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Prayers sent Dan...

Posted by ecce homo | April 7, 2008 12:28 PM

It's OK to have a good cry. But then, you've probably already figured that out.

Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty | April 7, 2008 12:37 PM

Grief is one of those things you just have to live through day by day, you have my sympathy. What an extraordinary life your mother lived, not the least of which being the creation of someone like you. I'm sending you good thoughts from the right coast.

Posted by Hang In There | April 7, 2008 12:38 PM

My mom died in 2001, dad in 2005. In 2008, I'm still at 7+ on the scale.

Everyone grieves their own way and at their own pace. Do what works for you, Dan.

Posted by Andy Niable | April 7, 2008 12:55 PM

dan, i read about that this morning. i am so unbelievably sorry. i can't fathom losing either of my parents, but my mom especially. i'm not the praying type, but you, terry, and dj will be in my thoughts and hopes.

Posted by konstantconsumer | April 7, 2008 12:56 PM

My dad died in 2003. I'm down to about a 3 now, but it still hits me like a punch to the gut once a month or so.

Posted by Fnarf | April 7, 2008 1:04 PM

Still got both. But when my grandparents died, that was a biggy.

Posted by Will in Seattle | April 7, 2008 1:27 PM

The first week is a sumbitch. You feel like you've been punched in the gut, repeatedly. You find yourself repeating a lot of tired cliches to yourself, "It's not fair", "This can't be happening", "What if...?" You'll either feel the need to be alone, to grieve in your bed clutching a pillow, or you'll find yourself wanting to be around loved ones on a continual basis. Sad moments concerning mothers in tv and film will be very hard to watch. (I still can't watch the movie "Babe" or even think about it too much or I start to lose it.) You'll also have a strong urge to punch people who say idiotic things like, "She's in a better place," or have the nerve to tell you, HOW you should grieve. Ignore them, or if it won't cause a family crisis, tell them to piss off. Everyone grieves differently; don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Do what you need to do, to make it through the moment, the day, the first week.

The first year is also a sumbitch because everything is the "first"...the first Thanksgiving, the first Christmas, the first birthday, the first summer barbecue, without the person you're grieving for.

BUT, after the first year, it does magically get least for me, because you've made it through all those milestones.

And "yo, mama" type jokes are just NOT very funny anymore. I have zero tolerance for Mom bashing...

Posted by michael strangeways | April 7, 2008 1:30 PM

you had an excellent relationship with your mother till the very end. not everyone can say the same. you are among the fortunate in that regard.

Posted by ellarosa | April 7, 2008 1:32 PM

Dan, I lost my mother 11 weeks ago. This will be hard. I hope you are able to grieve in your own way. The first 40 days were unbearable, and then I slowly found my bearings, but I feel as if the grief, like her spirit, will never leave me.

I am very sorry for your loss.

Posted by john | April 7, 2008 1:48 PM

Hang in there, Dan and family. :(

Posted by Jane | April 7, 2008 1:48 PM

My sincere condolences, Mr. Savage. I've been thinking about you since I read your piece last week. Like the others who've been through similar things, my heart goes out to you. She sounds like she was a wonderful person.

Posted by pox | April 7, 2008 1:59 PM

@9 Sounds like he was fortunate in many regards. Coming from a Catholic background, I totally marvel at how supportive his Catholic mom was upon learning her son was gay. I know many, many people who would have loved to have a parent like that. It's pretty amazing, especially considering how long ago it was (err, don't mean to make it sound like you're ancient, Dan).

Posted by Julie | April 7, 2008 2:00 PM

I had a wonderful relationship with all my grandparents, yet when each died I was strangely ambivalent- a condition I attribute to being geographically far away, and thus able to detach myself emotionally since their deaths did not create a great rift in my day-to-day routine...

I do still feel a pang of grief when a specific memory about one of them crosses my mind, but no underlying feeling of grief; I guess only time will tell if a parent's death will hit me the same way (since I'm geographically separated from them as well.)

Posted by UNPAID BLOGGER | April 7, 2008 2:02 PM

Serious advice - don't try to make important family or financial decisions yourself for a couple of weeks, and remember that baking is a good idea.

Not quite sure why, but it is. Try to let others drive you too.

Posted by Will in Seattle | April 7, 2008 2:11 PM

It's good to see you back Dan. We missed you while you were gone, but I hope you take as much time away as you need. Priorities first. Over the years I have enjoyed reading about and listening to your mom. You're a lucky guy to have had her in your life, and I'm sure your Seattle family fees the same. Sending good thoughts your way.

Posted by supersmeller | April 7, 2008 2:13 PM

@14. I felt exactly the same way about my grandparents. Certainly had a great relationship, but, only seeing them a few times a year it was easier to sort of "pretend" as if nothing had changed.

I still have both my parents, but I know it will not be the same for them. I don't know why (and don't particularly like to think about it), but I think it's because, even though I'm nearly 30, their presence in my life feels like a sort of umbrella of safety.

Posted by Julie | April 7, 2008 2:17 PM

@14, 17 - the same thing happened to me at first after my grandmother on my mom's side (who basically raised me) and my grandfather on my dad's side died, both in the last couple of years. i just felt kind of numb and confused, but then, a few months after each of their deaths, there was some thing that set me off and i completely lost it for a while. weird delayed-onset grieving, i guess.

Posted by jon c | April 7, 2008 2:40 PM

You absolutely deserve all of the condolences on this and the earlier post.

But I think the same is true of Ellen Craswell's family. I had no great regard for her, myself, but your snide announcement of her death is particularly pathetic, considering your own loss. Shame on you.

Posted by MoreSlog | April 7, 2008 2:43 PM

You know, you're right, MoreSlog. I tossed that up on autopilot this AM, without thinking, scheduled some other posts to pop up later, and walked away from the computer. I would pull it down now but that would just disappear it and make your comment seem out of left field.

I have, however, tossed the exact same item up about other people that have died -- a headline that gives the name, with "dead" being one-word link in the body of the post. So it's not like I was over-the-top snarky with the Craswell item. I've written the same thing about people I liked. Still, poor taste, family is local, I, of all people, and at this moment, should've thought better of it. Sorry about that.

Maybe I will go disappear it after all.

Posted by Dan Savage | April 7, 2008 3:12 PM

We care about you and appreciate you, Dan. Please do what you need to do.

How fortunate you and your Mom were to have each other. We can all be thankful for that today.

My grandparents helped raise me because of parental mental health issues. When my grandfather died in 2004, for a few weeks I would cry so hard I felt every molecule of air press out of my guts. I thought my organs would just be forced out of me from the pressure of the deepest sobs. Then somehow, many weeks later, I began functioning before the ground over his grave was even completely healed. It seemed simultaneously wrong, a relief, and okay somehow - like I could trust nature with the scar.

Posted by greendyke | April 7, 2008 4:28 PM

Hang in there Dan. God, I don't even know how you can get it together enough to write one post! You are amazing!!! If my parents die before me I don't know how I'll ever be able to even breathe. Take care. Death sucks ass!

Posted by Kristin Bell | April 7, 2008 4:59 PM

I'm cleaning out my condo tonight to move back into our (Terry and my) house soon, and I came across a card he gave me when we first moved in together 20 years ago. Inside, it said something like "I've met my life mate. I will love you forever, and nothing can ever change that."

It was just what I did and didn't need to see tonight. He's been gone a little over a year. I miss him.

Dan, it'll never go away, but it will get easier. I know losing a parent isn't exactly the same as losing your partner, but it's gotta be close.

Good thoughts out to you, friend.

Posted by Wolf | April 7, 2008 5:08 PM

The measure of your grief is equal to her greatness.
You couldn't explain to us how amazing she was any better than with the amount of sadness you feel.

Posted by Bella | April 7, 2008 6:07 PM

I'm so sorry for you and your family, Dan. She sounded like a great lady.

Posted by Darcy | April 7, 2008 6:33 PM

I'm sorry that you (and your family) had to lose your mom. Mine has been gone for 5 years, and I still dream about her every other week or so.

I read (somewhere) a great idea: that heaven was being remembered with love, so my family tells 'Mom' stories, some funny, some poignant, but they all help us cope. Your column was a great tribute to your mom, and I hope that it was healing to write it.

Posted by amazonmidwife | April 7, 2008 7:55 PM

Oh Dan.

My mom died of cancer 3 months ago, and I truly feel your pain. I cried and cried when I read your column about your own mother's death. Welcome to this shitty club that no one wants to be a member of.

On the hopeful side, I too had a great relationship with my mom and deeply admired her. Being well-parented is a blessing and rarer than it should be. Knowing that I got everything I needed from my mom while she was alive has helped me with my grief a little bit, and I hope it helps you as well.

Posted by Christina | April 7, 2008 10:19 PM

Sorry for your loss Dan. I don't think any words will suffice to ease your anguage but you are in my thoughts.

Posted by thehawke | April 7, 2008 10:44 PM

My mom's been gone for 14 years(!) and Dad for 5 years, and although the shock and crying have gone, there are still the still hours in the middle of the night where I reach for the phone and... oh no.

You just cannot put that feeling into words.

Best wishes & love, Dan.

Posted by Karlheinz Arschbomber | April 8, 2008 5:17 AM

I'm so sorry, Dan.

In reading about her in your books and columns, I've always thought that she was the hero behind all of the good stuff that your work has accomplished, especially for all of those middle-America queer kids who know they have a cheerleader in you.

Wishing you healing. . .

Posted by violet_dagrinder | April 8, 2008 6:13 AM

All the best to you and yours and many condolences.

Posted by k | April 8, 2008 7:20 AM

I was just thinking of your brother Bill the other day. He was my advisor for two years at Northwestern and I remembered how I started reading your column around the same time, how cool it was when I found out you were related. These two cool influential people coming from the same blood. What a family.

You're both in my thoughts. Loss is hard.

Posted by Rosemary | April 8, 2008 7:31 AM

I am so very sorry for your loss, Dan.

I recently listened to an 'American Life' episode (Leave The Mask On) that featured you and your Mother. So funny and sweet.

Thinking of you and your family....

Posted by YO | April 8, 2008 9:01 AM

I hope you are surrounded by people you love through the waves of grief - especially after the service when the quiet is not such a good friend. Thank you for sharing your journey with us and for the connection forming with those who have also lost loved ones. Blessings to you and your family.

Posted by winterwoman | April 8, 2008 9:52 AM

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