Signs & Survivors

There have been a bunch more ‘signs’ that I wanted to detail.  I still don’t know what to make of all of this, but anything that brings me some semblance of hope or peace seems worth believing in right now.

  • In a conversation with my best friend, Alina, on December 28th, 2016, she suggested I turn Diana’s kinky cage into a coffee table.  I thought it sounded silly (plus, it’s huge).  On December 29th, 2016, at the Celebration of Love, someone who spoke shared that part of what made Diana unique is that she once had a cage for a coffee table.
  • On January 5th, 2017, I received a book in the mail from a fellow Point Scholar.  She’s someone I don’t know well, but she is also a former sex worker.  On the afternoon of the 6th, I realized I hadn’t thanked her for the book.  I was about to walk into a restaurant to have lunch with a friend, and I didn’t want to do so without sending a ‘thank you.’  One thing about Grief Brain is that you have to do things right when you think about them, so I quickly sent the following message:
    “Thank you for the book.
    Received it last night.
    Very thoughtful. I haven’t been reading for a long while, really, but I might try.”

    I went into lunch to meet my friend, and she handed me a small gift bag: inside, some loose leaf relaxation tea (how did she know I liked tea?), and a wrapped book from Books & Books.  I opened it up, to find this:



  • On the night of January 14th, 2017, I stood in my kitchen and damn near screamed at Diana.  I told her that I was very close to giving up, and that if it wasn’t my time yet, I really needed her to send me some sort of sign.  Again, I’ve never been a spiritual person.  Pain of this depth can bring you to a whole new place, I suppose. A moment later, I calmed down and returned to my computer.

    There it was again — “Have you watched Cloud Atlas yet?,” she asked.  That same person who had previously suggested I watch Cloud Atlas was back at it.  I asked her what prompted her to message me at that moment.  She said “your posts,” but went on to tell me that she was in Africa, where it was 6am.  She wouldn’t have ordinarily been awake, but her roommates had knocked on her door for access to the WiFi.  This is someone that I do not talk with often, but I scrolled back through our messages — in 2015, we had talked about a trans youth that she knew who committed suicide.  One of her messages read “I know that statistically the suicide rate for trans folks, even when they’re supported, is really high, but…I’m having trouble grappling with that emotionally, and as a member of the community.”

  • On January 16th, just a few days later, I decided to go to a survivors group for people who lost a loved one to suicide.  There was a woman there who lost her husband in June.  She went on to tell his story, and I got chills.  “He wrote a really loving letter, basically said that life was pretty awesome with me, he loved me a lot … but then he drove the car about an hour away, to a nature preserve, and shot himself inside of the nature preserve.”  I got chills.  The similarities between this story and Diana’s were striking.

    She and I ended up connecting in this group around two things —

    The first was her feeling like having sex with new people is a way of “numbing out.”  I pushed back a bit, and suggested that perhaps it’s about connection more than numbing out (as I’ve also had a couple of hookups since Diana’s passing).  She thanked me for this perspective and we proceeded to openly discuss sex for about ten minutes in the group.  I really felt like Diana would have been proud of me — I could even hear my words mirroring some of hers.  The woman seemed really grateful and said that this was one of the best groups she’d been to, that talking about sex so openly was liberating, especially since her husband was very conservative around sex.

    The second point of connection with her during the group was when she shared that she is very spiritual, and has been working on honing her psychic abilities.  A good friend of mine and I have been talking about me working with a medium; she said that a lead to the right one would ‘appear’ when I was ready.  A few days after the group, it hit me that the woman in the group would likely know of someone, or perhaps would even be able to provide this service herself.  I was really reluctant to just choose someone on Yelp.  She ended up providing me with a referral, and my first reading is tomorrow.

    To top this off, at some point during the group, I looked down at this woman’s foot – the same woman whose husband killed himself almost exactly as Diana did, the same woman who appreciated my thoughts about sex, the same woman that led me to a medium — and she had a tattoo of a turtle on the top of her foot.

  • Then just yesterday, I spontaneously decided to clean out one of Diana’s filing cabinet.  I was dreading this, but thought I’d try to jump a big hurdle.  I opened up the bottom drawer and there was a purse that I’d never seen before, with words that were very familiar:

Also – those wings, that bird.  It’s very likely that she took her life in a shirt with almost the exact same print.  It was a yellow shirt that she wore often.  A friend of hers asked me if I happened to know what she was wearing when she took her life … I didn’t. He suggested that he thought, for some reason, she might have been wearing that shirt.

It’s not in her closet.


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