Posts Tagged 'death'

Get Out of the House!

This is probably the worst autumn I can think of.

My husband had a horrible accident that resulted in him needing to be revived with CPR thanks to a retired nurse. She said she really had to work on him and he was basically gone. We had few trips to the ER after. All heart surgery-related. And here I was going about my business about to get into the shower, totally unaware of what was happening. He’s doing better now but it’s been a struggle, much more than we had anticipated.

The day before my husband’s birthday we came to find our dear friend, George Nemeth, passed away suddenly. We last saw him when he came to our aid in the hospital before catching a flight back to his home. We had plans with his wife, who is one of my closest friends, for New Year’s Day at my parents house in California and were all looking forward to it. Now, here I am planning a memorial service on the day I find out Trump is my next president.

And now, my dear friend Krista Marlene has died suddenly from the return of her breast cancer. We were supposed to see each other at New Year’s as well, but she had been having some vision problems. I had no idea that her non-responsive texts/calls were because she was in the hospital. The cancer had come back behind her eyes.

After everything I have been through and my friends, too, one thing I can’t stand is people who actively avoid participating in life. Technology has made this more prevalent. Humans weren’t meant sit in their own little cubby holes like a bag of rice. If you have ever been gravely ill and forced to do this because you have no choice, you know what I’m talking about. Sitting in bed with a laptop or whatever sounds great, until you are forced to do that and nothing else, day in and day out. I don’t ever remember a time where so many people talked about being introverts (let alone articles about them) or other neurosis where being around other people or doing any activity was so much… work. I’m not saying you need to go out every night and set fire to the city, but damn if this isn’t the age of canceled plans.

I wrote something on Facebook, something that got shared quite a bit so it must have hit a nerve. My grief stage is currently set to anger, and I think seeing the Stooges documentary Gimme Danger may have clicked, too.

“I’m going to say it again, because I have been forced to “take it easy” against my will enough that I’ve had a lifetime’s worth of Netflix and sitting at home doing nothing. Your time is not guaranteed; go to that gig, lecture, exhibition, dinner, party, and go on that date. Don’t be a dick and stay home watching TV because you are lazy and tired from a job you don’t like much anyway. I don’t care if you are a precious introvert. Are you going to say “oh boy I’m glad I stayed home scrolling thru my phone” when you could have actually experienced something? Leave the damn house! Take the fucking ride, man.”

My first regret when diagnosed with cancer was not following Motorhead and The Damned on their European tour when my husband joked about doing it. I kept thinking about it over and over, why the fuck didn’t I do it? Now Lemmy is dead. I’ve had five surgeries since then, and my husband died for a few minutes. I got invited to speak at a cardiology conference in China next month about my new paintings, and now I wish I had agreed to it.

Sure, there are many things like travel that you can’t do because of obligations or money issues. But there are plenty of other things that can happen if you just go out in your own city or to a friend’s house. I met James Brown three times in my life by chance because I left the damn house! I even did car bombs with Tipper Gore at a wine bar all because of a going-away party for someone I hardly knew, that I almost bailed on. Interesting things can happen when you go outside, people!

My new goal is to get to China to hang out with bands and see the sights of music and art scenes in Bejing and Shanghai. Let’s hope that with Trump as president, that doesn’t become an issue!

By the way, I bought a few non-refundable tickets to Morocco. In times like these I don’t mind slapping a few expenses on the credit card. I’ll figure it out later.

*UPDATE* Here’s that trip to Morocco!


New Painting: The Comfort

This was a little painting done for an exhibition that had to be scrapped, but the good part is that it forced me to stop being a big baby about painting hands, and deal with them head-on. The exhibition was about death and loss.

The Comfort 8×8 inches, oil on panel.


Music Never Forgotten

Five years ago this week, Christopher Tucker passed away. I think about it a lot. It was a year I lost two other friends as well, and it doesn’t feel like it was that long ago.

Christopher and I met because my record label signed his band, The Situation, back in 2002 and we released an EP as well as full-length album. Somewhere in-between there was a trip to Philly where my husband and I got to meet his son, and a few trips to Cleveland and Detroit — where the band did some gigs. My last conversation with him was when he called me sounding lonely, and I was being curt and irritated with him (for both business and personal reasons). How he died was an awful freak incident that none of us could have imagined, and so of course I feel terrible that my last time talking with him was me being annoyed and trying to end that rambling phone call at every turn. All he really wanted was to know how my husband and I were doing. I know he’s in a fabulous place now, and he did visit me a couple times in dreams, but I still wish it hadn’t all gone down like it did.

He was a great song writer and lyricist.


Lately I’ve been in a fog: forgetful, spaced, and over all just not seeing the point of anything. The only thing giving me structure is the looming deadlines for the next several art shows I have and that’s all I can manage to pay attention to. Painting is a compulsion of mine whether I give a crap about it or not.

Three of my friends have died in the last year and a half; one a freak accident that still doesn’t seem real; one stabbed to death; and one of natural causes, but it was a long slow process with ups and downs. I was mad at myself not being able to attend the funerals of the first two, but attending the last one, that pretty much did it for me. I hadn’t been to a service since I was in 4th grade and this one — for reasons I won’t go into — made me so angry. If anyone deserved a crazy Michael Jackson-like spectacle it was this man, but his life was reduced down to a few well known facts and audio selections. He wasn’t Christian, but let’s pray for the salvation of his soul anyway. I still feel like shit I didn’t get up and say something; I’m such a chicken at public speaking (despite being an over all loud mouth) and I was so angry that it wasn’t going to happen. In the end, I didn’t see the point of anything, because I will one day end up as dust in an ugly vase in a funeral home that looks like a Ramada conference room. That’s it. There you go. Although if I have the money, I’d much rather have a big obnoxious tombstone with a statue  — always wanted one of those.

Now I know everyone will lecture me on the whole, “it matters more what you do in life” bla bla bla, but at this point I really don’t think so. Dust in a damn box, that’s where I’m headed, so I may as well do what the hell I want while I’m around because none of it will matter. Those three people were some of the smartest and most talented I knew, and they went out painfully, and violently. Does it matter that they didn’t deserve it like that? No, because “shit happens”. No more planning ahead for me, everything is unpredictable anyways, and the things I plan for won’t matter later. If anything I’ve realized all the things I don’t want to do, or become, because it is just an even bigger waste of time on top of the waste of time I’m already experiencing.

I think I’ve become a bit of a nihilist.

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