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Life after death. - Piano wire. [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
The richest girl in town.

[ website | www.laurenwheeler.com ]
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Life after death. [Tuesday, Feb. 10th, 2009|04:00 pm]
The richest girl in town.
After having not slept or eaten or cried since she received the phone call at 6 a.m. on Friday morning, my mother finally had a meltdown at the White Horse on Sunday night. I was in the city having dinner when she called. I eventually made it back to the East Bay and drove over to her place in Berkeley. She was a mess, understandably, and we stayed up drinking tea and talking for a while before I dosed her with a Klonopin. She slept until 5 in the morning, which isn't great, but better.

I slept in the living room on the hospital bed we'd rented for my grandmother. Java, never one to miss an opportunity to sleep with me, didn't try to get on the bed even once but slept beside it.

Yesterday, we went to deal with my grandmother's bank accounts (which my name is on) and then headed to the mortuary to make final arrangements, and that's when I lost it. My mother wanted to see the body, and though I wasn't sure I did, I went in with her. It was strange seeing Nana that way, wrapped in a white sheet. Part of me expected her to sit up and complain about not having her own clothes on, but actually, she looked really peaceful. And about 20 years younger. My mother noted that she looked very Indian, a genetic gift from my great grandmother Nancy Ann Farris, who was born in Missouri in the late 1800s.

We're having her cremated, as shipping her body back to Illinois is not only ridiculously expensive, but just unnecessary. Neither my mother nor I have ever liked the morbidity of open-casket funerals, even though that's how my family usually does it. And since my grandmother's last church in Chicago doesn't have space for a proper funeral anyway, and we had no intention of burying her in Springfield, where she lived with her sister for eight years before I moved her here, it just didn't make sense. We will go back to Chicago at some point to scatter her ashes there, but in the meantime, we're having a memorial for her here on Saturday:

East Bay Church of Religious Science
Fireside Room
4130 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland, CA
2:00 p.m.

Thank you again to everyone who's called and written and texted me. I really appreciate it, though I've been rather overwhelmed and unable to reply to each of you. And also, thank you to the folks who've been bringing me food and booze, and to whittles for organizing that. (Whom do I thank for the bottle of Veuve Clicquot? I'm afraid I was so thoroughly three sheets to the wind on Friday, that I don't remember the lovely person who shoved that box into my hands.) Thanks also to conditionbronze, for everything.

---

On a totally different topic, I thought there were no photos from my actual performance as a zombie Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffany's at Zombie Prom. (I used the eerie, otherworldly "Moon River" as beat-juggled--three copies of the same song--by turntablist Kid Koala.) But it turns out there were photographers there from the SF Weekly:





The whole slideshow is here.
linkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: kampachi
2009-02-11 12:42 am (UTC)
Vertexnormal brought the veuve :)
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[User Picture]From: fightingwords
2009-02-11 12:42 am (UTC)
YAY.

And the Woodford Reserve, I assume, was from you?
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[User Picture]From: kampachi
2009-02-11 12:45 am (UTC)
Indeed. The doorman was none too pleased to have to bottles of booze sitting pretty with him. But they were wrapped and just for you :)
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[User Picture]From: fightingwords
2009-02-11 12:49 am (UTC)
:)

Thanks.
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[User Picture]From: liquid_siftings
2009-02-11 12:55 am (UTC)
HUGS from afar...

(and p.s., you iz scary zombie)
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(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]From: darkrosetiger
2009-02-11 01:08 am (UTC)
I didn't want to see my father after he died, because I knew it wouldn't be him in there. I was right.
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[User Picture]From: darkrosetiger
2009-02-11 01:09 am (UTC)
I know I'm a little late and please don't worry about replying, but I wanted to say how sorry I am for your loss. Your grandmother has always sounded like an amazing woman, and I know she'll be missed.
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[User Picture]From: kanin
2009-02-11 01:12 am (UTC)
Loved the music and your performance, especially under the circumstances.
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[User Picture]From: theaggregator
2009-02-11 01:24 am (UTC)
Yeah, seen you once or twice since things happened. And each time didn't seem the right time to say hello and that you're in the thoughts. But you are and it's true.

And yes, I still need to get the hockey gear from ya. :-D
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[User Picture]From: birds_hum
2009-02-11 01:26 am (UTC)
my thoughts have been with you. i noticed your post about your grandmother was no-comments, so i wanted to respect whatever space you may have needed at that time.

i know this is an incredibly difficult time, and much harder when you are helping other members of your family deal with the grief, as well.

i will continue to keep you and your family in my heart.
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[User Picture]From: i_dreamed_i_was
2009-02-11 02:24 am (UTC)
*hugs*, Hon, I know it's tough.
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[User Picture]From: zoe_trope
2009-02-11 02:48 am (UTC)
I'm so sorry that the world has lost your grandmother, but I'm heartened by the fact that she helped to make you. I wish I was in the vicinity to make a booze deposit.
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[User Picture]From: rivetpepsquad
2009-02-11 03:58 am (UTC)
Thanks for writing this.
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[User Picture]From: estivalfiend
2009-02-11 05:03 am (UTC)
i haven't said anything until now, but just know that i've been thinking about you these last few days. take care of yourself.

re java: pups are so good that way.
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[User Picture]From: belladonnalin
2009-02-11 05:14 am (UTC)
I'm glad that you are remembering her - I think that is the most important thing, no matter how it happens that it works for you and your family.

My thouhts are with you.
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[User Picture]From: elusis
2009-02-11 06:53 am (UTC)
You've been in my thoughts. I'd like to bring you some food tomorrow if it's a good time?

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[User Picture]From: buria_q
2009-02-11 10:06 am (UTC)
I am sorry for your loss.
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[User Picture]From: wordweaverlynn
2009-02-11 11:05 am (UTC)
I am so very sorry for your loss.
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[User Picture]From: mercuryglare
2009-02-12 12:01 am (UTC)
my belated condolences. there is literally nothing like losing a grandmother. I still remember all the very challenging times I went thru with her before her death - somewhat similar to your situation. and I'll remember her death, her funeral and everything about those times like it was yesterday.

although it was years ago, I still talk to her quite often.

it seems as though your grandmother passed on her intelligence, strength & sense of humor to her granddaughter. she sounds amazing. god bless amazing women and the talents they pass down to us.
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