Tuesday, December 30, 2008

i only have a few days left here, and i'm feeling the crush to accomplish and to see everyone and to get ready to be alone again.

i'm feeling pete's absence a bit less frequently now. it's hardest in the shower of all places. i think maybe i'm the most alone there that i am anywhere and i find myself crying more there than i would think. it's also been difficult to see beautiful things, or when watching movies, it's the triumphant moments that make me the saddest. it's painful to be alive seeing and feeling amazing things when he's not.

i hope that i'm able to be true to myself and get everything out of life that i possibly can. i hope that i can love freely and allow myself to be loved. i hope that i can live the dream, just like he would be.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


i've been thinking a whole lot lately about different frames of mind/states of consciousness lately, as i mentioned in my previous entry. when i was in milan, time was passing really slowly for me. i've had a couple of different conversations with friends about this phenomenon, and i have concluded time speeds and slows relative to how much i am in tune with the world around me, or as meagen said, "living in the moment." when i'm really stimulated, a day feels like a week, and a week feels like a month. when i'm in a routine and uninterested, or looking forward to something in the future the days slip by.

when thinking about ways to explain this, i always think about the theory of relativity. the closer a person's forward movement is, relative to the speed of light, the more slowly time passes. i always think about this in terms of resonant frequencies. if my molecules are vibrating at or close to the same speed as the molecules around me, time moves more slowly. maybe this is just bogus esoteric, quasi-scientific bullshit, but it makes sense to me. i have also been reading philip pullman's, his dark materials series, which has certainly contributed to my thoughts of the soul's interactions with the universe. i'm sure that i will blog about my thoughts on that also, but right now this entry seems muddled and jumpy enough already.

pete's death has brought up all kinds of different feelings for me, particularly over the past week or so. when thinking about myself and my "issues," it continuously occurs to me that many of them are based on my history of breaking myself up into little pieces. i think it's a side effect of being a child of divorced parents. when i found myself navigating my way between mother and father and the very different people they are, i think i spent most of my time trying to make everyone happy. i was one thing to my father and stepmother and another to my mother. i lived very different lives at each of their houses and each of them brought out different parts of me, both good and bad.

i've been reminded of all this recently while trying to sort out details surrounding peter's things, and traveling to san diego and such. it seems that this kind of fracturing has become habitual. this seems to be the most subtly damaging effect that my parent's divorce has had on me. i've noticed it in other areas of my life also. the habit really seems to be the problem. it doesn't seem too complicated a process to identify these sorts of patterns, but solutions are elusive. i would like to think that therapy is the answer, but i don't really believe that. i don't think there is an answer. the best we can do is to find ways to cope with the difficult realities of our lives.

i will consider myself a success if i can manage this.

Monday, December 22, 2008

the past few days have been really hard for me. for the most part everything has been fine, but periodically i'm struck by waves of sadness and anger. some of the time there are little things that remind me of pete, or the fact that he's gone, other times nothing at all.

i feel like i've been stuck between two very different modes of being, opposing consciousness even. in one i feel normal and fine and the world is turning. in the other, i can't help but stare off into space and numb my brain as quickly as possible. it's hard to deal with so many different emotions all at once: fear, sadness, guilt, anger. i feel totally schizophrenic.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

saturday, t-minus 13 days

a few days ago i finally started dreaming again. i hadn't been since pete died, which is strange for me because i usually remember at least a couple bits and pieces. so for the past number of nights, i've been remembering them again. it's comforting to me to feel like i'm at least a little bit back to normal because the dreams have returned. i feel like now my mind is allowing me to work things out while i sleep, while before it was protecting me from something that i haven't been ready to deal with.

last night i dreamed about my father and sylvia's house in san diego. they had completely redecorated it, to the point where it was unrecognizable. there were a lot of people staying there, old family friends, relatives, etc. i kept on trying to figure out where i was going to sleep and really didn't know because it looked like every bed was taken. the house itself was beautiful and strange. there was a lot of yellow and green everywhere. my father gave me a tour of the place and finally brought me into a room that they had made just for me. inside of it were all of the things that i had ever made for my parents, or that meant something to them about me. the room was pretty amazing looking. the walls were a periwinkle/powder blue and the accent colors were neon orange. there was a big primitive icon statue in the middle of a huge built in bookcase that was filled to the brim with things and there were multi-colored mardi gras beads hanging everywhere. it's funny actually, some of the most memorable parts of specific dreams lately have been colors. the colors stay with me and i love them.

it's less than two weeks now before i go back to italy. i'm excited to return and to start school again, but the thought of having to leave bill once more is very unappealing. life is so very strange for me right now. i'm so divided right now: between two cities and two languages, between two states of mind, one with my brother constantly and one with the rest of the world. at home with bill i'm married and in italy of course i'm not single but i'm living a single life. what a strange way to be.

Monday, December 15, 2008


i can't believe that it's already sunday and that the last post that i wrote was on tuesday. i feel like the days have been slipping by here. some of them are longer and some are shorter. there are moments when i can't stop thinking about peter and there are moments when things are normal.

being at home and spending time with friends has been really good so far. it has been a bit strange finding myself in the same kinds of situations from before because now i feel like a whole different person. pete's death has been, and i'm sure will continue to be an identity changing event for me.

in other news, things between bill and me have been really good since i've been home. he has been amazingly loving and supportive throughout this hellish ordeal. words cannot express how much i love him and how happy i am that we're together.

i feel like maybe i'm starting to come back to life a little bit. i think it will be a slow and painstaking process, but it will happen.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


i just can't bring myself to come up with titles for these blog posts. not only do i feel without wit, but i feel that it would somehow be unreasonable or inappropriate to be witty. it's really stupid actually.

my brother wasn't necessarily witty in the same way that i am, and that my father is, but he appreciated it. i want to honor his memory by continuing to be myself, but everything feels so jarring right now. every time i go anywhere, i am assaulted by a barrage of images and feelings about him and the future.

i'm confronted by and facing my parents' sadness, but mine is so completely different. pete was supposed to keep me company when they're gone. he was supposed to still be lumbering around like my father and reminiscing with me about times long past. now i can't help but to think about the future without him, a future that is much longer for me than for my parents.

a very close friend came down to visit me yesterday. we spent the day screwing around, eating crab cake sandwiches and shopping in one of my favorite antique malls. walking around in all the stuff made me think of my family stuff. it made me think of all the things that were supposed to be passed down to my brother. those things will now go to bill and to me, and to our son(s).

all of a sudden i find myself worrying about my children, those yet unborn. i want to name my son peter, but is that unfair? is it reasonable to give his name to someone else? is it fair to either of them? or worse, what if i don't have a son? it feels so ridiculous to me to even be thinking about these things right now, but i can't help it.

i'm sure that as time passes, these thoughts will fade into the background; they're front and center at this moment.

Monday, December 8, 2008


we had pete's "service" on friday. it was bizarre and a little bit awkward and i couldn't stop crying. it was nice to have the family together. i've been really exhausted and have gone to sleep every night before ten o'clock. friday night i passed out on the couch at 8:45. unfortunately bill had to get back to chicago to work the weekend. i woke up at 4:30 in the morning on saturday to drive him to the airport. i came back here and went back to bed for another few hours. when i woke up i felt a bit better.

one of pete's close friends organized a memorial gathering for friends at the house yesterday. it was nice to see everyone together who knew and loved my brother. in the beginning it was a little strange since i didn't really know many people here. but it was clear that everyone really
cared about him. it meant a lot to my parents. not as many people got up to speak as i know had stories to tell. pete was a pretty ridiculous guy and i'm sure that his friends weren't completely comfortable telling all the off-color stories that they have about him in front of my parents. i can't blame them really. i told one of his friends that i want him to write down everything that he remembers about pete and email it all to me. i think the stories will keep me comfortable when i'm feeling sad.

today has been quiet. i think we're all just passing the time. tomorrow a close close friend is coming down for the day. i'm really looking forward to seeing her and spending some good time together.

Friday, December 5, 2008


yesterday the family came, and so did pete's ashes. i keep feeling like i should have more to say, but i don't. my brother's ashes are sitting on a table in my parent's living room.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


i arrived in san diego today. it's very strange here, and very quiet.

everyone who i talk to keeps saying that they've been trying to avoid calling because they think it would be too much. it isn't too much. maybe that's why no one is calling. it's so strange to be in silence like this. the only thing that breaks through every so often is a thought of pete.

i was eating a burger yesterday, and couldn't get away from this picture that i have in my head of him eating some kind of messy sandwich. i don't even know when it was, but he had his face in it and the juice was running down his hands. he was a complete mess.

i got his tattoo yesterday. he traveled through southeast asia almost two years ago and got a tattoo in thailand. it was a thai phrase that is sort of hard to translate into english, but it basically means to strive for and to get all together. it's the way the pete lived his life and the way that i live mine. so now it's my motto and on my arm so it can be close to my heart.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


it seems like the storm has died down a little bit now. people are still calling, but less frequently. it seems like i have less to do. i have to leave the house today. i have to take off the clothes that i've been wearing for the past two days and take a shower.

bill and i are going to see our therapist this morning. i hope it will help.

tomorrow we go to san diego for the service. i can't bring myself to say the other word. funeral.

it's funny actually, because it's been hard for me to use euphemisms in my own head. i've only been using them with other people who i tell, my brother passed away on friday. yes it was of natural causes. yes it was fast and he wasn't in any pain.

the voice that's been marching in circles in my head can only say, my brother is dead, my brother is dead, my brother is dead. for some reason i'm not saying it nicely to myself.

what's the point?

my brother is dead.

Monday, December 1, 2008


today is monday: the day after sunday, which is the day after saturday, my brother's birthday, which is the day after friday, the day he died. i've been home now for about 36 hours, and last night i was actually able to sleep through the night.

now i'm awake, but everyone else is still sleeping.

i've gotten so many phone calls and emails over the past few days. it's been really amazing how many people have reached out to me. to be honest i still can't really believe that all of this is actually happening.

some of peter's friends from work came over to the house last night. it's great spending time with my friends of course, but it was really really good to talk to people who knew him well and who could laugh with me about all of the ridiculous quirks that made my brother such a unique and amazing person.

he was so charming when he wanted to be. he could make old ladies and diner waitresses giggle with the most ridiculous lines. i was never quite sure why they worked, but he pretty much always got a smile. he was very serious about his clothing; everything needed to coordinate just so. a friend of his from work told me that pete used to rib him about the clothes he was wearing, that is so my brother, so something that he would do. i suppose we weren't so different in that regard.

the kids at the center where he worked in chicago used to make him these string bracelets. he always wore them to work to show them how much it meant to him to receive them. he was the kind of guy who would wear a necklace made out of pasta every day so that some little kid who made it could know that she was special. he was kind, and caring and a little bit ridiculous. but now the funniest thing is that the ridiculous things that he did, the ways in which he was just himself, are the things that i will miss most and the things that take my breath away.