Tag Archives: death

Dealing with Death: A Reflection

After losing someone our minds go into overdrive, analyzing every moment ever spent with them, grieving over the bad times, and cherishing the great memories. It seems hard not to blow things out of proportion. If only you had one more day, one more moment, one more chance to say the things you should have always said—knowing that you could’ve been there more than you were is a feeling that could haunt someone for the rest of their lives.

Nothing feels right after suddenly losing someone—wondering if there was something you could’ve done, going through the motions of a normal day, knowing that someone is gone. Having that unavoidable pit feeling in your stomach… no amount of talking or crying can make this feeling go away.

On October 4, 2015, K.j. Bettner was taken from his friends and family too soon. K.j. was someone who was known for his bigger-than-life smile, making this loss even more tragic. Never in my life did I imagine that I would be sitting here trying to write an article about losing K.j., but two years later, here I am.

“K.j. was someone who was known for his bigger-than-life smile…” – Photo from Annie Schroeder

I can remember the day of his service like it was yesterday, with friends and family gathered in front of the church in the middle of our hometown. It was a hot and sunny Sunday in October. Our close friends were piled into hard wooden church pews and sat in silence for a long time, thinking of the right thing to say to one another. It was during this service that reality hit: we were not invincible. I remember how hot the sun felt coming in through the glass stained windows on our tear-soaked cheeks, and the looks that the adults were giving us, thinking that we were all too young to be experiencing something like this.

Two years later, my friends and I have all learned a lot about ourselves. I think many people deal with death by wanting to be alone, but every year when October 4th rolls around I can’t help but to want to be back in my hometown, surrounded by the world that K.j. knew and loved.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Every year around the anniversary of his death, we all try to come together and talk about memories spent with our dear friend. This might be the only time of the year we get to see some of our friends, with our crazy college schedules. Sometimes it gets pretty emotional, and sometimes it’s just relieving to be surrounded by people who know exactly what you’re going through. The only silver lining to this story is the bond that has been created in grieving the death of our lost friend.

Make sure that you reach out to friends you haven’t spoken to in a while. Pay attention to people when they speak. Always take the chance to see an old friend when you can. Tie up loose ends and resolve any conflicts. Take the time to reflect on who you are.

When a friend passes, take a piece of how they lived and turn it into your own. Keep a support system that couldn’t be beat, and truly enjoy each day on this earth as if it is your last.

 

In loving memory of Kevin John Bettner. October 19, 1995 – October 4, 2015

Die…and Become a Tree?

Many people wonder what happens to us after we inevitably pass away. Is there just nothing, a black oblivion without consciousness or thought? Or is there some afterlife, a place where our soul or spirit lives on? Many religions and philosophies dedicate themselves to finding out, and while we can’t say for certain what happens to us after we die, we do have a say in what becomes of our bodies once we do pass away. And, as it turns out, you (or at least your remains) can become a tree.

capsula mundi
“Essentially what Capsula Mundi does is place your corpse inside a biodegradable burial pod with the seeds of your preferred tree on top.” Photo from: http://www.jebiga.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/CAPSULA-MUNDI-05.jpg

The Capsula Mundi project was created by two designers, Anna Citelli and Raoul Bretzel. It is a new, more eco-friendly burial practice that is quickly becoming available. Essentially what Capsula Mundi does is place your corpse inside a biodegradable burial pod with the seeds of your preferred tree on top. Then you are buried in a special “cemetery” (land set aside for these burial pods) and the tree eventually grows by using the resources and nutrients from your body.

So what is so great about this new type of burial? For starters, it is much more environmentally friendly than your traditional burial. Wooden coffins (and coffins in general) are only used for a few days for the sake of the funeral ceremony and after that they are essentially thrown away. That’s a lot of trees that have been cut down for a pretty limited use. Whereas the burial pod does the exact opposite and creates more trees–trees that will, presumably, last for many years. The pods are also completely biodegradable and will eventually become a part of the soil, providing more nutrients for the tree and the surrounding area. Not to mention, you could have an impressive tree that will continue to grow even more impressive as the years go by rather than a headstone that will wear down to a blank rock.

A plot in a cemetery is, essentially, useless. This isn’t meant to disrespect any of the dearly departed or anyone who might want to have a traditional burial. However, you can’t argue with the fact that this type of memorial would be more helpful than a headstone. There is also the fact that a “cemetery” full of trees would be a lot cheerier and not nearly as depressing as our typical cemetery. Wouldn’t a person want their loved ones to be happier when they went and visited them?

Magic Touch

The eyes were sunken into the head of the blue-tinted body, which smelled of a familiar decomposition, similar to that dead cat she’d been forced to dissect in science class. Death was a new sensation for Charlotte, her first time experiencing it on this mild spring day. Remembering her parents discussing a missing man from their small town, Charlotte deduced she had found him. What a triumphant victory. Her feet stumbled as she ran away, but not before she had taken special notice of the decaying corpse that lay still. About a mile away – or five in the eyes of a child – was the closest road and she followed it home. Only able to conjure a light sleep, Charlotte dreamed of the deterioration she had left behind.

Creeping carefully down a path laced with hemlock, Charlotte walked along the steps she’d taken during the day. Diverging from the road, she traced an unbeaten deer path to the end of a row of trees. She knew where to go from the circling buzzards. Near a secreted lake where cattails grew like wildflowers, the body lay stagnant. The water revealed the carefully hidden body, partially submerged. Now he was more recognizable than before; he looked almost alive.

“How is this possible?” she whispered to herself in horror.

Remembering what her science teacher had told her about death and the decomposition cycle, how decomposition was a quick and unforgiving process, she began her cycle of curiosity.

She leaned in. Getting a closer look at the corpse beneath her seemed to dull her interest, but it didn’t quite satisfy it. She noted his missing shirt, swollen belly, blue tint that seemed less blue than before. She found a nearby stick. After poking his chest, she was unsure what to do next. He didn’t budge. Charlotte wanted to touch him, to feel how cold he was. She leaned in once more, now with a more devious intent. Curiosity took over her mind and body as she placed her delicate finger on the corpse’s shoulder.

Charlotte’s hand touched the shoulder of the dead man, and she was jolted awake by the shock of his reaction. She jumped out of bed, ran to her window to see what time it was. She noticed it was light outside; her parents must be at work. She grabbed a light jacket and slammed her feet into her lighted sketchers. The door crashed shut.

swamp
“Curiosity took over her mind and body as she placed her delicate finger on the corpse’s shoulder.” Photo from: www.planetside.co.uk

Charlotte knew her path. Led only by fear, excitement, curiosity, and hungry birds, she flew down along the hemlock trees and trampled the deer trail. She disturbed the lake with her feet, unable to slow her erratic pace. She looked at the body and was immediately relieved that it was all a dream. The man lay there, as blue as when she’d left him eight house ago, perhaps more.

For good measure, Charlotte had to recreate her nightmare. She leaned in, took a stick and poked his chest. Nothing moved but the water supporting the body. Looking at the unnatural hue of his face, the question crept into her mind. Do all corpses decompose this quickly? A proper girl would have pushed the thought far from her mind, but Charlotte allowed herself to dwell on the idea for several minutes before continuing with her endeavor. She reached her hand towards his shoulder. Noticing every crevice the decomposition had left on the body, she was careful not to deviate from last night’s dream.

She didn’t have time to process what his skin felt like until a blue-black, half decomposed hand appeared, grabbing hers.

Murderous cows

Between the years 1993 and 2015, cattle murdered 13 individuals who were out for strolls in the UK. Many more individuals had their bones broken or acquired different injuries from cattle.

According to veterinarian Angharad Fraser-Williams and other researchers at the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom, murderous cattle are an understudied occurrence. The team searched through scientific writing and news articles to find out about cattle attacks over the past 20 years.

Beware the cows! Graphic from Good Reads
Beware the cows! Graphic from Good Reads

To discover how regularly experiences of herds of grazing cattle turning dangerous occured, the team of researchers scoured through scientific literature for papers including the terms “bovine” or “cow” plus the terms “injury” or “attack.” After the team narrowed down the results to papers about attacks on only humans, they were left with only eight occurrences.

Slaughterhouse workers, vets and dairy and beef farmers are exposed to the most injuries caused by cattle. Nearly all the occurring damages are broken bones from being kicked, but additional deaths occurred from being trampled or just accidentally walked on by the large cattle. A study in America researched attacks by bulls, instead of cows. Over 28 years, the authors discovered 149 fatal incidents.

Among strollers on farmland in Britain, the University of Liverpool researchers discovered reports of 54 cattle attacks over 20 years. Of these cattle attacks, 13 had fatal outcomes. 2009 was the most lethal year, which had 4 deaths and 13 attacks that took place.

The research through the scientific writings and news articles revealed some reasons cattle might attack. One reason is maternal behavior. Heifers (mother cows) see humans as a danger to their offspring, and they may attack to protect their offspring if an individual gets too close.

Cattle are especially careful when dogs are close-by. About 66 percent of the cattle attacks involved dogs. In at least two cases, individuals were murdered while trying to protect their dogs, which had scared the cattle.

The authors claim that more research would assist in uncovering the reasons behind these fatal attacks, including their rate of occurrence. Additionally, it would be useful to have a single database in which individuals could report cattle attacks.

Death by selfie

Earlier this month, a teenager in India was killed while trying to take a picture of himself in front of an oncoming train. The economics site Priceonomics has aimed to assemble the existing data about the individuals who have died while taking selfies, scouring through three years of news reports stating that an individual had died while trying to take a selfie.

One of India's 'no-selfie zones'. Image from www.compareraja.in
One of India’s ‘no-selfie zones’. Image from www.compareraja.in

They discovered that since 2014, 49 individuals had been reported dead as a result of some sort of unfortunate incident that was selfie-related. More than 25 percent of deaths involving selfies are concentrated among 21-year-olds, and 75 percent are male.

The most threatening places to take a selfie appear to be high places or in water: 16 individuals died from falling off a tall building or a cliff, while 14 drowned. Eight individuals died while posing next to an oncoming train. Four individuals died of gunshot wounds, two individuals died from a grenade, two from a plane crash, two from car crashes, and one individual died from an animal attack.

As far as  where on the planet these deaths involving selfies happen, the information is skewed to a great degree in India, where 19 of the reported deaths involving selfies occurred. Keeping in mind that India’s higher population has something to do with the bloated number of selfie-related deaths, that doesn’t appear to clarify it completely. India’s higher-than-normal drowning rate has an enormous part to play, and the country has declared 16 ‘no-selfie zones’.

Russia's campaign to urge the public to take care when taking selfies. Image from Russian Interior Ministry.
Russia’s campaign to urge the public to take care when taking selfies. Image from Russian Interior Ministry.

Russia has also attempted to address the death-by-selfie issue, by creating a campaign outlining poor selfie ideas to discourage unsafe selfies on cliffs, mountaintops, or near wild animals.

Priceonomics notes that of the 49 cases they inspected, not a single death was caused by the selfie itself. To their knowledge, no one has ever been lethally pierced by a selfie stick. The selfie appears to serve as a distraction in circumstances where the individual taking the selfie ought to focus on their own wellbeing and safety.

You don’t have to stop taking selfies, simply be cautious of your surroundings when taking one — especially when taking one standing on a cliff.

Air pollution takes 5.5 million lives prematurely each year

Contaminated air is responsible for taking more than 5.5 million lives prematurely each year, with more than 50 percent of those deaths occurring in China and India, as indicated by new research presented on Feb 12.

Smog in Santiago. Image from joeskitchen.com
Air pollution causes lung cancer, heart disease and other respiratory diseases. Image from joeskitchen.com

Researchers are giving notice that the premature death toll will increase throughout the next two decades unless we do more to battle the issue.

The research was carried out by scientists from Canada, the United States, India and China who collected approximates of air pollution levels in India and China and evaluated their effect on health.

“Air pollution is the fourth highest risk factor for death globally and by far the leading environmental risk factor for disease,” said Michael Brauer, University of British Columbia professor, on Friday, ”reducing air pollution is an incredibly efficient way to improve the health of a population.”

The research concludes that two of the planet’s most populated countries, India and China, have the most contaminated air on the planet.

Specialists state that minuscule matter radiated into the atmosphere in those countries causes 55 percent of deaths caused by air pollution worldwide.

Dan Greenbaum, president of the non profit organization Health Effects Institute in Boston, that examines the health effects from several sources of air contamination, said that “living in areas with higher pollution can cause people to have increased heart and lung disease, and to die prematurely as a result.”

The greatest origin of air pollution is burning coal, in China, although Greenbaum said that they were beginning to try to solve the general issue. In India, meanwhile, individuals burn wood and biomass fuels, cow dung and several other sources.

Greenbaum expressed that “the levels in China are eight to 10 times higher than the healthy standards set by the World Health Organization”. Unless China embraces more rigorous air pollution standards, restricting coal burning and emissions from power plants and factories, the report approximated that over 1 million individuals would have premature deaths by 2030.

Medical specialists say air pollution causes lung cancer, heart disease, and other respiratory illnesses.

The research’s findings on air pollution were exhibited at the conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington.

Forest of Wolves

Brightly dying leaves scatter the damp ground

Drying Red painted on the greenest moss

Bare trees weep from the caress of the wind

The suns cold rays scattered by reaching branches

Small animals scurrying in the under brush

 

A single rabbit emerges

It’s coat matching the decaying ground

Raised ears

Twitching noise

Searching for the fruit of life

While avoiding the Shadow of Death

 

Large yellow eyes appear in the distance

Hungry

Wanting

Eyes lock

Fur rises

Life holds it’s breath

 

Snap!

The rabbit bolts

Taking the path of the Wind

Over fallen trees

Through pricking bushes

Trying to stay in the light

 

Yellow eyes

Never losing sight

Large Paws

Slamming into the impressionable dirt

A coat darker than midnight

Casting shadows on its prey

 

The running stops

The sounds of struggling ceases

Rewards are reaped

 

Dying leaves

Crying Trees

Silent animals

All watching

Fresh Red

Painting the green canvas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes it’s better just to let things go

If you’ve read any of my articles, you would know that I’m in no way anti-abortion. I’m all for it, within reason. Last week, there was a viral video that really reaffirmed why I’m so pro-choice. In the video, a couple is about to have their first child. Like any parents-to-be they buy clothes, toys, a crib and numerous other baby accessories as they await the arrival of their newborn baby boy.

As any expectant mother does, the pregnant wife goes to a doctors appointment and gets a routine ultrasound. Unfortunately, the doctor noticed several abnormalities with the fetus. The fetus appeared to have a cleft palette, kidney failure and heart problems. The doctor, understandably, suggested to the mother that she terminate the pregnancy because the child had zero chance of surviving more than a couple days. However, the couple decided to move forward with the pregnancy so that they could get to “meet” their child and make him as comfortable as possible in the few days that he had.

pregnant2
“I couldn’t, in good conscience, force my child into this world just to watch them die in front of my eyes.”

Many praised the parents for being so brave and not terminating the pregnancy. When you watch the video, however,the baby looks miserable after he is born. The baby died several times in the parents arms, only to be brought back to life by chest compressions. Pro-lifers may applaud the parents for what they did, but I can’t help but put myself in that situation.

I’m not one to judge the parents for their decision. If they feel closure because they got to “know” their child for those few days he had, good for them. However, if I were  in that situation, especially after seeing the way the child suffered during his short life, I would’ve chosen to terminate the pregnancy.

Now before you assume I’m this heartless wench who has no sympathy or that I’m this abortion-pushing maniac, think about what it would be like to only remember your child as being ill. Personally, I would rather not see my child suffer while fighting in vain to keep him or her alive. I would rather move forward in my life, and honestly, try again. I couldn’t, in good conscience, force my child into this world just to watch them die in front of my eyes.

I respect the parents choice, if that’s what will give them peace in the long-run. I just don’t think what they did is this amazing thing that’s completely worthy of praise. In my opinion, it’s sort of selfish to make a small baby suffer just so that you can feel brave and noble about not aborting it.

Although I would have to actually be put into the situation to know what I’d do, I feel strongly that I couldn’t go through with the pregnancy the way this mother did. I believe sometimes there’s no shame in giving up and starting over, especially so that the child didn’t have to die so slowly.

The leading killer is ourselves

Many RU students probably noticed a heartbreaking email (if nothing else) indicating the loss of Kristin Greene due to suicide on Oct. 22. Unfortunately, suicide is one of the leading causes of death for college students along with homicide, traffic accidents, and alcohol related accidents.

The most common cause of suicide is untreated depression; other health problems (such as mental illness, physical pain, or substance abuse) can be a factor. Although 1 in 7 Americans are affected by depression and 1 in 5 college students express their depression level is higher than they’d like, less than 10% say that they have or would seek treatment.

DSC_0062
“Unfortunately, suicide is one of the leading causes of death for college students along with homicide, traffic accidents, and alcohol related accidents.” Photo by: Danielle Johnson

Up to half of those who complete suicide have previously attempted it before and males are 75% more likely to die by suicide than females. Statistics show that race and ethnicity play a large role in American suicide rates with Whites being most likely at about 14% of suicides, Native Americans coming in second at about 10%, and other minorities following with only half the statistical likelihood.

While significant research on suicide is available, the warning signs can be hard to see. These signs include talking about suicide or feelings of being trapped, being in pain, or being a burden to others. The person’s behavior may change to include substance abuse, acting recklessly, researching suicide methods, withdrawing from activities and relationships, aggression, giving away possessions or saying goodbye, and abnormal sleep patterns (such as sleeping too much or too little). Anxiety can often be a major cause or symptom of depression and suicidal thoughts. While this may not be as easy to distinguish from stress, it should be taken seriously and dealt with properly in any capacity.

Additionally, it should be noted that those who have had a history of suicide in their family are more likely to be at risk. Those who have lost someone to suicide (no matter the relationship) should also be monitored for suicide warning signs as they too are more likely to consider killing themselves.

In college students, specific signs to look out for are those individuals who are normally good students but suddenly do not complete their work or show up to classes. Friends who suddenly withdraw from regular social activities and relationships, or those students who never had many friends to begin with, are at a higher risk of depression and suicide. Significant changes in weight, diet, or exercise can indicate depression, and those in abusive relationships (whether with family, friends, or a significant other) are at a higher risk.

If you witness any of these signs or feel concerned about another student’s state of mind, don’t take it lightly. Ask them how they are and be a good listener if they choose to open up to you. What a person considering suicide needs more than being talked out of  acting on feelings of self-harm is to have their feelings heard.

If you are concerned, RU urges you to follow these guidelines in order to provide the most effective help:

  •    DO listen and offer support in a non-judgmental way
  •    DO help the person explore feelings
  •    DO widen options and explore alternatives for problem solving
  •    DO ask direct questions about the person’s intentions; ask if the person is considering suicide
  •    DO communicate your concern for the person’s well-being
  •    DO recommend that the person contact a mental health professional
  •    DO call a professional yourself and offer to accompany the person to an initial appointment
  •    DO call the police if you believe the risk of suicide is immediate
  •    DON’T say “everything will be alright”
  •    DON’T dare the person to “do it”
  •    DON’T tell the person about someone who “has it worse”
  •    DON’T promise secrecy to the suicidal person
  •    DON’T leave the person alone if you believe the risk of suicide is imminent

Above all, don’t blame yourself for missing signs in a friend or family member who completes suicide. It isn’t about you or what you could or couldn’t have done. The bottom line is that suicide is usually a symptom of an emotional illness which a person was unable to find suitable treatment for. A person needs to want help in order to receive it.

For more resources on- and off-campus you can reach out to several organizations:

Student Counseling Services are open to any student and sessions are free. You can call 831-5226 to set up an appointment or find them in person to schedule or commit to a walk-in appointment by seeing them in the lower level of Tyler Hall.

Additionally, the following campus departments are willing to assist students in concerns for themselves or others:

  •    The Student Health Center, 831-5111
  •    The Dean of Students Office, 831-6297
  •    The Radford University Police, 831-5500

Finally, if you think someone is in immediate danger of self-harm or harm to others, do not hesitate to call 911 and report it.

The leading killer is ourselves

Many RU students probably noticed a heartbreaking email (if nothing else) indicating the loss of Kristin Greene due to suicide on Oct. 22. Unfortunately, suicide is one of the leading causes of death for college students along with homicide, traffic accidents, and alcohol related accidents.

The most common cause of suicide is untreated depression; other health problems (such as mental illness, physical pain, or substance abuse) can be a factor. Although 1 in 7 Americans are affected by depression and 1 in 5 college students express their depression level is higher than they’d like, less than 10% say that they have or would seek treatment.

DSC_0062
“Unfortunately, suicide is one of the leading causes of death for college students along with homicide, traffic accidents, and alcohol related accidents.” Photo by: Danielle Johnson

Up to half of those who complete suicide have previously attempted it before and males are 75% more likely to die by suicide than females. Statistics show that race and ethnicity play a large role in American suicide rates with Whites being most likely at about 14% of suicides, Native Americans coming in second at about 10%, and other minorities following with only half the statistical likelihood.

While significant research on suicide is available, the warning signs can be hard to see. These signs include talking about suicide or feelings of being trapped, being in pain, or being a burden to others. The person’s behavior may change to include substance abuse, acting recklessly, researching suicide methods, withdrawing from activities and relationships, aggression, giving away possessions or saying goodbye, and abnormal sleep patterns (such as sleeping too much or too little). Anxiety can often be a major cause or symptom of depression and suicidal thoughts. While this may not be as easy to distinguish from stress, it should be taken seriously and dealt with properly in any capacity.

Additionally, it should be noted that those who have had a history of suicide in their family are more likely to be at risk. Those who have lost someone to suicide (no matter the relationship) should also be monitored for suicide warning signs as they too are more likely to consider killing themselves.

In college students, specific signs to look out for are those individuals who are normally good students but suddenly do not complete their work or show up to classes. Friends who suddenly withdraw from regular social activities and relationships, or those students who never had many friends to begin with, are at a higher risk of depression and suicide. Significant changes in weight, diet, or exercise can indicate depression, and those in abusive relationships (whether with family, friends, or a significant other) are at a higher risk.

If you witness any of these signs or feel concerned about another student’s state of mind, don’t take it lightly. Ask them how they are and be a good listener if they choose to open up to you. What a person considering suicide needs more than being talked out of  acting on feelings of self-harm is to have their feelings heard.

If you are concerned, RU urges you to follow these guidelines in order to provide the most effective help:

  •    DO listen and offer support in a non-judgmental way
  •    DO help the person explore feelings
  •    DO widen options and explore alternatives for problem solving
  •    DO ask direct questions about the person’s intentions; ask if the person is considering suicide
  •    DO communicate your concern for the person’s well-being
  •    DO recommend that the person contact a mental health professional
  •    DO call a professional yourself and offer to accompany the person to an initial appointment
  •    DO call the police if you believe the risk of suicide is immediate
  •    DON’T say “everything will be alright”
  •    DON’T dare the person to “do it”
  •    DON’T tell the person about someone who “has it worse”
  •    DON’T promise secrecy to the suicidal person
  •    DON’T leave the person alone if you believe the risk of suicide is imminent

Above all, don’t blame yourself for missing signs in a friend or family member who completes suicide. It isn’t about you or what you could or couldn’t have done. The bottom line is that suicide is usually a symptom of an emotional illness which a person was unable to find suitable treatment for. A person needs to want help in order to receive it.

For more resources on- and off-campus you can reach out to several organizations:

Student Counseling Services are open to any student and sessions are free. You can call 831-5226 to set up an appointment or find them in person to schedule or commit to a walk-in appointment by seeing them in the lower level of Tyler Hall.

Additionally, the following campus departments are willing to assist students in concerns for themselves or others:

  •    The Student Health Center, 831-5111
  •    The Dean of Students Office, 831-6297
  •    The Radford University Police, 831-5500

Finally, if you think someone is in immediate danger of self-harm or harm to others, do not hesitate to call 911 and report it.

The Cricket’s Song

My heart races

My breathing quickens

My bare feet hit the drenched pavement

The sound of boots echo from behind

An eerie message that I’m not alone

1_IMGS8304
“The street lights become scarce. The dark atmosphere is void of all sounds.” Photo of: Emma Rothe. Photo By: Caroline Leggett

 

The street lights become scarce

The dark atmosphere is void of all sounds

Like a vacuum sucking up all that once was

Cement turns to dirt

Blood mixes with polluted water

Foreboding trees loom over my slowly fatiguing body

Roots grab hold of my feet

Like a black widow elopes it prey

 

Silence

The wind dares not breathe

The crickets renounce all music

The rain turns to mist

Silence

A twig sings out in pain

 

Fear

Fear is the poison that paralyzes the soul

Fear sings in my veins

Fear beads on my brow

But death

Death knocks on my Soul’s door

Before violently entering

Death caresses my Soul in its icy hands

Thu Thump

My Soul cries

Thump

Drowning in its own red tears

Thu

The crickets begin to sing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Firefly

This summer I saw a firefly.
It hit my windshield going ninety.
I recognized it only by its glow.
As I watched that light,
surprisingly bright on impact,
slowly fade to a dull smear,
I remembered death.
I remembered Clara.
I remembered an uncle.
I remembered fur-babies and friendships.
Grief seems to be a forced emotion.
Dramatic feelings painted on the body like a costume.
When the lights go down,
can you see my heart break?
Is it enough to prove I loved you fully?
For an eyes-off-the-road moment,
I recoiled,
aghast at my poetic mistake.

firefly
“When the lights go down can you see my heart break?”

Limbaugh’s commentary on Williams’ death & credible news sources

A couple of weeks ago, we lost a legend. Robin Williams was found dead in his home, due to an apparent suicide. Scrolling through Facebook and various other forms of media, it was easy to see that his loss affected everyone in some shape or form. I’ll openly admit, to ugly-crying a few times watching tribute videos.

But, of course, in the sea of praise for Williams, there were also many negative voices. One of those voices belonged to the infamous Rush Limbaugh. In one segment of his radio show, Limbaugh began by reading a question from one of his listeners that asked, “what are the politics in Robin Williams’ death? Limbaugh began to explain that Williams’ death was somehow connected to the “general unhappiness of the left.”

rush-limbaugh-793679
“I was, however, very shocked that Limbaugh would be so trashy and distasteful as to tie a suicide to politics.”

Even though I’m definitely a left-winger, I wasn’t terribly offended by Limbaugh’s comments about how “miserable” the left is. After all, Limbaugh is a right-winger; he doesn’t know my level of happiness. I was, however, very shocked that Limbaugh would be so trashy and distasteful as to tie a suicide to politics. It’s especially offensive that Limbaugh would attack someone who was so very loved and brought nothing but joy to his audience just days after their death. No matter what your political preference is, there’re certain things that should be left unsaid. Suicide has nothing to do with politics. Williams lived a great life, but he was ill. He died of depression, not his political standpoint.

Limbaugh wasn’t only offensive in saying this, but he was also making a very far reach. What makes him think that he can tie two very different things together? Limbaugh has proven over and over again that he isn’t a credible source, though many would argue differently. His opinion is his opinion, but with logic so blurry, I can’t help but wonder how this man was given a platform. With so many talented young professionals looking for jobs, why do we allow this guy to have any platform?

A few people may agree with Limbaugh, which is sad. But why do we continue to give people such as him, or Bill O’Reilly for that matter, a platform? People like Limbaugh and O’Reilly make these far reaches just for the shock factor. But it seems that people believe them just because they have a platform. No matter how big of a platform they have, they may very well have no credibility or anything that makes them qualified whatsoever. The fact that Limbaugh isn’t categorized as a satirist is shocking to me. We need to stop making these people famous, and start looking into what makes a real, credible news source.

“Family Guy” kills off Brian

You can’t always laugh. “Family Guy,” the hit animated comedy on FOX, dealt with a serious fact of life earlier this season: the death of a family dog. Earlier this season, the Griffin family lost Brian, their Prius driving, outspoken liberal dog. Brian has been a hallmark character for the show since its inception in 1999, often spewing lines like, “Whose leg do I have to hump to get a martini around here?” He was the counterweight to FOX’s conservative agenda, having his liberal ideas prove to be his very own downfall. Continue reading “Family Guy” kills off Brian