Musings & Meditations

Dark Angels

Posted in Family, Friends, Relationships, Spirituality by Pam Keesey on April 3, 2009

I can’t say why I picked up a copy of Dark Angels: Lesbian Vampire Stories this evening. Inspired, I guess. I hadn’t looked at a copy — well, beyond looking at the spine or the cover — in so long. But something urged me not only to pick it up, but to actually open it and read what I had written so long ago.

It’s probably not that unusual for a writer to revisit her own work, even after many years. But this weekend is especially important. The anniversary of Jenny’s death is approaching — Sunday, April 5th, in fact — and I’ve chosen to spend the weekend on my own, remembering, reflecting, mourning, and also celebrating the amazing life of my dear departed sister.

But that wasn’t foremost in my mind when I picked up Dark Angels. Not at all. My thought, really, was to shelve the book. I’d picked up a used copy somewhere, as I do from time to time with the out-of-print editions, and thought to actually put it away. Instead, I opened it, and read about archetypal images of death as seen through the eyes (my eyes) of someone who had, at best, a metaphysical relationship to the phenomonenon.

I’ve commented on more than one occasion that it’s probably a good thing that I spent so much time comtemplating death before facing an intimate, tragic, and untimely loss. Honestly, I’m not sure I could have handled it if I hadn’t had at least some preparation, even if only philosophical in nature.

But rereading the words I wrote some 15 years ago is striking, especially so when the anniversary of Jenny’s death is so near. Reading it also brings Forry to mind. Especially this passage:

The followers of Kali believe that it is essential to face the terror of death as well as the beauty of life. What if, when we look death in the eye, we see not the horrorific figure of death that we are taught to expect, but the beauty of death when it comes to us in its natural form?

After losing Jenny so unexpectedly and so tragically, it was an incredibly healing experience to spend time with Forry in his final days. Forry lived a long, satisfying, and fulfulling life, and was ready to leave this world on his own terms. There was something inherently peaceful about seeing, knowing, and understanding that he was ready to go, and that I was there to show him my love and support and to help him in any way that I could. I couldn’t have anticipated how deeply being with him during this time would move me, how much it would help to heal me, and help me move on from an experience of deeply felt grief and back into my life fully lived.

His death, and the fact that I was able to spend so much time with him, was his final gift to me.

Jenny and Forry. My angels. I love you both very much.

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Joe Moe & Horrorwood Babbles On: Frights! Ephemera! Auction!

Posted in Art & Society, Relationships by Pam Keesey on March 30, 2009

My good friend — and Forry’s best pal — Joe Moe asked me to write something about what Forry’s collection means to me for an announcement of the upcoming auction of Forry’s collection. It was wonderful to reminisce, and there are more stories where this came from. To see the entire article, visit Dread Central and Joe Moe: Horrorwood Babbles On: Frights! Ephemera! Auction!

Pam at the AckerMiniMansion

Me at the AckerMiniMansion

“To me, Forry’s collection is an extension of Forry himself. There was a little bit of him in every piece that he owned. He was so generous with his collection, too. I remember the first time I visited him and he, knowing my love of classic Hollywood movie stars, encouraged me to put on a pair of shoes once worn by Marlene Dietrich. Or the time he and I had our photographs taken together, in which he had me wear Bela Lugosi’s cape and ring. This is the closest I would ever come to meeting those icons myself, and it was Forry who made this world so much bigger, an experience that transcended time and space and put me, quite literally, in Marlene Dietrich’s shoes.”

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