Tag Archives: gay grief

Moving Forward

We’ve spent quite a bit of time discussing “big pictures” — politics, economy, equal rights. As the New Year unfolds, we will be revisiting those topics as well as others that affect us as a community. So, what do you say, for a few moments, we narrow the focus to our own individual selves?

What do I want for 2009? For me, personally.

My situation is a little different. Losing a life partner is pretty much the same as losing your life. It simply no longer exists. When people suggest it’s time to “snap out of it” or “get back to normal”, I’m sure they mean well, but they have no idea what they’re saying. There is no normal to go back to. Everything has changed, and it will never be the same again.

Okay, so it’s taken me over two years to figure that out. Now what?

Seems to me that there are only a couple of choices — since there’s no going back, there is only standing still or moving forward. I’ve tried standing still, and it served its function. I was certainly not capable of making any decisions. But now I think I’m ready to try moving forward.

If you read the OTGH newsletter, you know that we are kicking off 2009 with a special program designed to encourage changes that will have a significant impact on our reader’s health and fitness levels — gradually, one small step each week of the year. This program is being developed and presented by my co-publisher. Not only is she a personal trainer, fitness instructor and owner of a fitness studio, she is the real deal. I’ve been in her kitchen — everything’s organic and comes from a health food store. There’s not a partially hydrogenated fat or molecule of high fructose corn syrup to be found (trust me, I looked). No sodas in the fridge (except when I’m there) and if you ask for a glass of water, you’ll get it at room temperature.

I know — how can you listen to such a person? Well, she’s in her mid-fifties, looks at least ten years younger, teaches athletes how to run properly and took up roller blading last year. But! Lest you think this is someone you wouldn’t be able to relate to I will share a little secret — I was driving the day we had to try at least four exits on the way to South Carolina because of the search for a Krispy Kreme doughnut. And it wasn’t for me!

So, I’m thinking this is a great opportunity to give my “moving forward” plan a head start. I would just as soon no one mentioned to her that I’m going to be following her suggestions — she would just pester me about it. But by this time next year I can either be healthier — or not. Seems like kind of a no-brainer. Maybe I’ll even share my progress and thoughts on the process in the newsletter.

How about you? What kind of year is 2009 going to be for you? Are you going to buy into the doom and gloom permeating everything we hear and read? Or are you going to choose to move forward on your own path?

Its always a choice, you know — your choice.

Advertisements

Frisky Business in Wal-Mart

The Human Rights Coalition recently published their Buying for Equality Guide 2009. Not surprisingly, Wal-Mart received a pitiful score, and HRC recommends that we shop elsewhere.

Not a problem for me.

I’ve avoided Wal-Mart since my partner passed away a couple years ago. I don’t know if straight folks can relate, but I’m sure most of you have your own “Wal-Marts”. You know those intoxicatingly energized weeks, months — years, if you’re lucky — right after getting into a new relationship? When you can’t stand to not be touching, but you’re out in public where that’s frowned on? So, you … improvise?

We lived in rural areas for the first few years, so we spent a lot of time in Wal-Mart. A lot of highly charged, playful, nobody-in-the-world-but-us time. I can remember being in the towel aisle of Wal-Mart, in nowhere Louisiana, and knowing that I wouldn’t trade places with anyone, anywhere. Talk about being in the now!

I hope everyone has those moments. But I still can’t go back to Wal-Mart.

From the looks of their score in the HRC buying guide, it may never be an issue.

Signs

I was driving along the other day and I noticed this sign —

Grief Support Group – Mondays 6 – 7 pm“.

Anyone familiar with the On the Gay Horizon website or newsletter knows that I lost my partner almost two years ago and it has been the most difficult thing I have ever had to deal with. So, that sign caught my eye.

My first thought, accompanied by the tiniest jolt of hopeful anticipation, was “maybe that could help”. But it was immediately followed by — well, you know what came next. “They don’t mean me.”

Oh sure, they might let me join the group. Or, I could make a big deal out of it and push my way in. Like we do a lot of places. But do I really want to do that with a support group? And, even if I got in, what are the odds that anyone there would “get it” that my grief is no different from theirs?

So, I just kept on driving.

But, from long ago, came the words to a song I didn’t even know I remembered…

…and the sign said, “You’ve got to have a membership card to get inside.”

…signs, signs, everywhere a sign, blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind, do this, don’t do that. Can’t you read the signs?

…and the sign said, “Everybody welcome. Come in, kneel down and pray” .  And when they passed around the plate at the end of it all, I didn’t have a penny to pay. So I got me a pen and paper and I made up my own little sign. I said, “Thank you Lord for thinkin’ bout me. I’m alive and doin’ fine”.