Friday, June 13, 2014

My 15 Seconds Of Home Town Fame

Earlier this week, Salena Zito of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review,  interviewed me about the dramatic unseating of Eric Cantor in my district here in Virginia.  She decided to use parts of that interview in her column this week.  This was a fun moment for me for a couple of reasons, not the least of which is that I consider myself a dual citizen of Virginia and Pennsylvania.

It's a small world, after all....

Salena is also one of my favorite political reporters, she covers local and national politics with a voice that is seldom heard in the parroting world of media. We could use more like her.

Here's the Article:

Anti-Beltway sentiments cost Cantor job, analysts and voters say

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Process of Grief : More than 140

When someone you love dies it's a natural reaction to want to blame someone, some thing, any thing. I've lost many people I love over the course of my life some through drunk driving accidents, some through natural causes, some after long illnesses, I lost my own parents to a Murder-Suicide.

The one thing that each of these has in common? The pain is the same. You've lost someone who was a part of your life and they are never coming back. (Not in this life anyway) So it doesn't matter what caused the death, the pain remains the same and while many people speak of closure in my experience that is more of an expression than it is reality.

When we're in pain we lash out, we seek answers to questions that no one should ever have to ask, then when the raw scorching pain subsides to a constant dull hits you this is how it will always be.

Some people take issue with God after losing someone they loved in what they perceived was an unjust or unfair fact I've met many atheists who lost their faith this way.  Believing that if there was a God, surely they would not have allowed this tragedy to happen to them.  Not for nothing this is in my opinion a selfish way to look at the world, but I digress. The feeling of course is that if God existed he would prevented the loss, thus they turn their back to him.

People blame inanimate objects Rich Foods, Cigars, Booze, Cars, Knives and Guns for their undeniably painful loss. Heart attacks, Strokes, Cancer, Accidents, Shootings they all are the result of human behavior.   None of these things by themselves cause anyone to die. People and circumstances cause Death, like little else.

Why all the blame throwing? Because when someone You love dies it feels Unfair and Unjust. All you want to do is find a way to fix it. Or know "Why" it happened.

Convinced that peace and that ever elusive Closure is just around the corner, you seek answers. Sometimes you even get them. You pour through all the information available about the who, the why, how it could have been prevented.  Some spend days, week, months even years of their lives reaching for these answers. When you come to the end of that journey, what ever that end may be only one thing remains:  Your loved one is gone.

Grief is a powerful thing. It can be all consuming if you indulge yourself in it. We all know the person who has never been the same since, (Insert tragic thing here). Loss does change you, the question is how does it change you?

I have chosen to Live my life with a capital "L" as my tiny way of honoring the memory of those who shaped so much of my world,  but are no longer alive to share it with me. I've found my faith to be a comfort and a guide on days when all I really wanted to do was give up.

Will you give in to the pull of victim hood or will you move forward the very best that you can as a Survivor?

Each person has to make that decision for themselves, every day, every hour, some times it feels like every second.  But it is your choice to make.