Musings on a melancholy Monday morning

I woke up to yesterday morning to the breathtaking news of Sandra Moran’s passing. To say I was stunned speechless is a cliche, but is absolutely true. It took me forever to shower and dress because I wound up roaming aimlessly around with one sock in hand and the other on my foot, looking for my shorts in the bathtub. My brain was too busy thinking, “no way in hell,” and “this cannot be happening,” and “oh my god, Sandra’s poor family,” to allow me to follow the simple steps in clothing myself. My two dogs must have wondered what happened to their keeper and if she was going ever going to realize she hadn’t yet doled out breakfast. Fear not, they did get fed.

When I settled down long enough to think about the things I needed to do, I realized it was my turn to post here on Women and Words. I mulled long and hard over what I wanted to say. What I wanted to convey. In the end I came to the conclusion I can only speak the whispers of my heart.

Today I ask you to send warm, caring, gentle thoughts to Sandra’s family. Give yourself permission to feel grief and the inevitable sadness that follows news of this unimaginable magnitude. Hug the hell out of your loved ones. Appreciate them. Tell ’em how much you love them.

Then allow yourself to know it’s okay to go on living your life. That’s exactly what what Sandra would want and what I’m trying to tell myself right now. Take a second to stop what you’re doing, breathe deep, and look around. Notice the birds in the trees, the puffy clouds in the sky, and the cool (or downright cold) caress of the breeze against your cheek. Be aware of the scents in the air, the sound of espresso being ground if you’re in a coffee shop as I am now, the smooth feel of the tabletop under your palm. Allow the simplicity of the moment to comfort you. Life comes fast and furious, and once in awhile we need to be still. We just need to be.

What, I thought, can I give you to help you simply be? What is it that makes me feel a little lighter, a little less droopy and down? Cute puppy pictures, of course! How easy is it to get lost and find peace for just a little a while in snapshots of unadulterated happiness? So, today, this is my gift to you. Please be. 🙂

Ollie Puppy Love Ollie running smiling Ollie Toes Ollie with green toy Fozzy sleeping with Syd Fozzy tongue in snow


  1. Thank you Jessie. Like you I felt totally disconnected after hearing the news, as if I was walking through a fog. I feel incredibly saddened by the news of Sandra’s death. Your words are a comfort and good advice. Just be.

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    • Allison, I taped flat Betty to the computer to watch me work, and I squished the puppies good. Funny how three year old dogs are still puppies to me, but they look like puppies, so that’s it I guess 🙂


  2. Lovely words, Jessie. Sandra’s death was a kick to the head for so many of us. I had a similar “wandering aimlessly around the house” experience. It was just so much to process. Thanks for the puppy pictures.

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  3. What a wonderful post and it exactly conveyed what I too felt like when I first found out. I never met Sandra but her being the same age as me and only just recently started writing, I feel a kinship to her…as well as being a lesbian. Her life and her legacy should be not just her work but also the inspiration she gave many people starting out writing…and in the end it’s her remarkable preserverance faced with an impossible battle, that should remind us all to love, live and breathe…like today will be our last…’cause we never know how long we have.
    I would love to pass on my deepest condolences to Sandra’s wife and family and all her close friends who mourn her sudden passing.

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