Loud-mouthed liberal feminist. Anarchist knitter. Tequila-drinking artsy-smartsy fat chick. Bluesy folk-rock singer-songwriter. Rebel with too many causes. Quirky eclectic pagan poet. Paradoxical intuitive smartass. Sarcastic brainiac insomniac. You know, for starters.


Bad news. Really bad.

Last week, we lost my nephew to SIDS.

They don't make words to describe the grief and sorrow of losing such a young child with so little reason or explanation.

I'd been home the previous weekend for my dad's annual hog roast & beer fest. That was a reasonably good time, with beer galore, and music, and pork and most of my dad's family. I didn't get stuck playing nanny, which was nice, and I also managed to work ina visit with my dear friend Jeremy, which was awesome.

I came home and of course, promptly got sick. Fever, aches, chills, headache, the gnawing certainty that given the slightest encouragement, my lungs would start kicking out mucus by the gallon. I spent Monday and Tuesday swaddled in blankets and drinking juice and eating chicken soup. Good times.

Tuesday night I got the call. It floored me. I spent the rest of the evening, when I wasn't on the phone with one family member or another, staring at the wall trying to process. It was impossible. A couple sleepless nights and restless days on the phone making arrangements and trying to support my brother and sister-in-law, I went home.

In defiance of tradition, the visitation was open-casket. In case just the thought of a child's death wasn't horrific enough, to see it....it's indescribable how difficult that was. It's heartbreaking.

The funeral itself was horrible. First, I had agreed to sing...which I did, somehow, I'm still not sure. I was shaking the whole time, and the second I got back to myseat beside my sister, I completely broke down. My brother spoke of his joy when Aiden was born, and how happy he was to have a son, and how devastating it was to lose him so soon.

And then there was the pastor who conducted the service. Religious tolerance being a theme in my life lately, the mid-service sermon wherein the pastor actually said, "Aiden is in heaven now....if you ever want to see him again, you must accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and savior." Call me crazy, but I don't particularly like my grief being used as leverage to recruit me for the big team in the sky.

The weekend was an ordeal, and I am glad to be home, to be in my safe space to go through my grieving process, and to work through all the stuff this set of circumstances and the attendant events brought up for me. Oy. My work is cut out for me.

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