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"I’ve known 46 people who’ve died.

46 humans who I’ve interacted with – young and old – including 14 to cancer, 10 to illness/disease, 8 suicides, 5 car accidents, 2 accidental overdoses, 1 heart attack, 1 brain aneurysm, 1 unsolved murder, 1 killed by police.

After my ex-boyfriend’s suicide, I genuinely wondered if I would ever smile again.

When I wasn’t weeping or screaming, I would sit and stare into nothingness. Hours and hours would pass by. Three and half weeks later I came-to and so much stuff had piled up in my apartment that I couldn’t see any of the floors or counters.

Reaching out for help or support was too difficult. When people asked me what I needed, I felt too embarrassed to admit what the inside of my home looked like. What I needed was a clean-up angel to bust through my door. I don’t remember how I eventually pulled myself out of it – I guess just picking up one item at a time.

Everyone grieves differently. I know I’ve grieved each one of those 46 deaths differently. But I’d rather show up to a grieving loved one’s home to be their clean-up angel and have them not answer, not need me, or yell at me to go away – than know they were in so much pain they couldn’t take care of themselves.

It makes me feel good to think about being someone’s future clean-up angel when they’re grieving an agonizing death. Knowing a very specific way I can help a loved one during unspeakable pain – that makes me smile."


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