Tag Archives: death

A Poem for my Friend

10301515_10101125694356362_5792222484213705208_nMy beautiful, kind-hearted friend Michelle Monachino recently passed away, and I’ve been feeling miserable as I deal with losing such a wonderful beacon of light in my life. Michelle used to write me poems all the time (most of which made fun of me for being short or for enjoying editing), and I realized that I never wrote her one back. Ever. That’s definitely one of my biggest regrets, which may seem silly, but I just wish I wrote her a poem at least once. So I figured, even though I suck at poetry, better late than never.

Michelle, Michelle
I want to scream, I want to yell
At you, at strangers, at the sky
But instead I’ll opt for a heavy sigh

Could I have done more?
Should I have done less?
This whole situation has my brain in a mess

When we met freshman year
On Whitney’s third floor, full of innocent fear
You described yourself as a JewBu
And I needed to know more about you

Who was this cool chick
With big curly hair and a free spirit aura
I knew I had to befriend this girl from my floor

So we gossiped and had sleep overs and drank too much beer
After all, it was freshman year
There was that one party where I wore baggy sweatpants
A moment that you never let me forget

And through ups and downs in that first college year
It never escaped my sentimental attention
That you were my first friend at good ol’ Binghamton

By junior year you were living on my couch
Wait, did I say couch?
I meant in my bed
That is where you were actually living instead

Times spent together were always a blast
We danced and sang and formed a fake band
Jammed out to Backstreet Boys with our feet in the sand

Watched movies and ate way too much food
Did yoga and talked about all of our moods
We bonded over our varying worries
I knew I could always go to you when my heart was in flurries

We wrote in our journals e parlavamo in italiano
Reminisced about past moments that felt so clear
And entertained ideas of futures too near

And although we didn’t see each other in over a year
We both held our friendship ever so dear
Plus, we were connected through all kinds of digital means
And now when I miss you, I can pull your words up on a screen

These upcoming days are going to be rough
I’m fated to cry pretty much every time
I hear Britney or BSB make a clever rhyme

And if I see anything that resembles high fashion
Or a woman dressed with Audrey Hepburn inspired passion
I’ll think of the time Shana and I coached you for your audition
(America’s Next Top Model doesn’t know what they were missing)

The memories abound and feel almost overwhelming
But what I’ll miss most, it’s undoubtedly true
Are our long conversations, just me and you

You’ll always be one of my closest, best friends
That’s a promise I’ll hold till the end
And despite the fact that you’re no longer here
I’ll think back on our memories with nothing but cheer

I miss you, Michelle
There’s nothing more true
And please don’t forget that I’ll love you forever, too

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Robin Williams and My Heartbroken Childhood

robin_williamsI don’t usually care for movies or the lives of celebrities. Namedrop and there’s a very good chance that I’ll have no idea what you’re even talking about. When a popular celebrity dies, I feel empathetic but it doesn’t normally go past that. When the news of Robin Williams’ death reached me, however, I was devastated and speechless.

It’s weird feeling like this because I was a total stranger to him. And he was a stranger to me. What did I know about him outside of his movies and stand up? Honestly, not that much. Jumanji was a gigantic part of my childhood, though. It recalls memories of me going to my mema and grandpa’s house, hanging out and watching this movie obsessively. Every time I went there (which was pretty often), I watched Jumanji. I cherish these memories. They’re memories of my childhood, of when my grandparents were still alive, of when my innocence was preserved and my biggest challenges in life were trivial and childish. It brings back times that I can escape to when the present seems daunting or surreal.

There’s other movies that do this for me too of course. But as I grew up, I didn’t find myself impressed with the movies from other actors I idolized as a child like I did with Robin Williams. George of the Jungle will always hold a special place in my heart, but I don’t give a shit about what Brendan Fraser is doing with his professional career anymore. I liked Robin Williams because he was talented. In the course of an hour and a half, I could laugh and also tear up from his impressive acting. In fact, the last movie I saw in theaters before his death was Boulevard at the Tribeca Film Festival and I loved it. I rarely go to the movies and if I do, I usually don’t care much for what I’ve seen (obnoxious, huh?). And yes I had free tickets for the day, but I was only able to see one film and I was pumped that it was a Robin Williams movie.

Robin Williams was a symbol of happiness and silliness. He was the needed joke in a serious situation. There’s no question he was talented, but he was also a good person. He cared about people, he inspired people. There’s countless stories about how people feel like their lives were changed just through watching a Robin Williams movie or from having a chance interaction with him. Even in his death he’s inspiring people to open up the discussion about the severity of depression and suicide. It brings to light the fact that even though someone may seem well-adjusted and “okay” on the outside, there’s endless emotions and thoughts that a smiling face can easily hide. I think we were all pretty fooled in this instance.

I feel like I was robbed of a huge part of my childhood. Watching these movies makes me sad when I realize that there isn’t going to be more for me to greedily take in. He touched lives inside and outside of his movies. I value him for what he represents to me as a symbol of my past and the memories he helps conjure up, and I’m left feeling a little sadder knowing I won’t have the opportunity to rejoice over a new Robin Williams movie again.

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Expires in Three Months

grimPrompt: Please write your thoughts, as yourself, which you would have if you were told you had three months left to live from terminal cancer.

——

Blood buzzes in my ears with my biggest fear. Death. Dying. The unknown. Where do we go? What happens to us? The fact that we live to die and accept that it all ends with a big bang, a burst of pain, a flash of lights. I guess I’ll be finding out sooner than expected.

My mind flip flops between being relieved with knowing my expiration date and feeling terrified of it. Is it worse to never know when the inevitable is about to sneak up on you or to know exactly where that bastard lurks?

Calmness drips over my mind and absorbs my emotions. For the first time in my life, my thoughts were quiet. They didn’t know what to say; the constant babble of words and phrases came to a screeching halt. “I’m sorry. You have approximately three months left to live. There’s nothing else we can do here.” Cue silence.

I pictured my grandparents, my aunt, and all the other deceased I still grieved for. I felt an unthought of yearning to be reunited with these people, and while I knew that plenty of lives would be destroyed by embracing my ultimate fear, picturing their faces made me smiling. Here I was, sitting in my doctor’s office after being told I was about to die in three months, with a grin on my goddamn face.

I gathered my bag and headed out the door. Outside of the building, the colors of the real world shocked me. Greens, blues, yellows, and reds stung my eyes. The wind tickled my neck and the roar of distant traffic seemed impossibly close. I felt my vision close off on the sides of my eyes and I saw myself standing on the sidewalk as if from above.

Reality came crashing down. I was going to mother fucking die. Soon. Me. Die. Forever. Never married, never having children, never finding true love, never getting my masters degree. All of my life goals suddenly became unobtainable dreams.

My knees buckled and my shaking hands desperately raked through my hair. My vision blurred with tears. I thought of my mother, my brothers, my father, my cousins, my friends. I didn’t have a boyfriend whose heart I was going to break, but there were enough others to go around. I don’t want this. I don’t want this. Please, someone. Please.

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