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Posts Tagged ‘death’

Life Is Weird

June 17, 2018 Leave a comment

I’ve slept a lot in the last twenty-four hours. Made the climb up the stairs, glance out the window before climbing into bed, wrapping myself up in blankets and drifting into unconsciousness. I’d woken up a few hours later, come downstairs and made myself a sandwich, then repeated the process listed above. Then again, then again.

I’ve lost track of how long, broken up over a day, that I’ve slept. It feels like too much, it feels like not enough.

Sleeping is a coping mechanism for me, as it was for my father. When things got to be too overwhelming, when everything seemed it’s bleakest, my father would turn off the lights, turn on the fan, and crawl into bed. Now, I do the same. I’m a lot like him, in a lot of ways. Some of them make me proud, some of them make me wonder.

Father’s Day is today, as of this writing, and I just never know how to feel on this day anymore. Every time it comes around, I reach for the phone to call my dad and tell him I love him. Every time I do, it hits me all over again that he won’t be on the other end of that phone.


bourdain

Anthony Bourdain passed away last week, another life claimed by suicide, and it has hit me considerably hard. I did not know Bourdain, had never met him or spoken with him in any capacity, but through reading his books and following his television shows (No Reservations/Parts Unknown), I felt like I did. Through reading various articles he’d written, various interviews with him, I felt like we all got a glimpse of his soul. A soul that was scarred and embattled.

Bourdain’s struggle with mental health was never a secret, was never kept hidden from viewers of his shows. No, in fact, Bourdain was always a champion of speaking out, be it in interviews or on Twitter, about depression and mental health issues. He always seemed like someone who had been deep in the fight for many years, always punching upward, but that made him one to admire and respect.

For someone who suffers from depression, for someone who has dealt with this pain his whole life, to see someone like Bourdain going out there and shining a light on so many problems in our society (the #MeToo movement and harassment/abuse in all industries, causes dealing with mental health, being critical of political regimes including our own what are bordering tyranny) and doing it with such wisdom and charisma… It made an impact. It gave me hope.

But to lose such a vital voice in this time of strife, to lose such an important warrior in the current culture war blowing up outside, is devastating. I had said on Twitter that losing Bourdain now is very much akin to losing Hunter S. Thompson during the G.W. Bush administration at the beginning of the (latest) Iraq war. A modern scholar who has a unique take on life and the world around them because they have had unique experiences, had survived unique trials and tribulations, and were made better for them.

My heart hurts, not just for the loss of a television travel host, but for the loss of one of the most vocal proponents of the fact that we are all the same people living on the same planet. We should respect one another, we should care for one another, we should put all this strife and pettiness behind us and focus on healing the world and making it a better place. Showing us the beauty of different cultures, their histories and art, to make it less scary that these cultures are “them”. In fact, that there is no “them”. Only “us”.

To know that Bourdain’s death was self inflicted, that his demons had finally overpowered him, that the darkness was too strong for him to fight it anymore, is what has hit me the hardest. To know that a man like Bourdain, who had been through so much, seen so much, been connected to the entire world in such a unique and powerful way, was still taken over by such sadness that he would hang himself… It scares me to my core.


It’s raining again.

I think blogging about things is helping. I think I’ll continue.

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Michael Turner

June 28, 2008 1 comment

It’s a sad day for comic book fans.

Michael Turner, co-creator of Top Cow Comics’ flagship title Witchblade, creator of Fathom, and founder of Aspen MLT, has died due to complications from Cancer. He was 37.

Comic Book Resources reports:

We here at Comic Book Resources are very sad to report that artist Michael Turner has died after a long battle with cancer. He was 37. Aspen Comics’ Vince Hernandez told CBR News Saturday morning that Turner passed away Friday night at 10:42 Pacific Time at Santa Monica Hospital in Calfiornia. The news spread quickly at Wizard World Chicago, during what would have otherwise been a riotous night at the hotel bar, the mood suddenly turned somber with remembrances of Turner from friends and acquaintances. A minute of silence will be observed during Wizard World Chicago Saturday afternoon.

Turner was diagnosed with Cancer in 2000 and it had gone into remission and returned numerous times since.

I remember the first time I met Turner. It was Comic-Con International (long ago, I forget the year, but it was only my second time at the “big con”) and I saw him walking through the Sails Pavilion a few yards away from me. I squinted.

“Is that Michael Turner?” I asked my fellow convention traveller and brother in law.

“I think it is.” he said.

I jogged over to where he had just entered the pavilion and tapped him on the arm. He turned to me and smiled.

“Are you Michael Turner?” I asked. His smile widened.

“I am!” he said, seeming quite happy that I knew who he was. I proceded to blather on about how much I loved his work on Witchblade and how much I was enjoying the brand new comic he was just releasing, Fathom. He smiled again, said thank you and asked if I had anything to sign. I didn’t, but I did have a sketchbook and I asked him if maybe he could sketch something for me.

“Oh man, I don’t have time right now… But how about I sign the page now and I’ll catch you later to fill in the sketch?” I agreed and he signed the bottom of a page in my sketchbook and kept apologizing for not having the time to do a “proper sketch”. Said he’d “make it up to me”.

I’ve seen him in passing since then, at various conventions and even got a few signatures on a few comics, but never caught him at a time when he could do what he kept calling a “proper sketch”. I’ll never get my sketch now, but I’d be more than happy to forfeit my chance at getting that proper sketch if it meant the comics world wouldn’t lose such a wonderful talent.

Those who have met Turner, even if only for a moment, can tell you what a genuinely happy and friendly person he was. I don’t think I’d ever seen him without a smile on his face while he was talking to fans or other artists.

The last time I saw Michael Turner was the last time I attended Comic-Con International, which was a couple of years prior to my moving here to Minnesota. He seemed tired, but still as open and friendly as ever.

I don’t pretend to be his friend, but I have a feeling that everyone who has met Michael was seen by him as a friend.

The people at Aspen MLT is urging people wishing to donate in Michael’s name to do so at either of the following charities.

The American Cancer Society.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Rest In Peace, Michael.

The Blog About Death.

April 7, 2008 2 comments

A friend of mine passed recently. I call him friend because, though we weren’t close and though I didn’t know him too well, we shared some good times and I will miss him. I won’t name him here, in fear of his closer friends and family being unappreciative of my mentioning his death in a blog.

It’s tough. The way he died is tough to handle (motorcycle accident). The details surrounding his final days are tough to wrap my mind around (his fiancee and best friend had just picked up the wedding dress and maid of honor dress the day before his death). The fact that he was only one year older than myself (25) is tough. The knowledge of what his fiancee, closest friends and family are going through is tough. It’s a situation wherein, though I wasn’t close enough to him to truly feel the impact of his death, people who I am very close with were close enough to him to feel such pain. Knowing that is tough.

I know a few people out there who have experienced loss recently. And I suppose you could say this blog is dedicated to them, in a way.

What this person’s death has done for me is it has served as a reminder of sorts. None of us truly live here. We’re all just visitors, and tragically, some of our visits are cut shorter than others. You have to do your best to take each day as it comes and remember that the next day may not be right around the corner. Tomorrow may not be a brand new day, so make today the best you can. Tell the people you love that you love them, now and always, until forever runs out and then some. Take some time for yourself, to do what you truly love to do. Take five minutes, every day, to step outside and truly appreciate everything.

Yes, the world is in pretty bad shape right now. But if you look hard enough, you can still see the beauty it has to offer. Lean into the wind and breath deeply. Count the stars in the night sky, watch the clouds slowly trace their way across the heavens above you. Appreciate everything that has been given to you, because tomorrow you may not get the same chance.

Much of this is probably sounding pretty generic. It probably sounds like something you already know, whether it’s been recently brought to your attention due to the passing of a loved one or it’s something you hold in the back of your mind. But let me tell you this: We deserve to be reminded from time to time.

So, go hold a loved one. Go tell a friend you appreciate them. Go have that extra slice of pizza. In short: Don’t sweat the small stuff and appreciate what you have while you have it.

Consider yourself reminded.

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