My dear friend Lauren and my brother both introduced me to the song “Drowning” by Chris Young. If you haven't heard it, grab the tissues and clear the next hour of your calendar - it's intense!

“So, tonight I'm gonna pull out pictures, ones with you in 'em

Laugh and cry a little while reminiscing

By myself

I can't help

That all I think about is

How you were taken way too soon

It ain't the same here without you

I gotta say, missing you comes in waves

And tonight I'm Drowning”

In an interview Chris said he wrote the song as a collaboration with each person thinking about someone they lost way too soon. There's something about grief - once you've experienced it you become part of this unspoken club (a club you never wanted to be a member of frankly) and your life is forever changed.

We recently watched “Extraction” with Chris Hemsworth and there was a scene where the boy he’s rescuing, Ovi, says “You drown, not by falling in the river...but by staying submerged in it.”. It was hauntingly accurate. In handling my grief, I have decided it is something you deal with every day and some days are better than others. Some day I think about just laying in that proverbial river and letting myself drown because it’s so hard to imagine moving forward with a life without my best friend. Other times I find myself laughing or enjoying a moment then immediately thinking “Man, mom would have loved that”. It hasn't gotten easier but I think I've gotten stronger and better at

dealing with my emotions.

Yesterday I had a sync-up with my amazing boss at work, she is both well-versed in grief and someone I trust explicitly so when she said “How are you really?” I thought about just saying “Fine” and decided instead I could be honest (for the record 99% of times people are asking as a pleasantry and do not REALLY want to know how you are - know your audience!). So how am I? It changes daily and sometimes multiple times in the day.

Overall I think I’m okay.

I’m working out, I’m eating better - both things I need to feel better. I'm focusing on quality sleep and I'm trying not to overcommit. That said, I cry every single day, sometimes multiple times a day. Sometimes I cry because I see something so perfectly “mom” that I can’t share, sometimes I cry just because I miss her cute face and our little routines (like watching “Spring Baking” or going to our favorite candy place in Marblehead for Easter candy). Regardless of the reason, we made a rule in the house the day we lost her that we could always cry when needed and we

can always talk about her. So we do - we talk about her often. Funny things, silly things, how smart she was on SO many topics, how many crazy things she would remember and how she shared something unique with each of us.

The answer to how I'm doing is complex and ever-changing but I think the important part is two-fold:

  1. Feel whatever you're feeling. Lean in. Don't mask it, don't write it off, just let yourself feel. I've seen the dangers of eating my feelings and trust me - I have no desire to go back to that place again!

  2. Be honest and authentic. Not up for talking? Just say that. Need to talk? Say that too. I can't expect the people in my life to read my mind and support me in this growth if I don't articulate my needs.

I never wanted to be a one -trick writer after blogging exclusively about weight-loss for so long and I hope I'm not inundating people with my grief… I promise I will have more to share soon, thanks for sticking with me through the hard posts! ❤️

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