My Emotions

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Stitched by my love bug, Elizabeth Wilkie.

Note: I haven’t written anything in a while. This will probably answer why. If not, then I am ok with that and you and us and all.

A lot of kiddly things written focus on children’s emotions. How to deal with them, how to embrace them, how to talk about them, etc.

I find dealing with mine and the effect they have on them more challenging.

I’m going through some shit. We all are. But right now, my three and five year old are front row center to the trauma that I’ve finally come to acknowledge. Fun fact: I’ve started healthily (?) dealing with my emotions at the age of 44. I’m 44. Anyway.

My children watch me cry, melt down, become opulent, become broken, build myself back up, apologize, rinse, repeat. Elizabeth and I talk. We converse. We ruminate. The kids sponge.

I’m a bit of a mess. I’m getting on the other side of it (I think), and the kids are along for the ride because they are my family and I love them and I don’t want to hide real feelings from them and my partner agrees. I’ll leave that there and move on.

What Elizabeth and I have figured out is, do not hide from them. They are real, they are big, they are valid. They sometimes consume you. They sometimes tsunami you. It is what you do, when you can, that defines you.

I have trouble sleeping. I cry a lot. I need more hugs and snuggles. I tell people I love them more (only the ones I actually do). I have more anxiety attacks. I deal with them better now. My counselor thinks I use sarcasm as a sword and I think her face is made of farts (unsarcastically). I love my wife more than I ever had yet I am scared that I can’t fully let her know how much because I’m a fucking broken hurt machine that thinks it can pretend it is not.

I tell my kids, subtly, why I’m upset. When they offer me hugs, I scoop ’em large. I try not to yell. I talk to them not at them. I treat my mental health like a broken arm. I’m ok with my broken arm, don’t touch it. YOU TOUCHED IT TOO HARD.

And here I am.

Emotions are real, just like food, or rain, or the flu. If something is in your heart, talk about it freely and honestly. Those who love you will get it. Those who don’t are lucky to hear you talk about it with honesty. Be true to what you are going through, it is the only decent thing you can do. With that said, failure is a test and failing is fine as long as you try to figure out what it all means. If you can’t, ask someone. Also: fuck the haters and those who diminish your feelings. They will someday regret the fact that they decided that emotions are something you can intimidate into healing. Anyway.

I hold my kids longer. I love them muchly. I snuggle them more. I sneak some sleep snuggles from Elizabeth when I can but sometimes it is tough because there are two other awesome humans there that I have to snuggle around. It is tough being the best snuggler, right Elizabeth?

Anyway, hope your holidays didn’t suck. Stay rad you fucking monsters.

Sidenote: I’m off all social media. Elizabeth and my councilor agree that it is not good for me. I can’t fix the world by yelling into the void. Memes are gonna meme. That’s how shit be. Email me or text me. Or don’t. Stay way rad. 

 

Episode 32: The Questioneer

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You are very star

In this episode, Trent answers the many, many questions that his rabid fanbase* sent in to him. Some of them are funny, some sincere, and some are about corn nuts.

*Just random folks (and his family) who were polite enough to answer his requests for questions.

This episode is powered by ATB and sponsored by the Alberta Podcast Network.  Thank you to Andrew Paul and the Edmonton Community Foundation for the recording space and production help. Thanks to Caitlynn Legris for her recording and vocal talents for the new intro intro. Also, many thanks to the super talented Nathaniel Sutton (@defendtherhino) for the use of ‘Fugitive’ as a theme song. Additional danke to Josh Woodward for the background tracks on the ads. And hey, if you like this episode, you could always buy me a coffee.

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Episode 30: Julie Rohr Part 2

 

Screen Shot 2018-11-13 at 12.33.35 PMIn no specific order: Julie and I talk about the ‘D’ word, journalism, connecting to people you can’t connect to, understanding, being brought up religious, giving yourself grace, and even though you have cancer you still have to be a parent. This conclusion of the two-parter is a doozie.

If you haven’t listened to it yet, visit Part 1 HERE.

This episode is powered by ATB and sponsored by the Alberta Podcast Network.  Thank you to Andrew Paul and the Edmonton Community Foundation for the recording space and production help. Thanks to Caitlynn Legris for her recording and vocal talents for the new intro intro. Also, many thanks to the super talented Nathaniel Sutton (@defendtherhino) for the use of ‘Fugitive’ as a theme song. Additional danke to Josh Woodward for the background tracks on the ads. And hey, if you like this episode, you could always buy me a coffee.

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Episode 28: The good Witch of the true North

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Lindsey and the King of Cups

I catch up with Lindsey McNeill about what it is like to be adopted as an adult, how her and her mom are writing a book about the experience, and what it is like to be a screenwriter, producer, witch, and tarot card reader (and then she reads my tarot cards).

Oh yeah, and here is the ghost sex I mentioned.

This episode is powered by ATB and sponsored by the Alberta Podcast Network.  Thank you to Andrew Paul and the Edmonton Community Foundation for the recording space and production help. Thanks to Caitlynn Legris for her recording and vocal talents for the new intro intro. Also, many thanks to the super talented Nathaniel Sutton (@defendtherhino) for the use of ‘Fugitive’ as a theme song. Additional danke to Josh Woodward for the background tracks on the ads. And hey, if you like this episode, you could always buy me a coffee.

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My hand

 

The living and the dying

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We are very star.

It will soon get to the point where I have to talk to the Bean about life and death. I will have to explain why people leave and don’t come back.

I will have to explain that even though some believe that there is something beyond death, they still cry and weep at funerals. I will have to explain that even though some believe that there is nothing beyond being alive, that life is still worth living.

I will have to explain that sometimes, people only start caring about people after they die. That they only then start expressing how much they care for those that passed and that they should have started while they were alive. I will say that they have trouble expressing themselves and death confuses them. I will say that this is very common.

I will explain that I am very guilty of this, and I should have spent more time telling those that I love how much they mean to me and celebrating them while they are alive. I will have to explain to him that regret can kill, so one might as well beat regret to the punch by acting on emotion; by embracing it and subsequently the invoker of it.

I will say that one can love someone they never met, well not them, but what they represent and how they made the person feel. I will explain that drinking them up while they are alive will allow one to better cope with their passing, even though it may not seem like it at the time.

I will also have to explain to him that I really don’t know what I’m talking about. That this is my best guess at an answer that has always been guessed at for as long as people have had ideas and opinions on such topics.

I will then tell him how much I love him. And then I will wipe my tears on the front of his shirt.

Pater, valde te amo. Gaudeo venisses in occursum mihi filius. Gaudeo me venisses felix amat. Quaeso te amo, quod sciam . Quaerit opes magis quam iusti sumus.

Legacy

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We love all the Santas.

Recently our family lost someone very dear to us. Elizabeth’s grandmother and Little Heck’s great-grandmother. It was surreal and tragic, and ultimately, something that will happen to all of us. This may seem trite, but I’m not about to crack open my rib cage and shoot my heart upon this post. I could never do justice towards the loss of the wonderful woman also known as Nano*.

It was a tasteful service, I think. I haven’t been to a lot of funerals. The turn out was modest as Nano was nearly a century old. She lived to be 97and at that point, you’ve outlived most of your friends. She was surrounded by family which is all any of us could ever ask for.

I was given the duty of corralling the brazen nutter known as my son because Elizabeth was eulogizing the awesome Nano . At 17months our little dervish is mobile, vocal and in a constant state of consuming information in any way he can. The pastor who ran the service was a real pro as the first words he said to me were, “I don’t mind if he is loud. I can work through it. It doesn’t bother me at all.” Ever kissed a priest? I almost did.3

The tranquil solemnity of the opening remarks about Nano were mildly interrupted by our little hero. He did some running around and took a bit of distraction to keep contained, but overall, he was fine. After all, he is what scientists call ‘a toddler’.

At the end of the pastor’s heartfelt dedication to Nano, the room fell quiet as all those gathered took time to reflect upon personal memories. That was until our tiny everyman screamed “Yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!”, and clapped like he was a paint shaker.

It was the first time I heard a group of people laugh at a funeral. But, like I said, I haven’t been to many.

I’ll end this with a epilogue:

To have the very beginning of life present at the end of it, is to celebrate how this crazy life machine works. Tiny Zeus spent the rest of the day running through people’s legs and smashing his head into things. Strangers smiled and talked to him. Family picked him up for hugs. He eased the burden of passage by representing what the circle embodies: continuance, love, success, and the future.

Nano loved him. And as Elizabeth played a recording of her reading a children’s book to our son, I know Nano would have laughed at the small zenith as he barreled headlong into the rest of his life. He gregariously applauded Elizabeth’s eulogy too.

*In memory of Nano, I’ve chosen our most recent Christmas picture to represent this post as we have spent the past several years celebrating it at her home in Medicine Hat. She was a big fan of family. And shots. Christmas morning shots.

Editor’s Notes:

It’s been a long time since I’ve had the opportunity to provide editor’s notes to The Undad’s world.  He’s been too insightful and “bang on” for me to feel any gain from adding additional reflections.

What struck me about this particular post, is how very different we recall the events of my beautiful grandmother’s funeral. I think this speaks to the mourning process, and how disjointed the world can become when we’re surround by a spiraling egregious of emotions and reality.

1  She turned 96 in October 2015.  Although she lived life furiously, and I’m sure had enough experiences to fill at least 97 years, but likely 197.

16 months, but every day feels like a week because of the amount of cleaning, destruction, learning, encouraging, wrestling, motivating, and loving we do daily.

3  Not a priest.  The officiant was an employee of the funeral chapel, but in a previous life he was an United Church Minister.  The United Church’s clergy are traditionally referred to as ministers.  The United Church does not use the title priest, but occasionally use  reverend.  I suspect though, if you’re standing on the other side of the other side of the God fence, listening to a gentleman with a fancy scarf read from a storybook, it’s all just semantics.

This is a really interesting example of how the memory plays tricks on us.  I remember our son cheering as the officiant made his way to the front of the funeral chapel, before he had even spoken.  I remember him saying “Wow, I’ve never had a welcome quite like that.”  I remember feeling quite appreciative for the joy that filled my heart, before any of the sadness found space to resonate.

5  And my broken heart was made whole.  Our little sun radiates all of our love. I was so lucky to have Nano at my side the day I married Trent.  I was so lucky to be able to celebrate my pregnancy with Nano.  To have Nano hold my son, on more than one occasion.  To be at her side, with my son, on her 95th birthday.  I am lucky to have a photo of her at MedAlta Potteries in the early 1940s adoring my Cultural Services’ office wall, inspiring me daily – making me smile daily.