Feeling All the Feelings

Sitting in a cozy little gallery in Brooklyn yesterday, I found a piece of myself I hadn’t realized I was missing.

I’ve had this blog for almost nine years.

I have a journalism degree.

Yet I have a hard time calling myself a writer the way I have a hard time calling myself an athlete, despite the fact I have now run seven marathons and more than 30 halfs.

At this massive crossroads in my life, I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching and attempting to find that sweet spot of what makes me happy and can make me money.

My brain feels like it’s going in a million directions at once, but I keep coming back to two things: I want to help people, and I want to use my voice.

My voice and my words are what I have.

And yesterday sitting in this gallery, I felt more alive, more ~present~ than I have in a long time. 

I’m in a NYC Motherless Daughters Facebook group, and they hosted a grief writing workshop.

I wrote about my pain.

I felt my pain.

And I felt support from strangers united by the grief that usually feels so cold and isolating. 

I discovered things I didn’t know I was feeling; tears silently ran down my face as I listened to these other women share their stories of loss and wondered how they read my mind.

I left and walked out into the bright mid-day sun feeling energized and sad all at the same time. Feeling supported and alone at the same time when I realized that all I wanted to do was call my mom and tell her how powerful the morning had been.

Later that evening, I was in a grocery store picking up ingredients to bring pigs in a blanket to a friend’s Hallmark movie watching party when a blog reader came up to me and thanked me for sharing and told me she was so sorry to hear about my mom, could she give me a hug?

I left the store feeling grateful that my words have been powerful enough that a (very sweet and lovely!) stranger came up to me in a grocery store.


Today, I went to see the Nutcracker. Seeing it with my parents was one of my favorite holiday traditions, and not seeing it these past few years when my mom was sick was a stark reminder of how much our lives had already changed. As I attempt to figure out this ~new normal~, I’m trying to figure out which traditions to keep/continue and what new traditions to start.

I asked my cousin if she’d want to see the Nutcracker and make it a girls’ afternoon. She, her sweet little baby daughter Lexi, and my aunt all came to see it, and I let the big fat tears roll down my cheeks as the music brought back memories, but I also let myself enjoy a new tradition with family and be grateful for these new memories.

5 comments on “Feeling All the Feelings

  1. Katie

    I think a book about being in the grief/the inbetween would be amazing from your perspective. I feel like all the books out there are written after the grieving (well, after the hardest parts) when people have answers and tips. Not during. You are already brave to write about the floundering, horrific part of grief on here, I feel like that could be very therapeutic for you and so many of your readers. xoxo

    1. Theodora Blanchfield Post author

      Thank you so so much for this comment. I’m obviously struggling pretty hard with finding meaning and reason throughout all of this, and I love that idea. I’ve also been journaling a lot in addition to blogging…

  2. Rachel

    Yes, please write a book, if you’re at all considering it! On grieving, or your life and observations more generally… You have a wonderful, generous, funny, warm, rare voice that I have valued even more as you’ve struggled, with true grace, through the past year. I’m excited just thinking of your future book, actually! Where can I pre-pre-order?! 🙂

  3. Anne

    I had the thought of a book, too! I love your writing, and your perspective and insights are so unique, given everything that you are going through. Know that you would definitely have people reading it if you chose to share!


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