Archive for grief

A special tribute and reluctant good-bye to our Paddy

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paddy laughing

UPDATE: Please remember Paddy by signing this guest book. The Political Carnival will not be adding any other posts today in honor of our dear sweet friend. We will resume regular posting tomorrow. Thank you.

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I apologize ahead of time for rambling through this good-bye to the best partner and friend anyone could have. I can't seem to form thoughts lately.

Paddy's wonderful brother Chris put together a loving collage of Paddy's life (below), and what a life she had. He had it enlarged to 18 x 24 inches, laminated and mounted for her funeral service today.

I cropped out the photo above, because to me, that is the mischievous, full of life Paddy I remember and love. But each and every photo in the collage represents something special in her all too short time with us, particularly the ones of her with her sweet husband Jeff.

For those who have been kind enough to ask, yes, the pain is still all-consuming, the tears still well up all day long, and the shock is still excruciatingly fresh, showing no signs of abating; but with time, we will get through this heart-rending time and be left with the best of memories.

We are all so lucky to have known Paddy Kraska. She was a fierce, loyal, passionate, smart-as-hell, talented, sensitive, caring, hilarious, loving friend and warrior.

I miss her so much. So much.

Anyone who knew her-- whether on line or personally-- does.

It's just not the same without my Padlock, not even close.

Rest in peace, dear Paddy. Give Scooby a hug for me.

PaddyCollagePostACRA huge thank you to Lucian (@lwdgrfx) and David (@linzack) for being so strong and keeping things moving as I crumbled.

A special thank you to Anne Laurie at Balloon Juice and to the beyond generous ajijaakwe over at DKos for her post, her huge heart and her continued help with fundraising.

And to every one of you who donated your love and/or what you could to help Paddy's family with today's reception, my heartfelt gratitude.

Thank you for letting me lean on all of you.

Most of all, thank you Paddy Kraska, for letting me in and always being there.

All my love,

Laffy

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For those who are only just finding out about Paddy's passing, here are links to previous posts:

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AUDIO: Paddy was my Lou Grant, income inequality was her *Newman

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you got spunk

I don't know what I'd do without Nicole Sandler, my dear friend as well as my radio host. I am on with her every Tuesday, and today she allowed Cliff Schecter and me to tell the world about our Paddy, and to bring a new awareness of the miserable conditions in which she lived.

Her death might have been prevented, and it's important to emphasize that income inequality aided and abetted in her untimely death. In case you missed it, the world's 85 richest have same wealth as 3.5 billion poorest.

Here is video of today's show in which we went into that in greater detail, along with a loving tribute to the best partner and friend a girl could have:

Below is audio of Paddy's July 2013 appearance on Nicole's show. Please remember Paddy always, and if you can, please click here to help her family with funeral arrangements:

Paddy:

"I am the Lou Grant to Laffy's Mary Tyler Moore."

To quote Mary, "Ohhhhhh, Paddy."

paddyscetch
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*Newman:

Newman was created as a counterpoint to the Jerry [Seinfeld] character, though the reason for their animosity is never revealed. Seinfeld once described Newman as Lex Luthor to his Superman.[2] Knight has described him as "pure evil"[3] ...

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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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Blogger interrupted: Apparently I'm suffering from "complicated grief"

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writer interrupted
doctor's orders

So as some of you recall, this happened last May: Final Dad Report: To the so, so many of you kind enough to ask and care.

Since my dad passed away, I haven't been doing all that well, and as it turns out, worse than I thought. Now before all my well-meaning pals tell me that I should have been taking care of myself, I promise you, I have been. Having been brought up by a truly superb doctor, I'm hyper-aware of how to stay in the best possible health. But despite being good to myself, resting, taking breaks when I can, and cutting back, my blood pressure's up and I'm not myself, as I told you here: Note to Readers.

In the past two days I've been to two doctors. Both were concerned about my stress level, both ordered me to stop doing what I do, at least for awhile, and to take a very mild, children's dose of anti-depressant until I get past this.

Did I mention I hate meds? But in this case I didn't argue. Well, maybe a little.

I have what they call "complicated grief depression" which is when grief symptoms persist for longer than six months. I had pretty much self-diagnosed, but didn't realize that what I was going through was a real "thing" with an actual name. Via the Harvard Medical School website:

[I]f the symptoms linger and become increasingly debilitating, the condition turns into what is now being called unresolved, protracted, traumatic, or complicated grief. It has features of both depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). ...

The most characteristic symptoms are intrusive thoughts and images of the deceased person...

Bingo. Thankfully, most of the symptoms described in the article didn't apply to me.

Yes, this is really personal stuff, but I'm sharing it with you in case anyone else out there who is dealing with the death of someone close to them feels as confused as I've been feeling lately. It's a relief of sorts to get a handle on what the hell is going on in my tiny, rattled little noggin.

So, until I'm given different marching orders, I won't be posting much, if at all. Mandatory down time.

However, I will be paying close attention to politics, and will likely keep up with my Tuesday radio spot with Nicole Sandler. I will also still be on the Twitter Machine (albeit not as much), mostly commenting, snarking, and tweeting Paddy and David's always excellent posts. Actually, my "Miss This?" automated tweets will take care of most of that, but I'll make every effort to bring attention to the most newsworthy TPC items when I can.

I admit, I don't quite know how to do this, and I'm sort of floundering. For the first time in my life, I have no real direction, at least for the moment, having been forced to ease up on the pace and intensity I've become accustomed to over the past seven years covering politics... and before that, decades passionately immersed in show biz.

But health comes first. Period.

Thank you for all the support you've given me since May, and for always understanding and caring. You guys rock.

And please be good to Paddy and David!

drunk wine doctor

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The GOP's 5 Stages of Grief

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Five Stages of Grief

Loss. It's a terrible thing and we're all called upon to handle it from time to time. It can be the loss of a family member, a pet, a business or a house -- but count on it along with death and taxes, you'll find yourself facing it one day. That day is here for the Republican party.

To better explain it, there is something known as the Kübler-Ross model, commonly referred to as the "five stages of grief",which is a widely respected hypothesis introduced by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her book, "On Death and Dying."  It's shorthand reference is DABDA-- Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance.

The GOP is going through DABDA right now. And I'm going to show you what leads me to believe it's only a matter of time before the patient realizes that, as Judy Holliday sang in the musical, The Bells are Ringing, "The Party's Over."

DENIAL: After Obama was reelected, the GOP had lost seats in the House, didn't win back the senate as they predicted, they claimed the near landslide popular vote wasn't a mandate and the 332 to 206 loss in the electoral college was really a nail-biter.

Mitt-Romney-241055-4-402

ANGER - The GOP announces that they will delay or repeal all of Obama's programs. They'll hold the country hostage and take them over the sequester cliff just to show  they mean business.

McConnell-Boehner

BARGAINING: They''ll give in on an immigration bill that has no chance of passing in the House to look like they're doing something. The old "flim-flam-flummox." At the same time, they'll protect their filibuster option by giving in on a few presidential nominees assuring that their ability to use the filibuster power will still be available in the future.

fingers crossed 2

DEPRESSION: The polls.They show that there isn't currently a candidate from the GOP who can get within five percentage points of Hillary Clinton should she elect to run. And those current Republican frontrunners are all stumbling over themselves to make them even more distant from the mainstream. One by one, Chris Christie, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush -- they're all losing steam. And without steam, you lose your hot air, and that's what's kept the party afloat for so long.

2016 GOP presidential candidates

ACCEPTANCE: They are dead. The coroner's report is in. They died of public apathy after overstepping their rights and trouncing personal liberties. The last rights have been administered, the flowers have been ordered, and all that's left to be done is pick out the coffin for them to be buried in.

RIP GOP

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Cartoons of the Day- Post Election Navel Gazing

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Via.

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