“Mourning Celebrity Deaths” Club

“There have just been so many deaths this year,” I said to my therapist earlier this week as she tried to break me down and understand the root of my paralyzing fear of death. “There are so many deaths every year,” she said, dismissing my statement. “It’s no different.” Reflecting on the year, I’ve considered whether life seemed more intense because it was a leap … Continue reading “Mourning Celebrity Deaths” Club

“Not Fearing Death, Just Not Wanting It” Club

““Cowards die many times before their deaths. The valiant never taste of death but once. Of all the wonders that I yet have heard, It seems to me most strange that men should fear, Seeing that death, a necessary end, Will come when it will come.” I joke about how this tiny speech from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar is the only thing I ever memorized which … Continue reading “Not Fearing Death, Just Not Wanting It” Club

“Obsessed with Time” Club

I am betting anyone with gold member status in this club is also a member of the “I Can Guess the Time Accurately Within Five Minutes Club” as well as the “I Don’t Like Crowds and Lines Club“.  I’m horribly tortured by the notion of wasted time. I hear the clock as if it’s attached to a megaphone. It ticks louder for me than it does … Continue reading “Obsessed with Time” Club

“Mental Health Challenges” Club

I have a few mental health challenges. I was born with generalized anxiety disorder which developed into panic disorder. Six years ago, the extreme morning sickness I experienced in my second pregnancy left me with a real condition called HG/PTSD and on top of it I have a mild (ha ha ha) case of hypochondria with a side of OCD which makes it hard to … Continue reading “Mental Health Challenges” Club

“Grieving” Club

Grief is such that it lodges itself in your throat until you either have to swallow hard or cry it out. The problem with the crying route is it is like disengaging a cork which is clogging up a hole in a pipe, and when unplugged, a deluge explodes from within. Once you let one cry out, the others topple out uncontrollably. Crying only makes … Continue reading “Grieving” Club

“I Wore My Funeral Suit” Club

I wore my black Banana Republic funeral suit today. I hate it. I purchased it 14 years ago when I needed a new suit to wear to client meetings for my corporate advertising job. I never wore it beyond the initial hiring interview; it was too conservative for me. It sat in my closet for ten years until I pulled it out as the perfect, … Continue reading “I Wore My Funeral Suit” Club

“Writing a Eulogy” Club

I never wrote a eulogy before but have often thought about it, which doesn’t make me morbid since I have spent equal time pondering my Oscar acceptance speech. Tomorrow we bury my aunt and when they ask if anyone wants to say anything, I will feel the weight of eyes on me, the vocal one, and I will feel compelled to say something but I … Continue reading “Writing a Eulogy” Club

“My Aunt Died” Club

My father had called me at 1:30pm to tell me he was on his way to his sister’s house because the hospice nurse said based on her breathing, it would be a matter of hours. At 4pm he texted me, “she’s gone.” “She’s gone,” I read aloud to my husband who was tiling our kitchen wall, his hands covered in mastic. “Oh, I’m sorry babe,” … Continue reading “My Aunt Died” Club

“Waiting for Death” Club

“I’ll see you tomorrow at 2pm,” my father tells me, “but you never know what can happen. I keep waiting for the phone to ring and for him to tell me she’s dead.” My father is waiting for his sister to die. Her son is waiting for his mother to die. I am waiting for my aunt to die. You know the anticipation and anxiety … Continue reading “Waiting for Death” Club

“Scared of Dying” Club

My aunt who is dying of ovarian cancer chose to enter hospice today after her third trip to the emergency room in the last two weeks. The hospital sent her home in an ambulance saying there was nothing more they can do. Today my father met her in her apartment in Brooklyn to move around her furniture to get it ready for the hospital bed, … Continue reading “Scared of Dying” Club

“Death is a Sure Thing” Club

“It’s just her turn,” I say. Trying to justify the unjustifiable. Trying to shove words where none fit. “Is that a consolation prize?” My father says, who is going to see his dying sister, to review paperwork while she still has her mind. “No,” I say and my brain enters the foot-in-the-mouth, but I’ll-try-to-peddle-out of-it-by-more-talking program. “Life is the consolation prize; death is the sure … Continue reading “Death is a Sure Thing” Club

“Filling Up My Days with Joy” Club

I watched Everything is Copy, the documentary about Nora Ephron’s life and I can spend days quoting her charm and wit, but a line in the movie has stuck with me: “Eat your last meal when you’re alive.” She means it’s rare to know you’re eating your last meal. In jail, being executed is one of the few ways you can know it’s your last … Continue reading “Filling Up My Days with Joy” Club

“Livestreaming a Funeral” Club

My husband’s aunt died this week; she was 71, another victim to Terrorist Cancer. We were not able to go to the funeral in Kansas City, but thanks to modern technology we were able to watch it live streamed, virtual observers and passive mourners. We couldn’t see her coffin or hug our cousins or hear the sniffling and sobbing of her children, but we were … Continue reading “Livestreaming a Funeral” Club

“Lessons from an Ageless Bird” Club

I was on the phone with a friend yesterday and in the midst of my poison ivy story, I was horribly distracted by the obnoxiously loud bird squawking in the background. “Is that Maggie making all that noise?” I ask. “It sounds like a full rainforest. Does she say words?” “No, she copies sounds, but doesn’t really say any English words.” “How old is she?” … Continue reading “Lessons from an Ageless Bird” Club

“My Neighbors are Dying Around Me” Club

When we first moved into our building in Fort Lee, NJ, just on the other side of the infamous George Washington Bridge, it was because my cousin had recruited us here. She had a gorgeous apartment in the building and had twin boys the same age as my daughter. The family connection (and more affordable real estate) convinced us to cross over the bridge from … Continue reading “My Neighbors are Dying Around Me” Club

“Death Made Me Get Married” Club

Two years ago my grandfather died at 87 years old. On our last visit to his house, he was so alive. He had retiled their bathroom floor and refinished the kitchen cabinets. He complained about a pain in his side and waved it off as he embraced my four-year-old daughter. He lifted her up, spun her in the air, and then looked for the nearest … Continue reading “Death Made Me Get Married” Club