How’s The Hook Doing?

It’s been awhile, so if you don’t mind, I’m going to reintroduce myself…

Hello, everyone, my name is Robert Hookey but you can call me The Hook, everyone else does. 

I’ve had the great honor of addressing all of you via this slice of cyberspace for years now, though I’ve been noticeably absent for months now. That isn’t going to change anytime soon (this message, such as it is, being the obvious exception) but I just wanted to update you, my lovely and sweet-smelling readership base, on a few things:

ONE)  I am indeed still among the living. Sort of. I have a pulse, my lungs appear to be functioning as well as one would expect the lungs of a forty-eight-year-old, non-smoking, white male to be working. In general, my physical form is operating efficiently.

But my mind is all over the place. I alternate back and forth between being a functioning part of society, such as it is these days, and a total veg. The reason for that is simple really…

TWO)  My mother is still dead. But yes, my warped, more-than-slightly-askew sense of humor is still alive and kicking!

To suggest that my mother’s prolonged battle with flesh eating disease, which became bladder cancer, which became the bone cancer that ultimately claimed her life has taken a toll on me is to suggest Donnie Trump has been a tad controversial this past year.

I’ve been unable to write anything longer than a tweet for three months. With one exception; a few lines I wrote in the hospital on my phone as my mother lay sleeping…

“I’ve never understood the saying, “The silence was deafening”, not until I sat with my mother as she lay dying.

Oh sure, there was a cacophony of back ground noise, medical staff and earnest trainees milling about, alarms beeping, patients moaning and pleading to go home, but the silence in the room itself was too powerful to be ignored.”

And that’s it, that’s all I’ve been capable of for three months. The emotional aftermath from clearing up my mother’s affairs and discovering the extent to which her life had fallen apart have also proven to be a challenge but one that’s been largely dealt with, so I have that going for me, which is nice.

THREE)  Between my father-in-law, Rockin’ Ronnie, my mother, and another friend who appears to be on the edge, it feels like Death itself is constantly looming over me. I keep thinking about that poem about God walking alongside a person and carrying them at times.

That poem sucks.

God doesn’t walk beside me, He just occasionally sticks his foot out and laughs as I fall on my face. Death, however has been hanging about like that party guest you just can’t convince to leave or that neighbor or co-worker that makes you cringe every time you see them. I’ve become fascinated with understanding the concept of anti-life.

Though I realize I never will. Not until it’s too late to share, at least.


I’ve actually met this version of Death from Supernatural in person. He was quite nice.


Dead people look like they’re sleeping. But they’re not. They appear to be at peace. But there’s no way of knowing for sure, they could be screaming, “Let me out of this rotting meat bag!” for all we know.

I apologize if my humor is offensive to some of you, but the truth is, humor is a great defense mechanism. It’s no pepper spray.. but it’ll work in a pinch.

And that’s all I have for you today. I’ve rambled, I’ve pondered, I’ve shared. Now I’m done.

See you in the lobby or the cemetery, kids…

About The Hook

Husband. Father. Bellman. Author of The Bellman Chronicles. Reader of comic books and observer and chronicler of the human condition. And to my wife's eternal dismay, a mere mortal and non-vampire. I'm often told I look like your uncle, cousin, etc. If I wore a hat, I'd hang it on a hat rack in my home in Niagara Falls, Canada. You can call me The Hook, everyone else does.
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67 Responses to How’s The Hook Doing?

  1. kewsmith says:

    We miss you but understand you have to deal with your feelings. I’m sorry about your mom. I’ll keep watching for you in my reader. ❤️

  2. I wish I could tell you that dealing with your Mom’s death will get easier. It won’t. It just becomes different. In particular watching someone you love die from that horrible disease stays with you. I’ve missed my Mom every day since she passed when I was 12. Nothing I can say will make it better but, know we understand, we grieve for you and with you and we are here when you need to write.

  3. Kay says:

    Thanks for checking in. We miss you and care about you.

  4. Theresa says:

    I was wondering how you were doing Hook! I’m glad to see you are still in the land of the living, sort of. You are loved here in cyberspace! Don’t ever forget that. I can sympathize with you on sitting with your Mother as she lets go of this life. I had to do that too! I also had to go through our entire life while we cleaned out 40+ years of memories from her house before we sold it. It was cathartic to say the least, yet, it was heartwarming all at the same time. I do have 2 wonderful siblings that were together with me all the way through all of this. For that I am so so grateful! So I hope you can find peace and warmth in the love your Mom had for you and your siblings, if you have any. Every life is a miracle and a blessing, you just need to see through the mist to appreciate it.

  5. I am so sorry for another loss. You have had your share in a short time. I hope you find some peace. We will all be here when you come back.

  6. Thanks for the update, Hook. I’m sorry for your continued grief. The loss of loved ones takes time to reconcile. Take your time. We will be here when you are ready. The few words you wrote about silence were genius.

  7. I’ve missed you, and was wondering how you were doing. I am so sorry for your loss. Losing my Mum in January was hard but my sister dealt with everything. Some people might think that was a blessing for me……….. not really as once again I felt excluded and although Mum had paid for and arranged her funeral having the hymns and music she wanted, the eulogy was not what it could have been imo. The essence that made Mum my Mum was missing, only one childhood memory recalled, and that included my sister (and an unmentioned me I might add) . I was glad the vicar had suggested to Sis that I read my poem rather than Sis’s granddaughter as she’d originally intended.
    The family rift is still there, but I have my special memories of Mum and no-one can take those away from me. We all grieve differently and in our own time. Just know that there are a lot of people who care, whether they know you personally or through your blog as I do. Take care Robert. We are all thinking of you. ❤

  8. I’m so very sorry for your loss(es). I know there’s little I can say to ease the pain of such a freshly broken heart, so just know that we’re here for you.

    Our mother, for good or bad is always one of the deepest connections we have in life. And when that connection is severed, it’s effect is felt more than any. Grieve as you need and don’t let anyone tell you how you should feel or when.

  9. Marion Hardy says:

    Anytime you feel like writing is warmly welcomed Hook but after what you have been through you need to take your time and not pressure yourself. Take care my friend and just remember all your Twitter sisters are her for you💗

  10. C.E.Robinson says:

    Robert, good to hear from you! You’ve been missed. Your absence, understandable. In a sense your silence is not golden, it’s grief. So very sad when mothers die. I’m sorry your Mom died of cancer and suffered until the end. This has a lasting effect on you, a mixture of relief, sadness, depression, and anger! Death becomes a focus for a long time. It never ends. It becomes more tolerable in the distraction of living our normal, everyday lives. Keep writing, it’s healing, and you’ll get to a better place in your head. 📚 Christine

  11. Doug in Oakland says:

    Thank you for checking in, I have been wondering how you were.
    I agree about humor, it can be an invaluable coping tool. My friend Sara just texted me from the RV of her long time (and serially unfaithful) boyfriend who died while on a construction job in Georgia. We all knew his health was failing, so it wasn’t a surprise, but she was facing his belongings, each of which triggered new feelings of loss for her. She said she was going to take a carload back home to Alabama, mostly clothes, so even in death she was still going to end up doing his damn laundry. So I replied “So now you will be getting into his pants when no-one else is able to?”
    I hope it helped. I think it did.
    Then there was the thing my friend JT used to say (before he died in 2006): “As your quality of life deteriorates, your fear of death subsides.”
    I hope he was right.
    Hang in there, you’re a good man Mr. Hook.

    • The Hook says:

      Mom was terrified as she lay dying, Doug, especially when she couldn’t communicate anymore, but that was indicative of her personality.
      But thanks for reaching out, buddy.

  12. Mark Myers says:

    Welcome back, my friend. There will be time for writing when you are ready. I’m glad you still have that sense of humor!

  13. Allie P. says:

    It does sound like you are getting hit by a particularly long string of misfortune, but for what it’s worth I like how you described the silence, even if I hate the reason for it.

  14. oceanswater says:

    It’s good to hear from you Hook. I’m sorry to hear about your mom’s death, but I can assure you that you wouldn’t want her to keep living through the pain of cancer that has metastasized throughout her body.
    I truly understand the pain of losing those we love. Between 2005 (when my mother passed) till 2015 when I lost my youngest sister, I gave now lost all of my nuclear family. My mother’s last sibling dies a month ago. It’s awful being last, but I’m not ready to go. Thank goodness I keep myself as healthy as I can. Hang in there Hook, this too shall pass my friend.

  15. Dave Ply says:

    Dark humor was invented for times like these. I remember some of the truly cringe-worthy conversations I had with my sister when she was battling an aggressive cancer. It will not fill the holes, but in time they will not be as deep and dark. Hang in there.

  16. markbialczak says:

    Deal as you must and as you can, my friend. A little light each day, I hope, Hook.

  17. Glad to hear from you Hook. Sorry to hear about your loss(es) ❤
    I love the line about God putting his foot out to watch you fall on your face. It made me laugh and put things in perspective.
    Do whatever you need to do for you, and keep your humor close.

  18. Franny says:

    Some very wise man once said, grief will never go away, but is rather like waves… sometimes they are just shallow and gentle, sometimes they wash over you with all their might… all we can do is try to swim with the waves, make it safe to the other end and start walking again… we miss you, Hook, please know that we are here and we will wait until you come out of the waves… and then we walk with you again 😉 stay strong, hun 😘

    • The Hook says:

      It really is like a wave, isn’t it?
      I’ll be fine one minute, and grief-stricken the next.
      Life’s funny, isn’t it?
      Thanks, Franny, for the perspective.

  19. I know this part of the road well. Not the loss of my mother yet, but largely equal to. I’m sorry you’re on this path now, and I have no words of inspiration here. I know you will get through it, but I don’t know how it will change you and it always does, for most of us. Generally our hearts get bigger, but for what purposes, who knows? I think our tears get bigger too as our empathy grows, but so do our laughs and the hugs we will give, and hopefully, get back. Small things, really, but you know what they say about small things. Hell, maybe that’s the whole of the benefits – to zero in on the small things in a more meaningful and regular way. Of course, sending you loads of cyber hugs here, Robert. I am so sorry for your losses.

  20. I’ve sure been thinking about you. Death of loved ones takes a toll – that blasted constant companion. You can still write, Hook … maybe the only blessing in tragedy … sadness makes for depth and authenticity … the paragraph you wrote by your mom’s bed is the perfect example.

  21. susielindau says:

    Ahhh, it’s so hard, Hook. I’ve lost half my family in a very short time. My mom is so stoic. I hope it gets easier as I get older, but I greatly doubt it.
    Sending prayers to you and your family! Give it lots of time to heal. It took me over a year to stop crying every day over the loss of my brother. I’ve accepted it, finally. You posted on his birthday! (((hugs)))

  22. curvyroads says:

    Always late to the party, but I’m here nonetheless. So sorry for your many losses, Robert. I do believe that in death we find peace, and I hope you come to believe it too. Hugs, and we’ll be here whenever you want to share! ❣

  23. jlheuer says:

    Sounds like you were very close to your mother and that makes it even harder. You must take all the time you need and when you are ready to share your humor or just wish to vent, know we will be out here. And if your decision is to hang up your keyboard, well, it has been a good ride.

  24. StillWaters says:

    My condolences, Robert. Losing a family member is never easy. I hope that doesn’t sound trite.

    I hope you will be able to continue your blog. You have a wonderful writing style and I dig your off-beat sense of humour.

    Sending big hugs from the east coast.

  25. Nice you dug up a few words for us (Is that a bad joke? Hope not..trying to lighten it up.)
    I know that situation where you finally experience ““The silence was deafening” – that’s the way it was at my dad’s side that last day. Those words.
    Sometimes you have to float – zone out – wear the invisibility cloak. No apologies needed or expected. The crowd here, the community of friends, well, we’re here for you and with you.
    A John Wayne Ah shucks sock to the shoulder to ya…hey, it’s an affectionate sock to the shoulder.
    Hang in there, Hook. (Encouraging salute to the wife and kid, too)

  26. Tara says:

    I’m so glad you posted! I’ve been thinking of you and wondering how you were… the blogosphere has been vewy, vewy qwiet lately. I went looking on Twitter to see if I’d missed something. I did everything but come to Niagara, but only because I have an expired passport. Anyway, I’m so sorry for all your loss, and especially your mother’s passing. Your words touched that part of me where sadness lives and I can feel what that must have felt like. It’s a long-held fear of mine and one that I know I cannot avoid, someday. My thoughts are with you and your family. I hope you can find some peace in the coming weeks.

  27. It’s difficult to “Like” stuff such as this. I hope your head and heart return as you would want them soon.

  28. The Guat says:

    I’m sorry to hear about your mom passing and the void that it left. I hope that by the time you get this little note that all the positive thoughts and warm hugs from your friends and family have added strength on your sad days. Sending prayers and good vibes your way.

  29. Hey Robert… I am so sorry your life has been surrounded by death in recent months. It is a difficult thing to deal with and can be so depressing. I am truly sorry for your losses and the toll they have taken. I have had my share of sadness over the last year as well. It is not a fun place to be in our life but it is the part we have no control over… nor are we guaranteed of tomorrow. Please know there are those of us who care about what you are going through and you will be in my thoughts and prayers. My mantra (which sounds like a cliche’) but is so true… “And this too shall pass” is something that helps me through the hard times. Love and peace my friend… ❤

  30. Hi Robert, I know that mourning has to do what it has to do. I’m sorry for your loss. Checking in with your readers is a good thing for sure. Be good to yourself, always believe in yourself, and know that people appreciate and love you. take care, Henry

  31. Becky says:

    Robert, I am so sorry to learn of your mother’s passing. It sounds like you’re allowing your grieving process to happen on its own terms, which is good. Sending warm thoughts to you and your family. Take good care of you and each other.

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