The most powerful drug I know, words. Say what you feel, mean what you say, say it loudly and proudly. People tend to think I’m writing about myself. There are bits and pieces of me in some of my writings. Some days I sit and type, others I put pen to paper, and the voices in my head are running a marathon that has yet to end. I can only hope that my writings resonate or entertain someone.
Writing is like good sex; if you do it right, they’ll be back for more.


My motto: I trust everybody and nobody while giving the benefit of the doubt to anybody because I have to start with somebody. My reality: I trust no one, not even myself.

The daughter, granddaughter, niece, sibling, cousin, aunt, wife, mother, and friend in me is very apologetic for any turmoil I will have caused in your life by taking mine. There is no need to be angry or question what could have been done to stop what you did not know.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline


Lifeline (

Suicide Prevention –


It’s been seven days and I wake up each morning and must adjust to living without you. I want to cook your morning breakfast of chicken fried steak smothered in sautéed onions and gravy with grits and buttermilk biscuits, but you aren’t here. Your morning paper is waiting on the doorsteps, and I know my life will never be the same without you. I’ve always imagined us dying simultaneously of old age. Fifty-four years of marriage to the love of my life and now I’m alone. You were more than my husband you were my friend.
I sit here heartbroken as I wait for Julia to arrive. I let her talk me into getting out of the house, and I have no idea where she’s taking me. I think I hear her pulling up in her car… you were right she needs to replace the muffler on Old Betsy.
Julia and I went shopping yesterday. Well, she shopped I just browsed the stores. I have always been one to get what I need and leave. She tried on several outfits each store and didn’t always purchase from the store. We ate dinner afterward, and I was ready to be in the comforts of my home.
It’s raining, the sun is out, and I hear birds chirping. Just like you liked it. As the days pass, I’m finding that each day is better than the last and I know you wouldn’t want me drowning in misery.
Kev called today, said he and the kids would stop by and spend time with me this weekend since I would not agree to go to Disney World with them. I look forward to seeing them. KJ and Waycross are growing so fast. Waycross took your death the hardest. He inspired me to start this journal. Said he wrote you letters and placed them in your casket after the funeral (unbeknownst to Kev or me).
DAY 10
I find myself staring out the window deep in thought. I’m thinking about everything yet nothing at all. My life without you is lonely.
DAY 11
Kev, KJ, and Waycross arrived this morning. Waycross is taller than Kev and KJ. Only fourteen years old and standing six feet tall, he’s taller than you.
I like being surrounded by my family, and I love cooking for more than one person. They enjoyed the meals, and there were no leftovers. KJ and Waycross made lava cake in the microwave for dessert. The house is full of conversations and laughter.
DAY 12
The smell of pancakes and bacon awakened me. Kev and the boys decided they would cater to me today. I didn’t put up a fuss; I was flattered. It reminded me of my birthdays when you served me breakfast.
I learned that KJ could cook. He cooked Sunday dinner, and it was delicious. Even you would’ve eaten it and possibly asked for a second plate. He’s a senior in high school and does not know what he wants to do with his life. He recalls you saying “Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Kev’s not putting any pressure on him, says he’ll let him figure it out.
Waycross talked about you the whole weekend. He and KJ found the family photo album and sat reminiscing like long lost friends about the weekends they spent fishing with you and Kev.
Kev and his boys left before it got dark. The only thing missing from this weekend was you.

DAY 13
I’m thinking about joining a club or something. Julia belongs to this book club, but I may try something else. Maybe I’ll volunteer at the hospital’s nursery. You said I needed to broaden my horizons… well, I will. Right now I need to get groceries, and I don’t feel like shopping. I wrote a grocery list that consisted mostly of items you liked. Learning to live without you is hard.
DAY 14
Julia is stopping by today. I’m making her favorite…chicken teriyaki sushi. She is always checking in on me and wanted to take me out again, but when I offered to make sushi, she just asked me what time was a good time to come by. I know she means well, but I prefer to stay close to home. An occasional night out, once or twice a year and I’m fine. We talked about everything under the sun when she arrived, and I’m certain she expects me to go off the deep end, but I assured her that I’m okay and will not need a straight jacket.
DAY 15
I have no choice and must move on without you and to do so I will begin by cleaning the house. There is no right or wrong way or time to do this. I’ve set aside items (watches, cuff-links, fishing poles, etc.) for Kev and the boys, but I will be giving all your clothing and shoes to the Salvation Army. As I’m clearing the closet of your clothes, I’m seeing the man I married, just as smooth a dresser as you were a talker. I need no picture to appreciate what your memories have ingrained in my mind… all of five feet and ten inches tall with your slim build dressed in your favorite white two-piece linen pant set, white snakeskin loafers, salt and pepper hair, the smell of sandalwood with a hint of frankincense and myrrh fading in and out, looking dapper as ever and better than any GQ model I’ve ever seen.
DAY 16
What I loved… sorry; what I love about you remains the same after sixty years of knowing you. You were from day one of meeting you until your dying day a GOD FEARING MAN. I thank you for the good times and bad, yes the bad, because without them I would not have grown into the woman I am today. I’m becoming independent… I find myself feeling like a teenager trapped inside an older woman’s body. And the girl inside is ready to explore this world. The older woman isn’t far behind, surveying what is before her and realizing it won’t hurt to “step out on faith” as you would often say.
DAY 17
Memories of you fill my heart, but this house is empty without you. Your smile, laughter, and smell continue to linger. As time passes, I think I’ll come out of retirement to teach again. If I’m going to go back to work, I want to do what I love. And I truly enjoyed teaching at Reidsville Head Start. Helping the little ones learn, seeing them blossom and feed their thirst for knowledge is what I need to move on and continue living.
DAY 18
Kev and the boys came by today, and they were thrilled to receive your keepsakes, especially the fishing poles. Waycross and KJ are planning a weekend of fishing in your honor. Kev suggested your favorite spot, Indian River Lagoon.
DAY 19
Mary, My Mother, Queen of Peace, all Angels and Saints, please help me move on. I am having dreams I can’t remember when I awake. But last night I swear when I woke I heard you call my name. I was not scared just concerned for you. Your untimely death came as a surprise to us all. I expected we would die of old age, but someone’s foolishness took you. I have forgiven the young lady who was texting while driving, but I’ll never forget what or who she took from me. She has robbed me of our dinners, your hugs, your kisses, our walks in the park, our conversations, your laughter that filled the room, and my confidant.
DAY 20
I, Lily Elise Goldstein, woke this morning with a smile on my face and singing your name, Gordon Eli Goldstein. Last night was wonderful. I enjoyed your company and conversation. I was glad to have the last date night with you, even if it was just a dream. As usual, you came when I needed you. It’s going to take a while to get used to this house and life without you. Pieces of you are forever embedded in my mind: your brown eyes, your smile, the curl pattern of your hair, the smell of sandalwood on your skin, your laughter, your kiss, even your touch. I MISS YOU.


Who am I to care what one feels, says, or thinks about me? Whose life are you living? Whose household are you running? Are you paying my mortgage, my bills, putting food on my table? Did I give birth to you? Marry you? Give you any inclination that I gave a damn about you?


By Belinda Gulley Bates

Mya Choyce Mann-Down
If you are reading this and find it hard to believe it’s true. God has called me to my heavenly home. A house call that I knew would happen someday, but I didn’t expect it to happen so soon. I realize that no one lives forever, but memories are everlasting. I’m not attention-seeking so I’m going to keep it simple.

I, Mya Choyce Mann-Down, 60, of Waycross, Georgia, passed away in my sleep at my residence Monday evening, March 2, 2025.
Born January 6, 1960, in Waycross, Georgia I was the only child of the late Edwin and Luella Mann. I graduated from Waycross High School in 1978 and Armstrong College of Savannah, Georgia, in 1982.
My husband survives me, Craig Down, sons Craig Jr. (wife, Joyce) Down, of Atlanta, Georgia and Jason (wife, Lydia) Down of Tampa, Florida, daughters Kayla (husband, Patrick) Thomas of Wichita, Kansas, Lissette (husband, Lionel) Crawford of Houston, Texas and Janet (husband, Dwayne) Coleman of Louisville, Kentucky, and seven grandchildren, Jayden Down, Mia and Kia Down, Tamecia Thomas, Mykal Crawford, Yasmin and Yoseph Coleman.
I accept that I am affectionately known as “Choycey,” and I know I’ll be greatly missed for my caring ways and non-filtered yet unique sense of humor.
My Going Home Celebration was held at Red Hill Cemetery in Waycross, Georgia. Minister Justice Kept and the Reverend Heru Knows, of Burning Bush Baptist Church, offered words of comfort and encouragement to the family.

After overhearing a conversation about how a relative acted a damn fool at someone’s funeral I’ve decided that I only wanted those near and dear to me to attend mine. When I die, bury me minus the drama. There shall be no false theatrics. I want a “Going Home Celebration” that expresses my love for my family and my family’s love for me. I want laughter and tears of joy. No use for false words of sympathy where there is none nor fake tears from so-called friends, or missing/unwanted family members. I have no use for artificial compassion, dead or alive. The death of me is not an ending but a beginning. Therefore, when I die, I want my obituary to read just as I wrote it with only the dates and reason for death changing as necessary. I want my obituary published after my funeral because some people will show up to be nosy and or act the fool knowing damn well that we were not close or on good terms. Some people are “best-loved” at a distance, so, if you have not told me, you “love” me and heard those words from me, have been in contact with me daily or weekly; then there’s no need for you to darken my “Going Home Celebration” when I’m dead.


I woke up this morning with Jesus standing over me, giving me the side-eye. I don’t know if he sees that I could be the reason Hell is up for grabs or the fact that he knows the Devil wants nothing to do with me. I’m no Saint. I am as imperfect as Hell is real.
“To err is human. God doesn’t make mistakes.” Ɔhurch folks are quick to say this. The same people say, “God loves all his children.” I ask, “If God made man in his image, why does man frown upon one another? Aren’t we all human?”