Dearly beloved: the truth about grief

Dear friend who just lost her dad,

I wish I had a never ending supply of that’s what she said jokes to cushion what lies ahead. I wish Borat was real, and the 3 of us could paint the town in funny colors; you’d wake up with a “pain over” instead of the real thing. I clearly have too many wishes, so I’m writing instead.

Back in the day, as freshies of Boston University, we survived booze, boys, and jail cells disguised as dormitories. The same advice applies now:  1. brush your teeth, 2. wear pants, 3. show up. Though this sounds like torture on a Monday AM, it helps to give yourself an extra helping of the ordinary. Your muscles remember how to complete simple tasks, even when your heart has checked out. Of course, like any new, traumatizing experience, if you happen to lose it like Mount Vesuvius circa A.D., it’s OK. I’ll be there for your beautiful, molten lava self.

As a fellow Aquariuan,, we’re stubbornly tough on ourselves. Guilt becomes an easily available beverage at our local Starbucks, spanning 1.5 miles of Commonwealth Ave. We take sinfully huge gulps, knowing all that whipped cream and caffeine is bad news bears. If you find yourself caught up in “101 ways I could’ve been better”, try to remember that you are an amazing friend, daughter and caretaker. It may be easier to feel responsible than to accept the unbearable, but this is not your fault.

As you embark on a difficult journey, it’s normal to feel like an alien species.  While everyone else walks and talks, there’s a ragged, gaping cavity where your heart used to be. Like the unwilling star of Gravity, you can become untethered, weightless, consumed by black stars. If your vision gets hazy, and your breathing gets rough, allow those close to you to jolt your adorable E.T. self back to mother earth.

All my love,


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