Monthly Archives: January 2013

Death of a Parent

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. But see, I’ve been grieving. I lost my dear stepmother to ovarian cancer 2 weeks ago.  She’s been my stepmom for the past 32 years, since I was a little girl and we were very, very, very close. So it was quite a big loss for me.  My own mother passed away 10 years ago when I was in my 20’s.  And in all that, I’ve begun to think a lot about grief and eating and control and lack of control.   When my mom died in 2002, it completely turned my world upside down. I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t eat, I had no appetite and I couldn’t think straight.  The idea of eating food turned my stomach and I wound up losing a lot of weight. Probably more than I should have. But that was the only thing I could control. I couldn’t control my emotions, I couldn’t control my mother’s illness, and I couldn’t bring her back. So I controlled my food intake and let my body get very small. Eventually, through lots of therapy and healing, my eating and my body normalized back to my healthy size.  I remember when my stepmom’s parents were ill, she too got very, very skinny. She also stopped eating. Being thin made her happy and she was incapable of fixing her parents’ being ill.

The grief has been different this time. First off, it hasn’t knocked me on my ass the way it did last time. Perhaps because I’m older, perhaps because I’ve experienced grief before, but this time I’ve been mindful of taking care of myself, eating when I need to, getting sleep and allowing myself to be sad but still being in charge of my actions. Don’t get me wrong. I’m sad. Very sad, and I miss my stepmom terribly. But somehow, I’ve realized that we can handle the things that we fear most without shrinking away.  Back to normal posting sometime in the next few days.