Blog interrupted: Shell-shocked

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blog interrupted

First, the personal:

As most of our readers know by now, one of my best friends, and co-editor/publisher of the TPC blog site, recently passed away: R.I.P. Paddy.

Sitting here physically writing this post is an excruciating reminder of how different it feels to do that without my my friend, my other half, my partner in crime, my co-editor, my Paddy. It is so not business as usual, so not routine, so not what it's felt like for the past seven years to sit at my WordPress editing window and type, knowing she won't be there to bounce off of. It is strange, eery, uncharted territory, and it hurts more than I can even begin to say.

I'm at a total loss here. I've never felt so lost and sad. I've never lost a close friend before, and certainly not someone who I also worked hand-in-hand with, someone I depended on and spoke to every single day, someone who I shared so much with, both personally and professionally, someone who was as invested as I was in both friendship and work/political activism.

Paddy and I never met, but we knew each other really well. We were there for each other day and night. We covered for each other, hatched plans together, raised funds together, snarked together, went after political opponents and trolls together, loved mutual pals together, adored animals together, laughed together, cried together, and we protected each other.

Now there is a conspicuous void, I feel empty, small, cold, unprotected. I feel like Robert Redford in the middle of the ocean, watching myself sink, and don't know where to turn. It's wave after wave of being totally overwhelmed, unbelievably sad, lonely, and rudderless for the first time in my life.

I've received literally hundreds of sweet, supportive comments, tweets, emails, text messages, and online chats. Paddy was so clearly loved and will be so painfully missed by all of us. You all made that obvious, which was more comforting and appreciated than I can possibly express here. You are our virtual family.

So many friends have asked me to call them, to let them help me through this. I'm not even close to the point of being able to speak out loud about this without dissolving into tears, so great thanks to each and every one of you, but I simply cannot talk, not even to Lucian. But I am immensely grateful. Thank you. Thank you.

Yesterday I tried to get out, had lunch with a dear friend. We went to a clam shack in Malibu. The weather was perfect, sunny and warm, clear and blue. The ocean was sparkling, the dolphins were leaping out of the water, and I lasted less than an hour. I felt lightheaded and had to leave. So please understand if I don't answer every tweet, every call, every caring message. I can barely function, and yes, this is very unlike me. Too much has piled on lately. Thank you for your many, many kind expressions of concern, but I'm okay, I just need time.

Next, the logistical:

Paddy will be cremated and a short reception will be held on January 26 in her home town in Indiana. We are trying to arrange for a fundraiser here at TPC to help pay for expenses and ease the burden on Paddy's husband Jeff. As soon as we can organize the logistics, we will post a notice.

And speaking of logistics, the future of The Political Carnival is currently up in the air. Before Paddy passed away, I told her about an idea I had to shake up the look and direction of TPC, and she liked it. So did Lucian. So did every tech person I went to for help. There was a reason for the proposed changes: Apparently I'm suffering from "complicated grief" since my dad's passing, and my doctors wanted me to stop working altogether. I couldn't do that to Paddy, just abandon her and leave her with the huge responsibility of handling everything here, a major effort I assure you. So my solution was a change in format. If we can swing it technically, then we can continue. If not, then we need to rethink everything.

I just thought you'd like to know that. For now, I will likely post when I feel up to it. David is now employed, so I'm pretty much on my own.

What all this means to you: For now, no morning breaking news that Paddy would provide because, being in Indiana, she was up three hours before I was. By the time I got online, a lot of big stories were already out there; all I could do was comment on them. And because I was backing off drastically from writing (Remember, I was literally on outrage overload and had to cut back for health reasons), Paddy (and David when he could) held down the fort, as did Lucian behind the scenes.

Now, without a back east writing partner, all I can do is try to keep up. So, some kind of change is called for, and we're working on it as we speak. So I ask for your patience. My work ethic is giving me the guilts, but clearly my health must come first.

Finally, the political:

Chris Christie made a big show of how "heartbroken" he was. He needs to STFU. Gov. Christie, take a look at this blog post. This is what heartbroken looks like.

UPDATE: I've been told that Paddy did not collapse, but died in her sleep (probably due to her heart problems). I am very grateful and relieved that she did not suffer. Peace.

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  • http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/ GottaLaff

    Many thanks Gwendolyn.

  • gwendolynhbarry

    Laffy.... I am sorry for your loss. Our virtual 'family' is just as intimate, vital and relative our daily lives as any in 'real time'. I empathize with your struggle... and I hope you find new collaborators to travel down the road with. My sincerest condolences.

  • http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/ GottaLaff

    If I could hug a rock, I would hug that one.

  • Marianne Wysocki

    I have hundreds of stories. :) When I was first going through my divorce about 13 years ago, I drove on impulse to go be with Paddy. She was the first person I shared with about the unique situation involving my divorce. I was in Grand Rapids, Paddy in Mishawaka. I remember going to Norte Dame and stealing rocks from the labrynth. One was heart shaped. Still have that rock.

  • http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/ GottaLaff

    Omg, Marianne, you streaked with her? She told me about that! So nice of you to come by and share!! xo

  • Marianne Wysocki

    I went to Aquinas with Paddy and streaked with her. We had many adventures together and she will be sorely missed. So sad.

  • Kevin P

    Thanks again to you and Paddy for putting it out there. It takes guts to do what you two did. Rock on!

  • vocqueen

    Thank you for the update, especially about Paddy. As others have said, take care of yourself first. We will still be here. HUGS.

  • http://FreakoutNation.com/ Anomaly 100

    You know where to find me:-)

  • http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/ GottaLaff

    Love you more, Memo, and thankEEEEE. It's exactly the way I would want to go too.

    And I will holler, I promise. Hugs.

  • RN_that_thinks

    This is the first time I've posted on this blog, but I've been following you for a very long time. I'm so very sorry for the loss of Paddy. I've shared the laughs, and snarks, and outrage through the years. She will be missed. Take care and thanks for the blog.

  • http://www.bloggingblue.com Zach W.

    I'm so sorry to hear about this.

    Take care of yourself, and if you ever need any help with the blog, let me know.

  • http://FreakoutNation.com/ Anomaly 100

    I love you Memo. I'm glad Paddy passed away in her sleep. That's so peaceful and I think everyone would like to go that way. I sure would.

    If you need anything, just holler!

  • http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/ GottaLaff

    Will do. xo

  • kathleenpoliticalgates

    First take care of yourself and your grief then think about the blog. It will still be here waiting for you and so will your readers.

  • http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/ GottaLaff

    Me too Threemo. I can't stand the thought of her being scared and helpless. This way she was resting, and that was that. I'm doing everything I can to take care of myself, honest. Love you!!

  • Frances R

    First, take care of yourself , we love you.
    Losing someone so close is a big gut punch, takes time.
    So relieved Paddy died in her sleep. RIP Paddy

  • http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/ GottaLaff

    I appreciate that support. Thank you so much.

  • Oh4foksake

    Paddy's contribution to the progressive cause will not be forgotten. If you choose to step away, remember, your contribution mattered to so many. If you stay to continue the fight for justice, you know we will back you. Condolences to Paddy's family and for your own deep personal loss.

  • http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/ GottaLaff

    Love to you, Laddie. xo

  • http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/ GottaLaff

    Excellent quote, Mainy. Hugs!

  • antmousie

    There is never a reply needed. Just know you're in everyone's thoughts. Take the time to take care of yourself. That's your only job for now.

  • mainsailset

    There are good ships
    & there are wood ships
    The ships that sail the sea
    But the best ships are friendships
    And may they always be
    Take your time dear friend. As the saying goes, 'the answer hasn't arrived yet'. One hour, one day at a time, and also, "Trying to rush through grief is like trying to ripen a banana in the oven" I love that one, it's guided me through many sorrows. Mainy

  • Dave Fouchey

    Laffy Lass you know as always I will hold you in my heart. Peace dear friend, heal, do what needs to be done to keep YOU healthy sane and in time find some peace. The rest of us out here will do just fine, the only thing important for the present is for you to look after yourself. It's not selfish it is sanity. Hugs and love and empathy dear lady.

  • PMom_GA

    I missed your dad's passing...online AWOL time. I know that hurt you and your brother/families and now brother seeing you go thru heavy grief again...he's gonna need a hug too.

  • Linda1961

    I don't comment here a lot, but have loved the posts. I hope you can keep the blog going, but it's understandable if you are not able to.

  • http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/ GottaLaff

    I'm trying, thanks Linda. HUGS.

  • http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/ GottaLaff

    Ohhh, ok.

  • PMom_GA

    No, except thru mention in your posts that is.

  • Linda1961

    {{Hugs}}

    Do what you can, Laffy, when you can.

  • http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/ GottaLaff

    Thank you so much. Do you know my brother???

  • PMom_GA

    Take the time you need first & foremost for you. Worry about the small stuff, outside your family that is, later.

    Have had to deal with multiple whammies coming closely together, and the old adage "breathe in, breathe out" truly applies. Your online buddies/buddettes aren't going very far away. Just send us a whistle &a wave when you can.

    Hugs to you and your brother, and your kids.

  • http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/ GottaLaff

    (((()))))

  • http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/ GottaLaff

    Hugs back. xo

  • Ann Marie

    big hugs

  • Jack Boardman

    [[[[[[[[[HUGS]]]]]]]] :'(

  • http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/ GottaLaff

    Thank you Joy. xo

  • http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/ GottaLaff

    I will, I am. xo

  • http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/ GottaLaff

    <3

  • joyhart

    Well done, my friend

  • Ann Marie

    I am so sorry for your loss please take care be gentle with yourself .we are all here for you .R.I.P Paddy you will be missed ..

  • CAL FIRE NEWS

    Don't answer just accept a huge caring virtual hug!