Post-Script

 

300847_446_41

Like a magnet to the North Pole I have been pointed back in this direction. My moral compass has led me to share a few more words in celebration of my son. The new stories from friends, family and complete strangers took me by surprise. As they emerge they will be preserved here rather than forgotten. While I thought I had nothing more to share there is a bit of wisdom left.

Mostly, the goal is to share the comfort of angels and assist those struggling in their grief. Hopefully, this blog will encourage mourning. Mourning is publically sharing your grief as opposed to grieving which is taking all your feelings and stuffing them into a container that no one else has access to. As much as you fear those judging you and not accepting you “moving on” my advice is to open up and just let them have it. Go public with your grief.

In the words of my lovely friend Mary Alice who recently lost her husband:

When people ask me how I am my response is, “I’m fine until I’m not”

Could 5 simple words be more courageous and empowering? It’s a right in your face invitation to have a natural conversation about the human capacity to give and receive love. Isn’t that God’s greatest gift? Accept the invitation to chat and you will breathe life back into the broken-hearted.

fullsizeoutput_5853

thank you for breathing life back into those around you

The Challenge & Lemon Cookies

lemon cookie

lemon cookies

If you are following this blog you are either grieving or mourning or both or know someone who is. What? Grieving and mourning aren’t they the same thing? In a nutshell, no they are not. Today’s challenge is to understand that grieving and mourning are different. They are two separate experiences. If you understand the distinction you can be a catalyst to healing. That’s a good thing.

heart

Let’s start with grief. Grief is an internal experience. It is one’s feelings about the loss. It is about natural reactions to pain and one’s private protest to the assault. It’s one’s wish to undo it and have it not be true. Grief is often accompanied by keeping a stiff upper lip. It’s not looking weak. It’s carrying on, but in a kind of isolation. The griever may look OK on the outside, but on the inside is a lonely turmoil.

Mourning, on the other hand, is grief gone public. It’s wading through the territory of loss and pain surrounded by supportive people. It is active work of recognizing the loss and how to change and adapt to it. Different people mourn in different ways, but essentially it is expressing your feelings or doing something outside yourself.

The truth is that many people grieve, but they don’t mourn. Take the challenge. Be active in your grief. Step outside yourself. Share your feelings and celebrate yourself and your loved one. And if you know someone who has suffered a loss encourage them to mourn and be the catalyst to healing. Take the challenge.

afghanistan

Recently, my neighbor asked if I was up for a challenge. Apparently, the local bakery refused to share their recipe for her favorite lemon cookie and she was having trouble trying to duplicate it. Always up for a challenge I got busy in the kitchen. Luckily, I already had my winning lemon cookie recipe from a Mrs. Field’s Cookie contest to use as a base. With a tweak here and there I came up with a pretty good replica—at least that is how my neighbor called it.

IMG_2182

mine on the left and bakery on the right

mine on the left and bakery on the right

Mine are more crispy and more lemony than the bakery version. Both are good.

Lemon Drop Cookies

 2-½ cups all-purpose flour

1-teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon fine sea salt

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

1-cup sugar

2 egg yolks

Grated zest of 1 lemon

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

½ teaspoon lemon extract

Heat oven 350F. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In large mixer bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks, lemon zest, juice and extract. Add dry ingredients; blend well. Drop cookie dough by tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 15 to 16 minutes or until edges are lightly brown. Transfer cookies to cooling rack.