So many gems! A Queer Chick, I do love your column.
@Killerpants and null: Yep, me too, very often.
I adored this story from the opening lines!
(PS: 'Oo's a pretty girl? Yes she is! Yes she is!)
"At this point I’m just a weirdo standing in her bathroom with one foot up on the toilet and one finger up her person mumbling, '…huh,' every five seconds."
Something about this image (and oh, isn't it relatable!) made me laugh so hard that I alarmed my cat.
I'm late to posting this--just catching up a bit--but had to say, these Ask Baba Yaga features are just so ... darkly strange and lovely, and often surprisingly touching. Basically exactly what advice from a centuries-old witch, by way of a poet, ought to be.
@fondue with cheddar And it's good to realize that metaphorical deaths like divorce exist also, and to be able to mourn them as well.
@fondue with cheddar Like many, I expect, I naturally have some strong mixed emotions about assisted suicide, but I can't say I'd be completely against it in all cases. It's definitely a big problem, though, when people start to see death as something to be staved off at all costs and no matter what the odds, the future quality of life, etc. As difficult as it is for us to let go, sometimes it's so important to realize that it is time.
One of the best things I've found about the funerals of, at least, my elderly family members has been that people seem to do at least as much laughing as crying. They really have been celebrations of the life of our loved ones. Wailing and allowing ourselves to fully mourn is healthy--and so is laughter and allowing ourselves to enjoy good memories and being alive with the other people we love.
The traditional mourning period used to be a year, at least in America and Europe in the 19th century, right? And it's funny, but almost exactly a year after my mom's death--just a little bit after the anniversary--without any conscious effort, I felt myself come out of mourning. Not that I wasn't/am not still sad to have lost her; I miss her a ton. But something just changed, like a curtain lifting. The first year was the hardest--going through the holidays and birthdays and the different seasons and feeling her absence so acutely. After that, you've done most things at least once before. So again, those old death customs really have good sense behind them.
@fondue with cheddar Agreed; it seems we try to avoid thinking and talking seriously about death, to the point where we no longer seem to have realistic expectations about it--about the process of aging and dying, the issues surrounding death, and the process of grieving for survivors. (Witness the manufactured hysteria over "death panels," which were really just practical discussions with doctors to help plan end-of-life issues. Gruh! Makes me so mad, still!)
Glad to have some support for my friend's thoughts! It's a fascinating idea.
@Hellcat That is so sweet of your boyfriend! I hope the tattoo comes out lovely. Internet hugs to you!
@fondue with cheddar I found that out later! It was neat to discover I'd made an accidental connection with a custom entirely separate from my own background (I was raised Catholic). And a very sensible custom, too, to help mourners avoid being distracted by vanity at a solemn and spiritual time. Makes all the sense in the world to me.
(A friend also suggested a possible connection with older beliefs that mirrors could be doorways into the spirit world. Do you happen to know whether there's any truth to that?)