writing IS your part to play - to share this with others, who never knew her but who can understand, sympathise, and contemplate mortality," wrote Emmy, who understood how frustrating it is to be at a distance when people you love (Michele's family) are in pain.

"I have found often when someone close to me dies, the world
looks very very different for awhile, maybe a few days.
Sometimes I see things I could not see before, or I have grand realizations. I've often wondered if it is their message to us, or if it is caused by the shift that occurs as they leave one world for another. While you are sitting there stunned and sad, keep your eyes and ears open for messages," wrote Angie, describing exactly how it feels in the first few days and offering a new way to interpret that.

"Right now I'm imagining reaching across the country to give you a long hug. Or a pat on the hand. Or a piece of cake. Or whatever might give you even a shred of comfort," wrote missbhavens.

Sometimes people just sent {{ hugs }} which, after all of these years on the Internet, feel almost as real as if they were here giving them in person.

There's something about a tragedy that brings out the best in most people.  I feel so blessed to have so many families and so many people willing to reach out to me, and to Michele's family and friends at this time.

Thank you all!




Weblog Commenting and Trackback by


<--previous next -->

Journal home | bio | cast | archive | links | awards |  Flickr | Bev's Home Page

    This is entry #2766