My Death Cafe

Posted on December 28, 2014


I’m still alive. Maybe barely. But I am. I have been spending half of my nights at work (as in spending the night doing overnight respite work) and only half at home, except I’m still working the regular (and by regular I mean only sometimes regular) 40 hour work week.

I’ve been working a lot. A lot a lot.

This has resulted in me missing my husband a lot, me not helping with much of the farm chores, me growing increasingly cranky around a few specific kiddos at work, and the real benefit of all this: us successfully making our debt payoff goal for the year. By January 1st we will have paid off a sum of more than $13,400 in debt! If we can keep that kind of pace up we should be able to be well on our way to being small farm owners somewhere in a couple of years’ time.

Christmas this year was limited to a very few gifts (stocking stuffers between the husband and I and our roommates) and a great feast of delicious things. Some of our pig from Rebecca made a roast ham with vegetables as well as a sorrel, chicory, and crispy pigs ear salad, one of our rabbits was turned into jellied rabbit, there was a radish and pea salad, and I made marble bavarian cream for dessert. Fit for royalty, that dinner. I think a total blown-up feast like that with friends is actually the best way to celebrate a holiday like Christmas rather than buying people more things that they probably don’t need anyway. Don’t get me wrong, I love a well thought out gift, but I find that the obligatory gifts that get given so much just end up as clutter, and that’s sad for the thing, the person who gave the thing, the person who made the thing (somewhere in this world somebody’s time went into that), and the person who got the thing.

I am still working on a knit hoodie for the husband, which I suppose very much counts a Christmas present, but seeing as I’m just now on the second sleeve, and am unable to find one skein of yarn that I am running low on, and I actually have to purchase more yarn from someone since we switched the size I was making the sweater in before remembering that the yarn I bought in sweater quantity quite some time ago was a limited edition yarn – it’s obviously not going to be done anywhere too close to Christmas. I’d say we’ll be doing well if Nate gets to wear it for a couple of the cold days before the Spring garden is being hurried in.

Sadder news that came my way today: my grandpa died this morning. This was my mom’s dad. Due to family things I won’t mention, I never met him that I could remember until I was 21 years old – he and my grandma lived way up in Wisconsin where my mom grew up and I only had the time and means to make that trip once. So that one time I met him was the only time I met him. I always feel torn about death. I’ve only known a few people who have died and I have always wondered if moving around so much as a child would really affect my ability to grasp death, because when someone dies, I get the same feeling in my gut as when we moved away and I was pretty sure I’d never see someone again because I knew we would drift apart and not keep in touch and I was a kid so I didn’t have the means to go see them again anyway. I feel like the people who I know who have died are just very far away and nobody gave me their new mailing address so we could keep in touch.

I think about that, and think about writing letters to them for closure, especially when I’m drinking my coffee or tea from my mug that was given to me by my friend Keith. His mom called me out of the blue sometime in the last year, she had only met me once and it was years ago, but she said he always spoke highly of me and she knew we kept in touch and he died suddenly and she thought that I would want to know. It seemed wrong, for a mother to call her son’s friend and tell them of his death, and she was the one asking if she could do anything for me. I just had the urge to write him a letter telling him how crazy that was. But maybe that’s what dealing with death is, that ugly feeling of writing letters to someone who has no address anymore, who isn’t reachable by any of the regular channels.

In all the moving as a child, and the continued moving as an adult, I’ve become too good at leaving people behind. Nothing like death to remind you what it’s like to miss people.