Behind The Butter

Saved by Cookies

This is a very true life post. I wasn’t sure even if I wanted to blog this—I was just going to journal it—but somewhere out there there must be someone who has gone through the same thing I’m going through and can assure me that I am not crazy.

I’m a writer and writers write.

So let’s talk about grief, shall we? Ever dealt with it? I’m sitting on my kitchen floor write now as I write this, my heart full and my eyes red. One year later and the pain still runs deep. You know, I’ve been fine though. Really. Most days are perfectly fine and I can without a doubt that I am normally a very happy person. I love life, people, traveling, adventures, sunshine, cooking, reading and the ocean. I’m probably one of the most passionate people you will ever meet and when I make up my mind about something, that’s it. I’m as stubborn as they come.

This evening I was taking a walk after dinner and suddenly I just started crying. Hard. I don’t cry often and rarely in front of others but for some reason tonight I just couldn’t stop. My nose was running and big tear drops clouded my glasses. Thank goodness I was wearing a hat. I was totally that girl…you know who I’m talking about.

Anyways, I must have looked like a total crazy person, walking down Fitch street sobbing my eyes out. When I got back to my house, I lay down on the floor (no furniture, remember?) and put one hand on my belly and the other on my heart, taking slow deep rhythmic breathes to slow my heart rate down. Finally, once I had gotten it all out I just lay there staring up at the ceiling feeling as far as 3,000 miles can possibly be and decided there was only one thing to do at a time such as this.

So I baked five dozen sugar cookies.

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In the silence, in my slippers, in my ripped jeans and old school t-shirt, I baked and baked and baked. I really didn’t even feel like eating a cookie but it didn’t matter. The act of combining sugar, flour, eggs and vanilla brought me right home again. I used my favorite recipe ever (obviously from here) and they came out perfectly. They always do. That’s why I love these cookies so much. It’s like when nothing seems to be going right and everything is up in the air, you know that if you combine these ingredients and follow the fine print, you will have your cookies.

They will turn out.

And I think that’s why I bake.

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So yeah, anyone wanna come over for cookies? I have a few to spare.

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No Comments

  • Reply
    Melissa
    April 22, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    Jenna, sending you lots of loving thoughts.
    Your blog has made me feel better so many times I will I could do the same for you. Thinking of you. xxx

  • Reply
    Tiffany
    April 22, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    Aww. you’re in need of a hug and (5 dozen) sugar cookies…

    And since you’ve already been kind enough to provide the cookies, /hug

    Keep on, keepin’ on Jenna. You’re such an inspiration to all of us out there. You’ve been through so much over the last year, and most people would have given up, but you persevered and accomplished more than some people will accomplish in a lifetime.

    Stay strong, and know that your readers love you!

  • Reply
    Deva (Voracious Vorilee)
    April 22, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    :hugs: My thoughts and prayers are with you, Jenna.

  • Reply
    Rose-Anne
    April 22, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    You’ve got the sugar cookies, I’ll bring the cream cheese frosting. I don’t know what else to say other than this: we do what we have to do to get through the grief. I don’t think we ever get OVER it, or get PAST it, we just wade and sift our way through it until we can breathe again. Or in some cases, cream and measure our way through it. Whatever it takes, Jenna. Do whatever it takes.

  • Reply
    s
    April 22, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    okay, so i read your post and i’m glad you got some baking therapy. but (and now to launch into my question) i was wondering if the cookies are made out of just flour, sugar, eggs, and vanilla? like, no butter or oil whatsoever? just a curious, somewhat annoying question. haha.

    i haven’t dealt with the kind of grief you have, i don’t think, but i have had times where i will just start crying randomly in public. usually i eat carbs, or play videogames, or something, to make me feel better. haha, if my baking turned out, perhaps i would make cookies, too. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Carrie (Love Healthy Living)
    April 22, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    Not much to say. Keep doing what you’re doing. Repeat. The pain will never be gone, but you’ll be stronger because of it.

  • Reply
    Angharad
    April 22, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    I think that is the sneaky thing about grief. You think maybe it’s gone away for a while, done it’s work. And then it smacks you in the face with no warning and reminds you that, yeah, it’s still here. Lurking. It’s a process and a long one at that. Keep loving all those things you love, keep baking cookies, keep writing it all down, and you’ll be fine.

  • Reply
    Vaala
    April 22, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    Oh darling, that was incredibly heartfelt and really touching. But I agree with baking therapy…there is nothing like it. I made the hugest batch of muesli the world has ever seen this morning in an attempt to keep my heart calm. Not as effective as cookies but I still felt calmer afterwards.

  • Reply
    Ashley
    April 22, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    My heart is with you…all the way from Canada : )

    Ps. I love your blog. Lately I have been finding it so funny and entertaining. You are a really good writer. I hope to buy your book when it is published.

  • Reply
    Sheree'
    April 22, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    Jenna,
    My heart truly goes out to you. I know the grief you have and it honestly does get better after time but a part of you will always grieve and that’s okay. I lost both of my parents within 2 years of one another when they were both in their early 50’s from sudden onset of cancer. My Dad in 2001 (brain tumor) and my Mom (ovarian ca) in 2003. I still miss them both tremendously because they were both not only the dearest of parents but also the dearest of friends to me. My husband and I recently purchased a home that backs up to the most beautiful woods. I was sitting on our back patio the other day and closed my eyes, listening to natures sounds and thought of them both and how much they would have loved the house. My way of dealing is to think about them and quite honestly, I just go ahead and talk to them from time to time. I will be thinking about you and your family. During this time, go ahead and cry and know that it’s okay, your brother is okay and he would want you to be okay. Take care ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Meg
    April 22, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    Your posts always make my day brighter. Praying for you. Enjoy those cookies in good company ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Jessica @ How Sweet It Is
    April 22, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    Sending you love.

  • Reply
    lk
    April 22, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    Hang in there, Jenna. I’m not going to lie and tell you that it gets any easier. I wish it did. I still have random sobbing fits about my father, who died when I was like 2. I barely remember him, so I can only imagine what it must be like to lose someone that you actually had a real relationship with. But you know, most days its fine. And when it’s not… yes, there is the baking thing.

  • Reply
    emilie
    April 22, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    you are an absolutely wonderful individual.

  • Reply
    M
    April 22, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    After a year plus of reading your blog, I have to say that I have been continually impressed by you. You’re a rare combination: you dream and then you actually do stuff, you go-get (maybe not a verb but I’m making it one), you think and reflect without being overly self-critical. You’re self-aware but also impulsive. You wholeheartedly embrace your strengths but also your imperfections. Your brother would be proud, and I’m sure that everyone else in your “real” life already is, unspeakably so.

    Corny, but I hope you know that despite some of the crazypeople that exist in blogland (most of you guys seem awesome but I think there is a small category of people drawn to foodblogs who just have sticks up their asses and no sense of humor… I said a SMALL proportion of people so if you think I’m talking about you, just assume I’m not and we’ll all be friends)

    And lastly, can I just say also: dude, you’re writing a book. that’s effing amazing. don’t forget it.

  • Reply
    Cynthia (It All Changes)
    April 22, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    ((((Jenna)))) The safety in life of the familiar (for you its baking) helps heal. I’ll share a cookie if you share some of your zest and passion that I wish I had for all the joy you give life.

  • Reply
    Nora@LiveLifeEatRight
    April 22, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    I have had those moments before and I think it is amazing that you are so strong and recognize your feelings.

    I went to a yoga class a while back and the instructor was talking about her mother who just past. She was speaking about how much pain she was going through and the consuming thoughts that “removed” her. She was simply going through the movements of life without actually being there. She noted her habits that she tends to have …wine and chocolate…when her world doesn’t seem right. And she realized this as she was on her 8th chocolate chip cookie that night. She said that she noticed these habits and that is what matters. We are all human and have our own reactions.

    At the end of class she played a song recorded for her by a family friend to “Hallelujah” and I completely broke down. I had not recently lost a loved one but I was feeling lost and alone. My world just felt upside down and her words and wisdom were exactly what I needed to hear that day. So here I was a lone girl in pigeon pose….sobbing.

    Jenna, you are so amazing.

  • Reply
    Stephanie
    April 22, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    I will keep you in my prayers! Thanks for being so open & honest…its so refreshing…not to mention healing…its better to get it all out. Its ok to cry…you’ve been through so much! I find baking to be very therapeutic too!

  • Reply
    Jil
    April 22, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    Sending you so much love, Jenna. Baking can be just so therapeutic…sometimes it all just has to come out…in tears, in words, in paragraphs…and as cookies.

  • Reply
    Amy
    April 22, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    Sending you so much love, Jenna. Baking can be just so therapeutic…sometimes it all just has to come out…in tears, in words, in paragraphs…and as cookies.

  • Reply
    sherri
    April 22, 2010 at 8:22 pm

    oh jenna, i’ve been in your shoes but baking cookies is a good sign… i hope you eat a few, too! i think it’s time for a glass of vino and a hug from the boy. xo

  • Reply
    j.l.
    April 22, 2010 at 8:22 pm

    yes, it is totally ok. i have been that girl many days recently and my loss isn’t even the same. a broken heart is a broken heart, just different stories behind them. and it is ok to freak the f out and endulge in your pain. scream. cry. let others wonder what the hell your doing.

    i miss what i had with “him” and know that every time i see him it won’t be ever be the same between us and it hurts to like hell admit it. no one else can feel this — no one else can feel your pain. no one lived through your loss. we can only remind you that those expressions are your pain manifesting itself and releasing from you in the form of sobs and screams and cookies. let it out.

  • Reply
    TorontoGirloutWest
    April 22, 2010 at 8:23 pm

    One year later and I continue to be amazed by what a strong person you are Jenna!

    Think of all you’ve done in this year! How far you’ve pushed yourself! You’re going to be published. You’ve moved to the Other Coast. You have a job you’re passionate about. The World is your oyster. And then just think how happy your own personal angel is up in Heaven.

    Lots of hugs Jenna! And Lots of Bloggie Love! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Julia
    April 22, 2010 at 8:23 pm

    so glad you felt you could blog about this, lovely. you are so strong and admirable, and such a fun-loving person. undoubtedly, from time to time, you just need that big cry to get it all out. i read your blog all the time, but you don’t know me at all; just know that i hope you feel better and that all of our thoughts are with you.

  • Reply
    lz
    April 22, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    Jenna,
    Best wishes to you. You are extremely, extremely courageous – it takes a lot of commitment to be so down-to-earth and REAL during these most difficult times. You have a lot of raw honesty with which you approach everything you do; you give off so much passion. That passion, that commitment, that real, raw honesty – it will all help you attract what is best for you. You are doing the very best that you can. And really, that’s all we can do. Beyond that, we just have to trust. Trust ourselves. Sending you positive vibes…

  • Reply
    Clearly Composed
    April 22, 2010 at 8:35 pm

    Enjoy every bite, treasure every memory. All the best to you.

  • Reply
    Lisa
    April 22, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    From a longtime reader. Thinking of you and praying for you, Jenna. Your brother is looking down on you and smiling ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Annie@stronghealthyfit
    April 22, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    You’re in my thoughts and prayers, Jenna. A year is not that long to grieve for someone so close to you. I lost a friend to cancer in high school, 9 years ago now and it is still painful. You are so strong, and such a great example to so many women.

  • Reply
    Ilene
    April 22, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    You are an incredibly inspirational person, and I know that you will stay strong and live your life to its fullest for your brother and for yourself. I’m glad the baking helped, but just know that you’re not alone. Wishing you the best.

  • Reply
    Sarah for Real
    April 22, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    Sending a non-creepy stranger hug across the internet.

    *HUG*

  • Reply
    Melanie
    April 22, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    Wishing you all the best, all I can say is your blog is awesome, you’re the girl everyone wants to be friends with because she is real, because she drinks wine, bakes cookies and scares strangers with crying fits just like all of us have done at some point, just don’t forget sunshine is coming!

  • Reply
    Janice
    April 22, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    Jenna, you are the epitome of strength. I know you have a core pillar of resilience in your palm, but sometimes, you just want to cry. Through all the trials and heartaches you have been through this past year, there is no doubt that you should shed those tears and completely feel what you’re feeling. I wish I had somehow known you years before so we could have shared our grief. I know God will grace you so you will experience peace in your heart. I can only say thank you for sharing your soul with me and others for the past couple of years. I am truly happy that there is someone nearby that believes in hope and all the good that life has to offer.

    With the hundreds of comments you receive, this may just pass you by. But I want to thank you for being a small, yet truly important part of my life–I know that good still exists in this world, so thank you.

  • Reply
    Mary (Food Fit & Fun)
    April 22, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    Jenna, you are an amazing girl! I’m glad you blogged about your true thoughts. It’s funny because although I only know you through reading your blog, you are someone whom I look up to. You’re so lucky to have so much support from all of your readers. Wish we could join you for some of those cookies….they look like they were made with a lot of love!

  • Reply
    Mary (Food Fit & Fun)
    April 22, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    Jenna, you are an amazing girl! I’m glad you blogged about your true thoughts. It’s funny because although I only know you through reading your blog, you are someone whom I look up to. You’re so lucky to have so much support from all of your readers. Wish we could join you for some of those cookies….they look like they were made with a lot of love!

  • Reply
    steph-exercise physiologist and artist!
    April 22, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    Oh Jenna. My heart goes out to you. Please know that you are not alone and right now my heartaches and tears are filling my eyes b/c i really and truly know how you are feeling right now.
    The big difference between you and someone else who grieves (like me, really I am talking about me) is that you have some how pushed through a great tragedy in your life w/out letting it break you. Break your spirit. take everything that you love away. Take all your happiness away.
    I have been and continue to be so impressed by the way you were able to do that over this past year. I actually thought exactly that (I am so impressed and in awe of this girl) b/c of the way you handled an incredibly hard situation.
    I was unable to do that and gave up years (10’s of years!) away to a grief that I let take over my life and my soul. I didn’t really start to come out of that until about 4 years ago and now I can say whole heartedly that I am a different girl today.
    YOU ARE SO STRONG JENNA. I really mean that with all of my heart. you will never be THAT girl. You are so much more than that.
    sending so much love and light to you right now.

    On a lighter note. I would love to have a cookie with you ๐Ÿ™‚ if only you and your cookies weren’t 3,000 miles away.

  • Reply
    LadyLara
    April 22, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    I know there has been a bit of drama in the comments section lately, but I just had to pipe in that this post was beautiful. So honest and open, heartbreaking. I think it was a breakthrough, at least speaking as a writer to another writer. I’m glad you didn’t journal this one. =)

  • Reply
    Shawna
    April 22, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    I just said a prayer for you and your family, Jenna.
    Although I couldn’t pretend to understand what it feels like to lose a sibling, I want you to know that there are people who read your blog who care about YOU and not about what kind of food you ate one day or the font that you type in.
    You will be back to your fun-loving self, not because of the cookies, (although they help A LOT) but because you’re a strong, courageous woman and you have so many people that love you.

  • Reply
    Danielle (Coffee Run)
    April 22, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    *I’m sending good thoughts your way* Do what you need to do to feel better (feel free to send me some cookies ๐Ÿ™‚ )

  • Reply
    Lisa (bakebikeblog)
    April 22, 2010 at 8:50 pm

    Just know that there are so many of us thinking of you, and thanking you for sharing this beautiful and honest post.

  • Reply
    Sahar
    April 22, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    I’m so sorry, I know this must be such a difficult time for you. I’m sending positive thoughts your way. Just know that you are a strong person and you just need to feel these emotions – it’s better to express them and get support than to keep it all inside. Thank you for being so open about what you’re feeling, I admire you so much.

  • Reply
    Allie (Live Laugh Eat)
    April 22, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    Baking is my form of therapy. Whenever I warm up the oven and get out my mixing bowl, my mind starts to calm down and everything I’m stressing out about falls to the wayside. Thank you for such an honest post. It will be hard forever…because your love for him is forever. He is watching over you though m’dear.

  • Reply
    Danielle
    April 22, 2010 at 8:57 pm

    Your words are so incredibly powerful. They hold within them a story of hope, and strength, and perseverance… and if that’s not enough, then there’s always cookies. My thoughts are with you sweetheart, take care.

  • Reply
    Liz
    April 22, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    Psalm 34:18
    The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

    I know this is so hard Jenna. Praying for you. God always has you with him. I know you will be ok. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    laurie
    April 22, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    i am so, so sorry about your brother. i have a 1 1/2 year old son and I actually started to read your blog when I was up late breastfeeding. The news about his death was overwhelming–even though I don’t know your mom, I have thought about her often because she has lived through every mother’s greatest fear. your family seems to have an amazing way of leaning on each other. i hope my child has the kind of relationship with me that you have with your mom! i am so glad writing is therapy for you because your blog reaches and helps so many people.

  • Reply
    laurie
    April 22, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    i am so, so sorry about your brother. i have a 1 1/2 year old son and I actually started to read your blog when I was up late breastfeeding. The news about his death was overwhelming–even though I don’t know your mom, I have thought about her often because she has lived through every mother’s greatest fear. your family seems to have an amazing way of leaning on each other. i hope my child has the kind of relationship with me that you have with your mom! i am so glad writing is therapy for you because your blog reaches and helps so many people.

  • Reply
    erika
    April 22, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    i think you know, but we’re all that girl at one point or another in our lives and that’s ok. i like baking during those times too, makes me feel like i can have a bit of control over one little thing… when other things are spinning. sending you some love over the internets…

  • Reply
    Em
    April 22, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    Nothing wrong with letting it all out and baking, nothing at all. And sharing with your blog readers, as I say just keep on sharing how you feel!
    Em (a blog lurker from Oz).

  • Reply
    kelsey@snackingsquirrel.com
    April 22, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    ive been following your blog for ever! i love it so much!!! you are beautiful too ๐Ÿ™‚

    i recently started mine … and i think a lot of it was inspired by this blog right here! happy earth day love!

  • Reply
    Camille
    April 22, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    Jenna, your strength is amazing.
    If I were about 700 miles north right now I would give you such a giant hug.
    Life is full of trials but the fact that you have continued in your life and happiness is a true testament to your strength.

  • Reply
    Molly @FuelHerUp
    April 22, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    I’m the same way- I love just the action of cooking, of baking…In fact, I could probably use some of that in my life right now.
    You’re right- people will read this post and they’ll be so relieved to know that someone out there feels the same way. Sending much love your way.

  • Reply
    Natalie
    April 22, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    The strength that you possess is simply amazing. I do hope you know how inspiring you are to others, and how truly strong you are. Wishing you peace Jenna.

  • Reply
    annalee
    April 22, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    Jenna, your amazing. keep doin your thang. i’ve been reading for about a year and a half now and you are really such an inspiration.
    you’ll be in my prayers to the big guy up there.
    love,
    Annalee

  • Reply
    Juniper
    April 22, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    let it out. let it out. let it out. It’s the most loving thing you can do for yourself… be kind to yourself during this time and listen to what You need.
    also- yes, i’d like a cookie. yum.

    *hugs*

  • Reply
    Emily S.
    April 22, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    You are most definitely not alone. I actually did the same thing a few days ago but I was on the treadmill; thank goodness there was no one else in the gym! It’s kind of interesting though how just allowing myself to cry like that made me feel like I could stand back up and go on again. Sorry i that makes no sense! Sending love to you from 3,000 miles away ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Suzanne de Cornelia
    April 22, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    I completely understand. Have never been a crybaby. Mostly, very happy, optimistic, determined, etc. My brother’s death undid everything. Bouts of uncontrollable sobbing–5 steps forward, one back. It’s not depression–it’s grief. And grief is not lineal, and I don’t believe in cases this senseless and tragic it ever goes away, it’s managed. Katherine Hepburn spoke about the huge impact her brother’s accidental hanging death at age 9 had on her into her 90s. My brain since brother died is divided into two compartments; 7/8ths is my brother, 1/8th is everything else. I expect as years go by that will even out.

    Cookie-making and other activities definitely push me into the other 1/8th compartment so I forget for awhile. Audrey Hepburn’s longtime love Robbie Wolders said when she died that the depth of grief is the inverse of the amount of your love. There are few you love more than a brother who is practically a twin. The whole thing is inexplicable as haven’t experienced it before–and when the expectation was he’ll be there into your 80s and beyond. And the shocking violence of my brother’s death was extremely hard to take. He was such a graceful, witty, clean-cut, completely decent person….the circumstances are still unbelievable. And often the ‘if only’ thoughts creep in//

    Am trying to find a new frame to honor who he was and do good in his name that he would appreciate and which can redeem his death, and also give me an outlet to dissipate what is otherwise expressed randomly–or sometimes buried which would only lead to health impacts.

    A year, with changes, is too soon to feel reconciled-I think. It seems that when the book is published that will be a new ground that is very focusing.

    Cookies sound great–always fun to make cookies. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Suzanne de Cornelia
    April 22, 2010 at 9:27 pm

    I completely understand. Have never been a crybaby. Mostly, very happy, optimistic, determined, etc. My brother’s death undid everything. Bouts of uncontrollable sobbing–5 steps forward, one back. It’s not depression–it’s grief. And grief is not lineal, and I don’t believe in cases this senseless and tragic it ever goes away, it’s managed. Katherine Hepburn spoke about the huge impact her brother’s accidental hanging death at age 9 had on her into her 90s. My brain since brother died is divided into two compartments; 7/8ths is my brother, 1/8th is everything else. I expect as years go by that will even out.

    Cookie-making and other activities definitely push me into the other 1/8th compartment so I forget for awhile. Audrey Hepburn’s longtime love Robbie Wolders said when she died that the depth of grief is the inverse of the amount of your love. There are few you love more than a brother who is practically a twin. The whole thing is inexplicable as haven’t experienced it before–and when the expectation was he’ll be there into your 80s and beyond. And the shocking violence of my brother’s death was extremely hard to take. He was such a graceful, witty, clean-cut, completely decent person….the circumstances are still unbelievable. And often the ‘if only’ thoughts creep in//

    Am trying to find a new frame to honor who he was and do good in his name that he would appreciate and which can redeem his death, and also give me an outlet to dissipate what is otherwise expressed randomly–or sometimes buried which would only lead to health impacts.

    A year, with changes, is too soon to feel reconciled-I think. It seems that when the book is published that will be a new ground that is very focusing.

    Cookies sound great–always fun to make cookies. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Kari Kundert
    April 22, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    My name is Kari and I am stationed in South Korea with the Air Force, I know what it is like to be far from your family, especially when you have lost a loved one. Your blog brings me so much joy because I grew up around the area you live and to see pictures of Cali and wonderful food makes me feel just a little closer to home.
    I am not the praying kind, but please know that someone far away is thinking about you and is sending many hugs your way.

    ::hug::

  • Reply
    Julie
    April 22, 2010 at 9:30 pm

    Jenna,
    I’ve been reading your blog for quite a while but have never commented before, I read quite a few “food blogs” but yours always makes me smile. I’ve been going through a tough time lately too and I just wanted to say I understand – probably not exactly what you’re going through, but that sudden immobilizing grief that seems to come from nowhere. I’m sorry for your loss and what you’re going through. And what I also really wanted to say was I’m so glad you decided to write this post. It’s reassuring to know that other people cry, that it’s normal to cry. So thanks, thanks for not being afraid to talk about the bad stuff too. Oh, and I hope that cookie therapy is working it’s magic ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run]
    April 22, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    Aw, Jenna…sometimes you just need to let the tears flow, and flow…and flow. I’m glad that the sweetness of baking brought you some serenity tonight. Take care, love!

  • Reply
    Sarah
    April 22, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    I have so been there and baking always makes it better. Take care.

  • Reply
    alicia
    April 22, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while, and I’m a mother, so I could read between the lines when you did your last few posts. This is what just really pissed me off about some of the comments that you were receiving. I think anyone that “knows you” through blogging knew. We are all thinking of you, and your family, at this time. Those cookies look delicious. We would all probably show up if we could.

  • Reply
    Katherine
    April 22, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    Your writing is such an inspiration to me because we have all had those days when we come home and sit on the floor and cry. Last October something very devastating happened to my little brother (luckily he is still alive) and I literally did the same thing. I walked through LA crying, came home and just laid down on the floor on my apartment, despite having furniture, and wept. I love reading what you write because we all have those moments but you always get through them with such grace. Grief is a part of life but continuing to live your life embodying the memory of the ones you love is truly living. Thank you for being a wonderful example.

  • Reply
    Suzanne de Cornelia
    April 22, 2010 at 9:48 pm

    PS–I also noticed with my brother’s death….couldn’t talk about it with my Dad. He said it was just too painful, and after a week refused to discuss it, in fact it hassened his death. And pretty much avoid talking about it, or in careful terms with my mother–her health deteriorated as a result of brother’s death–so avoid the subject. Went to a grief group–but the people there were talking about loved ones who died 20 years ago as if just happened–I don’t want to be doing that. So can be isolating. I have a friend who just lets me talk and that releases it and then we are on to something else. I wrote a piece about what his death taught me…that helped. A year is soon–you’ve been amazing–don’t expect to much of yourself–as capable as you are–this is just too big.

  • Reply
    Alyson @ Nourished Fitness
    April 22, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    Hundreds of hugs, even if they are only virtual, are coming your way. I, like you, am incredibly passionate. And the thing is, when you throw your whole heart into something, when anything goes off, it hurts so deeply. Baking is truly one of the absolutely most therapeutic things. Hot tea and cookies.. and perhaps a glass of wine.. and tomorrow will be a better day!

  • Reply
    Rachel
    April 22, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    Jenna, you radiate beauty in every sense of the word.

    You have inspired people in ways you can not even imagine. THANK YOU for sharing your insight, vulnerability, and humor with the world. I know that it’s made an impact in many lives, mine included.

    My heart goes out to you.

    Sincerely,
    Another long time reader/non-commenter (since before you switched to pastry concentration in school) who has been deeply touched and inspired by your words

  • Reply
    SallyH @ acountablelife.wordpress.com
    April 22, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    Jenna. Feel what you need to feel. No judgment. My dad died a year and a half ago. Grieving has no time frame. I bake when I’m stressed. I didn’t even know I did it until looking back at every time I pulled out the kitchen aid was when I needed to create something. It’s ok to bake, and cry, and be that part of yourself that you usually are not.

  • Reply
    Shelley (Pink House)
    April 22, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    We are something heartbreaking happen this year and most days I can go on about my business, but almost every time (twice a week) that I go to my yoga class, about 30 minutes in I start feeling like I’m going to cry, and then i do. We’ll be doing our moves in a partly dark room and I’ll have tears streaming down my cheeks. There’s something about that physical exertion that brings up the emotions I think. Yes, I know partly how you feel, sometimes I just like to cook and have it turn out right.

  • Reply
    Amanda
    April 22, 2010 at 10:04 pm

    Maybe that’s why I was ‘that girl’ yesterday too. You just let the tears flow until there’s nothing left to cry, sometimes you feel a little better. We all have things that calm us down: you bake (mmm) I play video games ; ) The loss of your brother broke your heart on so many levels, it will be a long time until you find some sort of ‘peace’. I hope you feel better soon!

  • Reply
    Mindy
    April 22, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    I’ve been wanting to comment on the last few entries but haven’t found the time.. Now I feel is more than appropriate to leave some words for you..

    The thing about blogs is you the blogger are putting yourself out there for everyone to see, read, and judge. Its a very vulnerable position to be in.. In my opinion we have no right to judge you because you make an uncharacteristic joke or change your writing style. People change. While I think we should be able to provide constructive criticism, its a fine line between being critical and being judgmental.

    As for this special day, I can only imagine and my heart goes out to you. We all have things we do that calm us down.. So bake your heart out! And thank you for trusting us, your readers, enough to share your feelings with us. Know that you are never alone ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Sassy Molassy
    April 22, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    It’s pretty amazing how therapeutic baking can be. Hang in there.

  • Reply
    K
    April 22, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    The first time I posted a message on your blog I was moved by the news of your brother’s passing, and I just wanted to leave you this message to let you know that I understand where you are, and I, too, have been there.

    And that you have my thoughts.

    And that although it seems weird – I love hearing about your life, and the joy that you find in family, friends, cooking, travel – the same things through which I find joy. And I wish you all the best.

    And that you are completely awesomesauce and it will all be ok. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    div
    April 22, 2010 at 10:41 pm

    Oh yes, “that girl…” been there; I have yet to find the “end point” where it just settles and you have a sense of calm about a situation but I can tell you that it gets easier, you get stronger…I started reading your blog on the day that your brother passed away and have read it twice a day ever since…you inspire me and your writing is wonderful! Keep doing what you do and putting one step in front of the other and someday it’ll start to make sense.

  • Reply
    Mastering Public Health
    April 22, 2010 at 10:53 pm

    Anniversaries are always hard. It’s good to mark them, but hard to face them sometimes. I can imagine that laying on the floor and just “being” in synch with the rhythms of the world would be quite therapeutic. I’ve been reading your blog for years and am still so sorry you had to suffer through such a traumatic happening in your life. ๐Ÿ™ Feel free to continue to share your memories and feelings about your brother here; there are warm vibes coming your way from all around.

  • Reply
    Jessica @ Jessica Balances
    April 22, 2010 at 11:14 pm

    I’m so sorry you can’t be at home with your family during this difficult time. I know that might make things feel a little more manageable… Just know we are all thinking of you and sending lots of love your way. ๐Ÿ™‚ I really do admire your strength and truly hope tomorrow is a better day.

  • Reply
    Nicole @ Geek Turned Athlete
    April 22, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    Jenna, obviously your body needed a release. Sometimes, it is just good to cry AND bake. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m a crier, I have to admit. I grew up with a grandfather that would often antagonize me when I was crying and tell me it was good for me and that I should cry once a week whether I needed it or not. I would start laughing which would make him start laughing. I knew what he was doing, and it worked every time. When I got older, although I don’t cry that often, sometimes when all the stress builds up and you can’t breathe, crying helps. Combined with baking, you should be better in no time. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Reply
    Julie
    April 22, 2010 at 11:55 pm

    Poor baby. I’m so sorry Jenna. Even after a year, my heart still breaks a little bit when I think about the pain you must be going through. It’s ok to cry. Even on the street. Everyone becomes that girl at least once.

    And if you want to see “Cartier and America” at the legion of honor with me before it leaves, send me an email. : )
    ((hugs))

  • Reply
    jb
    April 23, 2010 at 12:13 am

    xoxo. my brother is my whole heart and i feel for you more deeply than i can really express. i can’t even imagine. i hope all the love we readers feel for you and your writing helps, even just a tiny bit. and, i have to say, that when real sorrow is involved, there is never “that girl.”

  • Reply
    Caroline
    April 23, 2010 at 12:25 am

    I feel your pain! I have been there. It is not a problem of being strong or not. You are a great girl (from what I can read in your blog). It is ok to cry and bake cookies if it makes you feel better. Wish you all the best.
    Lots of hugs

  • Reply
    ForDGRedial aka Amy
    April 23, 2010 at 12:29 am

    I don’t normally comment, I always read but you get so many comments I figure you won’t ‘miss’ mine. But this time I thought I should comment, just incase you read it.

    There is nothing I can type that will fix this. But I wanted you to know that 5yrs on from losing one of the most important people in my life, the pain is more tolerable and the wound less raw. I still get days where it hits me like I’ve just ran into a brick wall, I won’t lie to you. But you learn to life with it, the brick wall days become more widely spaced and most days life is good and I have him with me in my heart.

    You did the right thing though in my opinionm, you didn’t fit it, just let it happen and give yourself the time and space to grieve. I am kinda envious of your lack of furniture – I should lie on the floor more. There is something so centring about it.

    Amy x

  • Reply
    Freya @ Brit Chick Runs
    April 23, 2010 at 12:30 am

    Oh hun ๐Ÿ™ I am sending you lots of loving, supportive thoughts!! I iwsh there was something more all of us readers could do!?
    I’ve never lost anyone close to me, so I can only imagine how you’re feeling – but baking does help! I think it’s like a security blanket. BAKE AWAY GIRL! If it’s what will help you, do it ๐Ÿ™‚
    And remember, it will get easier! lots of love xo

  • Reply
    Courtney (Pancakes & Postcards)
    April 23, 2010 at 1:00 am

    Praying for you. I cannot imagine what you are going through. Hoping that God can come and fill the empty holes in your heart. Wishing you all the best.

  • Reply
    Ester
    April 23, 2010 at 1:19 am

    Today is 15 years since my father died. It hurts.

  • Reply
    Bridget
    April 23, 2010 at 1:23 am

    I remember the first time that I ever laid eyes on your blog–it was the day after your brother had passed away. My heart went out to you and your family then, and it does now. Losing someone so important to you is one of the hardest things that you will ever face in your life. You’ve done your best, carried on, and made your brother the proudest brother that anyone could have. You are so strong, and conscious of it. But sometimes, it is just good to break down and cry, to cleanse the system. Best wishes for happiness in all the days to come, Jenna!

  • Reply
    Rachel @ Suburban Yogini
    April 23, 2010 at 1:50 am

    I have learned that grief is something that hits us all in different ways. The most important thing is to go with it. See where it takes you. Cry, scream, hit cushions with a baseball bat. Whatever you need. Because at least you are feeling something and that is better than numbness. And this too shall pass.

    My best friend passed away when I was 18. It’s a cliche but the first year is the hardest and eventually time does heal. But grief still hits me sometimes 18 years later like a punch in the stomach.

    Let the grief out and eventually let it go. Never forget to breathe and never forget that this is normal. You’re not mad, just a strong and beautiful woman who misses her brother.

    You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Reply
    Alaina
    April 23, 2010 at 1:53 am

    The thing about grief is that…you should do whatever it is that makes you feel better. Just do it.

    I’m glad that in your case it’s a productive thing, baking, as opposed to some other more negative way of releasing stress. Just let it out, just let it out, and remember that you are such a strong person! We are all thinking of you today.

  • Reply
    Chaley
    April 23, 2010 at 2:02 am

    We lost my mother-in-law very suddenly almost two years ago. We go through the same things as you. We are fine. Really fine. And then it hits, hard. I don’t think you ever get over it, but I can tell you…the episodes get further apart. The pain fades, and the memories start to shine through. You are so strong Jenna. Keep holding tight to the memories. Find your brother in everyday life. All the best to you.

  • Reply
    Judy (cookbook maven)
    April 23, 2010 at 2:51 am

    We all deal with grief in our own ways.

    I know it’s very different, but I can remember walking down the street crying after I had to put my first cat to sleep. I came home one day and just burst into tears, almost hyperventilating. I cried the night we buried her, because there was a thunderstorm and she would have been so scared alone out there in the dark — which is so silly because I knew she wasn’t really there, it was just her body, and I saw what happened to her body when she “left” it — it was just the physical shell.

    And I don’t cry easily, either.

    It’s good to let your griet out. It’s healthy. It’s normal. In the end, just remember that your brother still wants you to be happy.

  • Reply
    Lisa of Lisa at Home
    April 23, 2010 at 3:32 am

    Jenna, you continue to inspire and awe every reader you have.
    Losses like this will always be difficult…it takes a strong, rational person like you to be able to channel the negative energy into something positive. You have so much passion and drive- I truly look up to you.

  • Reply
    Chelsea (Chelsea's Chew and Run Fun)
    April 23, 2010 at 3:37 am

    Jenna, your strength is really something. It makes me feel stronger by osmosis. My heart goes out to you during this unfortunate anniversary.

  • Reply
    skinny latte
    April 23, 2010 at 3:43 am

    You aren’t crazy at all. The first year is always the hardest, and grief can be so unpredictable. It was a terrible thing you had to go through a year ago. You were so strong and brave. You’ve done your best to carry on over the past year, and I applaud you for it, but you’re allowed to be sad and upset and angry. Letting your grief out is so much healthier than bottling it up. Take care over the next few days, and wishing you happiness and peace in the days that follow them. xx

  • Reply
    Staceyhttp://stacey-healthylife.blogspot.com/
    April 23, 2010 at 3:50 am

    Sometimes cookies are all you need to lift your spirits. Hang in there it will get better.

  • Reply
    Donna
    April 23, 2010 at 3:52 am

    Being that crazy person is fine.
    I have been that girl more times than I can count – and it has really helped me not care about what other people think of me haha. If they want to feel uncomfortable by me sobbing on a treadmill or sat on public transport then thats their problem not mine. It helps to cry, and it cant be held in. It just happens when it happens and its easier to let it out than hold it in.

    Baking is such a good release, they look like good cookies.
    And I agree, its not so much the eating of the cookies that is what you want, its the act of mixing it all together and getting absorbed in something with a satisfying and predicatable end result.

    Keep on going.

  • Reply
    Alina
    April 23, 2010 at 3:53 am

    I lost someone about five years ago, and for the first year, even longer, it was totally normal for me to start crying in public. And while it’s not as frequent anymore, I still do it from time to time, although usually when I am by myself. I’ve decided there are no rules with grief. Thanks for posting this!

  • Reply
    Christie {Honoring Health}
    April 23, 2010 at 3:58 am

    I’m sorry you had such a painful day and I send you as much peace as my heart will hold. As I sit here and read your words and write my own, my eyes fill with tears and I want to hug you and tell you that it will easier somehow. But, I can’t say for sure if that is true. My brother has been gone for 5/12 years and I still think of him each and every day, in some way. My heart longs to know why he can’t be here with us and why he had to go so early. No matter how far my life takes me, that is a bond I will never forget and the pain I feel in my heart will be with me until the end.

    For me, as the years have passed, it doesn’t become easier but maybe it does become easier to just feel it and honor that it hurts so bad. Crying at random while walking down the middle of the street is sometimes what we have to do to cleanse. Do you know the song “I can only imagine” by Mercy Me? Well, a lady from my family’s church sang that at my brothers funeral and every time I hear it I completely break down. Well, last year, I was on my way to the grocery store and the song came on the radio and I just exploded with the snotty, sobbing cries you are talking about. Sitting there at a stoplight, a block from the grocery store singing and bawling.

    The pain isn’t gone, but what a cleansing way to honor that grief, just feeling it and letting it be what it is – painful in a way that is unimaginable. My heart goes out to you, dear lady. Though we have never communicated outside of the walls of your blog, please know that I send you peace and love each and every day.

  • Reply
    Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down)
    April 23, 2010 at 4:09 am

    A deep, hard cry is needed to get through times of grief! I’m glad you could find some comfort through cooking, and my heart, thoughts and prayers are going out to you right now.

  • Reply
    Heather C
    April 23, 2010 at 4:14 am

    Miss Jenna, you are *far* from crazy. Not even close. And those cookies look absolutely delicious, no surprise ๐Ÿ™‚

    My best friend in college lost her 12 yr old brother the summer before our Junior year. Like your experience, it was completely unexpected and seemingly impossible. It’s been 4 years and she still gets sad, she still thinks about it, and he is still very much with her. Crying helps, crying relieves you of what you’re holding in, and whether or not you are That girl, no one will remember it except the people around you who comfort you. ๐Ÿ™‚

    My friends Mom started a blog on being crafty and grieving – like your baking, she knits as therapy…it takes her mind off of things. ( http://makingitbetter.typepad.com/making-it-better/ ) – just in case you need an outlet and to relate to something.

    Anyway, I’m so sorry for your loss and I hope that putting it out there brought you some calmness/peace last night (along with those 5 dozen batches of cookies)!

  • Reply
    Zenfreckle
    April 23, 2010 at 4:14 am

    Crying is a good thing! Let it out! Grief doesn’t ever go away. It just changes shape in our hearts. First year is hard, second is a little easier. It will never go away – and it shouldn’t- you love your brother, but it will change to a more bearable shape. It seems to me like you have found a good balance of taking time to sit with the grief and moving forward so it doesn’t swallow you up.

    Reading suggestion: When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times by Pema Chodron. I read it when I had a difficult death come to my life.

  • Reply
    Jo
    April 23, 2010 at 4:21 am

    Awwww Jenna, sending you lots of hugs from London!
    You are a strong, awesome person and you have come so far and done so well!
    Take care of yourself and God bless!
    XXX

  • Reply
    Kristine
    April 23, 2010 at 4:29 am

    Jenna, Thank you for posting this. Some days are much harder than others, but that is always for a reason. Lots of love!

  • Reply
    Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman
    April 23, 2010 at 4:30 am

    You got me all teary just reading this. I’m so sorry for the pain you’re feeling. Big hugs. My heart goes out to you.

    PS. Sugar cookies might not make everything all better, but they sure do come close to making everything better this minute.

  • Reply
    Hangry Pants
    April 23, 2010 at 4:37 am

    Hugs Jenna.

  • Reply
    Paige
    April 23, 2010 at 4:38 am

    Hugs from Tennessee!

  • Reply
    eatmovelove
    April 23, 2010 at 4:43 am

    You’ve got heart girl.
    I cry like that regularly.
    And I venture to guess it’s about more than just your Brother’s passing…you’ve been through alot – your away from family,…you don’t have furniture for Goodness sakes!! and yet people write saying that they are jealous and hold you to some high surreal life….
    in the end, your just a 25 year old following your own path…I admire you – and yeah, I’d still trade spots with you ๐Ÿ˜‰ in Cali with a bike and wine…but you have admirable strength girl. And was there ever any doubt?…cookies are the answer to all of life’s problems ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Reply
    Sarah
    April 23, 2010 at 4:49 am

    I’m really proud of you for letting those emotions out. And, were I closer, I would even eat cookies with you (and you know how I feel about cookies.)

  • Reply
    diana@mymarblerye
    April 23, 2010 at 4:53 am

    I’ve been that girl before..but it was because of something that seems so insignificant now in the grand scheme of life. Hold your head up high Jenna, you have FEELINGS, you have LOVE…don’t ever be ashamed of those things cause that’s what makes you who you are! I hope you feel better soon though ๐Ÿ™ All you have are good memories so make the best out of them.

  • Reply
    theemptynutjar
    April 23, 2010 at 4:58 am

    your not alone
    trust me
    we all have deep deep pain. we are all passionate people.
    dont feel like u carry the pain alone
    we all experience such harsh pain…
    and that is why maybe u feel a tiny (hopefully) bit of comfort in knowing u dont have to be so so sad…all alone.

  • Reply
    Erin (Travel, Eat, Repeat)
    April 23, 2010 at 5:02 am

    I can’t pretend to understand what you’re going through because I don’t but I can just send heartfelt good wishes and good vibes. Grief hits us at funny times and it’s all in how you react. Baking seems like a great outlet to me.

  • Reply
    Mary Ann
    April 23, 2010 at 5:08 am

    Jenna,
    My prayers and sympathy are for you. Losing a sibling is nothing that we are prepared for, especially at such a young age. I lost my beloved sister, Rachel, 4 years ago and I still have a difficult time at the anniversary of her death. Please be assured that as time passes, the happy times come to mind more and more often. I was so blessed to have such a loving and special sister if only for 41 years. I’m thankful for all of the “I love you’s” and memories that we shared. I hope that you too will find solace in the good times that you shared with your brother. May God wrap his arms around you and give you peace.

  • Reply
    Jen, a priorfatgirl
    April 23, 2010 at 5:09 am

    I dread the one year August anniversary….

    so glad to hear you just allowed yourself to let it all out…

  • Reply
    Lizzie
    April 23, 2010 at 5:09 am

    Everyone deals with it differently. One of my friends lost both her parents within a 3 year period in her 20’s – she told me she still hasn’t grieved for her father as she’s not really sure she’s ready. You need to do what you feel works for you – and if it’s baking a bajillion cookies then so be it! You have incredible strength to be dealing with this. Sending a prayer for you.

  • Reply
    Sarah
    April 23, 2010 at 5:14 am

    Your posts give us strength. So please, don’t stop baking.

  • Reply
    Alexandra
    April 23, 2010 at 5:14 am

    Jenna,

    I can totally relate to this post. Baking is my outlet for dealing with pain as well. When I have a bad day I just want to bake cookies or bread. It makes everything a little bit better in this world. I can relate to the sobbing on the floor and I actually do have furniture! Sending prayers your way…

  • Reply
    Kate
    April 23, 2010 at 5:15 am

    Jenna:
    I don’t know if you read all of the comments because you don’t seem to reply to many, but I wanted to let you know I reread through last years entries and cried. I cried when your brother died and I cried rereading them, I will be praying for you and your family. I can’t imagine the pain this must cause all of you.

  • Reply
    M(a different M than the other M!!)
    April 23, 2010 at 5:20 am

    I really was moved by your posts last year describing your lovely brother and what he was like.If you ever felt like sharing some more goofy or sweet or whatever stories or decriptions of him,I for one would be very honored to read more about him.
    I still remember your beautiful story about John wanting to take home that undersized kitty from the vet-what a sweet story.
    How is that kitty doing these days?How is Mikan ?
    Bless you all,strangers are we all but your gifts have brought us into a very small part of your world.Blessings.

  • Reply
    runnerforever
    April 23, 2010 at 5:23 am

    Keep baking and healing, you are an inspiration to many.

  • Reply
    Kristin (Cook, Bake and Nibble)
    April 23, 2010 at 5:24 am

    We have all dealt with grief in one way or the other, and I am right with you when I say baking is the ULTIMATE comfort. It is rhythmic and precise and calming… the best cure, I say. And the cookie at the end? Well, it can’t hurt ๐Ÿ˜‰

    xo
    K

  • Reply
    Jennie {in Wonderland}
    April 23, 2010 at 5:30 am

    Sending you so much love, Jenna.

  • Reply
    Jessica @ The Process of Healing
    April 23, 2010 at 5:32 am

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family!
    Stay strong, you are destined to do GREAT things!

  • Reply
    Rachel @ Shedding It
    April 23, 2010 at 5:32 am

    I think it’s amazing that you blogged this; you’re right — writers write. I love hearing the real you. While I’ve never experienced grief that deep, I most definitely have baked and run through a lot of pain. It’s just how we do…and then we go back to the business of being happy and loving life. Breaking down doesn’t make you unhappy; it just makes you real.

  • Reply
    Lisa
    April 23, 2010 at 5:32 am

    Jenna,
    I’m sending you a hug. I have been there – not baking – but crying and looking crazy. I lost my sister, who was 16 years younger then me, suddenly, 3.5 yrs ago. It is those sudden cries that are the worst. I will tell you, after plenty of Friday evenings of crying while driving home from work (I was a big in my car crier), it does get easier. Never easy. Never back to how it was. Never. However you get through it, like you have been, and this next year, which wont have so many firsts, will not be so rough.
    Take care.

  • Reply
    amethyst
    April 23, 2010 at 5:34 am

    I’d love to, Jenna and to give you a big hug (and a glass of wine) but I’m so far away… My thoughts are with you, though. You are amazing, btw A xx

  • Reply
    Lindsay @ The Ketchup Diaries
    April 23, 2010 at 5:40 am

    You are strong and brave for sharing this. That is what grief does – it simply swallows you sometimes and has you do things that don’t make much sense. But, you’re strong and amazing and the grief won’t hold you down forever. Proud of you. Big hugs from Massachusetts.

  • Reply
    Sarah
    April 23, 2010 at 5:46 am

    thanks for sharing even the hardest stories.

  • Reply
    Heather (Heather's Dish)
    April 23, 2010 at 5:53 am

    thanks so much for sharing. it’s funny because i was watching Julie and Julia yesterday for, oh i don’t know, the 4th time this week, and the part where she says the same thing about chocolate cream pie gets me every time. it’s such a comfort to know that you can count on something!

  • Reply
    Sarah R
    April 23, 2010 at 5:53 am

    Yes, yes, yes. Exactly why I bake as well. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  • Reply
    Liza
    April 23, 2010 at 6:03 am

    I’m so sorry, Jenna, for what you are going through. I hope you have moments of peace between the grief and I hope, over time, those moments stretch wide and give you strength.

  • Reply
    Kelly
    April 23, 2010 at 6:04 am

    I know what you mean about baking..something about how methodical it is and that you have to follow the recipe just makes you totally involved in the baking and able to zone everything else out.

    Thanks for sharing this post with us. I’m sure it must have been hard but it’s nice to see the different sides of Jenna sometimes. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family!

  • Reply
    Sarah
    April 23, 2010 at 6:05 am

    Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers as you go through this week. I also think baking is very soothing, there’s a method to what you’re doing and the end results just make you feel good ๐Ÿ™‚ Whatever helps get you through the day…

  • Reply
    Heather @ Side of Sneakers
    April 23, 2010 at 6:08 am

    This was a beautiful post Jenna- thanks for deciding to share it.
    I think everybody has something that just soothes them, whether it’s baking, cooking, painting, writing- I’m glad you’ve found something that can comfort you during such a difficult time. You’re such a strong person- but remember, you don’t always have to be.

  • Reply
    Katy ( The Balanced Foodie)
    April 23, 2010 at 6:10 am

    Wow, this must have taken you a lot of strength to write this Jenna. I’m praying for you and your family. I know we can’t understand what you’re feeling..at least, I can’t. I’ve lost friends, a cousin and grandparents but losing a sibling is so different. I won’t try and say that I understand but know that you’re in my prayers.

    I can totally understand baking therapy. It’s my favorite therapy. I absolutely love to bake and how by following step-by-step instructions you will get something amazing. The line about following the steps and it will turn out reminds me a lot of Julie & Julia. It’s one of my favorite parts because it’s so true. Wish I could try one of those cookies!

  • Reply
    Rachel
    April 23, 2010 at 6:13 am

    Jenna, I want you to know that after I read your blog yesterday, I thought about you ALL DAY. (Not in the creepstalker way, but the I wish I could say something to make her feel better way.) I think you are the strongest person EVER. I don’t think I could make it through something like that. And I am totally with you on the crying while walking thing. I’ve done that a couple of times. It can feel slightly embarassing, but at the same time it makes you feel a little better.

    Keep pushing through, and writing about it if you need too. We are all here for you!!!

    xoxoxo

  • Reply
    Sophie @ yumventures
    April 23, 2010 at 6:17 am

    My thoughts are with you during this hard time. You have been such a strong and amazing person, and done so much since then. The life you are living to your fullest now is in memory of your brother, and you are so STRONG because of that. Baking is so methodical and comforting. I hope you ended up enjoying a few of those cookies.

  • Reply
    Andrea
    April 23, 2010 at 6:18 am

    Jenna,
    Thank you for this post. I could totally relate, and my mom could too- in fact, the night her mother died she was up baking dozens and dozens of muffins at 3am. So no, you aren’t crazy at all! You are a brave and strong woman. I think the way you’ve handled the tragic cards you were dealt is very, very admirable. Best wishes,
    Andrea.

  • Reply
    Brigitte
    April 23, 2010 at 6:18 am

    Jenna my heart goes out to you! Do whatever you need to do to soothe the grief:)

  • Reply
    Ashley
    April 23, 2010 at 6:21 am

    sometimes finding your comfort zone is the only way to truly let you relax. i’m glad you found something to calm you, and i’m so sorry this is such a hard time for you. you are going to pull through stronger than you even thought you were before.

  • Reply
    Anne P
    April 23, 2010 at 6:24 am

    Hugs to you my dear. You are strong and amazing and your brother would be proud. xoxo

  • Reply
    Becky
    April 23, 2010 at 6:25 am

    Thank you for sharing this with everyone. I think people deal with grief in different ways, and it’s important for people to know that there are so many different ways that grief manifests itself. You’ve been through a lot in the past year and I think it is 100% normal to occasionally be overwhelmed by it all still. Hang in there – and allow your family and friends to be your support at this very difficult time.

  • Reply
    S
    April 23, 2010 at 6:28 am

    And now I am sitting here crying.

    Two days ago I was just sitting at my desk listening to music and working and I just burst into uncontrollable sobs. I cried and cried and cried and couldn’t stop. My mom passed away now over 7 years ago, and most days I am fine, but every few months it hits me like a punch to my heart and I just lose it. I cry over the memories I remember, those I can’t, and the ones I will never have.

    Somehow, those tears give me relief. They remind me that she is still here with me in my heart and I still love her as much as ever. And then I, too, like you, bake, or in my case cook. On that day I made a batch of stuffed artichokes that no one was going to eat. Actually, there are still in the fridge. Whoops.

    All that to say- thank you for sharing your smiles and your laughs, your pain and your joy.

    I feel less alone in my sorrow.

  • Reply
    Erin
    April 23, 2010 at 6:28 am

    Hi Jenna,
    Iโ€™ve been reading your blog for awhile now, less then a year, but have followed along habitually since I started. I wanted to share something I wrote about grief about a month after my mom died nearly 3 years ago. Grief is tough and it comes in waves, but the goal is to move through it just as you have. Feeling it, connecting to yourself and then bringing yourself out of it again
    Here is what I wrote: http://juniperandsage.typepad.com/smallthings/2007/07/grieving.html
    Keep writing. That helps too.
    good thoughts to you,
    Erin

  • Reply
    Callina
    April 23, 2010 at 6:29 am

    My hurts for you. This week we lost one of our dogs, so for the first time in my life I am really experiencing heartbreaking grief. I know a dog isn’t a sibling, but I’ve been fortunate to not have lost anyone very close to me ever before. My eyes have been red for the majority of the week ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve choked back tears at work and cried myself to sleep, and I’ve also burst into tears randomly here and there. I think it’s normal, but the fact that it is still doesn’t make it hurt any less.

  • Reply
    Jill
    April 23, 2010 at 6:30 am

    So sorry these are tough days. Sending all good prayers and vibes in your direction.

  • Reply
    S
    April 23, 2010 at 6:31 am

    Also, this poem always brings me comfort, and I know I feel my mom in different moments in time. I hope that you too feel your brother.

    Do not stand at my grave and weep;
    I am not there. I do not sleep.
    I am a thousand winds that blow.
    I am the diamond glints on snow.
    I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
    I am the gentle autumn rain.
    When you awaken in the morning’s hush
    I am the swift uplifting rush
    Of quiet birds in circled flight.
    I am the soft stars that shine at night.
    Do not stand at my grave and cry;
    I am not there. I did not die.

  • Reply
    MMiller
    April 23, 2010 at 6:34 am

    I so want to fly to California and give you hugs! I’m glad you can feel your way through and do what makes you feel better! I used to cry each time I drove past the Exit on I-75 that I would take to go to my sister’s house…that took months…now I just think of the happier times when I went to see her! I don’t cry very often anymore, but I still think of her every day! And I talk to her and sometimes yell at her and usually ask for her help! The loss is always there, you just start to get better at dealing with it! Glad the baking helped! And as always, you are in my prayers! Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply
    Kelly
    April 23, 2010 at 6:42 am

    I’ve did a lot of reading about grief after my parents died. What you are experiencing is called a ‘grief attack”. Although heartbreaking at the time, it’s a wonderful sign that you are working through the grief and are healing emotionally.

  • Reply
    Andrea (TastebudApproved)
    April 23, 2010 at 6:42 am

    No, you are not going crazy. It’s been three years since my boyfriend died and I still have those moments. The one year anniverssary was especially difficult. Sometimes I would lay on the floor and sob and sob. I would feel too physically and emtionaly drained to get up or move at all, I just sobbed until I ran out of tears. Don’t be afraid to cry, or scream, or whatever you need to. Sometime you neeeeeeed to cry. You need to release your emotions. It does get better over time, I promise. Know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Reply
    maren
    April 23, 2010 at 6:49 am

    sending you hugs and prayers! wish i could come over to talk and share cookies with you

  • Reply
    maren
    April 23, 2010 at 6:49 am

    sending you hugs and prayers! wish i could come over to talk and share cookies with you

  • Reply
    Alexa Meany
    April 23, 2010 at 6:55 am

    this is beautiful. you are such an inspiring role model for me. Never change!

  • Reply
    Jessica
    April 23, 2010 at 6:55 am

    Baking helps me relieve stress and so I completely understand just baking away(5 dozen cookies) In fact, last night I wanted to make Ain’t yo Mama’s Banana pudding (Paula Deen style= very FATTY). I made the entire thing, and didn’t eat a bite. I realized afterward that it was just a way for me to relax from the everyday stress of life(work, etc).. Luckily the boyfriend is a middle school teacher and so he had a LOT of banana pudding to take to the kids today! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and emotions with us, your blog followers. I really enjoy reading your blog everyday… its something i look forward to. I hope you have comfort in knowing that your brother is protecting you, watching over you and smiling constantly watching the wonderful things you are doing in life.

    Have a great day!

  • Reply
    caitlin
    April 23, 2010 at 6:55 am

    i love you!

  • Reply
    Megan
    April 23, 2010 at 6:58 am

    Ohh, Jenna. My heart just breaks for you. Sending you lots of well wishes and kind thoughts all the way from Canada. You are so brave to share this with the blog world and I hope you get some comfort from all of us sending you our virtual love. Glad you’re getting even a little bit of solace from baking – cookies are good for a lot of things, I guess ๐Ÿ™‚ .

  • Reply
    Cyclist Kate
    April 23, 2010 at 7:00 am

    Big love to you sister-lady.

  • Reply
    Jess.
    April 23, 2010 at 7:01 am

    Jenna~

    I have been reading your blog for over 2 yrs now and I want to let you know i have enjoyed it more the past few weeks than ever… you are a great writer and i love hearing about your life, even more than hearing about your food. I lost my dad almost 8yrs ago right around this time and it is still really hard every single year. i still break down in tears about it, long exhausting crying and very cathartic sessions of tears. It doesn’t really ever get easier, you just learn to live with it. I too am a joyful person, if anything, losing my dad when he was 41 taught me to never take life for granted, to live everyday to the absolute fullest, to love your life, whatever your circumstances and to always always be grateful. Joy comes more naturally for me now than it did 8yrs ago but i am still blindsided by the loss, the sadness, the absolute emptiness my heart holds over the loss of my dad. I am crying as I write this. Thank you so much for sharing. It is good to know other go thru the same things. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  • Reply
    Jess.
    April 23, 2010 at 7:03 am

    p.s.- i also bake and chop and cook when I need comfort and solace… There is something very relaxing and healing about all of it- a connection to years and years and years of people sharing those experiences… to life.

  • Reply
    chrissy
    April 23, 2010 at 7:14 am

    Cooking = healing. It’s so true.
    And grief will never be easier, but eventually it will be easier to bear.

  • Reply
    rachel
    April 23, 2010 at 7:14 am

    Oh, Jenna. I can’t even imagine how you’re feeling. I lost my best friend 3 and a half years ago and I still have spells where I just cry and cry. I can’t even imagine losing someone in my family. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts during this difficult time. Keep on cooking if that’s your peaceful place…I’d be more than happy to take some of those cookies off your hands ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Annie D.
    April 23, 2010 at 7:22 am

    You poor dear. I know just what you mean. SERIOUSLY. There are days, weeks, that I just cry and cry and cry. Then, just when I don’t think I have any more crying in me, I turn to my comforts. Painting helps. Journaling helps. Blogging helps. Yelling, screaming, kicking helps. Baking helps. Meditation helps. EFT helps. Being outside helps. Day by day, week by week, hour by hour… one second at a time. Bake away, my dear!

  • Reply
    RED
    April 23, 2010 at 7:23 am

    Nine years ago this past January is when I lost my brother. I think of him often even though it has been a long time. Even more than nine years later there are the days where you can’t not think of it, you wonder why, I listen to his music, look at his pictures, have a few drinks… I wish I could say something to help you out, but I’m not going to give you the stupid bullshit line of “it gets better over time.” I hate it when people say that. Sure, maybe the real bad days are fewer as time goes on, but they’re still there. I hope today is a better day for you. Take care

  • Reply
    Jennie
    April 23, 2010 at 7:31 am

    Jenna,

    I lost a baby in October 2003. He was too early and born still. I still grieve for him. He changed my life in an instant. I find that the days leading up to the anniversary of his birth (death) are the hardest for me. Once the day passes, I can breathe again. It’s okay for you to be sad. Don’t be afraid to show your grief. I think it’s helps to heal. And it’s okay be happy to and to feel joy. I think of my babe most when I see a beautiful sunset, clouds with the rays of the sun peaking through, or listening to the ocean. I have a necklace that I wear, it says “I hold your heart in mine”. That says it all.

    Peace and love.
    xo,
    Jennie

  • Reply
    Beth @ DiningAndDishing
    April 23, 2010 at 7:32 am

    Writing and cooking and crying are all such healthy ways of dealing with grief. Good for you Jenna. I’m sure your brother would be so proud of how well you have done in the last year.

  • Reply
    ash
    April 23, 2010 at 7:33 am

    That was a great post!

    My father died 2 1/2 years ago and I sometimes feel the same way- sometimes for no apparant reason! Do whatever heals you ๐Ÿ™‚ and you’ll come out stronger!

  • Reply
    Shelly
    April 23, 2010 at 7:38 am

    Jenna, if you haven’t already, have you thought about finding a therapist in California- I know where I am (New Orleans) there are non-profit places where you only have to pay as much as you can afford….
    I don’t think that your level of grief is out of the ordinary, but you are also in the middle of a big transition- which can be so so hard. It might help to have someone who can help guide you through all this, you know?
    I hope you feel better soon. Baking can be so soothing!

  • Reply
    Taylor
    April 23, 2010 at 7:39 am

    Grief is a paralyzing thing. It used to really bother me when people would say something like, “time heals all”. I didn’t want to heal because I thought that meant I would forget or stop feeling. But, it’s the truth and I offer it to you. I’m sure you know it and you’ve heard it, too. Embrace the tears and the pain because you can still feel it and it really is helping you cope. I’m so sorry for your loss and for what you’re feeling now. Looks like you have a pretty amazing fan base that’s in your corner!

  • Reply
    Hilary
    April 23, 2010 at 7:40 am

    My thoughts are with you.

  • Reply
    Emily
    April 23, 2010 at 7:41 am

    My brother died 8 years ago and I still cry about it at random times. Especially when the anniversary comes around; I am sad the entire day and I just let myself wallow in it. I let myself cry and feel sad and wallo in my self-pity whenever I start to feel sad about losing him. I really let the emotions in and then I can let them pass. This really seems to help. It is so hard losing someone and I have to say it really never does get easier. I cry less now but I still feel the same amount of grief when I do think about him. I am truly sorry for your loss.

  • Reply
    Katie
    April 23, 2010 at 7:51 am

    Jenna, you are an amazingly strong and beautiful woman. Thank you for sharing your struggles with your readers. This was a really beautiful post, please know that you’re in my prayers. Hugs, Katie

  • Reply
    SueP
    April 23, 2010 at 7:53 am

    Jenna, Delurking to say how very sorry I am for your deep loss. Time helps, but as you mentioned, grief can grab you by the throat when you least expect it. My thoughts and (((hugs))) are with you and your family. Ps. 37:4

  • Reply
    Britt
    April 23, 2010 at 7:54 am

    i lost my father very suddenly 6 years ago and the trauma it unleashed on my family is indescribable. 6 years later, i don’t know if i have a single piece of useful advice to share but i did read The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion and it provided me solace. it’s a quick read, but will stay with you. one of my favorite quotes from the book, which i’m sure you can relate, “That I was only beginning the process of mourning did not occur to me. Until now, I had only been able to grieve, not mourn. Grief was passive. Grief happened. Mourning, the act of dealing with grief, required attention.”

  • Reply
    Allie
    April 23, 2010 at 7:56 am

    you are truly amazing. prayers and love.

  • Reply
    Joanna
    April 23, 2010 at 8:01 am

    My dad died almost three years ago and I can tell you that grief is cyclical. It’s almost a living being. Sometimes you can feel it inside of you, painfully coming up to the surface. Death is not something you get over; it’s something you learn to deal with in whatever way you can: baking, running, crying, screaming, holing up with a book. Most days are fine. But there are those sad, lonely days that aren’t.

    I don’t know if this quote will help you, but it helped me. It made me feel like maybe I wasn’t the only one going through it.
    “Tonight all the hells of young grief have opened again; the mad words, the bitter resentment, the fluttering in the stomach, the nightmare unreality, the wallowed-in tears. For in grief, nothing ‘stays put.’ One keeps on emerging from a phase, but it always recurs. Round and round. Everything repeats. Am I going in circles, or dare I hope I am on a spiral? But if a spiral, am I going up or down it?” (from A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis)

  • Reply
    Becky
    April 23, 2010 at 8:21 am

    I second the suggestion to read The Year of Magical Thinking. It is an incredibly powerful, raw description of grief, and so true.

  • Reply
    Kamaile
    April 23, 2010 at 8:22 am

    Having lost both parents at a young age (28) I know exactly what you’re taking about! It’s been 12 years and though I never stop thinking about them it is easier now to think of the good times and be thankful for the here and now. Thinking of you!

  • Reply
    Lauren
    April 23, 2010 at 8:25 am

    You are not crazy. I know this pain too, 3 years later. I’m sending positive energy your way.

  • Reply
    Cristin
    April 23, 2010 at 8:32 am

    Thank you for sharing, Jenna. I know that must have been hard. I so enjoy reading your blog and am thinking about you during this difficult time. Lots of love!

  • Reply
    Ali @ Food, Fitness, Fashion
    April 23, 2010 at 8:34 am

    Touching post. I am thinking of you, and sending hugs and prayers. I would love to come over for cookies.

  • Reply
    NJMOM
    April 23, 2010 at 8:49 am

    I lost my mom 11yrs ago. I still cry almost everyday for her. I look at her picture on my desk at work and cry. I hurts really bad to lose my best friend. It does get a little easier every year.

  • Reply
    C. Weber
    April 23, 2010 at 8:56 am

    I am so sorry for your loss! I lost my Father on July 4th, 2008 due to a gunshot wound. The first year was so hard. I felt like a zombie most of the time. I went to therapy and it helped alot. I still have days when I think about my Dad and I will just lose it. I feel better after a gut wrenching crying fit. It also helps when I get signs that he is ok. This morning my alarm went off and it was The Turtles “Happy Together” which was one of my Dad’s favorite songs to sing Karoke to. I feel like that was a little good morning from him. Though they are not here physically, I know they are spiritually. I hope you feel better soon!

  • Reply
    Jerilynne
    April 23, 2010 at 9:01 am

    Oh Jenna. I am definitely sending good thoughts your way. You are not alone, though. Baking is my therapy too, and what I’m dealing with is nothing compared to what you must be going through. There’s something about tying on your apron and ignoring the rest of the world for awhile that is just sometimes so neccessary.

  • Reply
    Liz
    April 23, 2010 at 9:02 am

    Hi Jenna,
    I have never lost anyone close to me, so I can’t begin to imagine how awful it must feel. I can assure you though that furniture is overrated! I live in a TINY studio with my husband and two dogs. We sleep on an air mattress and have no other furniture….I eat all my meals on the floor in front of a big window. And I truly like it that way! Nothing in life is permanent. Just accept where you are now and live each day to the best of your ability. You will join your brother eventually, we are all given a limited amount of time on earth before we move on.
    I’ll be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Reply
    Liz
    April 23, 2010 at 9:02 am

    Hi Jenna,
    I have never lost anyone close to me, so I can’t begin to imagine how awful it must feel. I can assure you though that furniture is overrated! I live in a TINY studio with my husband and two dogs. We sleep on an air mattress and have no other furniture….I eat all my meals on the floor in front of a big window. And I truly like it that way! Nothing in life is permanent. Just accept where you are now and live each day to the best of your ability. You will join your brother eventually, we are all given a limited amount of time on earth before we move on.
    I’ll be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Reply
    Beth G
    April 23, 2010 at 9:03 am

    My dad died completely suddenly in July. One Monday morning I thought I was getting up to shower and go to work and the next thing I know my mother is on the phone with my husband telling him that my dad never woke up that morning. I totally know what you mean about just needing to take a few hours and do something numbing. Something that helps you refocus.

    Good luck with everything.

  • Reply
    Katie@ Two Lives, One Lifestyle
    April 23, 2010 at 9:13 am

    I can’t even begin to imagine losing one of my siblings, my heart goes out to you and your family especially this week. That overwhelming sense of grief and how it just takes over the body- have been there. Sometimes it feels better letting it all out than trying to rationalize or fight it. A good hard cry can make everything feel a bit better– and the baking therapy. Enjoy some cookies and friends and celebrating all that is good!

  • Reply
    Teri [a foodie stays fit]
    April 23, 2010 at 9:13 am

    I totally get this. When I’m really really down, sometimes getting in the kitchen and baking lets me forget everything. keep your chin up, beautiful.

  • Reply
    Marina
    April 23, 2010 at 9:14 am

    I understand how you feel. I’ve had a hard time these past few days too, missing my father, dreaming about him…
    Baking sounds like a good therapy. I won’t say that I hope you’ll feel better soon, because I know how it goes, I’ll just say you’re in my thoughts, and I’m sending you huge hugs and kisses all the way from Europe.

  • Reply
    Elise
    April 23, 2010 at 9:18 am

    I do and don’t understand. I say I do, because next month will mark ten years since my father passed (he killed himself; I was sixteen). It’s not that much easier now than it was when it happened. I’ve found, though, that I experience the pain in different ways as years pass. I still experience moments of breathlessness when I think about him sometimes. A crystal clear memory of him pops into my head, and I remember that he was living and breathing, that he was a vital part of my life.

    At the same time, though, I don’t understand, because our grief and our pain is so personal, so idiosyncratic, so complex and difficult to understand.

    Know that it will be okay. You will be okay. Some moments and memories will be unbearable for the rest of your life, but you will continue to be strong and lovely, and to find your own way.

  • Reply
    Cara
    April 23, 2010 at 9:20 am

    I am sending positive thoughts your way as well. This might be weird, but I actually read your post yesterday about the anniversary, and for some reason I had a dream last night that we were hanging out and we were talking about it and we were both bawling together about it. I have been reading your blog for several years now, and I guess because you are such a passionate person and your writing from the heart you really jump out, as if you are a real friend even though we never met or talked. This probably sounds really creepy and weird though, i hope you do not take it that way. I am glad baking can help you through this. Wish I could have a cookie. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Erin
    April 23, 2010 at 9:23 am

    I’ve been reading your blog for a long time now but never comment (sorry that sounds creepy!) but wanted to add my thoughts to your question.

    First I am so sorry you are going through this right now. It’s horrible and terrible to try to understand. I am thinking of you.

    Eight years ago in March I lost my little brother (he was five I was 14) it was a very sudden illness. As I grieved and the years began to pass I think I’ve realized that you never ‘get over it’. You learn to live and to be happy (as the person you loved and lost would want you to be) but you don’t get over them. You carry them with you because you love them. It has gotten easier and I’ve found that as time passes more and more I can think of him and smile rather than cry. They cannot be replaced or removed from your heart, just treasured and loved.

    I’m so sorry about your brother, anniversaries are difficult, I think in a certain way for siblings because our grief is not always as visible. I hope you have a better day.

  • Reply
    Aniah
    April 23, 2010 at 9:26 am

    hey lady.
    you aren’t crazy- infact, I once baked 15 chocolate cakes (with funfetti frosting) after my sister died. I am not a baker, but breaking into all of those betty crocker cake mix boxes and eating funfetti was just necessary.

    I used to run from the grief- I could feel it creeping up and I would run as far as I could in the other direction, refusing to give it an inch. I did that for about a year until I was almost breaking at the cracks- which is when I realized, my sister was one of the greatest people I’ve ever known- the world misses her and its ok to mourn her, she deserves it.

    I am still figuring out the whole grief thing- and it actually seems like you are much further along than I am ๐Ÿ™‚ but I survive by focusing on living in a way that would make my sister proud.. and sometimes that means being honest, letting myself mourn and baking 15 damn chocolate cakes.

    Girl, you amaze me. You haven’t just settled for just surviving, you are really living. sometimes life requires grief and sugar cookies, but you aren’t running from it and that’s that matters.

    I don’t know you, but I havent stopped praying for you. Our God is mighty and you aren’t alone.

  • Reply
    Lauren @ Running Examiner
    April 23, 2010 at 10:00 am

    <3

    Keeping you in my prayers.

  • Reply
    Lauren
    April 23, 2010 at 11:50 am

    Praying for you and your family, Jenna. Wanted to share this–“When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown!…For I am the LORD your God” Isaiah 43:2,3. I think you may really identify with David, an incredibly honest writer with lots of pain and lots of love. Psalms are amazing when feeling the storms of life. Much love sent your way, dear.

  • Reply
    Suzanne de Cornelia
    April 23, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    Am so glad you posted this—reading all of the other comments helped me a lot as am sure they helped others too who are dealing with grief. And if I ever run into a beautiful blonde in wine country dressed in ‘biker lycra’ crying, laughing and eating cookies–I’ll be sure to say Hi! hahahaha

    Maybe you should bake & sell EatLiveRun.Com cookies! You always read online how someone starter baking cookies and next thing you know they’re rich!

  • Reply
    Meredith @ Sweat Every Day
    April 23, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    The anniversary of my dad’s death was one of the worst days of my life. Actually the day before it was the worst because I constantly thought “a year ago today was the last time I was a whole person”. Grief sucks. It hits you when you think you’re over it and it turns you into someone who randomly bursts into tears. I know what you’re going through and I’m truly sorry for it — it’s an awful club to be a part of but at least we have each other (and baking) to lean on.

  • Reply
    Rita
    April 23, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    I didn’t read all of the comments, but I think you have found that you are definitely not alone in feeling the way you are feeling. I lost my sister coming up on 2 years now and like many other here, I find myself sobbing from time to time. Sometimes it’s just tears streaming and sometimes I can control it. Other times, I can’t. Grief is different for everyone. There are some days that I only think of her a few times, and then I realize this and feel incredibly guilty. Shouldn’t I miss her everyday? She would want me to live life.

    You bake cookies to cope, I eat them. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    natalie (natattack)
    April 24, 2010 at 3:37 am

    true inspiration.
    moments like that happen.
    trust me.
    and trust everyone.
    moments like that happen.
    life is beautiful, in every unique way.
    sometimes hard.
    but it all happens for a reason.
    keep calm and carry on.
    hope your feeling better today
    ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Erin
    April 24, 2010 at 7:07 am

    Sending so many prayers, hugs, and thoughts your way. You are not alone in grief, although it always seems to feel it. Over twenty years later and I still, sometimes, get taken over by it… Unable to understand why, or how, this could happen. Thank you for sharing that beautiful post…

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    Indi
    April 24, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    Jenna, I’ve been reading your blog for a while now but I rarely comment. Anyway, your blog is one of my favorites. You have such an honest, refreshing writing style. I I went back and read some of your posts from last April and I started crying too. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Baking can be really comforting and I do the same thing when I am stressed or missing my family and friends. Yesterday I found out I might not be seeing my parents or best friends for a year because I’m moving, and I ran to the store and bought ingredients to make oreo fudge bars. And I ate probably 2/3 of the pan. So do whatever helps you and enjoy the cookies, they look delicious!!

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    Kate
    April 24, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    I have been reading your blog for months. I discovered it by accident and is really one of very few I read. Yours is truly my favorite because of the writing, but also because your passion for everything you do is so evident. It is truly inspiring.
    I am going through a situation where I am experiencing grief as well, albeit very different. My husband of 5 months just moved out, said he never wanted to get married and didnโ€™t want to try and remain married now. We had been together over 10 years. I found out that he had been cheating, that it started about a month before our wedding. I am now about 8 weeks into this whole mess, and most days, it feels like my whole world is crumbling down around me. Our families were extremely close, and there are no friends I have that are not also his friends. People ask, how are you managingโ€ฆ I donโ€™t understand how you are making it throughโ€ฆ Most times, my response to myself and to others is: What is the alternative? I have to manage if I want to survive. I donโ€™t want to sit on the couch all day and not be able to live my life. I want to be the person that I thought I was 2 months ago. So I manage. I cry a lot still, but I am able to manage. I lay in bed at night, alone now, and think about whether I was proud of myself that day: did I keep the promises I made to people, would my family and friends be proud of me? I know that for months and maybe years I will mourn this loss. In some instances it feels like everything I thought I knew is no longer. To mourn and to grieve means that what you are missing was important to you. It doesnโ€™t matter if it was a month ago or a year ago, or 10 years ago. Sometimes, that feeling finds us and we have to go and sob it out in the womens restroom at a clients office; or sometimes we have to sob while walking down Fitch Street. Maybe this post was as much for you as it was for me, but I will tell you thisโ€ฆ We will make it and we will survive, because we have to, there is no alternative. And if we are going to survive, we might as well make our lives the best that they can be, so that we can go to bed at night knowing that.

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    Michelle
    April 25, 2010 at 2:16 am

    I know that I am late to this post but I just want you to know that I sent up a prayer for you and will be praying for you tonight at church. May God ease your pain, and bring peace to your heart.

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    redtayl
    April 25, 2010 at 11:37 am

    The year my sister was ending her life was an entire year of grief for us, her family. In the approximately 6 months preceding and after Linda’s death, I did more crying than in my entire life before and since, not only because of her cancer but because of other horrible things in my life – discovering my husband had been abusing our daughter, leaving the marriage, being completely broke and needing to feed four children. And crap like that. Besides crying, and somehow managing to get through each day, I wrote in a journal. A year later I was very glad I did that writing, because it turned out that the grief and pain I was going through at the time was so numbing that later I had no recollection of either the events or the feelings they triggered. Beginning on the anniversary of Linda’s death, I re-read my journal entries from those of the past 18 months, and while it was very painful to remember the details of each day, and very painful to feel again those same emotions welling up in me, I think it was also part of the healing for me.

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    Carolyn
    April 25, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    I cried every night for a year after my sisters death. Things do get easier and time helps but the pain will never go away completely. The anniversary and birthdays are the hardest, stay strong.

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    chand
    April 26, 2010 at 6:10 am

    Hi Jenna, I don’t think I have ever commented and this is several days later than your post so you may not see this. I too lost a beloved brother, three years ago. I remember journaling almost the same thoughts. I think you are doing remarkable. Just yesterday I was reminding myself I will see him again someday and PO at him at the same time because he is gone. BTW…homemade chocolate pudding is my go to comfort when I get fed up with trying to be all sunshine and content about it!
    Keep it up girl you are doing great!

  • Reply
    chand
    April 26, 2010 at 6:10 am

    Hi Jenna, I don’t think I have ever commented and this is several days later than your post so you may not see this. I too lost a beloved brother, three years ago. I remember journaling almost the same thoughts. I think you are doing remarkable. Just yesterday I was reminding myself I will see him again someday and PO at him at the same time because he is gone. BTW…homemade chocolate pudding is my go to comfort when I get fed up with trying to be all sunshine and content about it!
    Keep it up girl you are doing great!

  • Reply
    Corinne
    April 26, 2010 at 10:35 am

    wish i could come over and share a few. instead sending you good vibes and my mantra in times like this: “in w. the good, out w. the bad..in w. the good, out w. the bad” -name the movie ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Sam
    April 26, 2010 at 11:17 am

    Jenna,

    I lost my grandmother last month and had to leave work a few hours early because I was so emotionally distraught. I went home and found that I needed to do something comforting that would require a bit of love. I baked my favorite cookies even though I wasn’t in the mood to eat cookies. I guess there is something about baking that helps one deal with grief because I felt better afterward.

    I’m so sorry for your loss.

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