SUPER SUPER SHORT ‘ABOUT ME’ VERSION:
Warrior Goddess Kitchen SINK is what this is. I do a lot of stuff. I am a writer, a cook, an artist, an actress (here and there,) a comedian, a traveler, a photographer, a soon to be yoga teacher and a bereaved parent and still a regular mom to my amazing son.
Fuck the day and age where you just pick one thing to ‘be’. I’m gonna delve into this Renaissance thing at 52 and see where it takes me. In this year (and years to come) of deep healing and transformation…I’m gonna do it all.
My beautiful daughter passed away in April of 2018. She was 23. I don’t know what to do with myself. I am a writer first and foremost, so I come here and write. Grief is a weird, isolating, quiet, relentless, unbearable entity.
#livebig is something that I came up with about keeping Savannah’s memory alive. (God I hate typing that.) She was so loving and kind and loved her friends and family and humans and animals so much. She lived a big, wild life and I want to do the same.
Talk. Love. Heal. That’s all we’ve got.
Not many people talk about it, in real life. Death. Sure there are books, and therapists and movies. It’s just a tough one. Sometimes I break down and sometimes I don’t. It’s only been a year. Just one of the many stigmas I hope to help fight by writing about my grief. My daughter died of a heroin overdose. Mental Health should not be a stigma. Addiction should not be a stigma. A grieving parent should not be a stigma. I am grieving and heartbroken but an artist who expresses herself in words. I have to come here to write, heal, reach out and to get through all of this. If this helps one other person relate and have their grief too, then that is the other reason I come here.
IF YOU ARE STILL READING, HERE IS THE LONG HISTORY OF IT ALL:
I originally titled this blog ‘I Saw Bob Dylan in a Speedo’ over five years ago. I started it because again, I was going through something with my daughter. She had just entered rehab for her eating disorder. I broke up with a boyfriend, packed a suitcase and was staying with a friend so I could be closer to her. And I wrote ALOT. This was a very family involved program, my boyfriend at the time didn’t fucking got it and I dedicated everything I had to being with her. My daughter was 17 and she turned 18 while in this program at Children’s Hospital.
This was my first entry…about me being 18 and watching Bob Dylan swim laps in his speedo. (I love this essay to this day and it is why I came back to my original blog. My original self.) I was trying to remember where I was at 18. I was trying to figure out what happened to my daughter. I was trying to figure out what to do.
Here are links with some great information on eating disorder help while you are here:
I have all of my daughter’s journals. (I have everything of hers) From age 7 on. And through her writing, I watch her go from a bright, happy, little kid to a 13 year old whom, despite having many friends and was a seemingly happy kid; a sad, self hating, lonely, individual was in her journals. I will then watch her go down a path of destruction in her short adult life from 18 to 23. We were close, we were soul mates, and yet I always was and still am in awe of how she was such a loving, brave, strong, funny and compassionate woman despite all of these very private demons. Having so much love for the world, animals, the planet, and her friends, yet not herself.
My life got blown off the map April 17th 2018. I am different. This is now about my new world. I am trying to not have my daughter’s death be in vain – she was too amazing, loving, giving, talented and beautiful. We have countless videos of films she made, high school productions she was in, parody’s she filmed with her friends. She moved to New York at 18 to be an actress and she was successful at it. She was cast in a show at The New Museum, which then went to LA and on to London. (‘Playground’ by Ann Hirsch.) She attended a summer session at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and also Studio 4 in New York. She was amazing. She was a poet, a writer, an actress and an artist. She was her brightest and her best self at the Academy that summer.
I have countless letters and messages of people telling me how she changed their lives.
Heroin addiction is an evil entity. Eating disorders are an evil entity. Both psychological diseases of the brain. I am going to try and fill in the gap she left behind. She had a big life. I am going to have to be the one to #liveBIG now. That’s all I could think about her, that she lived BIG. To me living big is like living like she did. It’s about being open and vulnerable and present. My heart feels so empty right now for the most part but so much love has surrounded me I didn’t know it even existed in that capacity. Yet THAT was my daughter and how she lived all the time. I can’t turn away from all of that.
I have a beautiful son as well. He is following his passion in Chicago and is a stand up comic. He has an equally big and loving heart in this world. We are all so devastated. He too is living big out there and has friends and community and his dreams. I know his sister would hate it if we quit living our lives and stopped following our dreams. We are missing her and trying to be as kind and truly big as she was as we go along.
MORE STUFF IF YOU ARE STILL READING:
Please help stop the stigma of addiction…it is not a failure of humanity, it is a true disease that needs help for the people affected by it. It changes their brains and they deserve medical attention. The stigma of mental health in general needs help. I can see now where I could have done things differently in so many ways had I not been so terrified and just reached out.
LIFE IS ONE HELL OF AN ADVENTURE AND I WOULDN’T HAVE IT ANY OTHER WAY.