My husband and I made a pact when we got married. We’d live in Houston for five years; then, we’d move. Somewhere beautiful with good weather that we could take for granted. Somewhere with hikeable spaces, mountains perhaps. Somewhere that didn’t morph into a lethal body of water every time it rained for days on end. Once, my car almost drowned in that rain with me in it. I spent the night outside a gas station, shaking and crying, waiting for the flood to subside.

Like all married couples, we made lots of promises early on. We wouldn’t go to…

The mural of you that hangs in Harry’s room.

On Saturday, I thought I was going to die. The world outside the car turned white in a matter of minutes, and my Uber driver explained that this is the worst time to drive. Right when it comes down. The roads are so slick, so suddenly. He’d much rather drive when there’s 2–3 inches on the ground. I pointed my camera toward the window to take a photo of the snow for Iris when I heard him say something about looking at the cars up ahead. Then we swerved to the left, across two lanes on the freeway. I looked…

My name is Stephanie Wittels Wachs, and I’m launching a GoFundMe campaign to fund other GoFundMe campaigns. Specifically, health-related GoFundMe campaigns.

After a judge in Texas ruled last week that parts, and therefore all, of the Affordable Care Act were unconstitutional, I joked that I should start a GoFundMe campaign to fund all of the GoFundMe campaigns that will inevitably pop up after 32 million people lose their health insurance.

So I’m doing that. This is not a joke.

I get that it probably reads like satire because it should be, but I am dead serious about this. …

As a little girl, when I looked into my future, I didn’t see GRIEF SPOKESPERSON written on my name tag. On the whole, I’m not a bummer of a person — I swear. Alas, someone who mattered a great, big, major deal to me died suddenly and tragically, and the way that I coped was to shape my sadness into letters and words and sentences and notes and essays, and eventually, a book, and now I’m an expert on grief. [Cue the confetti.]

Not really.

But I have spent lots of time thinking, writing, and talking about grief. Last week…

We all know the First Rule of Internet. Let’s all say it together: Don’t read the comments. Don’t. Read. The. Fucking. Comments. Oh, and if you have written a book, especially a memoir wherein you stand metaphorically naked and flawed in front of a universe of complete strangers for 300 pages, don’t you dare read the Amazon reviews.

Alas, people are stupid. I’m talking about myself here. Because I read the comments. And the reviews. And, man oh man, it is so fucking hard to not be able to respond. …

Harris & Iris, February 2014

Last night, on the eve of my brother’s yahrzeit, we taught our four year old about death.

It wasn’t a conversation we planned to have nor that we discussed for a single moment prior to having it. It wasn’t some big, grandiose thing that we all sat down and braced ourselves for. No Google articles were consulted; no parenting forums perused. It was completely spontaneous. Something born out of a dreaded moment. A moment that comes once a year. A moment that forces us to reremember the worst pain we’ve ever felt.

Amazingly, even though it’s ravaged us, it’s left…

Donald Trump? Head Lice? One in the same, friends. One in the same.

At some point, life began to feel like an obstacle course. Not a cute little obstacle course like Candy Land with one or two manageable hurdles. One of the obstacle courses you see in movies about military training that involve lots of mud, oppressive bodies of water, and perhaps giant fire balls falling from the sky. And I’m just hurling myself, sweaty, bloody, coated in mud and fire, on my last leg, to some sort of invisible finish line.

Some obstacles feel huge and burdensome and unmanageable and exhausting. The death of a loved one. I literally wrote a book…

A photo of Harvey. Notice the giant flood and the tiny “Theatre District: Next Right” sign (to the right).

In between 24 hour news benders, a solid 48 hour panic attack, back and forths between my mom’s and my house to assess water damage, entertaining a stir-crazy, cooped-up three year old, eating ALL OF THE SNACKS, and donating items to recent Harvey evacuees, I’ve been thinking a lot this week about art in a time of crisis. When people have literally lost their homes, their cars, and all of their belongings, will they have the mental, emotional or financial bandwidth to “take in a show?” …

Even into adulthood, Harris never learned to eat with a fork.

It’s that time of year. Again.

The time of year when I look like a normal person who’s functioning effectively in the world but really just being violently held hostage by tiny movies that are playing on repeat inside of my head. Flashes of moments. Falling to the ground on the phone with the detective. Not being able to walk through the door at the funeral. Collapsing into my husband’s chest in the bathroom, sobbing, unable to hold myself up, feeling like the weight of my sadness would pull us both down forever.

The time of year when my temper…

Stephanie Wittels Wachs

Lemonada Media // Host of Last Day → // Everything Is Horrible and Wonderful is my book title and worldview.

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