This last month has been a doozy. Two weekends ago, I went to my great-grandmother’s funeral, and last weekend I attended my uncle’s funeral. Also last weekend, one of my childhood dogs had to be put to sleep.
I wasn’t particularly close with either my great-grandma or my uncle, but it was still pretty emotionally taxing. My great-grandma’s funeral was Catholic and very weird. She was a sweet lady with a heart of gold, but she also was heavily involved with the Catholic church her whole life (hence the Catholic funeral). Personally, I’m not religious at all- but I totally respect her wishes to have her funeral that way. But with the open casket, and the holy water, and the chanting and singing… it all seemed a bit silly to me. Her passing was sad, but she lived a long life, and she was ready to move on from this life.
My uncle’s funeral, on the other hand, was much more of an emotional situation for me. The funeral came more than a month after his death, as my grandma tried to allow time for some relatives to make it from out of town. His death was a slow and painful one from cancer, and it took a toll on a lot of people in my family. I’ll remember my uncle as a ‘no bullshit’ guy that loved to tell dirty jokes. He was funny, and he made people laugh- including me. That being said, we were never extremely close, but he did know that I loved him when he passed.
For his funeral, I had prepared a slideshow of pictures, which everyone seemed to enjoy. It was nice to be able to help my grandma out with this, since she organized the whole funeral. The slideshow and speeches made me sad and tear up, but the real downer was fighting with my mom all weekend (and yes, this is the same weekend my dog was put down).
We hardly ever fight, but this was a mean one that left me with a hell of a headache from crying all day Saturday. I won’t go into details, but things are better now. It’s a bit of a superficial make up though because I know if we talked about it again we would just end up fighting some more.
Anyways, all of this makes for an exhausting first month of 2015. I’m a pretty depressed and cynical person as it is, so when death overwhelms my life it doesn’t do a whole lot of good. I start thinking about everyone I love, and how they will die someday- and then I quickly shove the thought out of my mind. I try and soothe myself with the bullshit response of “we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it”.
On top of all of this happening in my personal life, I recently binge listened to the podcast Serial. It’s a spin-off of NPR’s ‘This American Life’ podcast that revisits a 1998 murder case that still has a bunch of unanswered questions. If you haven’t listened to this yet, you should start it immediately. I started it Thursday afternoon, and by end of the day Friday I was finished (there are 12 episodes ranging from around 30 – 60 minutes). If you have already listened to it, let me know what you thought of it, and any of your theories. I’ve been lurking on the serial podcast subreddit like crazy trying to solve the case myself!
As you probably would have guessed, my vegan diet has had a few bumps during the last few weeks. I’ve cheated and made some ’emotional eating decisions’… not that I’m justifying my actions, just explaining them. But I’m trying not to make myself feel like too much shit about it. I’ve noticed that if I do the ‘hate myself for being such a fat fucking loser’ thing too much, then I just drag myself down even further. My convoluted reasoning soon turns into “Well if I’m such a fat fucking loser, then I think I’m permitted to eat more of this shitty food!”.
Instead, I’ve been encouraging myself to start fresh each day and get back to the routine I was in. I also need to remember the animals, since my biggest reason for going vegan is to stop contributing to animal death and suffering. I keep threatening to make myself watch ‘Earthlings‘ if I don’t shape up again. (In case you don’t know, Earthlings is a pretty graphic documentary about industrialized farming, and basically how humans in general are just assholes to animals.)
So that’s where I’m at with life right now. Navigating death in my personal life, enjoying a podcast about murder in my spare time, and threatening myself with graphic vegan documentaries on top of all that.
As morbid as it all sounds, it kind of makes me laugh sometimes. I’ve learned that having a dark sense of humor can actually carry you through the bad times, even though you feel like you’ll be going to hell eventually with all of the shitty jokes your mind is making up.
So with my shitty dark humor, veganism, running and cats- I SAY “ONWARD”. I am certain that February will be a much better month than January. After all, I still have 11 months left of 2015 to ‘get my shit together’.