It’s been a little out of sorts here for a week or so, at least from my perspective, and I wanted to be candid about that and break down why exactly I love our cozy community of mages. I waver between Red Mage Briefs as weekly bulletins or as journal entries which allow me to get transparent about the writing process in the hopes of helping anyone reading and just express my honest thoughts. I think this particular entry is going to lean more heavily toward the latter.
I’m finding it somewhat difficult to get proper writing out of me of late so this is therapeutic for me. Maybe some of you understand what that’s like.
My grandmother passed away early in the morning on Thursday, October 18th. She was 93 and one of the first people I ever loved. I spent much of my childhood growing up in her home in Kuliouou in Hawaii.
Of course, with the death of a loved one, an entire maelstrom of emotions comes, some perhaps uninvited but not unexpected. As a lot of you know, I decided to take some time off not just from work but from the internet, specifically online interactions across social media as the Well-Red Mage. I knew my personal tendency to cope with strong emotions is typically to immerse myself so fully in entertainment and interaction that I trust solely to time to “heal all wounds”. However, over time, I’ve found that time leaves scars.
This time, given that my family and I were prepared for grandma’s passing given the circumstances involved, I decided I wanted to make the attempt to face my emotions and express them to overcome them. In talking with a friend of mine who recently lost a loved one of his own, it seemed clear to us that our society doesn’t exactly do a good job in teaching us or providing positive examples to us for dealing with grief in a healthy manner. This is exceptionally true for men. Should faceless society ultimately be relied upon to teach us these things? I think it’s more incumbent upon the individual mentors in our lives: our parents, grandparents, teachers, pastors, counselors, etc.
It remains to be said that different people grieve in different ways, just as surely as individuals express anger or depression or happiness or excitement in individual ways. On the other hand, we’ve been taught concrete methodologies for dealing with anger; I teach my child how to count to ten when he’s angry or how to take a timeout to let rage slip away before yelling because I myself was taught those things.
But how do we deal with grief?
Right now, I’m keen on expression. Maybe that’s analogous to coping with anger, maybe not, but in taking time aside to deal with emotions not by bottling them up but by expressing them, I found I came through it easier, felt more hopeful and more thankful for the life my grandmother lived and everything she taught me. Now again, on top of all that, there are different kinds of loss: between say the death of one’s child, a sudden tragedy through an accident, and so on. I won’t belittle the grief of anyone else reading this by saying what I’ve experienced is synonymous with what they have. Yet the question remains whether there are tangible methods for coping with grief.
In taking time to think, I thought about the natural-ness of death in one’s old age yet also the sense of the injustice of it, the acceptance of it yet the innate yearning for more than mortality allows, the guarantee yet the phenomenon of death, if you like. Of course, though I hesitate to phrase it as a crutch (I can explain why I don’t think it’s a crutch if you’re curious), my assurance in continued existence in some form hereafter dramatically helped me overcome the despair of grief. There are several aspects of Christianity with which I grapple, but this is not one of them; there’s an immense comfort in believing that, as I grow older, there will be more and more people waiting for me in heaven, waiting to be seen again, that the soul continues on as our senses of ultimate justice, meaning, finality, and significance almost demand.
Talking through all of this helps me, so I hope you can forgive a bit of digression on my part. I was asked to put together the memorial video for my grandma, since I’m the guy with the blog and the YouTube channel, I guess (lol!), and I’m more than happy to, despite the new wave of emotions it invites. Sifting through pictures taken decades ago has been quite the experience, as has been choosing meaningful songs for the presentation.
I want to end this on a hopeful note: there are ways to cope with grief, we just have to explore them. Creativity, faith, expression… these are all things which have helped me. When I announced I’d be taking some time off, some out there mentioned they were going through or had been through similar situations. To you, I will say, if you want to talk about it, I like to make myself available whether in the comments or DMs/PMs or email.
A lot of other incredible things happened when I took my short break and in the time surrounding: the community of mages looked after each other and offered to help review each other’s works in my absence, the ABXY Mage (@ABXY_Reviews) announced that he’ll be launching a supplemental podcast called MAGE CAST: Side Quests, we launched the sixth episode of MAGE CAST entitled “Do Reploids Dream of Electric Guitar?”, we revamped our authorial Mages Page, we took on new mages in the incredible talents of the Middle-aged Horror Mage (cheapbossattack.com), the Keeper of the Darkness Flame Mage (noirnerdzone.com), and the Bookwarm Mage. Look forward to more content coming soon, as well as a proper summary of October at the end of the month!
Thank you for reading. Thank you to everyone for the outpouring of warm thoughts, encouragement, prayers, and condolences. It helps me get back into the swing of things.
SPECIAL THANKS to our Warriors of Light patrons, former and current!
- 1st: Tony Brave – wakalapi.wordpress.com
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- 14th: Will “The Keeper” – thecodexonline.com
- 15th: Julius King Chua –grimoireofrainbowmage.com
- 16th: DeQuimet
- 17th: The Wizard Gamers – @Rayneman001
- 18th: TheTrueDonnieG –@thetruedonnieg & twitch.tv/thetruedonnieg
- 19th: I am the Cheese – @replicantpinky & replicantpinky.wordpress.com
- 20th: Normal Happenings – normalhappenings.com
- 21st: Haley Renee Gray – instagram.com/haleybottlesfrometsy
- 22nd: Chris Cesarano – @ccesarano & ramblepak64.com
- 23rd: Craig Rathbone – winst0lfportal.wordpress.com & @winstolf
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Categories: Red Mage Briefs