I watched SherryBaby last night with The Daver and I hated it. Even the often-seen shots of Maggie What’s-Her-Last-Name-Was-In-Donny-Darko boobies (which were, I need to tell you, fantastic hooters) couldn’t save it for me. It was one of those dreadful character sketch type movies that always make me want to claw my eyes out. Like Napoleon Dynamite, which was only good because he did a wicked dance at the end.

I’m not a movie person, I’m not a theatre person, and I’m certainly not an shoot-yourself-in-the-face-boring art-house movie I’m sorry film aficionado. Given the choice between punching myself in the head and watching a movie, I’ll often choose punching myself.

Put down your pitchforks and your Blu-Ray copies of City of the Lost Children in it’s original French and hear me out.

I didn’t hate SherryBaby because nothing fucking happened besides seeing her boobs a lot, admiring the 80’s French Impressionistic crappy art they dug up for the set, and watching her have sex with everything that walked near her. No, I hated it because her attitude; her story; her ‘I’m obviously uncomfortable in her own skin’ behavior, they all hit too close to home for me.

They reminded me of the last couple of times I saw my friend Steph.

Steph died a year ago this past February. The official cause of death was “natural causes” and at age 27 they only put that stuff on there when you’ve abused your body so badly that it can no longer function. It gave out one night as she slept, a week or so out of rehab for the second or third time. She left behind two young sons.

The person that she died as was not the person that she was. Steph, MY friend Steph was one of the few people who stood up for me when I needed someone to. She was self-assured enough to chew a couple of people who had hurt me a brand new butt hole, something that not many people can do. Steph and I would play “Summer Car” and crank up the heat in my old del Sol in the dead of winter, strip down to our tank tops and pretend it was summer. She co-threw me my first baby shower.

She was one of those people who seemed to have a permanent light shining on them, maybe from within, and she was my hero for many years.When I think of Steph, I smile, because that’s what she would have wanted me to. Not a single day passes where I don’t think of her, my heart clenching up when I remember that she’s gone.

And she is gone. She’s dead.

I went to her funeral with all of my her our friends in tow, all of us red-eyed and sniffling and nervous, wishing we were anywhere else. I cried so loudly during her funeral that I was afraid people were going to stare. When her eldest son said “Look at my mom, she’s all dead and hard,” I nearly lost my cookies on the lilly-scented carpet. The only thing that saved me is that I was in front of her mother, talking to her mother. When her youngest cried after being taken away from viewing his mother’s body, screaming (just as mine does for me) “Go see MOMMY!” I felt like I’d been slapped.

But I didn’t connect it in my head. It was like my brain couldn’t accept the two events as related.

1) I had a friend Steph.

and

2) I went to a funeral.

Two mutually exclusive events.

The cold waxy person that was laid out in that coffin wasn’t the same person who taught me how to take a Camel Wide Light, empty the tobacco and pack it carefully with The Ganj. She wasn’t the person who smelled like a garden with me. She didn’t prefer “Waiting for my Ruca” over “Scarlet Begonias.”

But it was.

She was two different people, and in the end, it’s what killed her.

It’s taken nearly a year and a half, but I have accepted it. My friend, one of my oldest and best friends, she’s dead. She’s gone forever. There will always be a hole where she was, like a lost tooth. I don’t have to like it, but I do accept it.

Gone but never forgotten.

————-

Angels beating all their wings in time
With smiles on their faces
And a gleam right in their eyes
Thought I heard one sigh for you
Come on up, come on up, now

–Shine A Light, Rolling Stones

Comments = full of the awesome. Like gravy. I can haz an RSS RSS feed .

48 Responses to acâ‹…ceptâ‹…ance

  • Kristina says:

    Well G.D. Aunt Becky, makin’ me cry on a Monday. I’ve been working on a post so similar to this, I’m a little freaked. But now I’m afraid if I post it, I’ll get the herp for stealing :)

    It’s been more than 3 years since I saw my brother, who wasn’t really my brother, in his coffin….and I still can’t say I accept it. I live in two worlds- a world where there is my brother, my best friend, and a world where there is my brother, the guy who died. I can’t seem to connect the two, but I’m trying.

    I saw this on another site today, and it hit me like a punch in the gut. Sometimes things hurt so much because they were so wonderful.

    When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight. ~ Kahlil Gibran

  • Lin says:

    I’m sorry for your loss.

    BTW, I disliked that movie too.

  • I’m so sorry for your loss, hon. I know they say time heals all but I’m not sure it does.

  • MK says:

    Well to add to Maggie’s comment, I say “time wounds all heals.” Sheeshta. I buried a brother. Nothing similar to your story – OTHER than the fact that the waxy person in the casket was not HIM.

    And honestly? At my funeral? If I’m (god forbid) 35 or 95 – I want turquoise balloons and singing and no fucking black outfits. Thought I’d share.

  • LU says:

    I am so sorry. This makes me sad for you and scared for myself. My sister is abusing her bosy non-stop and may not make it to 27. It is so sad to watch.
    I hope that you find comfort in something, even if it’s vodka.
    (HUGS)

  • Kymberli says:

    (((HUGS))) Nothing in my life experience thus far allows me to relate too directly to how you’re feeling, but know that I hear you and am here for you. (((HUGS again)))

  • Badass Geek says:

    I’m sorry, too.

  • jennster says:

    i am so sorry for your loss. it is always hard to lose a friend…. especially when you know/realize you won’t ever get them back. i promise with time, it does get easier- the pain subsides… but the reality is that you will think of them often… all the time.. almost daily.

  • Venti Vixen says:

    Losing people sucks. I hate it. I’m sorry you have lost a good friend.

  • EPMaxwell says:

    I know what you mean about not liking movies because they hit to close to home. Lost my mom to breast cancer the night beforeHurricane Katrina hit (I live near the gulf coast), and I was 6 months pregnant. Fun times, let me tell you. It was almost 4 years ago, but I still can’t willingly watch any movies about anyone with cancer. I turn into a convulsing, crybaby. (Oh, and the casket thing… AWFUL. My brothers and I closed that MF’er. That was NOT our mother. Funny thing was that she always hated veiwing ‘dead bodies’. So, I know she was high-fiving someone somewhere that we kept it closed!)

    My thoughts are that when you lose someone you love that much, you never heal. Because part of you and your life before is gone forever. Time just allows you to learn to live with it. Greif is insane, isn’t it? It turns you into a different person that you don’t recognize sometimes. And I believe it will continue to pop up and take over me occassionally for as long as i live.

    But, learn to live with it, we do, and hopefully we all have people around us to help us. Blogs like this make me wish I was a writer… what release you must get sometimes being able to just get it all out.

    Thanks for sharing today. I’ll add a hug to the bunch!! ((((((HHHHUUUUGGGGGG))))))

  • swirl girl says:

    {hugs}

  • Lola says:

    **Sigh!** The body in the coffin wasn’t your dear friend, and that’s why I hate wakes and funerals with a passion and try to avoid going anywhere near the casket. I don’t want to remember anyone like that. Steph was a great friend, and losing a great friend never gets easier. Just focus on the good times is all I can give for advice.

    Oh, and I hated that movie because it was incredibly depressing from start to finish.

  • ainebegonia says:

    (hugs) I was so glad my mother had chosen to be cremated. I remember at my grandmother’s funeral how I couldn’t connect the body in the casket to the grandmother I knew and loved. When my time comes, I want balloons and male strippers, after all the first part of funeral is fun.

  • ((Hugs))

  • zelzee says:

    I am so sorry. It is never easy to lose someone special.
    At the young age of 27……………it is especially difficult……

    Steph will always be in your heart.

  • Sara says:

    Love and hugs from this end of the globe. Mondays are a good day for this kind of shit. Makes you happy you’ve got a full week to do “something”.

  • Sunny says:

    My stomach twisted and I started sobbing when I pictured her young son wanting to go see mommy.

    Oh my.

    I am so sorry for her, for you, for her sons, and everyone else who loved her.

    Life is hard sometimes. (Understatement of the year.)

  • Oh boy, do I know this feeling. Having burried a handful of friends before their time, some due to similar circumstances, I know the pain and the utter disbelief of the situation. Luckily, none of my friends had children, which is a small consolation considering the loss of a young, vital talented person. But to add kids to the mix. . . just unthinkable.

    I am truly sorry for your loss.

  • Nancy says:

    That just sucks. xoxo

  • Ms. Moon says:

    Death is so mysterious to us. It almost never seems real, even if (maybe especially) you are with someone when they do it. One second they are here, the next there is nothing but an empty and useless shell, the important part, the part that makes us alive, is gone.
    How do we understand that when we have no idea where they go? Where WE’LL go?
    I’m sorry. Part of life is knowing that we will lose people we love. Sometimes it’s a predictable death, sometimes not at all.
    We’re never ready, no matter what. Not truly.
    You had this woman as your friend and that will always remain true.
    She is part of you. Always will be.

  • Danielle says:

    Acceptance is such a bittersweet pill to swallow, at least it was for me. I’m happy to be in the acceptance part of the process, but i was so afraid that I would lose the memory. I didn’t and I’m glad I’m here. I hope you are too.
    Stephanie will always be a part of you, as will her death. But you will always have your friend who taught you things and who you experienced life with. She will NEVER go away!
    *HUGS*

  • Kristin says:

    Even when the person in the coffin hasn’t had a downward spiral like your friend, the person in the coffin is NEVER the person you knew. I’ve never been through an experience exactly like your but I do remember thinking (at my FIL’s funeral)< “That just isn’t him.”

    {{{Hugs}}}

  • Mrs Soup says:

    Loss is so difficult. Especially when seeing a shell of the person. I am thinking I want to do what my grandma wants. When her dog dies, she wants her to be stuffed and made into an urn so that she can be cremated and kept in her. Or maybe my ashes can be used to make jewelry.

    But I definitely want my funeral to be a party. Like when our good family friend Frank died. This man was a hoot. He would always call asking for some random name, when he wanted my dad or saying that he was selling underwater woven baskets or some other silly thing. His funeral was a celebration of the little things.

  • LiLu says:

    I often think that something magical happens when you pop out a kid, and all those bad habits just magically disappear, as though they were never a part of you.

    I guess I should change that “think” to “hope”… or start shaping the eff up.

    I am so very sorry for your loss.

  • birdpress says:

    While reading this, I imagined how it might feel if it were my own best friend, and I literally choked up, then quickly pushed the thought away. I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m glad you choose to remember the “real” Steph.

  • I agree with Maggie. I’m not sure we ever heal, but accepting it…I guess we just eventually have to.

    p.s. Not that I wish to ever, ever do this, but let me just toss in that I can make up a pretty damn good Gene Simmons KISS face.

    xo

  • maggie’s last name is gyllenhaal cause she’s jake gyllenhaal (aka donnie of donnie darko)’s sister! In real life, not just in that movie.

    it sucks seeing people party themselves to death…i’m pretty sure I’m going to be right where you are soon, as I have several friends who seem to be going down that road. :(

  • Trish says:

    It really sucks to lose someone you love. It sucks even more when it is someone whos death is so untimely. I recently lost a friend- He was more of a friend of my husbands. It hurt me to my bones when I watched his four children walk into the funeral. His youngest daughter turned one the day before he died. He had a massive heart attack out of nowhere. He was a great man, and the world is worse off because he is gone. Just thought I would share because it makes me feel better. I hope that your acceptance will lead to a little less hurt. (Though I know the hurt will never go away). Maybe it will become more like a morphine covered labor pain than full out hard labor.

  • Kristine says:

    Oh funerals are hard. Acceptance is harder. But it’s good to know where you are.

  • baseballmom says:

    Oh honey, I ache for you. I still get hit every once in awhile with the fact that my dad, no matter what a crappy dad he was, is gone. Fathers’ Day was hard, because my dad and my two grandpas (who were more dads than my dad) weren’t there. I hope people party their asses off at my memorial.

  • lady lemon says:

    Thanks for writing this today. It hit me especially close to home.

    A friend of mine died a little over 4 years back. I had seen him two days before, smiling, smoking, laughing. I talked to him that night before he drove his car into a tree. I had no idea it’d be the last time. I should have known that, some how.

    He was a smart, handsome young thing, oh my. A boy I’d crushed on at times. Never consumated with even a kiss.

    I think about him all the time and wonder how things might have been different. It makes me angry and sad. I miss him. I wish I knew what he would look like today.

    Sorry for all this babble in your comments section.

    I dreamt about him last night. In my dream I told him death is permenant. He seemed to understand that. I just wish I could.

    Again, thanks Becky.

    Additionally, Steph sounds like really good people. Anyone who likes Waiting For My Ruca and The Ganja is cool in my book. I’m sorry for your loss.

  • Mimi says:

    Man, I need another Zoloft and a strong drink after reading this.

    You know that tingling you get in the back of your face (no better way to describe it) when you’re about to cry? That’s me right now. Wish I could wrap my arms around you and snot on you.

  • Suzy Voices says:

    BIG HUGS to you today, and every day you need them.

  • Diana says:

    Oh how this hit home On June 8th (best friends day) I lost my best friend from complications of Cushings disease and diabetes….no warning just went to sleep and didn’t wake up. There is an indescribable empty hollow place in my heart. Though we have lived a thousand miles apart for more than 10 years, it never seemed as though our kitchen table coffee clutches ended. Although she will never be here again she keeps turning up eveywhere email contact lists…instant messenger…programmed on my phone, I see these things and am reminded how much apart of my life she was, and how much she is missed.

  • I wish I hadn’t read this, but I’m glad you wrote it. What’s a few more tears today? ‘twern’t nothin’.

  • Susan says:

    Well crap. Where are her baby boys today and are they okay? I’m so sorry for your pain. I lost a close one but after we had completely alienated and distanced ourselves from one another. She’s in my dreams almost every night.

  • Sandy says:

    Hugs, hugs, hugs. Oh, and more hugs. Your post made me cry and made me realize how dear my friends are to me. I still feel a deep pain thinking about friends lost through loss of contact, drifting apart, falling out, etc. I cannot IMAGINE your pain. You are such a good writer.

  • Amy declouet says:

    We played “summer car” in the winter as well, only we did you one better and stripped down to our bras and panties. Though, in south la. It doesn’t get quite as cold so we weren’t exactly badasses.

    Hearing you talk about Steph always brings me back to losing several friends at such a young age. So sad, and so sorry for your loss. It’s cool that you keep her alive in your writings, and strangers like me get a sense of what a great girl she really was!

  • kate says:

    go see mommy.

    that has undone me.

    awful.

    it would be sadder if there wasn’t always a hole where she was. she was too good for her space in your heart to be completely filled in. no one else fits there. it’s hers.

  • Emily R says:

    no one is funny all the time

  • Betty M says:

    I have a couple of holes like this. I dont notice them so much anymore but they are definitely still there.

  • Kendra says:

    I’m so sorry, Becky. And oh, your dear readers, I can’t believe how many of you have lost loved ones so young!

    I’ve been blessed–so far. But my family went through some major upheavals a few years ago that not only changed the way things were but also the way I saw everything that had happened before. I know it’s completely different from losing your friend, but I understand what you mean about acceptance. It took a long time before I could accept, “This is the way things are now. They’re never going back to the way they were before, and there’s nothing I can do to change that.” It’s bittersweet; you no longer feel that deep pain that comes from having to confront the reality again and again, but you also lose any of that deep, secret hope that maybe it’s all going to be okay.

    I’m so sorry for you, for her kids, for anyone who suffered the loss of Steph. I wish I could do more.

  • Anita says:

    I’m sorry Becky.

  • nicole says:

    It’s always the ones who shine so brightly who have all that darkness. I morn your loss.

  • sarah says:

    That is agonizing; your words about her keep that light shining–in a different way, but still shining.

    I am so sorry for your loss.

  • Sam says:

    Wow. Just wow. I just read this archived post and it reminds me so much of my bestie Tonya. She’s one of the people who has the light in them – and she’s still fighting the demons. For years I feared the end your friend suffered, and sometimes I still do – she’s not out of the woods yet. Crazy ex-husband who stalks her, and an inclination towards pills. You put it in a way I thought it but couldn’t. So sorry for your loss.

    I genuinely hope that Tonya beats her demons.

  • Sam says:

    PS, anyone who prefers SB to Ruca rules. Just sayin’.

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