If you could be reincarnated as one thing, what would it be?
A Nopal (prickly pear cactus) for its colorful blooms and medicinal properties.
If you had the chance to tell your 20 year old self something before you passed, what would it be?
It's okay to change your mind about a job, a career, a relationship, art, anything.
If you could live forever, would you want to? Why or why not?
No, the idea of infinite existence is overwhelming.
5 people you want to hang out with in heaven and why?
Instead of people, I would spend time reuniting with my two labrador retrievers who have passed: Simon, my playful protector during childhood; Ogden, my companion through the first year of living with a chronic health issue.
Both unfortunately moved on without me having the chance to say goodbye. I like to imagine them having found friendship with one another.
What are 3 things that have helped you through grief
1. Learning and practicing Transcendental Meditation.
3. Keeping lists of observations made during walks to appreciate my present surroundings.
Best Advice someone gave you
Grief looks different for everyone, there is no right or wrong way to grieve.
Describe your fantasy funeral
Those who attend would bring a piece of writing that reflects a memory, with the option to share aloud, or leave behind with me.
How has your writing practices shaped/defined you as an individual
We write to make sense of our lives. I'm not a strong verbal communicator. Writing has always been a portal to my interior world, helping me access feelings, and begin to understand how the loss of a loved one, a pet, a partner, have all impacted the trajectory of my life.
5 Songs that need to be played at your funeral?
Only neutral, calming sounds of rainfall as a backdrop for readings.
What are 3 words you hope people use to describe you when you’re gone
Generous, caring, friend
If you were to give someone 1 piece of advice on grief what would it be?
Feel the feelings. Be proactive in allowing yourself the time and space to process. Avoidance is not sustainable because in the end, whether one year or ten, the pain will persist until it's acknowledged.