Dangerous Compassions

may earth receive thy soul

Hey, reader.  How are you doing?  We’re pretty griefy over here.  We’ve had news of three friends’ deaths in one week.  It’s intense.  May Earth Receive Thy Soul is a blessing for the dead.

how to process death

A modern way to process grief is making a playlist.

This is my death songs playlist.  Ming and I listened to it and cried.  It starts irreverent and gets serious.  Please enjoy if you need to cry or think about folks who passed.  May Earth Receive Thy Soul is a line from one of the witch songs toward the end.

Ming and I moved two folding chairs close together in the living room of this house we’re housesitting.  We hugged, slightly danced, and cuddled as we cried.

Maybe it was too much for Ming.  Grief can look so many ways.  Maybe he needs more chill, sustained grieving.  I need chill, sustained grieving punctuated by intense, holy-shit-no loss-panic.


Our friend Louie died yesterday.  We knew it was coming because a mutual friend emailed to let us know he had pneumonia that he wasn’t expected to recover from.

Ming loved Louie for a long time.  The last time Ming visited Louie at the nursing home, I didn’t go in.  Hospitals are hard for me, and nursing homes too–even nice ones.

Louie wasn’t going to remember me, and I didn’t want to endure the conversation.  I sat in the car in the parking lot in Oakland, looking at some vines growing on the fence, crying about something unrelated.

we are all related

Well, it’s all related, the way we’re all related, if we go back far enough.  Or even without going back.  Just as we are.

Death hurts–other losses hurt.  Letting go, losing what we need.  The cliches do a shitty job patching the holes left in our lives.

It doesn’t feel like “he’s in a better place” or “he had a good life” or “what’s remembered lives.”  He’s dead, and we were losing him for a long time.

In Las Vegas, Louie and I had some good conversations.  I saw him embody several roles.

  • He used his brown friar robes to be a symbol, sometimes, with authority–a holy person.
  • He was a bumbling old man role, sometimes–awkward and inappropriate, wanting to be liked.
  • Sometimes he was just a person to feed breakfast to and sit in a courtyard with, listening to birds.

What roles do you play lately, reader?  I’ve become a queer elder, these days, to my surprise.  I thought I’d need to be in my 60s or at least my 50s to be an elder.  But kids see some gray hair and need role models really bad.

Yes, I will model queer survival for you or anyone.  I’m here–I’m queer–get used to it.  I’m fat, disabled, and happy too.  Even when I’m crying or panicking and get the overwhelming sense I have no idea what I’m doing, I have a bedrock of happiness.  It’s related to faith.

Like any of us, I’m here for a limited time only.

Like all of us, I’m a special edition.  May earth receive thy soul and mine.


This pic is from ten years ago.  Look how cute Ming was by Father Louie.

three friends

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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