when jonny and i started grief counseling, our therapist all but ordered me to do a few things to cope. first, she said that i needed to work out regularly. second, she said that i needed to eat well (specifically, to focus on getting enough protein.) i’m a pretty active and health-conscious person anyway, so i’ve been able to follow that advice fairly seamlessly–and i really believe it’s made all the difference in the world. i’ve never been in better shape, and sometimes feeling strong physically is one of the few things i have giving me the confidence to push on. i believe (through a seriously complicated web of anger and questions) that i need supernatural strength to make it through this more than anything, but i do not in any way undermine the importance of practical, physical well-being in my journey.
she also recommended that i get a job for the mental stimulation (and the cash, so that i have the freedom to pay off student loans and use certain funds for happy things like cactus and hair extensions and baby moccs, etc.) and i got one! i am thrilled to be the newest aesthetician at york cosmetics. (i’m still training, but starting the july 28th you can come see me!!! the medspa is my happy place. seriously, i can’t tell you how much i love it–the staff and the office is fab and i’m proud to be a part of the team.)
in addition, i have recently decided to take on another little challenge that marries all of her advice into one, with a company called arbonne. for those of you that have read my blog over the years, you know i love my vitamix and my protein powders. i’ve seriously tried everything (sunwarrier, raw fit, shakeology, etc. etc.) so, when i started reading about arbonne’s 28-day detox, i knew i had to try the protein before i committed because protein can be chalky and gross. my friend sent me a sample of the vanilla and i was kind of in love at first sip. i’ve been using jay robb vanilla whey forever because it’s yummy, but THIS stuff tastes like cake batter ice cream from coldstone and it’s plant-based instead of dairy-based.
i have more to say about my philosophies regarding dieting (don’t believe in it) and healthy eating, but i do believe in detoxing from time to time. not because i’m an expert nutritionist, but because it’s weirdly fun. because i know my skin looks better when i’m cutting back on the cocktails. because i sleep better, think better, look better, and run better when i’m fueled with good food!! here’s a sneak peak of what i’m gearing up to start. if you’re interested in hearing more, please connect! i would love to have you join me!
i realized recently that i partially dislike people saying, “i can’t imagine.” (don’t feel bad if you’ve said it or say it–it’s a very natural thing to for you to have said/say. and if you did assume that you could imagine, i’d get pissed.) the reason i don’t like it, is that it makes me feel isolated: like i’m somewhat transcendent now, other-wordly, now that THAT happened to me.
i think you say it because you desperately want to believe that death is unimaginably distant from you, that my reality is farther away from yours than it really is. and also because this type of loss is simply unimaginable.
no, you can’t imagine. because in a way, even i still don’t know what it’s like to lose a child–it seems like the brokenness keeps unfolding, worse and stranger than i’d ever dream. crying that’s like dry heaving, because i feel no better and just exhausted when i’m done. unimaginable terror–the primary and lingering emotion of seeing your beloved child without her soul’s light. numb depression and shock making it near impossible to plan and execute the day at times. the marital marathon…being cruel, being each other’s punching bags through this rage and hurt. we don’t try to do it, it just happens and it’s natural. we have to be bigger (more forgiving, gracious) people that we’ve ever been, when we’re at our very smallest.
but yes you can imagine. because death is frightfully subtle, sudden. you experience the rawest, most stunning horror and irreverently, infuriatingly–even strangely comfortingly–you still need to get out of your dark place on the couch and go pee within hours. your house still stands; the walls don’t shift. your interests/comforts don’t change; your tendencies toward your own particular vices remain annoyingly the same. bills still arrive in the same old mailbox, like the sea’s tide. kindreds stay kindreds. you don’t cry all the time or FEEL all the time because you would get too tired. you find that the most meaningful gestures are the ones custom to the self you’ve always been–a fiddle-leaf fig delivered, an apple cut and arranged in a pretty way on a plate to help me eat that first day. the extra-strong vodka drink my uncle put in my hand to help me through the first friday following her death. extravagently simple acts of kindness, intuitive and thoughtful guesses, close to who i am and have always been.
the moon goes through its phases; new seasons arrive. you can imagine and you can’t: this lonely new world, ghost-like in its sameness to the one before.
lu’s favorite song performed by some of my very favorite, very talented people! she called it “tiger song”. i watered daisies at her grave yesterday morning and was thankful for the sunny day. tobin and i have had her playlist on repeat…little will katy perry know how much this song means to me, when she plays at pinnacle arena in august!! i hope with the fiercest hope that heaven is real. that lucy got up from her sleep, holding the hand of jesus, and brushed off the dust of death–a champion! i miss her achingly and am thankful for these little (and not-so-little, ahem gracia and ava!) friends who keep her memory alive so sweetly.