On Loss – Loss of Fear

Our final guest has probably heard that old chestnut “I wouldn’t want to meet you in a dark alley”, a lot more than I ever have (and I’ve heard it enough for one lifetime, thank you very much). I had the pleasure of learning about Lisa Gemino’s life and struggles as a female martial artist on the Real Life Superwomen panel at the 2016 Creative Ink Festival, and the even greater pleasure of being an online friend for the past few years. When I read her submission for this series, it knocked the wind out of me. I have been…

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On Loss – You Can’t Go Home

There’s an old superstition that bad things come in threes. Superstitions hang around for a reason. It was 2003 and President George Bush Jr. had declared mission accomplished. I was stationed in a Republican guard base outside of Baghdad, wondering if anyone had told the Iraqis that the war was over. Granted, things had settled down from the initial invasion, there were no more intact Iraqi Army or Republican Guard units in the field opposing us and we went anywhere in Iraq we wanted (well to be fair, we went anywhere we wanted in Iraq even when Saddam’s army was…

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On Loss – Tonsillitis Blues

Of all that we can lose, our life is the most precious. But what if we almost lose it? What if we come close enough to get a glimpse at what the world might be like without us? Today’s guest, Melanie Marttila, talks about a childhood brush with death and the loss that could have been. Tonsillitis is hell. The true infection, the one that leaves your four-year-old self screaming, the monster pain in your ears reaching back into your brain, your throat, latching on with needle-like claws, and shredding. I remember that. I remember trying to lie still on my…

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On Loss – Heartbreaking Transition Eased by Unexpected Gestures of Acceptance

You’ve lost your marriage, your job, and your house, the worst is over, right? Today’s guest blogger, Ceejae Devine, talks about saying goodbye to two special friends amid a whirlwind of loss. I was so sure I’d finally made it. I’d walked away from a terrible marriage with two small kids. I’d gotten through five years of separation arrangements and divorce proceedings, and I’d gotten out of a part-time receptionist position at a Real Estate company where they’d been cutting my hours for months. The new job appeared out of nowhere. It came up in a conversation I had one…

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On Loss – The Ninety Day Cycle People

When today’s guest, David Perlmutter, pitched his idea to me, I confess I was skeptical. Then I read his piece and remembered all the fictional characters and stories whose endings have left me grieving. Loss, I was reminded, can take any form.   In the late 1970s, the underrated and underexposed rhythm and blues music ensemble Charles Wright and the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band recorded a song called “Ninety Day Cycle People” for ABC Records. Unusually for the time and the artist, it was a high concept science fiction piece involving an advanced race of human beings capable of…

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On Loss – Footprints on the Grass

Those of you who spent most of your childhood in the same home may know how it feels to revisit that home years later, as an adult. But what if the story is more complicated than that? What if you not only miss your childhood home but also plan to live there again? Today’s guest, Jasmine Georget–one of that treasured group of friends from my own former home–talks about what happened when she tried to reclaim the home she had lost. I came across my childhood home on a realtor’s website. The owner, a friend of a friend, had died…

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On Loss – Thoughts on the Death of a Bird

If you’re wondering how a zoologist looks at the cycle of life and death, today’s guest may enlighten you. H. Leighton Dickson discovers that there is more to loss than despair. It is a sad thing to wake up and look to the nest outside your window, only to find it overturned and empty. I am surprised, actually, at how sad it is. Last summer, a pair of robins built a nest in the beams of our pergola. It was just above our deck table, and it was just high enough to avoid our two cats who sat eagerly below,…

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On Loss – Memory Loss

Who owns our memories and what happens when we lose them? Our guest today, Aurora Award winner and fellow SF Canada member, Robert Runte, explores the loss of memory in some of its many forms. Increasingly, I’ve had to cope with memory loss. Well, yes, that, but not just that. Everyone has had the experience of forgetting where they left their keys…. As we age, we tend to blame our failing memories on aging, but the truth is I have always been absent minded: I just used to blame forgetting on being too busy or too tired from trying to…

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On Loss – The Fear of Loss

Today’s guest has been an online friend of mine for several years. Charlie Hersman and his late partner Randy were two of our first Warpworld cheerleaders, and always a source of good cheer and inspiration. There really is no introduction I can pen that would capture Charlie’s journey, so I’ll step aside with much love and my humble thanks to my friend for sharing. It seems like we can never quite recapture the shameless abandon of childhood once we become adults. Somehow, between the expectations of those around us and the insistence of conformity thrust upon us by society, we…

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On Loss – Giving Fear a Face

“You’ve got to meet this woman, you’ll love her.” Those were the words of my friend, author Griffin Barber, as he extolled the virtues of our first guest. I did meet her–online and then face-to-face at the Creative Ink Festival–and, what can I say? Griffin was right.  Does writing have a role to play in coping with loss? Warrior poet Setsu Uzume thinks so. If anyone tells you not to use writing as therapy, kick them in the shin. Felt good to think about that, didn’t it? At BayCon 2016, I was asked to be on a panel about death,…

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