Things of Comfort

Thank you so so so so so much for all of your amazing comments, emails and IG messages after my mom’s passing. (Still doesn’t feel real typing that.)

(In a very strange turn of events, Instagram Stories has been SO therapeutic for me — I’ve gotten the BEST messages from people, and it makes me feel less alone in what can feel like a really isolating time. I’m @theodorable on there if you’re not following me yet.)

I’m sure I’ll write more about grief here, but for now I’d like to go back to some of the lighter stuff, or at least some of the vain creature comforts I’m enjoying right now.

Montauk Navy Beach

Before this happened, I said I wanted to get the hell away, and so I’m trying to book as much as I can (afford.)

First up on the Theodora’s Grief Tour 2K17: another weekend in the Hamptons in two weeks. I. cannot. wait. One of the next stops will likely be LA in August, since it seems that everyone I know lives there now, and I want to go somewhere near the ocean.

OK, and now I just want to be vain and talk about stuff, mmmk?

I have LIVED in these shorts all summer. I like to think that when I pair them with a sleeveless silky blouse and Jacks that I’m dressing them up for work, but who am I fooling? (Good thing I work for a startup.)

This is probably the most comfortable dress I’ve ever owned. All I wanted was a dress that felt like a lightweight blanket around me, and, done.

I’m obviously crying a lot right now and my skin feels like it’s a mess. I’ve put on this Beautycounter mask a few times a week, and it helps it feel as balanced as possible. I also have put on night cream during the day too. My solution to life right now is just to moisturize it, yes?

A friend who lost both of her parents suggested journaling, so obviously I had to go out and buy a pretty one. I’ve always discovered more about my feelings through writing. A lot of that has happened in this space, but some of this is far too raw to go here, at least yet.

This same friend also recommended Option B by Sheryl Sandberg. I began reading it while my mom was sick and finished it this week, but I think I may need to read it again. The overall message of “this isn’t what you expected and planned for, but this is what you have, so you have to make the best of it” really resonated with me and gave me something positive to hang on to.

I’ve had awful insomnia the past few months worrying about all of this, and the only non-phamaceutical thing that has helped has been lavender oil. I shake a few drops on my bed/pillows when I’m getting into bed and it does help relax me.

My latest Lilly is a particularly classy and neutral number.

Editing to add per a comment below and some IG comments: curling my hair has also brought me a weird amount of joy. Here’s the dry shampoo I start with and the wand I use.

SO MANY QUESTIONS

What STUFF brings you comfort? My friends, family, coworkers and mental health team and other coping skills all help…but sometimes stuff does too.

Keep up your awesome comments and emails with advice for navigating this process — especially stuff to read!

What place in the world brings you peace? (Not your backyard, somewhere I can go get on a plane or drive to. I mean, I guess I could probably do that to your backyard, but, you know, a destination.) 

It’s Sunny in Heaven With a Chance of Meatballs

On July 8, my sweet mother lost her battle with ovarian cancer, and my life will never be the same again.

I’d been vague about it here to respect her wishes of not wanting people to know she was sick again after a wonderful remission last summer, and I don’t know when she stopped reading here, but all I’ve ever wanted to do in life is make my mom proud, so I wasn’t going to not respect her wishes.

I know that I don’t know what’s ahead as far as grief, but I do hope to get back to some semblance of my normal life soon, and that includes writing here more. For the past few months, it felt so disingenuous to write about some! great! workout! when my mom was dying. I’m sure I’ll write more about all of this soon, but I want to read the words I spoke at her wake last night. (Not the funeral, no way in hell could I have gotten up in front of a full church to deliver these without losing it. Or tripping.)

Carol cookie swap

A college friend of mine joked on a trip with my mom that she was six years old. “Well, I’m 4,” my mom replied. Father John yesterday asked us to describe my mom and one of the first phrases that came to mind was light-hearted. She loved Tinkerbell and Cinderella and watching Elf with me.

She touched everyone she met with that light spirit. That some of you only met her once or twice and are here is a testament to that. She loved when I brought friends home, and treated them as though they were her own children — unless they asked for a recipe for her famous, closely-guarded spaghetti sauce. I know she’s making a big pot of it in heaven right now.

She sang me “You Are My Sunshine” as a baby, and it became “our” song. It is no coincidence that the sun shone brightly every time I visited in these tough past seven months, on the day she left us, and every day since. I know that’s her shining down on us.

She was taken from us too early, but we are beyond blessed that the years we had with her were so full of life, and she lives on within us all.

NewImage

Some other posts related to her journey:

Her Daily Burn interview about going into remission

When we learned she was in remission (in a sick twist, it was exactly a year later that she died.)

When we learned she had ovarian cancer

The Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance, where we asked for donations in lieu of flowers today — and an ovarian cancer fact sheet

Her obituary

For anyone else who has lost a parent:

1. Would honestly love any tips on how to navigate the rocky road ahead (ice cream pun intentional: Carol loves ice cream.)

2. Don’t worry, she’s making your parent spaghetti sauce up there.