Found Poetry

As a “teacher” I am always trying to find new and creative ways to encourage students to write. At my job one of the activities I teach is Creative Writing. This past week, I took a suggestion from one of my colleagues, and tried found poetry with them.

Found Poetry is a type of poetry created by taking words, phrases, and sometimes whole passages from other sources and reframing them as poetry by making changes in spacing and lines, or by adding or deleting text, thus imparting new meaning.

I did a listening version of this with them, as I read aloud-Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart” students were asked make a list of all the words they heard that jumped out to them. From that list, students then wrote their own “found poems,” and we shared them. 

After seeing how well it worked, I decided to give it a try myself. It was interesting to see how some students kept in the same darker theme of the story, while others went a whole different almost uplifting route. It’s amazing where the mind can go, and how simple things can spark creativity.

Here is a link to Edgar Allan Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart


My list of words I gathered included; Heart, ill, control, mad, powerful, heaven, hell, sounds, Listen!, reason, loved, hurt, money, vulture, terrible, dies, animal, cold, blood, warm, friendly, evil, clock, careful, door, success, afraid, dreaming, blue, ice, strong, louder, painful, silence, dark, anger, fear, beating, stone, trouble, quiet, hear, stop, suffering, playing, game, smiles. [47 words chosen]

My Found Poem: [32 words used]

Clocks ticking everywhere

You can hear

We give time so much power

It’s a mad little game we play

that steals away our smiles


to the sounds of dreaming


to your heart-beating

Reason deep within and strong

Terrible fear takes away control

Quiet trouble no one knows



Fear of failure

Dreamful heaven turning ice blue

Has hell frozen over

Money Money 

Ill like a vulture

Closed door

Careful not to forget

Open windows instead

Stone heart

thaw away

Smile your way to success



*I do not take credit for the concept of found poetry, nor Mr. Poe’s literary work I used as inspiration, nor the image used.*



Video Update

There are often so many areas of life we feel we need to be good at all the time. And often times we struggle trying to make that happen. It’s impossible. You can do anything but not everything. You can be anything, but you can’t be everything, to everyone, all the time. If you try to, you will break.

As the summer comes to an end, the self-bashing comes for not doing half of the things I wanted to. Summer is kind of like New Year’s Eve in that way, don’t you think? We make so many promises to ourselves and then life happens.

I’ve been really thinking about my relationship with video and film making. And because of this, I’ve learned a few things. I wanted to get really real with myself about this topic.
To back track just a bit, I have a Bachelor of Arts degree. I studied Mass Communications with a concentration in Film and Broadcasting. The dream-the goal- to write for television. And yet when I look at all the video projects I’ve actually finished…the total number is not many. Many unfinished scripts/ideas for scripts collecting dust too!

Back in college, I had to do a few projects- one was a music video which I did for The Civil War’s Poison & Wine and the other was a concept video which was about throwing away stereotypes- it was very abstract and I titled it “Tearing Down The Label Makers.” It’s crazy because I feel like the message holds even more relevance today. Then I worked on my thesis which as you may know was a documentary about a day/or days in the life of my Grandmother who had been struggling with Alzheimer’s disease. I did two versions of that for two separate classes- one was the full version, and one was an abridged trailer version entitled Vai Com Deus.

“Poison & Wine” Video Shoot-


“Tearing Down The Label Makers” Video Shoot-

Tearing Down the Label Makers

Neither the music video nor the concept video have been uploaded to YouTube, although considering these two were my very first video projects I am still very proud of how they came out and the messages behind them. I’m seriously considering sharing them. Providing the actors give their permission for me to do so, actually I’m pretty sure I had them all sign release forms!

During my college years I also attempted to shoot a script I wrote called Dumb Luck. A lot of time and production went into that but, it never got finished and the footage has been difficult to revive since my college computer died on me and I’ve gotten a new one. I am hoping to revive that and get that up, it’s super raw,  and you can definitely tell I was just starting out but the story is juicy. We only got to shoot the montage sequence. But a few years ago I shared the script, if you’d like to read that…click HERE.

“Dumb Luck” Prop Pictures

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“Vai Com Deus” process-


Since I graduated I’ve done a few little side projects that are actually finished- I shot a yoga video for my cousin, a poetry video for MLW- to name a few and a couple of vlogs. The vlogs are less planned and less cinematic of course.

Yoga Video Shoot (Behind the Scenes) (this is not available to watch,  even though she was happy with the result-the video was for a school assignment and my cousin didn’t want it uploaded.)

“Secret” Society Video Shoot/Vlogs (Behind the Scenes)


Then there are more video attempts- there are bits of footage shot for a zombie horror short that my brother and I had been working on. We even got as far as building a timeline of the clips in editing, but then…life. Life came in, things got busy, I got distracted and something else needed my attention.

“Inhumane” process- (Behind the Scenes)


Its 4 years now since I graduated and it seems that every time I get close to the idea of shooting something- I may do well for a brief time but then cue the rut.

The other day I was going through some old paperwork and things, trying to organize my room and I came across some old scripts and video treatments/storyboards. Both were horror related. One was the zombie short titled Inhumane, the other titled Head Over Heels (which I think would be a bad ass Halloween upload). And when I see these scripts and how the planning process was beginning it makes me want to get back into video. But then I hit a wall and the reality sinks in. There’s just no realistic way. For the past-I want to say 2 years- I have been well involved/invested in the engagements, weddings, bridal/baby showers of many people that are very close to me. And I have had to really dedicate my time and my funds to them. When I think about doing something short/simple- I think how I don’t have the actors, or the equipment, to do so.

I know I’ve mentioned this before, my brother is a photographer and he has a lot of equipment that I’ve used in the past. But I’m very weird about using it, mostly because he’s very particular about it, lol. And I get nervous I’ll do something wrong! And so because of that I am very weird about asking him for help. I feel like it’s a burden, especially now that he is newly married and he and his wife are expecting their first child. Even though he has been hounding me to get back into shooting Inhumane, I know he simply doesn’t have the time, we don’t have the people, and quite honestly there are just so many other things I’d love to shoot instead. #HeadOverHeels #MysteriousAttractionTeaser

I also don’t have the best sound equipment or the best editing software either so it’s kind of like a million things weighing against me. I think about how people would perceive the work I put out. “Didn’t she go to school for film and video? This sucks!” That’s how I feel they would judge it. Along with all the other worries, I fear I may not be good enough at it.

I know this may seem like I’m complaining and I’m not. I don’t want pity. I understand that life is fast paced and ever changing. I love being asked to be part of special moments in people’s lives. People who mean the world to me. But sometimes when everything seems to happen all at once it can be very overwhelming. And we all know that I can get overwhelmed pretty easily and my anxiety definitely tends to spike a lot more when too much change is happening.

I just think that in life you often have to prioritize and these things in my life have been coming one after the other and they need special attention. I’m the type of person who really wants to show up for you on your special day/during your special time. My relationships with my family and friends are everything to me. And so I give 150% every time. (Or at least I really try too!)

With my bank accountant taking some serious hits over the past few years, lol-so has my time management skills. I can multi task…sure…just ask my computer- I can have 8 different tabs open at once and hit all of them. But I can’t say with absolute confidence that I can multi task well all the time. I just end up overwhelming myself and needing to narrow things down. Focus on one thing at a time. Rightfully so…no? I mean how much wedding/baby events/day to day responsibilities can one girl take at once? Ya know? It’s a lot. But thankfully, thank god it’s mostly beautiful, happy stuff, all deserving of celebration. I will always be grateful for that.

Needless to say I know there are ways around this funk I’ve created for myself. I know that fear of inadequacy, lack of funds and time are a huge part of why video has taken a back seat. But I want to try and make some solutions to these problems.

Dear Michelle,

ACTORS ask people I know/ research sites that can help find actors willing to participate for low funds or pizza! Haha. Asking people you know, can be difficult, it doesn’t always work out. My film and video professor used to always tell us to have a plan B because people aren’t always reliable and it can break your heart when a project falls through the cracks. This I know first hand. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked family or friends to be apart of shorts and they cancelled on me because of work or life in general got in the way. It happens, I get it. But creatively, it’s heart breaking. Another thing to consider when filming is to keep the shorts abstract- quick cuts- simple images-

Avant Garde it- experimental film, experimental cinema- a mode of filmmaking that rigorously re-evaluates cinematic conventions and explores non-narrative forms and alternatives to traditional narratives or methods of working.

TIME make time- plain and simple. Plan it out, and stick to a schedule.

SPACE/LOCATION keep it local, go where you know- use people’s homes, lol.

FUNDS keep things simple/super low budget- use house hold items.

EQUIPMENT use equipment you have, or ask to borrow equipment in advance.

EDITING SOFTWARE use what you have and make it work.

FEAR“Never let the fear of striking out, keep you from playing the game.” -A Cinderella Story. Your never going to not be fearful of new challenges. You just have to decide how bad you want it, and be brave enough to just do it, to hell with what people think! 

When you’re just starting out, or easing back into something Don’t Expect Perfection! If things are a little janky, it’s ok, it’s better to shoot footage than not try at all. And Vlogs do count. I’ve noticed I like vlogging when I have some cool things to do, I just have to get better at the editing turn around. Mini Vlogmas is still only partially edited. :/ As is the Gender Reveal Party Vlog for my brother and sister in law and a Family Trip Vlog to Great Wolf Lodge we took last Summer. I also shot a bunch of footage of a Polar Express Trip and my best friend’s engagement night. Really got to get back to editing!!!!

*Current Update– Since I last scheduled this post (which was a while ago back in the Summer when I was what I like to call bulk blogging) I have edited my butt off and have finished editing Vlogmas, The Gender Reveal, The Great Wolf Lodge Trip and The Engagement. I however am torn as to whether or not I should post them on YouTube/link them on this blog. I know have alluded to the fact that I would post them, I’ve mentioned it in many blog posts [including the Vlogmas announcement], however I am not the only person in them and I don’t know if others would appreciate their images being out on the internet. I know- why announce Vlogmas, take forever to edit them, and then never post them. The truth is I did do a small Vlogmas, and I did edit them, but I don’t feel 100% comfortable sharing videos of my family. I may just keep them as home movies for me, and my friends and family. But I am excited that I got so many of them done. That’s a win for me!

When things start to settle down on the wedding/baby front, I will start to save up for some new equipment. In the mean time, I just have to do it. Pick up the camera I do have and shoot something. Stop worrying about how crappy it might turn out and just dive in. I know I’ll feel better once I do. And the excitement and natural high of doing something I love will come back. I just need to do and stop second guessing, stop making excuses and just use the time I do have for myself wisely.

The reason for this long winded post is because I needed it. Sometimes you need to reflect on all the ways you let life pass you by in order to make you realize that you need to try a little harder to make your dreams come true. Be a bulldozer – and plow through the writer’s block, through the lack of inspiration, through the Summer Blues, through the funk that I’ve been in, and just go for it!

So here’s hoping to change my mind set! Wish me luck. No Scratch that- Wish me determination!


*All images and videos are my own.*




The Future.

What marks them?

At what point in our lives does the future stop being a factor?

It’s ever changing.

Tomorrow is the future.

Until it becomes today.

Until it becomes yesterday.

But there’s always a new future put in place.

Constantly daunting.



What do you do when you worry?

When you fear?

When you don’t know what comes next?

Missing something.

You don’t have “it.”

Self doubt overcasts the sky above you.

Your sky clouded.

Raining insecurities.

Thundering negativity.

What would you tell your best friend?

Go for it.

Believe in yourself.

You got this.

What would you tell a child who doubts their abilities?

Keep trying.

You can do this.

You can do anything you set your mind to.

You can be anything you want to be.

Be yourself.

Tell yourself the same.

Take your own advice.

Don’t tear yourself down.

Don’t beat yourself up.

We’re often our biggest critics.

Be your own cheerleader.

Your future is what you choose for it to be.

You will fail.

Get back up.


Start again.

Your dreams are worth it.

You just need to start somewhere.

You may not know where that is right now.

I don’t either.

But you will.

Be your own future.

Inspire yourself.

Wake up.

Good Morning, Love.

Welcome to the Real World.

It can suck, but it can also be something really beautiful.





More than my anxiety…



My anxiety

the overwhelming fear that something, somehow can go horribly wrong

I will not have someone to turn to

to help me

No one will understand

They will think I am crazy or strange

Heat prickling feeling

Heart palpitations

Heavy chest

Hands shaking


Light headedness

Shortness of breath

Out of body

I’m not here

Mind, and body in a state of Fight or Flight

Which will win today?

Missed opportunities

Try to plan ahead


No Rhyme or Reason

Logic lost

Please forgive my quiet tongue

Please forgive my unfocused gaze

I’m just trying not to fall apart in front of you

Trying to hush this struggle I deal with in my life

You may not always see it

You may not notice it

That doesn’t mean it’s not there

It’s real

Small places

Hot places

Crowded places


Harsh smells


I can’t breathe

I need to leave

Wait, I must stay

I can do this

Breathe in

Breathe out






And then suddenly… it passes

And my world is normal again

I am more

More than my anxiety

More than my fear

I have a name

An identity that goes beyond this one word

I have dreams

I have goals

I have friends and family

I am a creative soul

I love the color blue

And chocolate chip cookies

I am more

And so are you…



For anyone who has anxiety and has had it overwhelm them to the point where they feel like it has stopped you from living your life, I can relate. I know what it’s like to try and find the source of your anxiety. Sometimes you do, sometimes you don’t and anxiety goes unexplained. Keep going! You got this. You can conquer it! One day at a time. One step at a time. One foot in front of the other. Breathe. Always Breathe. You may feel like you can’t, but you can and you will. You control your mind. Let me know in the comments below, how you deal with anxiety and the ways you cope and overcome.


*I do not take credit for any photos used in my edits or otherwise.*






Alien Love


I want your


Stares & Glares

Gazing at the sky

Crystal comets in your eyes

Unexplainable Connection

Our stars align

Some unlikely creature

Aliens aglow

Do they exist?

Maybe I shouldn’t question

Hearts beat faster

Hands slightly shaken

Adrenaline, hello my friend

You can be my kryptonite

Green Glow

Explosion of color

Pinks, Blues, Purples

Planets rotate on their sides

Pulsating to the beat


How they dance

Treason of the mind- held captive by overthinking

Fighting to find some clarity in confusion

Galactic love

Orbiting in space

I want your lack of gravity

Venus meet Mars



I may or may not have been inspired by Supergirl

it’s my newest Netflix binge. 😉

*I do not take credit for the images used.*



“She Said” Update

Hey Readers!

When I started this blog, I wasn’t sure how people would react to it- strangers reading my work? How…strange.

But recently a few things have popped up regarding a monologue I posted two years ago.

She Said was posted on September 1, 2014.


The inspiration for it simply came from just getting in the mindset of someone who had just had their heart handed to them. And what they would be feeling.

I want to say sometime last year, I got a message from a woman asking me for some background info about “She” because she had used my monologue for an audition into an acting school of some sorts. I tried to get some information out of her, because I wanted to know more about what the situation was before providing original work to a stranger. But unfortunately she never responded.

Needless to say within the last few days, I received a new message from a guy by the name Omar Salgado about this same monologue. He said he was inspired to create a vimeo video based off of it. And I thought it was really cool and wanted to share it.

This led to him linking a dramatic reading of my monologue. One he used as the audio for his piece above- read by a woman by the name, Eva Augustina Sinotte. I didn’t even know this existed on YouTube! I wonder if she was the woman who contacted me. Her emotion is on point!

Seeing people respond to my work, in their own creative ways is really something cool and surreal. I hear my words and see them mirror the story I created and it is truly a super weird feeling. Don’t get me wrong I am flattered, but it’s crazy that these things were being made, and I had no clue! I’m thankful that Omar reached out to me and gave me credit. I got to see that people can be inspired by something I’ve written. I can only hope this is the first of many inspirations to come.

The internet man, what a trip! 

The journey does continue…On September 2, 2014-a day later, I posted He Said, She Said.

This time you get to see the conversation between both She and He.



*I do not take credit for the images used in my edits or in the videos used.*




We love you Grandma, Vai Com Deus.



Photo By: Robert DeSantos Jr.


This past week has been a whirlwind of emotions.

It’s something I can’t quite put into words, but I want to try.

Somehow I always feel better after I write.

It’s a therapeutic comfort.

I am a pretty private person, especially if I don’t know you well, I tend to keep things to myself.

This blog is a bit of a different outlet for me and even though it’s public, I have deemed it my safe place, and no one can take that away from me.

So when my family was informed that my Grandma wasn’t doing well, it was difficult for me to know how to handle what I was feeling.

I’m a pretty sensitive person and I am in touch with my emotions pretty quickly on things.

But that doesn’t mean that it’s easy feeling them.

I’ve been waiting to gather the strength to write this because I know it will stir up emotions all over again. But as a writer and as a granddaughter I know I have to do this.



Me with my Grandma & Grandpa


I don’t think I have ever felt so many emotions over the course of such a small amount of time.

Yet this past week has felt like it’s tested the length of time.

It’s felt longer than ever.

My grandma has suffered with Alzheimer’s for about 14 years.

And in that time, my family was around to see that kind of disease take over her life.

It’s a vortex of confusion, emotion, and time that seems to just stand still.

What day is it?

What time is it?

Who knows? Who cares?

I’ve mourned the loss of many, but this was the hardest I’ve ever had to deal with.

This is the first person in my life who is a direct connection to me and my immediate family.

My dad’s mom.20170214_110631

The pillar of strength that our family has rested upon for years.

The woman who is responsible for all the many family gatherings and the many family dinners.

With an illness like Alzheimer’s you know someone will not recover from it.

It’s an illness that takes many family members from many families.

Even though the loss is expected in some way, shape or form, you are never ready for it.

No matter how much you tell yourself what to expect. It’s never easy.

My grandma had been put on hospice care for the last few years, and even then we all I think still had hopes for more years to come.

Because she always kept going, birthday after birthday, year after year.

She is such a strong soul.

And she had such a dedicated caretaker in my aunt.

She always rounded whatever obstacle was standing in her way.

But even so, over the past month we were told she was suffering more and more seizures, she wasn’t eating and it would soon be her time.

Life is difficult.

We don’t always feel like we have time for everything.

And I know that families can sometimes become distant.

I know growing up has caused me to drift from certain people, but over the past few years my family and I have tried to rectify that.

We aren’t perfect, but we try our best.

It was never because of lack of love, it was just life being life and getting in the way.

I’m grateful for the time I do and did get to spend with my family.

We made it a point to be there for more holidays and visit more regularly. And I am so grateful for that.

My grandma passed away this past Tuesday.

I got the call that my parents knew it would soon be time for her, and they were leaving to go see her as I left work.

Immediately I was riddled with a feeling of anxiety and guilt.

I wanted to be there to support my family, but I didn’t want to witness her passing.

It was too much for me to handle.

So I went home and soon later I got the call that she passed. I had my moments of emotion- sadness, anger, relief.

I remember thinking I never want to go through this again.

I know death is apart of life and I’m catholic and I believe in the after life and that we will all one day be reunited with our loved ones, but the distance is cruel. There’s no stopping the roller coaster of emotions.

There was sadness for my family, especially my dad, my grandfather and all my aunts.

Anger at this disease that caused an eclipse over her life and robbed me of so many memories I could have had with my grandma. That was the hardest one I think. She was the only grandma I ever knew.

I was quite young when she began showing signs of having this illness. And then she suffered with it for 14 years. So if you do the math I’m 25. 25-14= 11.

I’m Hispanic- so my Brazilian roots are courtesy of her. And I am damn proud of that.




Christ the Redeemer Brazilian statue – Photo by: Robert DeSantos Jr.


I think all of her daughters and granddaughters can thank her for their curvy figures. 😉

Even though I was young, I remember certain things about her- how she would always be in the kitchen cooking something amazing.

Dishes like- Rice and beans, Pernil, and Cachupa.

Even her salad was ridiculous!

No one till this day can top it.   

She also made the best flan, I have ever had!

I remember many New Year’s Eves of us kids running around with cups of flan in our hands.

Or drinking Malta, even though it was gross, I just thought it was “cool.”

Or sparkling cider, because we somehow thought we were fancy.

My grandpa always setting up a camera to catch our family memories.

I remember her refrigerator magnets and how she would rattle off to me in Portuguese and I would never really understand.

She was such a cute little Brazilian lady.

What got to me most was even though I remember those things, I couldn’t pin point a significant moment or conversation I had with her. Which broke my heart. I had many conversations with my mom about that feeling about why it made me so sad. And talking about it helps. I only hope that I hear more stories that will jog my memories. Because I know they are there.

As a kid I worried about running around and playing with my millions of cousins. You don’t worry about much else.

And that’s where the anger comes in, because now that I’m older I could have had more conversations and more moments with her, had this illness not taken over her smiling face.

The relief came a bit later when I realized that she is no longer suffering.

Selfishly I think we all wanted her to stay forever.

Even in her state, she was still there with us.

But she was no longer able to move, she couldn’t communicate, she wasn’t living.

At least not in the full sense of the word.

And I never would want that for her.

The day after she passed I wanted to go to work.

I figured that was the “adult” thing to do.

I’m trying so hard to push myself and be what I think an adult is supposed to be.

Which means doing things, even when I don’t want to.

That’s part of being an adult right?

Doing what you gotta do.

Services hadn’t been planned out yet and I needed to keep busy, otherwise that’s all I’d be thinking about.

I thought I could handle it.

But just a few short minutes into my work day, my emotions took over and it was evident.

I had wanted to just update my co-worker on why I had missed a day and what was going on to let them know I’d be out for the services coming up.

But just having to say the words brought on the tears.

I immediately felt embarrassed. But the level of comfort I received in that time and even now is something I didn’t expect and something I am very grateful for.

I haven’t known my co-workers too long, yet they were completely there for me, like a family.

And it made me feel better, and ok with the fact that I let my emotions show.

I think that’s important in life.

To learn that showing emotion, doesn’t make you weak.

We often think that vulnerability is a bad thing, that somehow people would think less of you, if you actually tell them, or show them what you are feeling.

Quite honestly I think it just makes you human. It makes you relatable.

I couldn’t have controlled the tears in that moment. And I’m learning that, that’s ok.

My co-workers weren’t judgmental they were helpful.

I gathered myself and continued my day- taught my lessons and all, and even with a red puffy face, I made it through ok.

That to me is a lesson I’ve learned within myself.

And I hope my experience can be a lesson to anyone who has tried to conceal their emotions and failed.

It’s ok.

You are human.

And you can handle more than you think you can.

She said to herself, and to all of you.

Some people on the other hand are rocks, like my grandfather and my dad, and most of my uncles.

I was so worried about how my dad and all my family would take this and to see how they were somehow peaceful in such a sorrowful time, was something I was surprised to see.

I don’t think its void of emotion in any way, I can tell it effects them, I just think we all grieve in different ways.

I spoke more about how we all grieve differently in a recent post I wrote just before my grandma’s passing.

The services lasted two days.

And I can’t explain it.

It was sad, it was really really sad, but it was beautiful.

My family wanted it to be a celebration of her life.


Our Family Tree. This has since been removed by the city, but we have this pic to hold onto.


We were told that she never wanted dark colors at her funeral.

She loved the colors blue and yellow.

There were pictures of her life displayed around the room, flowers of beautiful colors, Brazilian music playing, home videos played on a screen above, and food downstairs for when you needed to refuel and calm the nerves.

My cousin made yellow flowered hair clips for the women and yellow flowered coat pins for the men.

She also made beautiful flower arrangements, one that spelt out Grandma and the other that was in the shape of a Brazilian flag.

We all gathered and loved each other through it all.

To the outsider it may have seemed like a weird experience. It may have even seemed disrespectful.

But to my family it was something so beautiful, to be surrounded by that much love.

What family member would want to see you cry over them and suffer in pain?

Celebration is how it really should be.

I think this experience was an eye opener on many levels.

Family from out of town traveled miles to get in; driving, flying, friends of family and extended family came to pay their respects.

My grandma brought out quite the crowd.

The day did not go on without its emotions.

The first hour was for immediate family, and it was quieter. I was able to keep calmer and more peaceful.

As more people came in and speeches of memories were told, the emotions came.

I was struck with a heavy chest and often times I felt like I couldn’t breathe.

It was a constant battle of remembering to take breaths in between the tears.

I don’t think the tears have ever fallen so freely down my face.

I was in fight or flight mode throughout the whole sermon and speeches.

But I suspect I wasn’t the only one, yet we all pushed through.

We’re stronger than we think we are.

The second day was an intense anticipation.

Everything had been leading up to the day of her burial.

Showered. Check.

Get dressed. Check.

Eat breakfast. Check.

Things that seem so regular, yet somehow felt foreign.

The fog that I had been in, that we had all been living in, would soon be fading, once we laid her to rest.

We experienced some less than generous people on the road, who cut in and out of our procession.

That’s New York for you I suppose.

But my heart was in my throat and blood was boiling.

That’s never something you want to experience during such a difficult time.

The lack of oxygen began and the worry for how my family will be during this final moment was nerve-wracking.

I was worried. I wanted and I prayed for everyone to get through this in love and support of each other, to just be healthy.

And I can’t explain- I’m sure you’ve noticed how that has been a theme throughout all of this-but the burial was peaceful and beautiful.

It was immediate family only, but even then it was a large crowd, my grandparents had 8 children together and between their kids and their kid’s kids, it was still a crew. The statistics show she has 35 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. And even though all weren’t there, most of us were. That to me is the definition of family, love and support. It figures grandma would be the one to bring all of us together, she always was. We huddled together through the cold, bundled in coats, hats, scarves and gloves, our boots covered in mud, and were just there for each other.

The tears came slightly, but it wasn’t overbearing like the day before.

Somehow there was a beauty in it.

Flowers were placed around her and her Brazilian flag was in place. I think we just finally realized she was home with God, and at peace, free of suffering. Something I feel my grandpa knew all along.

Guess we were all tardy to the party.

Back at my grandparents, and yes I still call it that right now, because that’s what it is- it was kind of standing room only.

If you saw a seat, you rushed to it. 😉

There was such a weird energy in the room.

It wasn’t bad, it was just strange.

I had been worried about walking into that house and the room in which my grandma used to be, I was worried I would lose it.

But we were all ok.

It was not your traditional funeral experience.

And I thank god for that.

This was a celebration of life.

Of grandma’s life.

We ate, we played music, we talked, and some danced.

It was joyful, but I think we all had our moments of somber.

Children ran around the room in joy.

It was a beautiful day of family reunion.

I had been conflicted a bit, was this ok?

Sometimes I would look over at my grandpa, still dressed in his full suit, and I wondered if he was ok with this.

In the older times, you wouldn’t dare play music, or watch TV.

But he never stopped the celebration.

I was also conflicted with taking pictures.

This isn’t something you necessarily want to remember or have images of.

But in that moment of celebration, after the tears had shed, after she had been laid to rest, there was a beauty that needed to be captured.

There was a reunion amongst a family.

I got to see cousins and aunts and uncles I haven’t seen since I was a kid.

I got to see how love can heal pain.

And I got to see how truly amazing my family is.

Not that I didn’t already know, but this was just a reaffirmation.

That even though times may change, and years can go by, we still gather in love and support during times of joy and sadness.  

I know it’s strange and you may think of it wrong, but it was what my family needed.

I got to hear how my grandma actually lobbied for my name to be Michelle.

I got to have a nice moment with my grandpa who told me that I was his baby girl and that he loved all of his grandchildren so much.

I got to see all my aunts smile.

I got to laugh with my cousins.

I’ve never said hi and bye to same people quite so many times.

The hugs were on point. 😉

We took a much needed updated cousins photo.


We took many group photos and selfies with loved ones.

How could you not? When there is so much love in one home.

It’s all still fresh and I still feel like I’m slowly coming out of this time vortex, foggy, surreal experience.

As odd as it seems, the saying goes- life goes on.

And there are so many beautiful things to look forward to and celebrate.

Even now as I try to get back into the swing of things I think about it and it all still seems like a dream.

I feel like it’s not real.

And it makes me sad.

Sad to know she is no longer here, in person, on earth with us.

Sad to know that when I visit, she won’t be in her room.

But I think the best thing for all of us now, is to focus on the healing process.

We can’t go back, we can’t change anything.

But we know she was well loved and will continue to be loved. And her memory will live forever.

One of my little cousins said something that I think made the day just a bit sweeter, “I feel like, in some way, Grandma is here.”

And you know what I think she was.

We love you Grandma, Vai Com Deus.




Her birthday celebration this past November- 83 Years Young *<3



*Side Note:

A few years ago, back in college, I did my thesis project on my grandma. It was kind of like a day in the life documentary, and I wanted it to be an informational source for others dealing with such a trying illness.

I’ve written about the experience on this blog before.

My brother was my cameraperson and all around right hand man, and we completed something that I for one am really proud of. For those family members asking, you can find the trailer to my documentary in the link HERE. I was debating including this but people were asking who haven’t seen it, and my hope is not for it to make you sad, but to comfort you, to know after all the suffering, she is now at peace.