Category Archives: Book

Dragons, Old Farts and Grief

 

BOOK: see www.KathyBriantBooks.com for some more of my writing

I was trying to figure out the chemical composition of dragon’s breath (yeah I know it doesn’t come instantly to mind, does it). I think maybe sulphur?

LIFE: Old Fart, c’est moi

I am usually home with my 91 year old mom most days. I went to get bloodwork done on Wednesday. Sitting in the waiting room I noticed a little black girl with a wonderful hairdo that her mother obviously spent some time doing. I wanted to compliment the mom on her beautiful child, and then I thought, – what are you doing? Are you becoming like those old people you see who are so charming and talkative, likely because they haven’t been out of the house for some time and are thrilled to see people? They engage in conversation and talk to everyone. Kinda pathetic and I am way too young to do that. So I didn’t say anything. Held myself back.

Then I went in to give blood and there were some adorable bunnies on the Tech’s calendar and before you know it, I commented on the bunnies, asked too many questions about how they find a vein on an addict and mentioned the weather. I was kinda glad to get out of the house and was thrilled to see people…

Too late, I am one of those old Farts and that mom would have been happy to receive the compliment I’m sure. Maybe next time.

Link for oldie behavior much worse than I am http://t.co/qlQiZDa7NA

GRIEF: 106 Ways to Deal with Grief, www.KathyBriantBooks.com

The idea behind the statement…

21. It is what it is.

Grief is very hard to go through and one real truth is that it is what it is. You can’t decide to feel differently, you feel what you feel and for as long as you feel it. You can’t do much but accept that you are going through an awful time and try to look after yourself and be patient.

Grief is not necessarily the same for others, so you have to be patient and non-judgmental with others. If you or someone else grieving do something weird, likely that is normal as well.

 

Book: Spelling, Life: Holes and humps, Grief: flowers

BOOK:

Remembering the names of characters in a fantasy is quite something. With all those imaginary names, spelling consistently can be a challenge, was that one e or two, y or i?

LIFE: Holes and Humps

Driving today was a challenge – dodging holes the size of babies and going up and down like a rollercoaster from all the frost heaves. We had a melt so all the deep potholes were deceiving. It pays to drive away from the edges, but sometimes hard to do.

My car is white with salt. Who thought salt on the roads was a good idea?

Driving in Calgary is exciting this time of year!

GRIEF: 106 Ways to Deal with Grief, www.KathyBriantBooks.com

The idea behind the statement…

18. Plant bulbs from the flowers you were given.

I got a lot of tulips and daffodils from my daughter Shannon’s funeral in January and took all the flowers home. They filled the house. I love flowers. After they were finished, I saved the bulbs and planted them in the spring.

Now each year when spring comes, I see them blooming. It reminds me that even though winter is the small death, spring brings life again with it and reminds me of Shannon. Nothing nicer than those early spring blooms that promise summer is to come.

Daffodil that bloomed in December one year
Daffodil that bloomed in December one year  

What are the voices telling you to do? Book signing. Meaning behind the statement.

BOOK: MARK THE DATE – Support your Local Writers – Nov 9, 11-3 at Chapters Crowfoot. I will be doing a book signing along with John Gilchrist the restaurant critic who was on CBC talking about best places to eat, Shirlee Matheson who is well known for her excellent Y/A books and a few others. Each of us will take a few minutes to talk about our books. Good chance to get books for Xmas.

LIFE: What are the voices telling you to do?

I was going to bed at 1 a.m. (yeah, I know, I should go to bed earlier), getting ready in the bathroom when mom called out from her bedroom, “Kathy can you turn down the TV a little? It’s too loud.” I told her the TV was off.  How was she hearing voices?  She said, “Well, I hear them.” I asked if her radio was on. No. Then I paused for a moment then asked, “What are they telling you to do?”

I thought, if she’s flipped out, I can make it to the front door, nightie be damned. She’s an old woman.

She said, “Come here and listen, there are voices.” So I did. Might have been my last breath on earth. I entered the dark bedroom.

Mom said, “Here sit on the bed and listen.” I declined, but listened from where I was standing in the dark. Momma didn’t raise no fools.

She was right. She had somehow hit the switch on the radio and sure enough, people were talking softly and because Mom is so deaf, she could hear the sounds, but didn’t know where they were coming from. A flip of the switch and all was well.

Oh, mother, life is never dull.

GRIEF: 106 Ways to Deal with Grief, www.KathyBriantBooks.com

The idea behind the statement…

12. Talk out loud to your loved one. (But maybe when others are not around, you don’t want to be institutionalized, it’s no fun.)

I talk to my daughter who died. I tell Shannon how much I miss her. Sometimes I tell her about something that happened in my day, or something that has happened to someone she knew. I say how I hope she is doing well on the other side and she is happy. I know she is. I do this in private. It’s nobody’s business what I do and sometimes I feel the need to actually speak out loud to her as I look at her picture on the bookcase.

Talking to your loved one relieves your mind, I think. I feel better if I talk to her now and then. It’s not crazy. You had a relationship for likely many years and you used to talk to them all the time. It helps you not miss them quite as much and I think is healing.

BOOKS, LIFE, GRIEF

BOOKS:   I’m looking for a mean God, from Norse, or Olympian Greece, or Celtic history who would want to harm people. Someone nasty and mean who holds a grudge. Any ideas?

LIFE:
Are people crazy?  I was driving on 12 Ave. and stopped for the light at 14 St. SW, when an elderly woman with an equally elderly woman passenger, turned in the wrong way on the one way street. She was now facing traffic in the far lane.  I honked and waved at her.  She was nonplussed.  As she passed me going the wrong way, I  turned and looked behind me to see what she was doing and saw her swing across three lanes and turn herself in the right direction before the light changed.  Two grandmas almost didn’t make it home.

GRIEF: 106 Ways to Deal with Grief, www.kathybriantbooks.com

4. You can’t hide from grief – that does not good at all. You need to go through it so you can eventually start to heal. Otherwise, there you are 10 years later, still dealing with a crippling grief that will not go away. It is normal to avoid pain. I think that is what the numbness is when you first hear. Your mind and body are trying to give you a little anesthetic, a little numbness or blankness so you have a little time to adjust.

My mother said “It’s time to stop crying, we’ve cried enough.” This was after one day, so for some people all they want to do is get away. Unfortunately, there is no getting away, and if you deny and deny for too long, it waits for you and it will wait years. One woman said she didn’t start grieving until five years after her son was killed. Her life was very busy and she had other children, so it wasn’t until they all reached an age that she could look at what had happened. She had a very bad time for a while, as is normal.

You don’t want to be one of those people with unexplained ulcers, or a heart condition, or sleep disturbances that become permanent. Deal with it, go through it and you will come out the other side eventually.

You have to stare the monster in the face. That’s the only way you can deal with what has happened. That is the only way you can process your grief and eventually find a place to put it. It never leaves you, but just becomes dulled over time and your life can move on.

Books, Life, Grief

BOOKS

I find it amazing just how obsessed a person can become when writing to a deadline.  Thinking it, dreaming it 24×7.  I thought I was done, but then I always think I am done, until I leave it for a while and read it again.  Nope. Still needs more work.  Other writers will know what I am talking about and readers need to know how much we sweat for them, to get it just right.   There should be a Kiss a Writer’s Day.  How about that?

106 WAYS TO DEAL WITH GRIEF        www.kathybriantbooks.com

3. Eat a loved one’s favorite food.  After my nephew, Ben, died, I happened to be eating a doughnut, you know, those doughnut croissants from Safeway covered with icing and then with a drizzle of chocolate?  Very nice and I have always liked them.  I wondered why it was especially delicious and why it made me feel so good, when I realized this was also Ben’s favorite.  Because he loved them so much, it was like a reminder of  him, which made me feel good.  Try it.  Have that favorite food of your loved one’s and test my theory. I’ll bet you’ll see what I mean.

LIFE

Sorry, Lady.

I was in Co-op doing a quick shop because mom was home alone and as I sped down the aisles, I could hear a rather loud woman talking to her daughter, who looked about four or five.  She kept talking to her and calling her “Princess”.  The little girl was dressed all in pink as well.

I thought back to all those discussions we used to have about women’s rights. We still are not making the same wage a man is for the same job. The stats haven’t changed in 35 years.  A lot of women are still caught in fantasy which doesn’t help them make their mark in the world and stand up for themselves.

Then I thought about  what all this princess and all this wearing of pink  is doing to our youngest generation.  What? Are all the little girls thinking they are princesses and are they all waiting to be saved by a knight in shining armor instead of being the hero they are looking for and taking their rightful place in the world?  Too much pink, too much princess thinking.  I fear for my grandaughter (who at four likes trucks much more, thank goodness) and I fear for her generation, so I spoke up after I came across them again for the third time.

“Do  you really want to be calling her Princess? Is that the message you want to give to your daughter?”  I wasn’t pushy, just concerned, I thought.

She immediately saw red.  “She’s autistic and only understands about 20 words.  Thanks for  your judgment.” and she stomped off in a huff.

I wasn’t commenting on your cute little autistic daughter, lady.  I was only concerned about her.  Even autistic kids are expected to be princesses with pink and live in a fake world filled with castles and princes?  That’s not fair.  You’ve wasted two of the 20 words she knows on bad advice. She’s only little, why do that to her?

If I offended you lady, then sorry.  I didn’t intend to hurt you.

 

Books, Writing, Grief and and Event

BOOKS

Help a Writer

What’s a good name for a friendly giant? How about a scary creature that tries to hurt people. What would it look like? In other words what scares the crap out of you?

Writing to a Deadline is Hard

I am sweating away, trying to get 3 chapters of a fantasy ready to send to a publisher as per his request and I am finding characters are so much trouble to create and name. Lucky I found decent names for my children; it could have been bad…

 GRIEF

106 Ways to Deal with Grief: Background – What is the story behind the points I put in the book. www.KathyBriantBooks.com

2. Don’t put the pictures away. Bring them out.  

Sometimes it’s too painful to look at the pictures and things from the person who died. People clear the decks, removing any reminder they might have of the person who died. They clean out closets and put pictures away in drawers so they don’t have to look at them. Ok, for a first response that’s fine if you need to do that. But after a while, I think you will want those pictures back and they will help in the healing process.

I think it is important to have a reminder of the person close by. Some people even create a little altar with the person’s picture and some of the things they liked or things that remind us of them. I think pictures are important.

The first thing I did within a week or two of her passing was find a good picture of Shannon and put it in a frame someone gave her for Christmas, an especially nice one. It was of her just before she got sick with the depression that she never came out of, so in her mid 20’s. It’s even a picture she took of herself to use in a web site she was creating at work, so it is how she would have wanted to be remembered. It’s the same picture I used at her funeral since she was cremated, the one people said, did you see that picture come alive? I did. So it was special. I also used that picture in her art shows I finally managed to have, along with some of her art so people could see the person that created all that fine art

For the first year or so, each month I would put it on a table with a candle burning to commemorate the day of the month she died and that made me feel better. I was never a ritual person, but that candle before her picture meant a lot to me.

Now the picture is within viewing in the living room and I often talk to her. I’ll tell her how much I still miss her (after five years) and tell her little things about the day she would have found interesting. So keep a picture near for comfort. It’s a good thing.

Shannon Morgan

ShannonMorganArt.com

EVENT

106 Ways to Deal with Grief

Kathy will be selling her book along with many other authors also selling books at:

MEET YOUR LOCAL AUTHORS BOOK FAIR AND SALE

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 4TH, 2014,            10 – 4pm

PARKDALE COMMUNITY CENTRE,        3512-5th Ave. NW.

Christmas

I did a workshop on Grief and the holidays and one suggestion I really liked and will implement it.  I got 4 little frames – Santas with a space for a photo and will put a picture of Shannon in one and Ben in another, then do a set for my sister that is the same.  We can put the decorations on our trees and have a reminder of the two we lost.  That feels very good to me.  Remember to keep some energy for yourself this season and allow  yourself some wiggle room to get out of commitments you can’t/don’t want to do.  Keep the traditions you like and let the others go.    Best wishes for the Holidays.

Grief-and-the-Holidays

Books and Gifts

I have my book and Shannon’s cards, prints and several original art pieces nicely settled at the Cochrane Cookhouse and Artisan Market and it will be there for a while. So go to Cochrane, just a nice drive, and see this cute little store. They also have a community kitchen, a commercial kitchen, so people can make their products there and sell the food as well.  ~ Kathy

The Cochrane CookHouse & Artisan Market, #109, 519 First Street West, Cochrane, Alberta T4C 1B3  For more information visit: http://www.cochranecookhouse.ca/artisan-market.html

As well, check out Bentley’s Books in Cochrane for copies of my book” 106 Ways to Deal with Grief

 

Kathy’s upcoming book signings in November

Kathy’s upcoming book signings:
• Saturday November 19, 1–5 p.m. at Chapters, Dalhousie
• Sunday November 20, 12–4 p.m. at Coles, Market Mall
• Sunday, November 27, 12–6 p.m. at  Chapters, Chinook Centre

• Wednesday November 30, 7–8:30 p.m. Grief and the Holidays talk and presentation by Kathy Briant, Homestead Building, Cochrane, 209 Second Ave W. To register or for more information contact 403-851-6100.

NEW BOOK OUT ABOUT DEALING WITH GRIEF

2011-10-17 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Kathy A. Briant
Ph:  403 239-4839
Cell:  403 847-3949
Email:  info@KathyBriantBooks.com
Web:  www.KathyBriantBooks.com

NEW BOOK OUT ABOUT DEALING WITH GRIEF
106 Ways to Deal with Grief

Kathy’s daughter Shannon, an artist, took her life in 2009.  After a long battle with mental illness, Shannon thought nothing would ever get better so she swallowed every pill she could find and went to bed.

People may remember the many art shows Kathy held and continues to hold, to promote the art Shannon would never take out of the closet, and engage people in discussions about suicide, mental illness and the life of an artist.

The journey through grief is a gut wrenching process.  Kathy’s world was turned upside down and she went through reactions and behaviours that she found strange and was double traumatized, both by the loss of a child and the loss of herself.

This book, 106 Ways to Deal with Grief is the result of that journey through rough seas.  Anyone who has lost a loved one will find solace in these words.   This is a good book to read because no one going through the mourning process can concentrate long enough for a while to read the usual kind of book.  This book is framed in easy to understand sentences and the reader can start and stop wherever they feel they want to. The statements are clear and realistic and give the grieving person a map to understand what they are going through.  This book is designed to help a person undergoing one of the most difficult processes they will ever experience.

Also valuable for individuals and professionals, it provides an understanding of the grieving person.  Filled with Kathy’s personal experiences as well as the process others underwent, the statements help others to understand the grieving person.  If you know someone going through the grief process, this is the book they need and you need to understand them.

Kathy has a number of book signings organized and welcomes anyone wanting to talk:

  • Chapters Crowfoot, Sat Oct 22  12-5 pm
  • Indigo Signal Hill, Sat Nov 5 12-7 pm
  • Chapters Dalhousie, Sat Nov 19, 1-5 pm
  • Coles, Market Mall, Sunday Nov 20  12-4 pm
  • Chapters Chinook, Sunday Nov 27  12-6 pm
  • Thursday December 1,  7–8:30 p.m. Author Talk at the Cochrane Library (Nan Boothby Memorial Library, 405 Railway Street Cochrane.)

Getting through the holiday season may be difficult for those who have experienced the death of a loved one. Participants will explore practical ways to approach the holidays. Offered in partnership with Alberta Health Services – Cochrane Addiction and Mental Health Clinic and Cochrane FCSS.

Kathy will talk about how she came to write the book, “106 Ways to Deal With Grief” after the death of her daughter, Shannon by suicide, what it contains and who it is designed to help.

Books will be for sale and some of Shannon’s art and cards will be available to view.

Kathy Briant at Indigo, Signal HillKathy Briant at Indigo, Signal Hill