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Thinking of Unique Memorials & Naming My New BuildABear

Saturday, October 02, 2010

My dear cousin (like a sister to me) passed away on July 3 after a three year struggle with cancer that spread everywhere. I did everything I could to help her from a distance - phone, skype, finding resources to help her, sending stuff, praying, etc. I was mentally and emotionally there for her 24/7. Since her departure, I've really been working hard at crazy-glueing my heart and life back together. Like Humpty Dumpty who has fallen off that wall one too many times, there are just too many tiny shards that I don't even know how to piece together anymore.

The harder I work at feeling/doing better, the more I feel that I'm chasing my tail. Maybe time does heal. If it does, great. Meanwhile, I have changed in many ways through all this - not all of them good ways. Be that as it may, I will just have to learn how to do life as this new me.

I've been trying to think of unique ideas for memorials. So far, I have named a tree in her honor, as well as doing a couple of other things. However, I am always trying to find new ways to honor her. Yes, I know. Getting back a quality of life will be the best way I'll honor her, but until then...who knows?

She was given a gift that she loved - a Build A Bear. But that was stolen by someone a mere few hours after she passed. Funny how people just ravage your possessions and take whatever they want. The person who took it was one of the family members who spit in her eye (in a number of ways) the entire three years she was sick. And was rotten to her right till the end. And that is the person who gets to have her beloved bear! Oh, the ironies of life.

Yes, of course, they also took her "valuables." Stole them. But I have to let that battle go as it only harms me in thinking of how terrible her family members were to her.

Long story short, I have ordered my own BuildABear that will be arriving next week. No, I'm not 5 years old (smiling), but I'm a person who has always felt that age is irrelevant and that I'll do whatever I want at any age. With that said, this bear is a symbolic bridge to her as a shared experience. Now I have to name it. And I want something unique and androgynous. Maybe "Tree" since she and I love/d the outdoors?

Any ideas for memorials or names would be welcomed and appreciated. (smiling)

Okay, this has nothing to do with weight. Yet, it has everything to do with it because I've had a three-month long grief-eating rebellion going on that has got to stop. And these little things I can do - memorials and bears - provide a bit of comfort. And a little bit of comfort goes a long way these days.

Wishing all a wonderful day.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Any steps you take to work thru your grief, including bear, is fine.

What worked for me (fiancee, leukemia) was a yearly activity on or as close to the date as possible, first I started doing charity things he believed in. I was his hands, his heart, still beating. It wasn't easy. Sometimes I cried as I did them. Gradually over time it morphed into other symbolic things, always very meaningful, but sometimes not directly related to his wishes.

It is despicable her "family" stole those things - stole anything. Wow who needs enemies with family like that.

So my idea for a memorial is to have a Living Memorial. Change one small piece of the world for the better, and do it in her name. It doesn't have to be fancy. You can wash dishes at a soup kitchen. Sort food at the community food bank.

Time doesn't heal, it just makes it easier to deal with as time goes on. Acceptance comes over time.

Also I still do this exercise: positive memories. I call up 5 positive, beautiful, wonderful things. With one caveat: this can be painful some of the time, and bittersweet often. It's so easy to remember the bad, but I intentionally call up the good memories, and linger on them.

By remembering the positive memories of her, you give part of your life into being a Living Memorial, as well.

Be patient with yourself as you go through the cycles of grief.

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 10/3/2010 7:38PM

    My heart goes out to you. That bear will be very special for you.. You will know the right name when you hear it. It will just resonate with you.

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CHERIRIDDELL 10/2/2010 5:55PM

    I am still not sure what size your bear is LOL but sweaters stretch so I got your bear some sweaters when I was out today I saw them and they said "Buy me for The mMemorial Bear " LOL so I will tuck them in your parcel ! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ALEXSGIRL1 10/2/2010 5:10PM

    that is a good idea the bear sounds great. when my brother passed , he was a drinker and loved to party and eat unhealthy i would go to the gym and do dedicate my work out to him. its been over four years now and i still dedicate my workouts to him.

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PLSOCK 10/2/2010 2:59PM

    I love the bear's very symbolic. We have one named Hope. When my mom passed, we bought a star through Nassau and named it after her. They provide a beautiful wall hanging. I often find myself gazing up, talking to her star. Makes me feel close to her :)

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PEGGY-BEE 10/2/2010 12:33PM

    I vote for "Joyatlast"s suggestion of Courage. My sweet "cousin, like a sister", passed 6 years ago and I miss her daily. What a lovely idea you have to honor yours! No one can take your memories and love you both shared.

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MONKEYSNUFFER 10/2/2010 12:20PM

    That's a beautiful idea!

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JLITT62 10/2/2010 12:12PM

    I am terrible at naming things. I had a cat named Puss, after all. Sorry can't be of more help there! But I think it's an outstanding way to honor your cousin's memory.

Weight loss is so very much mental -- the food, the exercise, the tracking -- all of that is just trappings. If we aren't in the right mental space, it won't happen.


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LESLIES537 10/2/2010 12:01PM

    You're right...finding ways to memorialize our loved ones brings with it a sense of healing and comfort. I think your Build-a-Bear was a great idea and a name should be carefully and lovingly chosen from your heart. emoticon emoticon

Realizing that you are emotionally/grief eating is the 1st big step in overcoming it. You can do this, one step at a time! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JOYATLAST 10/2/2010 11:31AM

    What does "Courage" sound like?

Or "Renee" which means re-born.

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LIBBYFITZ 10/2/2010 11:16AM

    I love bears! What a wonderful idea! emoticon

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Just One Change Could Make So Much Difference!

Friday, October 01, 2010

The other night, I was listening to a radio show on which a doctor was talking about nutritional importance.

He said that he was recently asked by someone who wanted to know, that if he was going to change just one thing in his life, in his diet, what would the doc advise for a healthier life?

His response - SUGAR! Get rid of it as it feeds all of the things that make us ill. He said it's cancer's best friend.

What a coincidence that I've made today the first day (again, but I'll try as many times as I have to) on my sugar detox.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    I look at sugar and say to myself, "Cancer Feed".

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 10/3/2010 6:28PM

    Thanks for posting this....sometimes I forget how bad sugar is for you. I ate way too much of it over the summer.

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FLORIDASUN 10/2/2010 7:55AM

    I look at sugar like 'white death' because it is! emoticon Just because something is sweet doesn't mean it is!! I kicked sodas to the curb a year ago last June...again...nothing but pure chemicals you are throwing down your gullet.

Some of the BEST books out there are by Suzanne Sommers who really blows the lid off on traditional medicine treatments and how cancer cells can actually be shut off through proper nutrition.

It isn't easy this one...finding REAL food is getting harder and harder...but it's an effort well worth taking.

Artificial sugars are killers too...throw out the Splenda the pretty pink packets and blue ones too...if you need something sweet try Stevia which is natural or better yet chop up Medajol dates in your recipes...or even applesauce...if you want to stay healthy you've got to get ahead of the big foodies and all of their's killing commercial and convenience food at a time! emoticon

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ANGE1010 10/2/2010 5:29AM

    Wow, that's interesting news. Thanks for the Goodie and support Jesse. You have been a true friend and I thank you. Have a blessed weekend.


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PAUL324 10/2/2010 1:11AM

    I have read that sugar withdrawal can be worse than heroin, I don,t know but I have not been able to totally kick it and it dose feel like withdrawal.

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CHERIRIDDELL 10/2/2010 12:05AM

    Oh my I am not a sugar fiend but I have it in my diet .Alas I try not to ban too much.I prefer to have fruits and veggies they can be quite sweet !

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I Thought My Forever Plateau Meant Greenlight, Eat Whatever You Want. No?

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Oh, how even smart people (those who know better and have learned healthy tools) go astray! (smiling)

The saga goes like this... Slim all my life and able to eat anything in any quantity without any weight gain, that changed about four or five years (I lose track of time) ago. Hormonal changes, loooooooong work hours (I've since changed that), less exercise (I've since changed this as well), lots of death of loved ones (8 in 2.5 years) and the accompanying grief, my own life's bumps in the road, etc., tidal-waved me and WHAMO! Before I knew what hit me, I went from slimbo to chubbo.

Then, I started the healthier lifestyle change about two years ago and lost 30 lbs. But I lost that weight within the first 6-8 months, so the rest of the time I've been what I term as a "forever plateau." Somehow, my psyche started to interpret that statis as a green light to mean that I'd returned to my former metabolic self. That I could eat like a piglet and not gain.

Well, with the loss of my cousin (like a sister) in July and the sadness that has ensued, I found comfort in treats. Lots of them. And guess what? My plateau is no more! And I cannot eat anything in any quantity. The party is over and, honestly? It wasn't all that much fun. Fortunately, I did not gain back the entire amount, but 10 is still a lot.

I have put myself on a corrective path, and will stick to it. My cousin would mildly scold me in that loving way of hers if she were with me at the moment for abandoning my highest good.

Wishing all a wonderful day.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOOSEINGIT 10/5/2010 4:15PM

    Sorry for your loss.

Plateau's who ever came up with that dreaded word.
I'm trying tio fight my way out of the rut myself.


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FLORIDASUN 10/2/2010 8:18AM

    As you retrain your palate you will be JUST as happy if not HAPPIER with REAL me...a delicious fresh apple appeals to me a thousand times more than a bag of sugar laden candy. In fact last Halloween we didn't even BUY candy...luckily our house didn't get egged by the neighbor kids! You'll find things that absolutely DAZZLE your tastebuds..try a few of the clean eating books...or the RAW eating books...I know if you give yourself a chance you'll do fantastic! Love ya to the moon and back! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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AYAMMAYA 10/1/2010 5:41PM

    Maybe we could go walking sometime girlfriend!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JOYATLAST 10/1/2010 11:48AM

    I was always slim too. I didn't really know what happened or what to do about the weight gain.

You did well to catch it at ten pounds. You know what to do and you sound laser focused. Happy even.

As long as we're teachable, we'll make it.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DDHEART 10/1/2010 10:57AM

    Oh the lessons we learn and it doesn't matter how much we gain to rattle our cage...the cage has been rattled so now you get back to business....I think your cousin is there right over your right shoulder ready to whisper in your ear....listen to that whisper and you'll be ok!

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    Slim all my life. Sigh.

I wish!

You will find the way, and as you do your loved ones will be cheering you on, part of that "great cloud of witnesses" looking down on you from above, cheering you on.

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 9/30/2010 6:43PM

    I'm glad that you are back on the path. Our stories are very similar in that I could eat anything I wanted for years and stayed slim. That changed for me around 45 or so. Magical thinking just doesn't cut it...counting calories and exercising does!

We can lose the weight we regained and become much smarter in the process!!!

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CHERIRIDDELL 9/30/2010 4:30PM

    I feel your pain as a former skinny Minnie I think we suffer more acutely the "having to watch syndrome" Never mind we will encourage each other .We can commiserate with each other and note that healthy food can be fun ! I am determined to make it so! Keep smiling and enjoy a fantastic day!Love and Hugs,Cheri

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JLITT62 9/30/2010 2:14PM

    I must say, I wish I could've ever just eaten whatever I wanted to and stayed slim. I suppose it is harder -- but there are times I just wish I could eat what I wanted to!

But not today. I swear I walked past the pretzel place at the mall 6 times (had to do a bit back & forth to find a place to replace a battery, since it's the first time I've done it since we moved here).

But my clothes were fitting well for the first time in a long time it seems, and it just made me so happy that I walked right past them with barely a glance!

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LIBBYFITZ 9/30/2010 12:10PM

    emoticonSo true. emoticon

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Facing the Scale, Paying the Piper, and Regained Lbs feel Double the Wgt

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

As I wrote in my previous blog, I've eaten my way through this past three months of sadness and grieving, despite knowing better.

I've postponed the dreaded scale as I could feel each pound that arrived during that time. Well, this morning it took all of my courage and before weighing I said to myself that I would not let it get me down. I already knew that I'd done major damage. I'll use it to motivate myself back to action.

Yes, I'll be paying the piper alright. The good news is that I didn't gain back all of the 30 I'd lost, but the bad news is that I gained back 10. And I confess that when you've lost and regained any of that weight, it feels like double the weight. It truly feels like 20. And I can see how I've avoided the mirror more and more. Not good at all. My dearly departed cousin (like a sister to me) would not be happy to see me in such a miserable state - mentally, emotionally, and physically. It's time to get a grip.

When I saw the number, at first I was horrified, and then I almost slipped into my "I don't care" mode that has afflicted me during my months of rebellion. However, I do care. I feel awful and want to feel good again. It's going to take work, but I'm ready to do it.

Wishing all a wonderful day.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FLORIDASUN 10/2/2010 8:13AM

    The most important thing is that you are back on the healthy train...woot..woot...I'm cheering you on...and put that SUGAR down! emoticon emoticon emoticon it's crap with a capital C! emoticon

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RAINBOWFALLS 9/30/2010 11:37AM

    I think you can do it! You have the right attitude! I'm glad you haven't given up.

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NANCY- 9/30/2010 9:07AM

    You will do it.

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JOYATLAST 9/29/2010 11:05PM

    You ARE brave! emoticon

Saying you don't care is a defense mechanism. Saying you DO care is empowering. emoticon on getting a grip!

I'm getting a grip too. And I'm walking toward the plate. Whatever happens - I'm giving it my best shot. emoticon

I hope I can lose 30 pounds like you did.

emoticon Gooooooooooooo Jesse!!!!

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 9/29/2010 8:40PM

    I agree that your cousin wouldn't want to you to not take care of yourself. Hooray for you for getting on the scale today!

I'm glad you are fighting back. I'm in the process of losing the weight I gained over the summer too. We can do this!!

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ALEXSGIRL1 9/29/2010 8:15PM

    i am at your side as you battle with those pounds they will be banished in no time

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LIZZIE13 9/29/2010 5:58PM

    It must be that time of year. I feel I have put some on as well, but will find out on Monday when it is weigh in day. Persistence will be our reward!

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JLITT62 9/29/2010 5:52PM

    So glad that you are stepping back up to the plate. In the end, you know that eating whatever you want won't bring your cousin back -- nor would she want to see you unhappy.

Honor her life by taking care of yours!

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CHERIRIDDELL 9/29/2010 3:54PM

    Noone is going to stop you ,you will lose it and be able to look boldly at the mirror and say I look marvelous!!!I believe in you!!!!

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JERSEYGIRL1950 9/29/2010 3:18PM

    we think alike as i got on the elephant scale myself and gained back 10..not that's not to bad if we stop now...we can do it right???? emoticon

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LIBBYFITZ 9/29/2010 11:37AM

    emoticon emoticon

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BORIQUANMAMI 9/29/2010 11:09AM

    You can do it! I know what it's like to lose a loved one and use it as a crutch for emotional eating. But you're on the right track and get lose it alla gain. THis time you ahve the tools and support of your sparkfriends to help you get there!


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DANGER AHEAD! (Order to Self - This Has Got to Stop - RIGHT NOW!)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Enough's enough. I've been rebelling like a 5-year-old over the loss of my cousin (like a sister) in July. Okay, so this is the 8th person in three years, but who's counting?

Well, I've gained back some of my pounds, but if I don't quit this deliberate shoving edibles in the piehole, I'm headed for big trouble.

I've never been overweight prior to these last few years. And I absolutely hate the way it has felt. I was on a good roll back down to "normal." (my baseline wgt) I do not want to feel yucky anymore.

Now, however, despite knowing all the tools emotionally, mentally and physically, Ihave been daring myself to just not care. I know my dear cousin would not have wanted this for me, but the sadness has been a tidal wave.

AS OF TODAY, it's going to stop. Circling the calendar. It's really really going to stop. What am I punishing myself for - survivor's guilt? For not being able to save her fromthree years of cancer suffering? Enough punishment.

Okay, so I'm sad. I'll deal with it differently. That's that. Man, blogging is a great pressure cooker release valve!

Wishing all a wonderful day.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FLORIDASUN 10/2/2010 8:09AM

    Ahhhh I so feel your pain my darling friend! I SO feel your pain.'s the best thing..go ahead and blog your little heart releases all the stuff rumbling around in your brain and blah...throws it out from the keyboard onto the screen and feel better for that! We are all here to support you, and you know that you will be encouraged every step of the way by your beautiful cousin. When you say she was like your sister...she probably was in a former lifetime. I've read that we all hang out in 'soul groups' and reincarnate over and over in different roles with each other to advance our knowledge and sharpen our perspectives from different genders and's all pretty fascinating stuff and I love that we are ALWAYS together.

If she were here in her human form she'd say..."get a gripe dear can't waste one minute of one day of your life unhappy"...and of course she IS saying that to you...through all of your friends here in spark world that adore you and want you to be happy and healthy...huggers..dear one..we all have our crosses to bear...and we are all here for each other. Now make today a 'Be good to Jesse Day" okay, okay? emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NANCY- 9/30/2010 9:06AM

    I do not know where my comment went from before.... but I just want to tell you that I admire your determination to take care of yourself. Blogging is a terrific tool.
emoticon emoticon

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CHERIRIDDELL 9/29/2010 3:51PM

    You are special and we want you to feel good.All the advice I have read here has been sound ,blogging is a great way of letting out your feelings and letting people who care know what is bothering you.We all want what is best for you! I know Carole would have too.I haven't got the world all figured out or the magic answers but I do know that you make my days better and I want to make yours better too.We need you to know that you are well worth taking the time to make feel healthy and happy.Do what is best for you! We are all behind you rooting for you!

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JENNIFER9907 9/29/2010 9:25AM

    Today is a great day to begin! You are right ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! You can do it girl.!!!! Take care of you for all the right reasons. I have faith in you honey. YOU GOT THIS!!!

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LIBBYFITZ 9/28/2010 11:37PM

    That is so sad about your cousin, but as you said she would not have wanted you to do this to yourself! emoticon emoticon

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DRB13_1 9/28/2010 11:11PM

    As you get walking, I find the time spent moving, breathing, and having time to meditate very centering. You may find your answers by starting to have daily walks. Wishing you brighter days and serenity.
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CORKYTHEMOM 9/28/2010 9:40PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Rest My Dear Cousin

Even though you are gone away,
Your love will always be here to stay.
You touched my heart with so many things.

God knew you were the one to save,
He took you home to get some rest,
Even though I loved you best.

My heart is filled with so much pain,
God loved you more, there was no shame.

At this time I must let go.
Your memories I will keep a flow.
Rest my dear cousin with peace of mind,
Your memories will live on through.

Rest In Peace
~ Jesse ~

written Michelle Alexander

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Jesse, remember you're never alone in this journey of ours. I am right by your side, embracing you the positive thoughts, healing prayers and comforting hugs.

~ Monika ~ emoticon

Comment edited on: 9/28/2010 9:40:51 PM

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ALEXSGIRL1 9/28/2010 5:48PM

    you cousin is watching you and knowing you will make good decisions and will succeed good luck on the new business

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AYAMMAYA 9/28/2010 5:14PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Jesse is back!!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 9/28/2010 4:30PM

    Blogging is great for getting out those feelings. I'm glad you are doing it!

Today is the day!

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JLITT62 9/28/2010 1:53PM

    Yeah, why do you think I blog so much?

What else are you going to do to release all that stress?

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DIALIOTO 9/28/2010 11:53AM

    Take care of you. You matter. It's so right to grieve, but don't punish yourself. You're punished enough by losing your wonderful cousin. Treat yourself like you could treat her if she were still here and in need of healthy food and loving care. That's what she wants for her cousin.
My prayers are with you.

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