September 5th

September 5th

(prefacing to say that I can’t bear to read this out loud right now. I am sorry) ___________ September 5th 2016 Dana was declared brain dead on September 4th, and this is why September 4th was the date noted on his death certificate, not September 5th. We did not know this at the time though, or…

September 4th: Labor Day

September 4th: Labor Day

September 4th, 2016 My mom reached out to me while I was sitting in the hot tub on the morning of September 4th, staring at the rust-red wall in front of me without seeing anything. My mom said that the doctors had done another test on Dana and they declared him brain dead.  I was…

September 2nd: Silence

September 2nd: Silence

September 2nd, 2016 I went through the windshield of a car when I was 4 years old. An event of great magnitude, it shaped my life and yet it was one of silence.  It was peaceful.  I am sure that in the moment, at the time, it was a tornado of twists and energy, but…

September 1st

September 1st

September 1st, 2016 We headed straight for the ICU as morning came on September 1st.  That was a double BOB stroller, incredibly large and incredibly useful. I put all of their snacks, devices, games, clothing changes in that thing and never had to worry about needing to carry them if they fell asleep. The waiting…

August 27: Back to the Yurt

August 27: Back to the Yurt

August 27, 2016 I wrote this blog post on August 27:  I lost it yesterday morning. I mean, I really lost it. Moxie was hiding inside the dresser drawer, scarfing down popcorn after I told her countless times to get ready so we could go downstairs (in the hotel) and get breakfast (which would be over in…

August 26th: The Gun Sticker

August 26th: The Gun Sticker

August 26, 2016 This was apparently the only photo that I took on this day. I can’t explain the depths of revulsion that I felt when I saw that. People who love guns? I don’t think they have ever seen someone they love blown up by one. MeriahMeriah Nichols is a counselor. Solo mom to 3…

August 24: Yu Han’s Birthday

August 24: Yu Han’s Birthday

August 24, 2016 Dana’s first daughter was born on August 24, 1990.  She was born in a very small rural rice farming community in Taiwan, and for her birth, my parents flew over from Hawaii. My dad put together a rocking chair for her mom, Jeanie. We assembled cloth diapers and precious tiny baby clothes. …

August 23: Groundhog Day

August 23: Groundhog Day

________ August 23rd, 2016 There is something really satisfying about baldly stating what I remember of the events of those 3 weeks that Dana was in coma.  There is also something really satisfying about posting unedited photos, all photos that are still on my camera roll, that I haven’t really looked at until now.  I…

August 22

August 22

August 22, 2016 Being in limbo. Caught in a waiting space.  Confusing fog that blanketed my reality.  And my kids, living wholly in the moment. Soaking up the moment. Enjoying the bagels. Playing everywhere, anywhere they could They were not allowed in to see Dana, their spaces were strictly limited to the public areas. Sometimes…

August 21st

August 21st

This is from the 3 week series that honors the time that my brother Dana spent in coma. _______ August 21, 2016 Dana’s oldest daughter Yu Han’s birthday is August 24. Because her brother Jrin Long and his family were only visiting Dana for a short while, we celebrated her birthday early, together. I remember…

August 19: Sepsis

August 19: Sepsis

August 19, 2016 On this day I could only see Dana once, for a few brief minutes. He had sepsis, and was in danger of losing his hands and feet. This was made more real and serious to me by a friend of a friend, a mother, who had recently had her hands and feet…

August 18

August 18

Our days were unfolding into a rhythm: wake up at the crack of dawn, go to the hotel breakfast buffet. Their delight in the breakfast array never failed to delight me. It reminded me so much of how excited Dana and I would get over the same stuff when we were kids ourselves. Then we’d…

August 17: Tethered In Limbo

August 17: Tethered In Limbo

The bullets were still in Dana. And where he had been torn open by those same bullets was open, covered by wraps. He was being constantly examined for surgery upon surgery – they were not even at the point of getting the bullets out of him. His feet and legs were in pressurized leg wraps…

August 16: Settling In

August 16: Settling In

You can hear me read this by clicking below, or subscribing to the podcast at the end of this post. _____ August 16, 2016 I so expected Dana to open his eyes at any moment. I took this photo, and this, fully expecting him to wake up at any minute. Look at you! Wired up,…

In Fog: August 14

In Fog: August 14

You can hear me read this by clicking below, or subscribing to the podcast at the end of this post. ____________________________________________________ While I had no Facebook memories yesterday, my facebook memories for today, August 14th, I had a post.  At first glance, I thought I had written something about my brother being shot the day…

On this day, 4 years ago.

On this day, 4 years ago.

On this day, 4 years ago. You can hear me read this by clicking below, or subscribing to the podcast at the end of this post. _________________________________________________________________ I don’t have such a memory for this day, 4 years ago. I didn’t post anything on social media on this day, 4 years ago. My dear friend…

Understanding the Connection Between Flowers and Stars
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Understanding the Connection Between Flowers and Stars

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_message style=”round”]This is a post about grief.[/vc_message][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text] I’ll never forget driving to the Bay Area from Redding. Dana had been released from this life. Mom, Dana’s daughters and I had dealt with the Sheriff’s office for hours – since Dana had been shot in Humboldt county, and since the bullets were still in him when…

“Don’t Be Scared of the Dark,” He Said
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“Don’t Be Scared of the Dark,” He Said

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_message message_box_style=”outline” style=”round” message_box_color=”success” icon_fontawesome=”fa fa-gratipay”]This is a post about grief.[/vc_message][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]I had been crying so hard and so long that I couldn’t open my eyes properly. They were puffy, swollen up so that seeing through them was a chore. I also didn’t understand why this in particular was hitting me so hard. I was turning…

Full Circle

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]When we first moved to Hawaii from Fiji, Dana was 14 and I was 13. We were too young to work in America – and we were both pretty upset about it, as Fiji had had no such “child welfare” rules. Being suddenly dependent on our (broke) parents was awful. Dana turned 15 (the legal…

If I Had Known Then What I Know Now
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If I Had Known Then What I Know Now

[vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1503581732256{background-color: #e0e0e0 !important;border-radius: 2px !important;}” kswr_row_top_decor_enabled=”false” kswr_row_bottom_decor_enabled=”false”][vc_column][vc_column_text]Trigger Warning: guns, violence, death. Grief.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_empty_space][vc_separator color=”turquoise” style=”shadow” border_width=”6″ el_width=”70″][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]I am astonished at how aimless I remain, Dana. I’ve been waking up even earlier than my usual 5 in the morning, often at even 3:30. I get my coffee, my laptop, candles lit. Meditate. I get online, ready…

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Walking Through Water

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”My brother has been gone for 4 months” font_container=”tag:h2|text_align:left|color:%23000000″ google_fonts=”font_family:Cinzel%3Aregular%2C700%2C900|font_style:700%20bold%20regular%3A700%3Anormal” css=”.vc_custom_1574179790918{background-color: #efefef !important;}”][vc_column_text]I’ve developed a routine: I wake up in the morning, go and light a candle for my grandparents and for my great-aunt Ruby and place it in my shrine. I light another for my brother, Dana, which I carry with me to…

A Bathtub

A Bathtub

I’m having a hard day. Everything is reminding me of Dana, and of Dana being gone. It’s hitting me in every direction. That song? He’s gone. That movie? He’s gone. That joke? He’s gone. That book? He’s gone. He’s gone, he’s gone, HE IS GONE. With him goes the only person (besides Grandma) that I…

The Problem with Belief

A belief is only a thought that you keep thinking. If you think anything long enough, it will become a belief. And, as everyone knows, whatever it is that you believe will become your reality. So the trick to changing things in your life is to focus on thinking thoughts that you WANT to believe,…

To the Edge of the Woods

To the Edge of the Woods

There is nothing like a crisis for making social media meaningful. I mean, day in and day out, it’s just an information clearinghouse and news board. Then something huge happens and reading each and everyone’s comment of love and support means the world to me, when all I want to do is crawl into a…