Category: Death & Dying

Wither, Fetlife?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

As a rule, I don’t spend a great deal of time on Fetlife anymore.  As the time passes by between when I had personal interaction with my slave, I’ve been finding it’s becoming less and less important to my life.  And in a way, that’s sad.  But expected.  While I still am kinky through and through, my non-kinky life takes precedence.  Because work, and life in general become priorities since I’m focusing on them more and more.  The adventures in FB Jail just bring that more home to me, that I’m really unable to express myself openly as a kink-friendly person, without their being consequences.

There have been times in the past when I’ve shuttered my Fetlife account.  Well, shuttered is too strong a term.  On several occasions I’ve contemplated deleting my account and moving on, especially the time when I’d been without anyone (yin to my yang and all that) for a period of 5-6 years.  Spending years looking for someone and not finding them takes a toll on you.  Increasingly going to a place where people post about the wonderful times they have, and you’re definitely not isn’t conducive to wanting to go back day after day.  I had the same experience with the website CollarMe/Collarspace.  Though with that particular site, I pretty much knew going in that any ad that I placed wasn’t going to be getting much in the way of traffic.  And I was right, for the most part the only views I got were either from transpeople or people looking for something else than what I was offering.  One accepts that sort of thing after a while.  I leave my ad up there just because I guess I’m too lazy to delete it.  Over the years the same thing goes for Fetlife, I believe.  I’ve changed my profile a few times, have suspended the account twice in 10 years (could never really bring myself to leave) and just recently accepted the mantle of overseeing a group that seems to be in the throes of dying, just doesn’t know enough to be deleted.  Sounds pretty typical, doesn’t it?

In the recent past, I’ve started two munch groups, only to watch the first one thrive for a little while, until apathy killed it.  The second one I started, in the same general area, except for being about 20 miles closer to me, worked for a while, but again apathy was what made it go away.  People are ok talking to one another online, but ask them to meet in a public place, on an evening, having to travel a little bit to get there, and everything seems to go sideways.  Munches work in many places, I’ve just never lived in an area where people are just so unabashedly lazy about wanting to get together.  I swear it works elsewhere!  Just not here.  There’s a play space on the next lake over, that I’ve been to, just not with anyone to play with myself, so that made it boring for me.  (I’m not a voyeur)  However, others were having a good time, and that suggested to me that interaction was working there, and the group was made up of people who knew one another from several semi-local munch groups among the areas of Ithaca, Syracuse and Elmira.

Ultimately, I haven’t decided what I’m going to do about the Fetlife account.  Probably just leave it up and check in on it once a week.  I get notifications via email if there’s something happening in either of the groups I moderate, or if I get a message.  Otherwise, I think it’s just time to do other things.  Have a little fun for once.

When you’re not -quite- family

Reading Time: 6 minutes

I received a message from my birth mother this morning, informing me of the rather unexpected death of my Aunt Lorraine.  Except that I was unaware of Aunt Lorraine.  And I’m not entirely sure that she, or her family was aware of me.

I may have mentioned this before, but if I didn’t here it is now.  I was an adopted child.  As a baby.  3 days old as a matter of fact.  Born on a Saturday morning, shipped off to NYS (USA) on a Tuesday.  My birth mother was finally able to relate to me the story of how I came to be with another family in the same geographical area where she grew up.  Even if she was unaware of it at the time.  Since it was a private adoption, neither she nor her family was allowed to know where I ended up.  They could have made some guesses, due to the lawyer that worked the adoption at one end (he was local), but other than that, it was private, closed, and she wasn’t permitted to know more details than basic ones. (Loving family, had one child already)

Anyway, after ‘Mom’ told me about Aunt Lorraine’s passing (via text message, I was asleep when she sent it) I did a little digging and came across Lorraine’s obituary.  Then her FB page.  I didn’t do much digging after that, because what I found out was nice, but a little disconcerting as well.  But not wholly unexpected when you think about it.

Lorraine lived a long life, was much-loved by her family, and had several children of her own (my cousins).  She was very active, even into her 80s (84 when she died last week).  Lots of activities, some travel, interactions and she was religious, or so it seemed from the posts from her church and in reference to church related activities.  I do have to mention here that Lorraine was not my direct relation.  She wasn’t my mother’s sister, she was the sister of the man who my mother married in the 1970s.  NOT my birth father, so Lorraine wasn’t a direct relation.  Sort of an Aunt once removed.  But the thing that irked me a little was how the obituary was printed and shared in the newspaper.  To be blunt, I wasn’t listed.  My half-brother and half-sister are there, but no mention of me or my wife.

Now, I can understand how it came to be, even though its been 2 years since my mother and I were reunited, I’m still much of an afterthought when it probably comes to familial interactions on her side of the state.  To be honest, it took my Mom all of about 20 months before she listed me as her son on her FB profile.  She said she hadn’t really thought about it, and I can understand and appreciate that, but now it’s corrected and out there for anyone to see if they care to look.  My conception, birth and adoption in the 1960s was one of her family’s things they didn’t discuss, considering the fact that when she was found to be pregnant in 1964, she was shipped off to live with an aunt in Indiana.  So that the neighbors in their little town wouldn’t know that an unwed mother was living in their midst.  While nowadays that can be considered normal, 50 years ago it just wasn’t.  Too, this was 8 years pre Roe v. Wade, so an abortion wasn’t legal.  Not that they weren’t done, but getting one required extraneous or extraordinary circumstance.  No Planned Parenthood, nothing of that nature.  It was considered (and was) illegal, period.

So, Aunt Lorraine has passed on.  Obviously, we’re not going to the funeral.  I offered my condolences to Mom and her husband Ron, and wished them safe travels (they’re flying up from Florida for the services, staying a couple of days then flying back to resume their winter layover that they do every year) seeing as it’s snowing here in NY currently.  I expect my half-brother and his family will be at the funeral as they live locally.  Fairly certain my half-sister won’t be driving up from VA, since they have 2 small children and travel might be a little problematic, too they’re both teachers and would more than likely have a little difficulty getting the time off from work to travel.

Having this to think about the last day has me wondering what’s going to happen when Mom does eventually die.  Is it going to be late in the planning stages when someone finally remembers that I need to be notified?  My half-siblings and I don’t have the most engaging of relationships.  When I visited the area 2 years ago, my half-brother couldn’t be bothered to introduce me to his wife.  I had to meet his children when they visited their grandmother, and then only for a few minutes before they wanted to go off and do things on the computer (they’re in their teens, I can understand the mind-set).  Sort of a “hi, here’s your Instant-Uncle, be nice to him!”  I haven’t had any interaction with either of them since.  And really, don’t expect to.  Too, I’ve only interacted with my half-sister and her family through a couple of video chats, her 3-year-old has no clue who I am, whenever he sees me on the video screen, his response is “where’s Grampa?”.  Thanks, kid, makes me feel really welcome.  [Yes, I know he’s 3.  That was sarcasm, fyi.]

Not for nothing, but it all reminds me of when my estranged brother got married for the first time 30 years ago.  He wanted the wedding announcement to be put in the New York Times, (at the time he wanted to be known as an ‘up and comer’) and whoever took down the copy at the Times got the names mixed up.  If anyone bothers to look in the Times history, my adopted father is listed as the groom.  Nice going, NYT.  And one wonders why copy editors are so highly prized.

RIP Aunt Lorraine.

A little advice?

Reading Time: 1 minute

My blog is public, my girl’s is not.  Consequently I’ll get far more traffic than she ever will, but it ends up usually that I’m the one that reads her posts more than anyone else will for the most part.  However, there’s an issue she’s been dealing with for several months and I’m getting a bit concerned about what all is transpiring.

She has expressed it better than I, so I’ll just post this link.  If you can take the time to read, and perhaps offer some insight, or suggestion, it would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

Not a happy sort of anniversary

Reading Time: 2 minutes

I’m just adding this as a bookmark of life, as I do on occasion.

November 22 is always a melancholy day for me.  For most people my age and older, it’s a memorable day in the way of remembering a great US President in that it was the day JFK was assassinated in Dallas, TX.  For me, it was the day I lost my adoptive mother.  She was only 59 when she passed away and I still remember the events of the day, at least starting around 10 am.  The day ended up being far more surreal than when it started, and the events in the coming days didn’t make it any better.

Just reminded every year around Thanksgiving that I have a lot more to be thankful for now than I did then.  Having relatives dying around the holidays is about the worst thing that can happen.  Losing people you love is bad enough, but throw in the build up to a holiday, and then have something negative like that occur, and it just blows it all out of the water.

Definitely put a damper on my day.  My girl and my wife did manage to keep my spirits up just the same, but by the same token they mostly left me to my own thoughts, which I appreciate far more.  Even 29 years after the fact, it still hurts.  And when you’re hurting, you do NOT want anyone giving you thoughts and prayers. Or offering condolences, or things of that nature.  Which, coincidentally, is why I stopped posting about it on Facebook…because you invariably get people trying to make you feel better.  When that’s the last thing that you want.  They mean well…but, they just don’t understand.  And I’m beyond trying to make them get it.

And yes, I appreciate whatever positive thoughts you, the reader wish to offer, if any.  But I’m disabling comments here as well…because…I can.  Thanks anyway.

The process of death

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Considering what my girl has been going through since last Friday, it’s got me thinking about the whole process of death, dying and what happens after. My own knowledge of it is more traditional, since I’ve endured four close deaths in my family (and several not so close) been involved in the planning, aftermath and details, so I, like most people have a fairly good understanding of what’s all involved in the process. Certainly not enough to be considered an expert mind you, but a sufficient amount to be able to guide a novice through the ebbs and flows, tribulations and pitfalls of it all.  Mostly.  Seeing it through her eyes is giving me a different perspective of what I’ve known and understood.

A lot has been written about ‘The Stages of Grief’, what they are, how to cope and so on, so I’m not going to touch upon them here.

When my parents died, I had a fair amount of support from my family to deal with the aftermath.  What I’m seeing in my girl’s family is quite the opposite.  There’s a lot of infighting going on, and very little in the way of ‘coming together‘ and supporting one another.  Each seems to be left to their own devices, and in my girl’s case, she has me (and her poly family), but I’m not physically close by, so all of our contact is somewhat impersonal.  Texts, phone calls and the like.  I can’t take her pulse, as it were, on how she’s doing moment to moment.  I get it in snippets, usually when her thoughts are going back to last week, and when she found out that her baby was gone.  Then a frantic text message, or something notifying me that I need to talk her down from where she’s at mentally. Dealing with that on a day-to-day basis can be very wearing, not just for her, but for myself as well.

We’ve been getting by, day by day.  As with all aftermath of death and dying, time is the great healer.  Too, if one can immerse themselves in something worthwhile (not necessarily work, but it has been known to help) that does make the time go by faster.  Without these things, one tends to get down into the dumps, dwell on what was, what happened and so on.  My girl has been off work since she found out, her workplace has been very understanding, and has been helpful to her in terms of giving her the time off in order to get affairs in order, get her head screwed back on straight so she can return to them better than she was last weekend.

In that vein, with my assistance, she’s set up a GoFundMe campaign.  The end of life costs exceed her budget and I’m only able to provide nominal assistance in this vein, so we’re hoping the kindness of strangers will assist in getting her daughter the rest she deserves, as well as funding some help for the surviving children.  I don’t normally truck with asking for help arbitrarily, but when you’re strapped, one tends to change their outlook a bit for the sake of the situation.

Every day is a new chance to do it right.  We’re making it together, little by little.  I have confidence she’s going to make it through.  Just have to be sure to convince her as well.  But as she has mentioned recently, I’m stubborn.  So we’ll make it through.

Death in the ‘family’

Reading Time: 2 minutes
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Picture Credit: OneFemaleCanuck.com

Yesterday was not a good day. For either my girl or myself. I was at work, and checked my messages at lunch, since I don’t carry my phone with me (probably one of the few employees that doesn’t since we’re not supposed to, we signed an agreement not to, and I can be a stickler for that sort of thing). My girl had messaged me around 9 am and it seemed quite urgent (‘Call me please, ASAP’). I called and the first thing I understood was, there’d been a death in her family. Sudden. Unexpected. Tragic. And to make matters worse, it was one of her children.

Everything sort of came to a standstill at that point. What to do? Death sometimes is unexpected, and it creates big problems, especially if you’re in a precarious financial situation. I’m reminded of the time my adoptive mother died, how the funeral home director, (quite callously mind you) directed my grieving father to the ‘high-end’ caskets, figuring he’d make a good sale.

There’s only so much one can do from a distance. If I could, I’d be there already. I’m providing what support I can, but I want to do more. Everything is still very much up in the air, and I don’t want her falling apart in this time of grief and need. Thankfully, she is not alone, she’s staying for the moment with her poly family.

It’s not going to be easy, but as I reassured her last night, we’re going to get through it together.

RIP, B.