Archive for the Death Category

God Speed Chris

Posted in artists, Attitudes, Death, Life, Love, Memories, Music, Musicians, Personal, Quietness, remembering, Somewhere Over the rainbow, thoughts, Uncategorized on May 19, 2017 by anuvuestudio

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I can still remember clearly the first time I heard his voice. I would lay around listening to the radio, trying to catch his name or the name of the band he was frontman for. I would always hear parts of the song… but never enough to make a purchase in the 5 music stores I went to. I would try to sing words from the song, always to a very confused music merchant. Finally, a person at Virgin records had heard it too. They placed the elusive CD in my hand and I was off. I popped that thing into my car and turned it up so loud the walls vibrated and shuddered. The voice was haunting, dark, melancholy. It was deep like the vocals that have attracted my attention since I was a small child. I played that CD endlessly until people refused to ride in my car. I can laugh at that now. That day Chris became my favorite singer. He had the voice of a dark angel. The kind of tone that hits you inside the chest and gives you that twitchy pain behind your eyes. The tone you feel into your very soul.

I’m a firm believer that some people are just not meant for this world. They try so hard to conform and live amongst us. But their souls are always restless. No amount of love or money or beauty or fame can tame them and their search for that “something” that will keep them steady and quiet their soul…it just never comes. Some people will say he was selfish. Some people will say he abused drugs or alcohol. Others will discuss what was in his mind; depression, mental illness, bi-polar, whatever… as if they knew him well both inside and out. The simple fact is no one did. We only knew his music.

What I say? I pray that God wraps loving arms around his family and friends. I pray Chris has finally found his inner peace and is free.  God Speed Brother.

Words to Live Audioslave Chris Cornell Show Me How Me

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Flaming Skulls

Posted in ahh geez, art class, Bring it, create, Death, fabulous, Gnarly, Halloween, hand of man, Haunted, Skeltons, Skulls, the story unfolds with tags on October 19, 2010 by anuvuestudio

Some guys in a tricked-out truck stopped to admire my flaming skulls…No doubt they had use for them beyond Halloween. Personally, I think one would look great hanging off my front door. Hey, there might even be a market out there for those wishing to deter unwanted knockers. Kinda like a really punctuated “do not disturb!!!” sign 😉

Sea Celebration

Posted in Death, Faith, Famiiy, Father, Honor and Remember, Life, Love, Mother, Personal, solitude, Somewhere Over the rainbow on August 5, 2010 by anuvuestudio

It’s been a rough week, but Monday my sisters called to say our Mother’s ashes had finally become available and they were on their way to retrieve them. Apparently, even in death, So Cal keeps people waiting in line.  I thought it would be a bit difficult to explain that I needed to leave work early so that I could join my sisters in a “Dairy Queen Drive Thru” but apparently nothing I say frightens my co-workers any longer.  Mother’s urn was seat belted in the back beside me as we ordered our cones and toasted her in a “High Five Ice Cream salute”. (Our Mother was an avid fan).

Last evening we set sail to scatter her ashes. The location was our Father’s “Halibut Hot Spot” where he won 3 Halibut Derby’s and where we spread his own ashes 4 years back. I did worry about divulging the exact coordinates to the sea captain… but he was a great guy… and I think our secret is safe. Me, being me…I can’t let things just “be”. I have to orchestrate everything into some sort of organized event…and even though my Father’s “service script” was less than perfect (horrendously funny in fact) due to a storm brewing on the Pacific…I did make another effort for my Mother’s sake …and her memory. My Family indulges my need to do this kind of thing. Each of us has “something”. This habit is all mine.

Our boat was a 48 foot Aquila fishing vessel leaving Huntington Harbor Yacht Club. Heck…I’ve lived in Huntington for 20 years and never even knew we had one! We carted our paraphernalia onto the waiting craft and left the dock at precisely 6:30 pm. We had previously sent candles for people to light in a moment of reflection and remembrance. (That’s our kind of service). Leaving the Harbor, I had recorded Scottish Bagpipes such as “Amazing Grace” and “Danny Boy”. I found the recording “allot less drama” than when I hired the actual Bag Piper for my Father’s service. He seemed to have a previously undivulge “problem” with motion sickness…which ultimately became a “problem” for the previous sea captain.

We traveled through the harbor very dignified, pipes blaring, wind whipping through our hair. There was an emotional moment when we noticed 2 birds following us, very determined to keep up. We don’t cry gracefully like in the movies…more of a choked, red-faced, gasping of air…(much like a fish out of water) but we made it through. We are Krishers after all.

When we arrived at the area, the captain turned the boat toward the secret spot and lowered his anchor. My oldest sister (Cindy) gets embarrassed easily… but she was a good sport when I told her she was now “the Matriarch” and, with that title, she was expected to be the first to speak. I had given her some old sea verse previously (reading is easier) and when she spoke, I felt her power and was enormously proud. My middle sister (Julie) was next (I had previously mentioned to go in ceremonial birth order) (again, can’t help this habit) and she spoke from the heart through tears that made her children cry…which in turn made her Sisters cry. The captain stayed composed thank God. I went next with a prayer and then 3 of my sisters’ children spoke about their Grandmother.

What came next needs a little explanation. My dear Mother (born Protestant Christian) was fascinated by the Catholic religion. She made me watch “all things Fatima” while growing up. I’ve probably seen “The Song of Bernadette” 400 times which makes me want to shout  “I can’t make you happy in this world…only in the next“. She collected those sealed rose petal things that they send out to people on mailing lists. She must have had 40 lying here and there. Years ago when I visited Notre Dame, I even brought back a blessed Rosary for her to hold on to. So naturally, when the time came for Julie to spread the ashes, I tuned the iPod to the most wonderful version of Ave Maria I’ve ever heard (by the very talented Josh Groban). If you haven’t heard it…let me just say…it could bring Satan himself down to his knees…something I’d very much like to see.

Upon release, the ashes hit the wind and gently sailed though the air, falling slowly into the waiting ocean . Cindy followed this by dropping a beautiful heart-shaped wreath that my niece Nicole had made from gatherings in my Mother’s garden. I followed that by scattering handfuls of white rose petals. I must silently thank a neighbor (whom had no idea of their contribution and never will)  because I actually stole them in the middle of the previous night, after having forgot to pick some up at the local florist. I was standing in the shower late Monday night, trying to remember all the things that needed to be done, when white petals popped into my head. I jumped out quickly and retrieved my robe. Armed with cutting shears, I marched around the block until I spied some whites roses growing. I am grateful that nothing embarrassing (like a car) happened by while I stealthily hacked away. I did my best not to leave large, noticable bald spots.

Once the 3 sisters had done their best to celebrate their Mother’s life…we stood and watch that beautiful wreath…surrounded by white floating petals…roll wave after wave through an ocean lit by the golden setting sun. I blame the tears on Ave Maria…but it really was a beautiful, peaceful sight…a fitting end to a beautiful woman’s life.

Ceremony completed, big band Benny Goodman brought us back into a lighter mood. During the next hour I witnessed my sister fall on her bum (she was ok), my niece argue with the sea captain about the merits of the Beatles versus any other lesser band and the captain’s shipmate break out his fishing gear. I felt warmed knowing the world was being set right and that life goes on…even after great loss. I felt my Mother and Father’s presence and I know that they were smiling down on us.

Dorothy Virginia 1923 – 2010

Posted in Death, Entering New Territory, Famiiy, Father, Heart of the Matter, Honor and Remember, Life, Mother, Uncategorized on July 26, 2010 by anuvuestudio

God Speed Mama. We LOVE you!

What though the radiance which was once so bright
Be now for ever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind;
In the primal sympathy
Which having been must ever be;
In the soothing thoughts that spring
Out of human suffering;
In the faith that looks through death,
In years that bring the philosophic mind.

William Wordsworth

Life, Death & Inappropriate Laughter

Posted in Attitude, Death, Famiiy, Life on July 25, 2010 by anuvuestudio

Mother’s Hand 2010

I’ve had allot of time lately to contemplate life and death  and this is what I’d like to share with you. My Family has been watching my Mother’s slow deterioration due to Alzheimer’s for a few years, and in the last 5 weeks, a major acceleration has begun. In watching the suffering, I’m left with the view that we as people are more humane with our pets than we are with humankind…something I find more than strange. I can clearly remember my Father’s very sensical statement after being diagnosed with lung cancer. He was given 6 months tops and asked his Doctor very matter-of factly, “Don’t you have a pill I can take?” I remember thinking…man, that’s bold even for my Father and quite insightful. Why would a man, self-sufficient and strong-willed, want to die without dignity… as his 3 Daughters stood by helpless. As it turned out, he willed himself to die and he went out on his own terms, much in the way he lived his life. And I remember always having a sense of humor mixed with all the tears, to the end and ever after. Humor is the greatest healer in all things and I thank God my Family understands that.

With my Mother, it’s much the same.  She can’t walk or communicate, but insists on being a Lady to the end. Exactly what that means is a private thing but her strength and willpower never ceases to amaze me and makes me smile just thinking about it. When I think about my Parents and the end of their lives, I am left with this view. Yes, we are sad at their loss (even frightened) but we all believe in the next life with God and we know that they will both be happy and healthy again. I also know just how amazingly lucky and blessed my Family has been in that both Parents have been allowed to die in their own home, in their own bed, at a ripe old age. I don’t know one person in my circle to have a Parent that blessed, let alone both. I could not be more grateful and I know this would not have happened without the determination of my sister Julie. Her love truly has no bounds.

For my own future, I have a 50% chance of getting the Disease, since both my Mother and Grandmother were affected, so I am determined to follow a quicker route. If that means wandering into the mountains and being eaten by a bear, so be it. Hopefully I will still be tender enough by then for the bear to enjoy. In the meantime I will continue to look for humor in all the inappropriate places I can find in regards to both life and death.

I recently had to go sign paperwork at the local Funeral establishment that houses half of my Family that has “gone before”. The other half rests about 5 miles North. Not sure why and when the family lines were drawn but my guess is some were just more frugal than others. I imagine some of them realized dead is dead and no extravagance is going to change that fact. The lady that met me was very sweet and concerned but I don’t think she was ready for a Krisher. She gave me her grave voice until I told her the Dearly Departed wasn’t yet departed and that we are just a very organized Family. Understanding, she went to the business voice. I broke in with my Aunt’s recent internment and explained, that only 40 feet away, her entire bowling team had attended her service in the chapel. I smiled when mentioning her bowling ball and it’s front and center placement at the service. I think her only son was several rows back in the pews. My wonderful spirited Aunt, a Krisher,  died at 97 and had the same voice as the lady from that poltergeist movie. My fondest memory of her service was my Mother’s utterance “oh Bullshit” at some exclamation the Minister made. (She was at stage 5). I had great difficulty not shaking my shoulders.

The Funeral Lady continued by asking me several questions about explosive devises which really got my attention. Apparently if you have a pacemaker or metal in your body, you can explode in the crematorium and “they cannot be responsible for the lost remains”. I kept a straight face when I said “Really?…Cooool. I know my Father would have greatly enjoyed that send off”. She smiled tightly and I signed more papers. She then went on about identifying the departed before the cremation. My sister explained this later ” In case they mix you up with a cat or dog”… I also learned that apparently you can also be laid in a cardboard box (included in the price) or something special (extra cost). I don’t know about you folks, but when I go, I don’t give a rats ass if I’m placed in several shoe boxes that have been artfully masking-taped together. Ashes are ashes.

That leads me to give you a brief visual of my Father’s service. He was heavily into fishing his entire life, and in retirement, he turned into a fanatic. When he knew his life was ending, he ask me to turn his remains into fishing lures, knowing full well, if it was possible, I would find a way. Thankfully, as it turned out I was able to change his mind. My idea was a very respectful boat parade leading out to sea, complete with bagpiper, heading to his favorite fishing hot spot. We would circle the magical place in our boats, leaving flowered wreaths after offering a flaming arrow and  poetic words… and then gracefully sprinkle his ashes. I originally planned to send him off viking style with the flaming arrow igniting a boat with his remains but my Sisters were concerned with my jail sentence.

In reality, the bagpiper sounded wonderful going out… and then proceeded t0 toss his cookies all over the floor of the volunteer boat (poor guy we didn’t know), when we hit the high seas. My Mother started screaming in the tossing waves and then got seasick as well. The flaming arrow that was supposed to sail over a small memorial boat wouldn’t light in the wind and the wreaths were thrown in a strewed mess. I remember being pelted in the side of the head by a big bunch of petals while my middle sister clung to the boat for dear life. My eldest sister tried to gently sprinkle the ashes which caught wind and hit me full on in the face and mouth. I should have known there would be mischief the moment we pulled from the dock and passed a boat christened “Le Max” (my Father’s name). We made it back to shore, but not before one of my nephews fell into the harbor waters, trying to exit one of the boats. I’m sure my Father was laughing his ass off that day from somewhere high above.

When my Mother does pass on to the other side, we will again attempt a boat ride out to sea. I know my Sisters are already fretting over sea sickness and any mad schemes I may be planning to honor our Mother’s life. That’s the stuff that makes life worth living and laughing at. It’s what does justice to the memory of my Beloved family. I hope we never lose our ability to laugh at ourselves in moments of deep sadness.

Hope

Posted in Attitude, Attitudes, Bring it, Choices, Death, Diagonal View, Entering New Territory, Faith, Hope, Life, Love, Memories, opinion, Personal on March 7, 2009 by anuvuestudio

I usually stick to gallery business but once in a while…I throw in a story. The past weeks have been full of things that have happened to you… to me and to others…and there are things that I would like to say.

Some of you know me and others don’t. I’ve worked in the Printing Industry for more years than I care to let on. I don’t have grey hair yet but reading glasses are definitely coming into play. I’ve already purchased 1.0 readers from Rite-Aid with a scowl. I work during the day, which allows me to have the gallery, opening it only at night. I’ve worked with the same folks, grown with them, cried with them and thankfully have had many more laughs with them than a person has a right to. I wouldn’t trade those years for all the money in Saudi Arabia. You can’t buy the love I hold inside for each and every uniquely lovable one of them. Well, there might be one exception…but I figure karma will take care of him.

Our company had 3 owners originally and I learned from and respected each one for their individual gifts. We lost our “Money Man” one month ago to a sudden heart attack. He was semi-retired and enjoying his life and it hurt his family tremendously… the suddenness and finality of his death. He was a good man. We lost our “Big Boss Man” today. He had been retired for many years but he was my mentor and our founder and very dear to all our worn and withered, printer hearts. He hired me 21 years ago, actually patting me on the butt and sending me into the pressroom…like a lamb to the slaughter. I was a very young 30, without an ounce of confrontational skills, working with men I knew who would not take me seriously. Such was my very first day. I still howl at that memory and wonder at the respect I ultimately came to earn… and the fierce protectors and champions each and every one of them came to be around me. Tonight, my heart goes out to both Families because I know what it is to lose a beloved Father. I would not want to endure it again. The last owner asked me to send a mass email….and in it I said the things I knew had to be said to be proper…but I finished with something about how Gutenberg was about to learn exactly “How it’s really done” 😉 Chuck would have liked that and I owed him.

I looked out into the shop today and watched the faces I have come to love. I see an economy that hurts our industry and make me fearful for all these people around me. I do not know what the future holds and with times as they are, people are amazed to find that I do not watch TV or read the newspaper. I am an optimist by nature and do not like being brought into the harsh realities the news wants to pull us down into. I may be naive in my own little world but I will continue thus so because I will not be polluted by negativity. Bad news sells, along with Brangelina appearances and American Idol songs. But If my mind can stay positive with the world in turmoil, I win a battle every day. I can smile at my fellow man in hopes of making them wonder at what simple secret I hold… that they do not. Fact is, you can choose to be positive in your own mind…or you can make it seem as hopeless as you like. For me, if the sky falls tomorrow, I’m going to be searching for a way to lift it. I was given this life by the grace of God and I almost screwed it up once…I wouldn’t dare waste it again.

Take a good look around you. If you can say you have one friend, if you have clothes on your back, if your children have enough food to eat and if you still have breath in your lungs…you are better off than allot of people who deserve better than their circumstances have given them. If I lose my job tomorrow, if I lose the gallery next, I will still be who I am. I can and will go on and I don’t need the government or Hollywood or the news people to tell me what to feel. And I will make a new dream out of whatever is left from the ashes of the old.

Don’t let the negativity surrounding you…infect you. Keep on going. Don’t look back. Hell, don’t even look sideways. Just keep on going straight. Plant some goodness in your soul and a smile on your face because people need to see it. ..and they need to know it’s ok to have hope.

Day of the Dead Celebration

Posted in back to earth, Day of the Dead, Death, Images, Life, Love, Memories, Personal, photography, remembering, Skeltons, Skulls, Symbolism, the story unfolds, Too tough to die on November 2, 2008 by anuvuestudio

A tradition practised by the Aztecs, Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is an ancient indigenous celebration of death. Because of the Spanish influence, Dia de los Muertos has Catholic and Spanish influences, but never the less has kept its inherently, strong indigenous roots. This celebration, which traditionally lasts two nights and three days, is a time when people remember family and friends who have died by building an altar in their memory. The altar, built in the home on on the gravesite, is decorated with flowers, candles and sugar skulls. The family then proceeds to make the favorite foods of the deceased and sing the songs they so dearly loved.

Walking around this celebration, I came upon an alter of a woman that looked so familiar to me. Suddenly, it dawned on me she was the mother of my niece (my nephew’s wife). Chris was a lovely, free spirited woman who I only knew briefly. As I watched a young mother explaining about the alter to her two small children, I couldn’t help laugh at the young boy behind the scene with that bucket. It just goes to show how… even in the celebration of those who’ve past on… life continues in all it’s silliness… and I’m pretty dog gone sure Chris would have loved the shot. 🙂