Saturday, April 1, 2023

One year


Krystal takes a picture of her own shadow in a park in the Detroit suburb she was living in, Lakeshore Park, Novi, Michigan, Sept 27, 2017

It's been a year since Krystal died. Grief is the price we pay for love  the late Queen said. Krystal had schizophrenia, which got worse after her son died at five weeks, and then she met someone who got her to stop taking her meds and start taking heroin. He wanted her dead, since he said he was dying of cancer and said he wanted to go out in the way you'd imagine someone like that would. It finished her marriage, she went to jail, was homeless, and finally moved in with him in a skid row motel where he could buy drugs easily. She didn’t leave this world with him when he OD'd a few months later, although she tried. She managed to live 11 more months, in hospitals, jails, and dives, sometimes with violent men, before dying of an accidental fentanyl overdose.

 She was so witty and knew so much about music and films, and was so good at organizing people to have fun. Before I got to know her well I thought she was a successful businesswoman, and in fact she did breed and sell beetles in Japan. She seemed to have done best in Japan where she couldn't get marijuana, which she smoked a lot of in the US, and I think  it aggravated her schizophrenia.

This time last year I was trying to find her somewhere to stay and get in touch with her family and network with her friends to try and help her. The last hospital she stayed in discharged her without a follow-up treatment plan and only on condition she left town on the next bus. She went to Minneapolis because she thought she was going to have a place to stay, but when she got there they wouldn't even see her in person.

I'm glad I knew her. Mental illness shouldn't stop you from being friends with someone, but if I did this again, I'd get support from someone  like the CMHA. And with Krystal I had to learn how to help somebody walk back into a world where you can wake up with your baby still in your arms but gone forever.

Krystal takes a picture of her own shadow in the rough part of Detroit she was living in, probably at the Telegraph Motel, Telegraph Road, Detroit, Michigan, Fall, 2021

Krystal doing a dance to 'There's a light' from the Rocky Horror Picture Show , 2019


First birthday without her


  1. Casey (Tom Banjo on DVDTalk)April 20, 2023 at 12:43 AM

    She was a good friend. This post has filled in some blanks for me, since I had taken a step back from the friendship that last year or so of her life. Very good, but sad read. I wish I’d tried harder to to there for her.

    1. You did help - DVDtalk and her horror site meant a lot to her, and she was glad that she stayed friends with you over the years. It was just bad luck that she'd ran into bad people when she wasn't in the right state of mind to avoid them.