Remembering Fifi (2006?-2020)
Did you know cats can do yoga?

Welcome to my first newsletter and thanks for being here. Fun fact: I operated two newsletters in the AOL Internet '90s: one on Beanie Babies and one on the soap opera Days of Our Lives. All the more reason I'm no expert on anything, but glad to share some thoughts with you nonetheless.

This week has been a sad one, my friends. Not the kickoff I imagined for this newsletter, but here we are.

On Monday the vet told us there were no more options for our 14-year-old Fifi besides a proactive and peaceful death. We knew it was coming after trying to treat her thyroid issues all summer and watching her decline. Still, anyone who's ever had a pet knows the end ain't easy. Even when you've been there before. Even when your pet has started peeing everywhere. "Fifers was a true princess," as my friend Karla and Fifi's original owner put it. She will be missed.

Then, on Tuesday morning, I received an unimaginable call from a friend's husband. I've been processing my shock and grief ever since, trying to understand the inexplicable. I'm writing about it now because I think many of us have been in some degree of shock and grief since March. Whether you've lost a relative or friend, had to quit a job you loved, explained to your kids why they can't play with their friends or have a "normal birthday," or simply feel more isolated than usual, know that you're not alone in these experiences. We are all grieving something (or more than one thing) in 2020.

After my brother died of cancer in 2014, I was angry. At "God" and the world. At all the people who still had their siblings and didn't understand how lucky they were. But I didn't like how anger felt in my body and I knew that it could turn into depression if I didn't deal with it. So I did some reading, a little spiritual quest if you will. And I came away with it convinced that we are here to love and learn. I don't always succeed in approaching life this way, but it's certainly helping right now. I know that I have a choice, many small choices, every day. I can be angry or I can show up in my life with love and curiosity. I'm trying to choose the latter.

How are you doing this year and right now? Hit reply and let me know.
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Did you see my latest book review for The Sunlight Press? I wrote about Lakewood by Megan Giddings, a dystopian novel about race, class, and the ethics of research studies. I also loved the book's take on the banalities and small pleasures of office life. Thanks to Beth and Rudri for supporting my writing and providing a home for my work! Check out their literary journal and submit your own fiction, nonfiction, or poem!
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