In Memoriam . 1 February 2015

written earlier this year and dedicated to Jess Autumn Bannon and Alexis “Leki” Gotts:

She died not two weeks after you. I was beside myself again, and you were back, weighing on my mind. I wanted to write sonnets to my dead. Instead, I worried about whether my gum disease was aging my arteries, while picking at my skin in a mirror.

I could hear you mocking me from behind the bar. But you really grabbed life by the horns and even at the end, you made me wish I had the balls to choose as quickly.

Jess Autumn Bannon photographed by Sean Rayford
Jess Autumn Bannon photographed by Sean Rayford

She didn’t choose to die like you did. But she chose the drug that did the dying and I was still here with my mirror and my fear.

You and she–I gravitated to in much the same way, or was it you both that gravitated to me? How do you talk about being bummed that realistically the planet seems to have taken a turn in the wrong direction and you don’t see a way that things will ever be remedied, and you’re not even sure flossing will fix your gum situation, and I wish I could live my life or die my death like you much less be stuck in my own mind-Limbo.

Well, I won’t be stuck anymore. I’m gaining momentum. Your memoriam is my motivation. Remembering what my real dreams are. Don’t be nostalgic, just find your daimon, your true self, and then–Simplify. Don’t get caught up with worry or the details, just speak clearly and confidently. Focus on the present achievable task and then move on without judgment. Find fulfillment with little victories. Be content in this moment, which is all there is.

You both have left us here on earth. Perhaps Jupiter with her storms and rage is

Leki, Alexis Gotts, of Wet Nuns and BabaNaga
Leki, Alexis Gotts, of Wet Nuns and BabaNaga

where you reside now, just bumping into her for the first time. I bet you guys throw a raucous party.

I’ll let you both rest now, as an earth-walker I’m gonna stick to confiding in my cat and admiring children and learning to let go and have faith. It suits me better.


If you are experiencing depression and find you are considering suicide or don’t know how to continue living your life, please reach out to a friend or one of these resources. You are somebody. Don’t lose hope. “Your story isn’t over yet.” Your life is worthwhile, not only to you, but to the rest of us:


Your Story Isn’t over Yet – Project Semicolon


US National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI)

NY Times on suicide

A great article on what suicidal depression feels like

“Requiem for a Dream” Aaron Swartz’s story in the New Yorker