“You’ve got to do this, Jen,” I said, “in fact, you must.”
It’s a cold Friday night and Jen and I are sitting in an empty deli stirring small cups of soup. We are talking about death and loss and the conversation turns to the aftermath of her mother’s passing.
While sorting through her mother’s belongings, Jen found volumes of spiral bound notebooks (each book filled with handwritten recipes) created and curated by her mother.
As we talk, I ask how she would feel about journaling her experience, then quickly shift the idea into a blog. Within an hour, we are back at my house, tapping away on a keyboard and publishing Remembering Fabianne’s Kitchen.
Jen’s blog may not be the most glamorous, popular or exciting site out there — but it comes straight from the heart. It has a soft, easy, pace to it, slowly releasing emotion, experience and re-collection with every post.
Whenever death happens — suddenly, un-expectedly, or eventually — it’s natural to try and rationalize what is happening. Many of us find a need to put things in order, an attempt to organize the range of emotions we feel. This is not wrong, in fact, it’s well within our survival instincts and tendencies. What is wrong is to rush the process, to jump to conclusions, or to take rash actions to quickly move past the pain.
I admire Jen, my beautiful friend, for organizing her thoughts, for addressing the past and for allowing us to share this experience. Grief, fortunately, is something we never need to carry alone.