Lost and Found

A long time ago, when I was only twenty-seven, the man I loved died.

One night he didn’t come home. I waited alone wondering where he was. The friend who found him contacted another friend who then told me.

In that moment my world changed. All of our hopes, our dreams and our plans were gone. I’d lost my friend, my lover, my future husband, the future father of my children, all at once.

I was numb and lost in a way I could have never imagined. The grief was paralyzing. In time I was sad, angry, hopeless, and lost. In time I was hopeful and grateful for the time I’d had with him.

Now those memories of loss, and my memories of the man I loved are mine and mine alone. The are no common friends or anyone who shares any memories with me. They are all gone.

I never thought what if. It was over. Dust and ashes blown to the wind, into time, gone forever.

For a few years I slept in one of his shirts – a button down dress shirt. Now that is gone as well – worn out as my broken heart healed.

But he is always with me, even now. Even now when I am passionately in love with my husband Teddy.

If by some magic I could go back and never meet him, never feel that pain, I wouldn’t do it. I would never trade that time with him.

The experience changed me. It happened. I had to continue my life. But I didn’t have to forget. He is part of me. We all carry those we’ve loved inside of us, as part of us.

When he was alive not a day went by when we didn’t say I love you. Not a day went by when we didn’t laugh ourselves silly. I can still hear his voice and see the mischief in his green eyes.

It was so long ago.

I can smile when I think of him.

And I can hope and pray that my children and their young friends never have to go through anything like that.

He wouldn’t have wanted me to be alone and spend my life lost.

That was a long time ago. I’ve lost others since. And I have found more love than I could have ever imagined.

It is never easy when something like this happens. Some people will say, “get over it.” You have my permission to just bitch slap them, or at least just walk away. You don’t need them in your life.

And you might never get over it completely. Even today, when someone is late I sit in fear that they will never return. I try to logically convince myself otherwise but the fear creeps back into my bones.

But more, there are those times when I am grateful because I’ve had that kind of once-in-a-lifetime-love twice. I’ve experienced love at first sight twice. TWICE. And you know I don’t live in a romantic lala land. You’ve seen my meme.

this guy

Yes, I did date that guy and a lot more. Yes, I had to add in something funny.

And each and every single day I tell my husband and children that I love them. Each and every day we laugh until our sides hurt. And each and every day I know that I am exactly where I belong. 

Your assignment today is to hug those you love. Tell them you love them. Laugh until your sides hurt. And do it again every single day of your life. 

 

My heart goes out to the people of Roseburg, Oregon today. May they find peace and keep the love in their hearts.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Passings in the Night

 

Today I thought about two people I’ve loved and lost… this was first posted in December, 2013.

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Passings in the Night

The plan tonight was to share some Vampire tales and adventures and truly funny things, but plans change.

Tonight I saw The Ghost, Nigel. He wore an impeccable black suit, his hair was a perfect glossy black and all in place. He motioned for me to sit with him out on my back deck under the cold night sky.

His eyes met mine and he told me a story.

“I died 27 years ago as of December 3, 1986.

I normally wouldn’t have remembered the anniversary of my own death, but, it was the strangest thing, I was standing out in the woods, not doing much of anything. When you’re a ghost you don’t do much of anything. Anyway, I was out in the woods and a woman came towards me. She was smiling at me and I knew things about her. Her life had taken up where parts of mine had stopped. Then her life stopped December 3, 2013.

She looked at me for just a moment in passing. It was dark but I could see the light coming over the horizon.

She asked me who I was and if we knew each other. I told her “I don’t know you, but we’ve loved some of the same people.” I turned her in the right direction.”

Then he stood up and looked up at the stars, l hovering in and out of a transparent state. Then he came close to me and made himself look as real as a live person.

“I couldn’t go with her. But I sent a little bit of my love along, I hope. Well, I know I did. Don’t look all sad. I’m a ghost. These things happen. Hey, nobody should die alone. She left surrounded by love.”

“Who was she?” I had to ask.

He shook his head slightly. “I don’t know. But we loved the same people, just not at the same time. I loved them first, then she loved them after I was gone. I have a feeling she was better at it than I was, or most people for that matter.”

There were so many questions I wanted to ask him but tonight was not the time to ask or to try to get answers.

Love is a force that we can’t explain or quantify. It goes beyond worlds, beyond sorrow and beyond grief.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Death Came Calling

I sit numb at yet

another loss

another potential loss

another real loss

 

 

I’d like to say Death came calling and we had a lovely conversation about how inconvenient  he makes things but it didn’t happen. That is the conversation. Not the other part.

He dances in my neighborhood not concerned with the age or gender of who he dances with or takes away to the grand ballroom elsewhere.

Not that I should care because I live among ghosts and shadows.

Then again, I live among cats and barking squirrels and humming birds and teenagers. Death can take all of them as well, but death can’t put out their light. They shine bright and keep the world dazzled long after they are grown or gone. It is for the rest of us to try to shine the same way and dazzle, even in the face of death. Or even when death comes from behind.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Juliette by the window

Passings in the night

This post is in memory of a someone I knew for a short time, only about 10 years, but it seemed like she’d always been in our lives. I’ve rarely met anyone so loving and good. She was sunshine. She was hope. She was funny and smart. She will always be in our hearts. This is for Lil Longshore and remembrance on her birthday.

Vampire Maman

The plan tonight was to share some Vampire tales and adventures and truly funny things, but plans change.

Tonight I saw The Ghost, Nigel. He wore an impeccable black suit, his hair was a perfect glossy black and all in place. He motioned for me to sit with him out on my back deck under the cold night sky.

His eyes met mine and he told me a story.

“I died 27 years ago as of December 3, 1986.

I normally wouldn’t have remembered the anniversary of my own death, but, it was the strangest thing, I was standing out in the woods, not doing much of anything. When you’re a ghost you don’t do much of anything. Anyway, I was out in the woods and a woman came towards me. She was smiling at me and I knew things about her. Her life had taken up where parts of…

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Passings in the night

The plan tonight was to share some Vampire tales and adventures and truly funny things, but plans change.

Tonight I saw The Ghost, Nigel. He wore an impeccable black suit, his hair was a perfect glossy black and all in place. He motioned for me to sit with him out on my back deck under the cold night sky.

His eyes met mine and he told me a story.

“I died 27 years ago as of December 3, 1986.

I normally wouldn’t have remembered the anniversary of my own death, but, it was the strangest thing, I was standing out in the woods, not doing much of anything. When you’re a ghost you don’t do much of anything. Anyway, I was out in the woods and a woman came towards me. She was smiling at me and I knew things about her. Her life had taken up where parts of mine had stopped. Then her life stopped December 3, 2013.

She looked at me for just a moment in passing. It was dark but I could see the light coming over the horizon.

She asked me who I was and if we knew each other. I told her “I don’t know you, but we’ve loved some of the same people.” I turned her in the right direction.”

Then he stood up and looked up at the stars, l hovering in and out of a transparent state. Then he came close to me and made himself look as real as a live person.

“I couldn’t go with her. But I sent a little bit of my love along, I hope. Well, I know I did. Don’t look all sad. I’m a ghost. These things happen. Hey, nobody should die alone. She left surrounded by love.”

“Who was she?” I had to ask.

He shook his head slightly. “I don’t know. But we loved the same people, just not at the same time. I loved them first, then she loved them after I was gone. I have a feeling she was better at it than I was, or most people for that matter.”

There were so many questions I wanted to ask him but tonight was not the time to ask or to try to get answers.

Love is a force that we can’t explain or quantify. It goes beyond worlds, beyond sorrow and beyond grief.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Rose

Grief, Death and Rare Fragile Hopes

When we were children, my brother Valentine and I were fascinated by funerals. Mind you, we’d skipped most old time traditions of Vampires living in places where dark crypts led to hidden stairwells that surfaced in your Vampire parlor.

We didn’t live among the dead. We lived among the living and like good little California children we appreciated anything fresh and locally grown. For we were thriving in the Modern Vampire community during the California Gold Rush, or for Val and I it was the end of the Gold Rush and the beginning of a Civil War and then expansion.

My brother Andrew often sang at these events with his angel like voice and sweet smile as he ushered the dead on to a better place. Val and I often wondered what place could be better than where we were right now.

We’d been told that the dead were sleeping. Asleep in a nice fancy box with flowers and music sounded lovely to us. It seemed odd that everyone was so sad. Finally my mother, realizing that we were so off track, explained to us that the dead were not coming back. Their hearts had stopped forever. Their souls had departed and they were gone – forever.

We were horrified. It was then that she sat us down in dark cool evening and told us that we were different from other people. We were Vampires.

“But can’t you turn our dead friends into Vampires like us?” We asked our parents that question pulling on their clothing with tears in our eyes.

Our parents told us it would be wrong and impractical. They said the dead wouldn’t understand.  Our older brothers already understood this, but we were still sad. Why wouldn’t everyone want to be like us? It was the last time we’d be so innocent and unknowing.

Yet, as we grew old we realized that we would also experience loss. That of our Regular Human friends and even that of our own kind.

Tonight my daughter told me of a girl, in the next school over. She was a girl who had classes with friends of my children. The girl liked the same music as they did. She was sweet. She had friends.

She took her own life a few days ago. She was only 16.

Just like back then, I can’t make any sense of it.  It is hard enough when one leaves due to old age or illness, or even an accident but a suicide seems to be more of a shock. It is something we can’t explain or feel enough grief or guilt or shock over.

I’ve known too many who have gone that way and heard of too many. Especially with the young it is tragic beyond words. I don’t judge, only mourn those in so much pain and so little hope.

We can only find comfort among the stone angels in the old cemeteries and in the warm embrace of those we love, and even then, it still makes no sense.

I told my children that if they ever see someone they think might be out of hope or at risk to GET INVOLVED. Ask if they need help. Tell a teacher or counselor or principal at school. Let those at risk know that there is a future. All things pass and good things are to come, no matter how grim it may seem now. No matter how bad the pain is, there is help.

Wishing you all love and light and the warm embrace of peace.

 

~ Juliette Vampire Maman

 

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