memories Archive

On Life, Death, and Fatness

The thing of it is, my sister’s death has taught me that fat shaming from the outside world is, astoundingly, the very least of my problems, even though it affects my friendships, relationships, the quality of care I receive on literally any platform, and my chances of getting things like jobs and housing, regardless of my references and qualifications. I have been realizing in the past year and a bit that the worst damage is the damage I now do to myself: internalized fat phobia.

Persistent Past in a Present Future

My therapist has a thing for drawing me charts that she hopes I bring home and post on my wall (I do). It ends up straining both my eyes and my mind. We tend to get into complicated conversations that involve chaos theory and the nature of humans. My most recent chart (a flow chart of such) describes how the past connects us to depression, the future to anxiety, and the present to calm and balance. But I have questions. As I usually do.

Death and the aftermath

My wife died four months ago. We had fought the night before, ending with her saying she was taking a bunch of pills. I thought she was joking. I woke up next to a corpse. I woke up with a black eye I didn’t remember getting and spent five minutes trying to clean the vomit from around her mouth until I realized she was dead. Time stands still, memories fail. I called 911 and the person on the line tried to get me to move her from the bed to the floor. I tried, moving a women my same height to the floor, dancing with rigor mortis. A rush of urine. It was then, holding that corpse, that it first hit me.

Brother Mine

I’m afraid you have become furniture, brother mine.

Nothing but an engraved box among a hollow wooden desk.

You’re not longer those books your read, the letters that lined

The inside of your throat and tongue. You’re no longer

The songs you played with shaking fingers and bouncing

Legs at three AM when the world finally dozed to sleep.

The Science and Mathematics of Death

Editor’s note – this story is continued from On Death, Depression, And The Moments Of Solitude That Follow.

I feel with death, a new journey in life begins. We must relearn how to live for the sake of our livelihoods. For the sake of life itself.

How to Bury Our Dead

We would like to thank our (first!) special guest author, Amber Dawn, and Arsenal Pulp Press, for allowing us to republish this short story on QueerMentalHealth.org. Grief is a very important issue for mental health, and Amber Dawn does an amazing job at addressing how we can deal with grief within the LGBTQ community. This short story can be found in the anthology, Second Person Queer (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2008). Amber, you are a powerful writer, and we at QueerMentalHealth.org would like to invite you to come back anytime.

Everyone dies; we can agree on that. And although we probably don’t really like to, we can also agree that the mortality rate for queers is higher than for happily married heterosexuals. Doesn’t it seem a little off that we—with our rich array of community rituals and traditions—don’t have customary means to mourn? Exactly how do we bury our dead?