Waiting for the Appliance Repairman

The term ‘appliance repairman’ is almost quaint. Perhaps ‘appliance repairperson’ would be better if more difficult. But Mr. Spirko has been repairing our appliances since 2003 or so, so I’ll allow for the throwback to 1970. Laura and I are both unable to recall how we learned about him. There used to be a Northside […]

And may the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

Tomorrow will be one month without my mother in this world. That feels momentous, like a tick closer on the timeline of her disappearance from this world. A month, then two, then six, and a year. And so forth. Her birthday. Her private significant milestone dates. I’ll put them all in my phone to remind […]

Too Blue to Fly

People tell you a lot of things about grief – the phases, the stages, the array of emotions. They tell you about the heart-stopping-grasp that grief has in your chest, a constricting band that hurts your heart and tightens your breathing. They tell you that each experience of grief is unique, that the absence of […]

Five Tips to Comfort the Grieving

Maybe it is The Gilded Age viewing, but I have been noting some social mores and trends when it comes to mourning and grieving. First, condolences. It is not 1893. You most likely have a cell phone, email, Messenger, or a myriad of communication tools. Extend your condolences directly to the grieving person. Not their […]

I Wonder if My Mum is Happy …

It is about as close to 7 hours and 15 days as I can calculate. My father’s birthday has passed, my grandfather’s as well. Valentine’s Day (which was horrible) and soon enough Ash Wednesday, Easter, Mother’s Day, etc. But what strikes me about this is the fact that people seem to really think 7 hours […]

‘The Gilded Age’ and My Family

I’ve been watching The Gilded Age on HBO+ and this is one in an occasional rambling reflection on things the show brings to mind. Not a review – maybe, one day – just thoughts. There are two stories in my family that reflect the multiple dimensions of The Gilded Age. In 1862, William McClelland Ritter […]

Do Passive-Aggressive and Bitter Fit Into the Phases of Grieving?

I’m not a believer in neat little transitions between “stages” of grief. Grief is messy and complicated and ugly. It is not dainty moist eyes on a lace kerchief. Well it might be, but it is also heaving sobs that drown any nearby material in the angst and sorrow of a broken heart. Grief oozes, […]

All the flowers that you planted mama In the back yard All died when you went away

Pgh Lesbian Correspondents

I keep thinking about the lyric from Prince’s Song ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ It’s been seven hours and 15 daysSince you took your love away When will that be? My mother died on Thursday February 10 at 6:45 PM. So does that mean at 1:45 AM on February 26, that grief moment will hit? Will […]

What Does “I’ll Be Thinking of You” Actually Mean?

Pgh Lesbian Correspondents

When I was a kid, I remember funerals with cards in the mail, casseroles, prayers, flowers, and other very tangible examples of sympathy and condolences. And other perhaps odd but thoughtful gestures – a neighbor taking the car to fuel it up so that wasn’t a concern, someone minding the baby without being asked, lawns […]

Obituary for Kerry Anne Pryor Kerr 1942-2022

The obituary that ran for my mother was not what she wanted, nor was it accurate so I am writing this for her and for me. She was born Kerry Anne Pryor on November 1,1942, the oldest child of James Vincent Pryor and Mary Valda Kramer Pryor. At a very young age, she contracted encephalitis […]