Truths

The grief has been coming in waves and I find myself out of practice when it comes to asking for what I need. It’s a new skill and is easily lost in the midst of preschooler unpacking the house holiday demands. I had moments of devastation today because few of my in-real-life friends or family acknowledged Ben – or how difficult it is to not have him, alive and in our arms – yesterday. I know that’s part of the process – other people move on with their lives while we mourn. But it hurts to feel him slowly vanish from hearts and minds.

I noticed the ache in my chest, but kept pushing through as there was a to-do list to conquer. Finally, unwilling to tough it out a moment longer, I lay down and as my cat clambered up, eager for a child-free moment of affection, I heard the tape playing in my head. Everyone wants something from me, I don’t have enough energy to go around, there is not enough of me to give…

I heard it and I stopped short.

Suddenly I heard, There is more than enough for everyone if you give to yourself too.

So simple.

The ache in my chest vanished.

*****

Reverb10. December 26

Soul food. What did you eat this year that you will never forget? What went into your mouth & touched your soul? (from Elise Marie Collins, author of An A-Z Guide to Healing Foods: A Shopper’s Reference.)

My relationship with food has shifted dramatically this year. I’ve said goodbye to gluten and to dairy and sugar (ahem, mostly). I don’t drink much alcohol anymore and I make my own water and coconut kefir. I eat mainly vegetarian or vegan dishes and I own two raw food recipe books. If I do eat meat it’s from a local farm and I know they raise (and kill) their animals ethically. It’s been a shock to my husband, who fell in love with me in part because I enjoyed a good steak, but I feel healthier, thinner inside, more alive. If I could get enough sleep on a regular basis I’d want to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

This change is food for my soul. It syncs beautifully with my deepest, most connected, most truth-telling self. It benefits my body, my spirit, my family, and the world.

The hardest thing about it?

It’s possible – though I will never know – that my gluten intolerance had something to do with Ben’s death, and my two other miscarriages. But thinking about that is crazy-making and there is no turning back the clock.

When I write about food at the end of 2011, I want my words to echo Heather’s at GFMuse:

Looking back, I understand that we invited joy into our kitchen this year. Much to my delight, it came right in, rolled up its sleeves and made itself at home.

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11 Responses to Truths

  1. just this past year i realized how devastating and discombobulating sleep deprivation can be. and i realized that sleep deprivation doesn’t just mean staying awake for days on end, it can mean constantly interrupted sleep. i can’t help but wonder how many women have been diagnosed as “hysterical” women when the root of their problem is actually sleep deprivation in one form or another.

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  3. Liz says:

    You break me open bit by bit every time I read your words. I have stopped speaking about my loss (miscarriage) because I hate the look of shock. Shock that I am still affected, that I haven’t gotten over it. I’ve been resistant about changing my diet even though I know I need to, you & Heather are inspiring me. Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing.

  4. Jessica says:

    ❤ Ben ❤ (((hugs)))

  5. Karen Sharp says:

    “There is more than enough for everyone if you give to yourself too.”

    Yes, yes, yes.

    This is the heart of it all.
    We are included.
    We need to include ourselves in our circles of love and care, including our circles of grief, or else our love and our care becomes empty, and our grief will swamp us, and we won’t be able to uphold the love and care that is ours to give. Mine too. My love, my care, my own grief, including my own miscarriage, and my not having any children, and almost surely won’t at this point (46 yrs old).

    Me me me, too.

    So essential. Thank you.

    And the food thing? Uh, yeah. Very much so, me too. Lots of pain and complex grief and love to be given and received there.

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  7. Stereo says:

    Please don’t be frightened to ask people for what you need, Alana. You’d be surprised at just how much people are willing to give to make this transition even slightly easier for you. Please know that you are loved. ❤

  8. writemuch says:

    I was telling a friend about your blog today, and she told me of a friend of hers who lost two babies and who started a network for mothers who have lost babies in utero. you may know of it. You may be past this. just wanted you to know.

    http://www.eviesnetwork.com/

  9. heather says:

    I thought about you and your family on Christmas. I’m so glad you took the time and space to lay down for a moment and listen.

    You are more than completely right- don’t let yourself wonder if the intolerance had a role. It is nothing more than a crazy making path. I’m so glad you are on a physically healing path now. I’m happy to walk it with you. Our kitchens sound very similar. Most of our main courses are vegan and our entire home is gluten free. Here’s to trading recipes and sharing food adventures in the coming year!

    Thank you so much for the mention in your soul food post. I’m still glowing!
    -heather

  10. kelly says:

    There is more than enough for everyone if you give to yourself too.

    As women, we ignore this fact. But it is so true. We need to take care of ourselves as much as we take care of others.

    I wish there was something to say to ease your pain, to make the grief lessen. I send you hugs.

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