On loss

When someone dies, little bits of them are left behind. Whether this is their hairbrush and cosmetics and clothes, their ties and aftershave, or such heartbreaking items as their favorite toys and tiny outfits.

I’ve not lost much, so far. Compared to what though. Who?You can’t calculate how much one person is missed over another, and either way it doesn’t really matter. 

Loss is loss. It is tragic and unfair. It is frightening. Until someone who is close to you dies, I don’t think a person really realizes how death will affect them.

There are stages of grief, just as there are stages of life. Seasons. Sometimes grief is gentle, and others it is violent and stormy.

Some days there are happy memories, and the realization that they are gone is the thought that jars you back to the present moment.

Other days, a memento brings you to your knees in tears.

There is fear, because they are gone forever. And there is the unknown, because even though we want to have faith and believe, we can never be sure.
It’s easy for me to discount my grief. I tell myself she had so many good years, she knew she was loved, she’s not in pain now, but the thought of never getting to see her again, never having her ask me what I’ve been reading…or the experiences. I visited Chicago with my sisters recently and it hurts like hell to remember trips from my childhood, going to the same destination.

I drive past her house, and wish I could knock on the door and she would open it. I’ve called her phone number, wondering what would meet my ears on the other end.

And then there is my unacknowledged grief. I avoid it, because I honestly don’t know what to do with it. How to miss someone you never knew? How to come to terms with that. How to not feel personally offended by the fact that they obviously never wanted to meet you. 

I cry uncertain tears over this, because I know I missed meeting a remarkable person. And I think of the person he was and how he lived. And how his death affected more than just me, and in much broader, more heart aching ways.

It’s hard for my brain to handle. To believe these beings, souls, bodies are no longer walking this earth. 

And I think of how her sisters and brothers lost their sister. How her children lost a mother. How his children lost a father. How that would feel. 

How it would feel if I lost one of them now. How my sister and brother in law have lost someone too soon. How their children live without a brother. How all of my in laws are missing a father, a nephew, a grandson. How sad and heavy that is, how it weighs on hearts.

And there are no words. It’s almost sacred. I’m afraid to say anything too bold about loss because I fear I will shatter like glass.

 I fear they will shatter like glass.

Everyone has lost somebody. I know I am not alone.

Grief and loss are both powerful and frightening things. It’s not easy to feel the feelings and emotions to deal with, and move on from the death of someone beloved.

You have to learn a new way of living. For me, the pain isn’t as raw anymore, but it is still there. It always will be.

Love to those with new wounds, those who are trying to come to terms and are still in the thick of it.

Love to you whose loss is not fresh, but whose pain still may be. The initial shock may be past, but everyday life is unavoidable, and time passes on.

You

It feels just like yesterday . Two years have passed,and yet it seems as if time has stood still. 

On that day, the summer solstice, the clocks all conspired against us and sped up. It was the happiest day of my life, then and now.

I know I wasn’t ready. And I know neither of us knew what we were getting into. 

But it’s been worth it. And on my worst days, when I am a mess and ask if there are any regrets, we both say no.

Is the feeling mutual? Because I wouldn’t be here without you. These have been some of the most trying times of my life, and you’ve been my rock.

I’m not an easy person to love, but you make it look easy. Never have you raised your voice, let alone a hand. 

I know you would do anything for me, if I told you it was what I wanted. 

A year ago this was problematic. I knew how to work the system, so that things done out of love would help me hurt myself.

Honesty is a must. Love cannot be whole without it.

You’ve been here through some of my darkest moments. Ones I didn’t know if I would survive. 

There’s this way you have, of persuading me into calm. It’s like you’ve been here too, and you know the way out. You have the map and the route memorized.

I’d follow you anywhere, because I trust you. 

Of course we get annoyed. We don’t always agree. Life isn’t perfect, and neither are we.

I never was one to dream about white dresses and honeymoons. But I can say now I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Where would I be without you by my side? 

What an amazing, wonderful, challenging two years it’s been. Here’s to many more… 

They & you

They eat freely. Picking and choosing. Pondering tastes and textures. They sip and slurp.

You take ages to become comfortable. You choose each bite with the precision of a royal queen. Nothing will pass these lips that does not taste as it should.

They shop with abandon. Pulling bags and boxes from the shelves. Tossing cartons and containers into the cart.

You take time. It took so long for you to find the tasty foods you will ingest. Now you must make that time count.

They get hungry, and eat. They know food will be there for them whenever they need it. 

You get hungry, and you question it. Are you really hungry? What should you eat? What sounds good? But what if you’re wrong?

They welcome the opportunity to try new cuisine. They welcome hunger. 

You shy away from need and want. There is no need. And wanting equates to greed.

Who do you think you are? Really, who? Superwoman? Invincible? 

This disease has broken you. You aren’t even a hybrid, running off of an alternative source of energy. No. Because that is not sustainable. You can only live for so long chugging water and eating those foods.

Remember when you were on the brink? How you would feel time begin to slow. How you could barely hold your heavy head up.

How afraid you were of medicine. Cutting pieces off, or “forgetting” to take it all together. How you lied and believed the pills would turn your emotions off.

How tired and forgetful you were. How dead you felt inside. Remember the fear. The way anxiety held you in its grip just like a vise. 

How even the simplest things were fraught with tension. You had to do everything now or else you weren’t good enough.

How fearful you were of others. You knew everyone hated you and talked about you when you weren’t within hearing distance.

How cold you were. Summer was only a brief reprieve, and even then it was only on the hottest days.

How your lips turned blue when you drank your beloved ice cold Diet Coke.

How you feverishly read, lapping up words like water. Food might not sustain you, but a book did. 

How meals were filled with tension. How you couldn’t understand what your husband meant when he said he wanted to eat a meal with you.

How you hated to shower, because you knew you’d be too cold afterwards to get dressed.

How you would sooner starve than eat what you didn’t “want”.

How you lied so much to yourself and your family.

How you cried and begged for them to just let you go.

Thank god they were stronger. That they didn’t listen. Your husband gently reminds you of what could have been. He brings you to tears when he helps you imagine how they would have to explain your short life to your beloved youngest brother.

Sometimes we can’t see where we have been while we are still fleeing. Sometimes it takes bad times to remember the good. And vice versa. Remember your past. Forgetting could mean destruction. 

Looking back doesn’t make you weak, and it doesn’t mean you have to return to where you’ve been. Sometimes it can simply be seeing how far you’ve come.

Neverland 

“It’s not about the food”.

But it is. 

It may not begin that way, but slowly it becomes a way to cope.

Control. 

It’s about the control.

No matter how much you try to deny it.

Things change whether you want them to, or not.

Peter Pan used to visit me I my dreams.

Beckoning me to take the second star on the right.

“And straight on till morning.”

I dreamt of growing up.

Until I saw through the fog.

Then I knew, but now there was no going back.

Neverland became a place inside me.

One where I hid away. 

When I was young, I was like Wendy.

No cares. No concerns. No fears.

Then the fears came.

Crouching like a hunter before its prey.

Suddenly everything was a threat.

I became a girl with choices.

I was always the good one.

Until I wasn’t.

I didn’t belong. 

I had fallen from the stars.

I felt lost in this world.

This cruel world.

Where girls want to be women, in a child’s body.

Where the only way to stay young forever, is to forcefully hit the pause button.

And hide.

And stop living.

Go through the motions.

Shrink back to your ten-year-old self.

Starve your body and your heart.

Until it forgets.

Until you have evolved.

Into a burst of light, there for but a moment.

And then gone.







Until…

The sun warms your body. 

You have been in the dark for so long.

The light is blinding.

Learning how to live is petrifying.

Stars aren’t meant to live on this earth.

Humans aren’t meant to be stars.

A second life.

Blessed with two chances.

Struggling to become accustomed.

Faltering steps.

Becoming confident.

Becoming yourself.

Stars don’t have to burn out.

And they don’t have to lead to Neverland.

Emphasizing calories and sugar 

Ok, so today’s post is going to be really random, and worldly, but please hang in there. I have some important thoughts  to get out there, and I’d love to hear feedback and opinions. Seriously, the comment section is there for a reason.

Raise your hand if you were aware of the shenanigans that the FDA has been up to with nutrition fact labels. Yeah. I stumbled across an article in Time about this. Forgive any blurring, please.


You might be wondering why I’m upset about the above picture. 

Reason #1: “Some serving sizes have gotten bigger since the original labels were created. For example, a serving of ice cream is changing from 1/2 cup to 2/3 cup.” And above, in the introduction to this story, “And tweak serving sizes to be more in line with how much people are likely to eat on one serving.” Question…who only eats 2/3 cup or even 1/2 cup of ice cream? No one. Except for someone so obsessed with calorie counting, that they measure their food. And ok, I’m sure there are people who are satisfied with a 1/2 cup of ice cream but why not be realistic and go big or go home. Why not 1 cup? That sounds better to me, but maybe I’m in the minority. 


Reason #2: “The total  number of calories will increase from around an 8-point font size to at least a 22-point font size and BOLDED.” Let’s just add insult to injury here. I am sick of nutrition labels. I know some people may use them in a healthy way, they might. But. But I dont, and I bet half of the people I interact with every day don’t. So many women (and men) have thresholds they do not want to exceed. Calorie thresholds. Trust me, I’ve been there too. Oh, have I been there. But why do we need the calories to be the first thing our eyes are drawn to on this label? Because you know it will be. Even if you don’t want to focus on the numbers, it’s gonna be right there, staring you in the face.


Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s ok to know what we are putting into our bodies, but I also think that nutrition labels play a big role in the foods people choose. Look at it this way; I have a lot of knowledge about food and nutrition (though my dietitian can attest to my lack of macronutrients knowledge). I know all about fads and diets. I know whole, natural foods are really good for a body. I know that “low fat” and “low calorie” doesn’t mean healthy. And yet I still look at the nutrition labels of the foods I eat, even though I don’t really want to. It’s a habit, just like choosing the box that exclaims “low calorie!” on the front, over the kind I really want is a habit.

Thank you, FDA for contributing to the chaos in my brain. I’m sure I’m not the only one who struggles with nutrition labels and obsession. I’m sure I’m not the only one who went through eating disorder recovery, trying to steer clear of “diet” foods and their friendly calorie counts. 

Lots of people probably don’t view this change as a problem. Maybe I am making a mountain out of a molehill. Or maybe not. You tell me.