Eat, Drink, and Be Sad. It’s Okay.

I am reposting this page because of the Orlando tragedy. And I hope this brings some small comfort to those who have lost a loved one.

But I am so tired of this. I just cannot stand it any longer. This country needs to ban all semi-automatic weapons, as they are only designed to kill people. I don’t want to hear about your Second Amendment rights.  My right to safely go to a club, a movie , a mall, and send my precious child to school overrules your right to own a killing machine.

Enough. This must stop, and it must stop now. We must all do all we can to make the necessary changes to the laws and to the people in power to prevent any further tragedies. No blaming the Muslims, no saying that gay people had it coming to them, no more EXCUSES.

Make change. And make it now.

My deepest sympathies to those in Orlando, and to all who have lost someone through this senseless acts of violence.

 

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I was reading the NPR page on Facebook and discovered a group that was doing something that made incredible sense, and at the same time, was a new concept.

This group is called  “The Dinner Party”.  And no, it is not a site for traditional party planning or a gathering of recipes, although it has both.

It is an organization for grieving the loss of a loved one. Over a meal.  In 2010, five women, in the ages of 20s to 30s, got together for a meal in Los Angeles. Each one was connected by the fact that they had each lost a parent. They found a common bond in each other, and were able to validate the feelings and intensity of their loss, and openly discuss their lives after their losses.  One dinner turned into a monthly gathering, with more friends in attendance. Then the Dinner Party was born, and expanded into other major cities; San Francisco, Washington D.C., New York City. What started as a casual shared experience has  reinvented “grief support” and how  people conceive and talk of loss.

Think about it.  What better way to share a loss than over a meal? Food has always been the great unifying force in all cultures. After a funeral, there is almost always a potluck meal held at the home of the ones experiencing a loss. And at those meals, memories are shared,  and support and love is given.  But what happens after?   The loss of a loved one is different for everyone, and how, when and  why you grieve is deeply personal.  And although we are connected in so many ways today, there is still a lot of isolation.

To me, this is a truly wonderful way  for people to get together to grieve.  Note, these are not counseling or therapy sessions; there are no professionals involved.  This is a venue for a shared experience, among friends. I lost both my father and my sister within one year of each other. To be able to just talk, laugh, and cry with those who have also had a loss would be a moving and freeing experience. And to share that over a meal, how wonderful and fulfilling.

The Dinner Party has a Life After Loss Manifesto, which starts with:

“We are Dinner Partiers. We know what it is to lose a loved one and we’re not afraid to talk about it”.

So, if you are struggling, take a look at The Dinner Party. This may be a way to feel better,  be validated, and not feel so alone. And you will enjoy a good meal with old friends, and maybe make some new ones.  After all, its all about connecting. All we really do have is each other.

If you are interested in finding out more or would like to  attend or host a party, please go to their website,  thedinnerparty.org and all of the information you need is there. I am planning on hosting a party at my home, so if you would like to attend, or have friends who you think would benefit, please contact me and we will set up a dinner.

Below is a writing that I found on grief, author unknown.  But I think it is most fitting.

Grief

I had my own notion of grief.

I thought it was a sad time

That followed the death of someone you loved.

And you had to push through it

to get to the other side.

But I’m learning there is no other side.

There is no pushing through.

But rather,

There is absorption.

Adjustment.

Acceptance.

And grief is not something that you complete.

But rather you endure.

Grief is not a task to finish,

and  move on,

But an element of yourself-

An alteration of your being.

A new way of seeing,

A new definition of self.

 

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