january 2nd journal

I don’t know about you, but two posts two days in a row is NOT NORMAL for me. I’m just going to go with it for as long as it lasts, and if/when I fall off the rotation I won’t hate myself for it.

I just posted this photo to Instagram. It’s dark in my room because it’s after 6pm and even though I have several lamps on, civil twilight was at 5:49pm here so it’s well and truly dark outside. These are my carry-with-me meds, my clean-my-face toiletries, my coffee cup, a bottle of water, and my best and most favorite lotion. In the background you can see a small stack of books that’s been there for months because I am going to “read them soon” hahaha. At least looking at them makes me feel happy.

My second youngest is spending extended parenting time at her dad’s house because … well, because pandemic. It’s not safe for her to go back and forth between houses every two weeks, not for my household or her dad’s household or for her. There’s no easy way to work in a 14-day quarantine for a person who whose life would end up being a constant quarantine sandwiched between every other weekend. My depression has spiked pretty seriously because of the decision to do this, but I have good support in my family and my attorney and I know this is the right thing to do for now.

I’ll call her in a little while for our regular twice-weekly phone call and we’ll talk about random things like what her day’s been like and whether it snowed there today and, if I’m lucky, she’ll go on a tangent and tell me everything she knows about whatever her favorite book or manga series is right now. Neither of us is very good at conversation without a topic, so I try to get on the phone with at least a couple of things I can bring up or talk about. She’ll be twelve in six days and I need to order birthday gifts and it is going to be so weird without her here this year.

Today is Twelfth Night in my tradition, and we are emerging from the dark of these past days since Yule with the hope of seeing more light. Of being more light. It’s a paradox I am still learning, that there can be both darkness and light in me. It is truly an experience of being in the shadows but constantly turning toward what illuminates, reveals, and warms.

It’s almost time, I think, for me to decide how to bring my brand-new baby steps death doula work into the world. There is so much death and so much separation from the dying, even more so than in the Before Times. I am overwhelmed by the sheer pain and need, but in the times I can think about it without being crushed by it, I know that my Work has a time and a place this year. Here’s to figuring it out as I go.

Nix Kelley
Co-parent to multiple kids. Writer. Death doula. Member of the Order of the Good Death. Seeker on the Path of Light. Queer, non-binary, & trans.


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