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Please write with information about yourself if perhaps you're in the same boat or just seeking to connect with someone new and very fight. A few of the good things; I am a successful man with no children. You were sharing a bowl of ramen and an interesting salmon salad. I don't like I like to be honest and open no matter what.

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Mark Bittman and doctor David L. Katz patiently answer pretty much every question we could think of about healthy food. Every wild species on the planet knows how to do it; presumably ours did, too, before our oversized brains found new ways to complicate things.

Really, we know how we should eat, but that understanding is continually undermined by hyperbolic headlines, internet echo chambers, and predatory profiteers all too happy to peddle purposefully addictive junk food and nutrition-limiting fad diets.

With that in mind, we offered friends, readers, and anyone else we encountered one simple request: Here, then, are the exhaustively assembled, thoroughly researched, meticulously detailed answers to any and all of your dietary questions. Ethical concerns aside, which diet is the best: That can be with or without seafood; with or without dairy; with or without eggs; with or without some meat; high or low in total fat.

I just started the paleo diet. Will it change my life? But what is a true paleo diet? Nor do you need to eat eggs, or even meat. What about burgers or pepperoni? There was also no paleolithic bacon. So what can I eat? We, on the other hand, eat an average of 15 grams of daily fiber. Our forebears are thought to have eaten lots of insects, too. They probably ate grains, with some evidence they did so , years or more ago.

And, of course, they ate the meat of only wild animals, since there were no domesticated animals in the Stone Age, with the possible exception of the wolf-to-dog transition.

In any event, the diet to which we are adapted is almost certainly much better for health, and reversing illness, than the prevailing modern diet. There is abundant evidence of disease-reversal with diets of whole, minimally processed food; plant-predominant diets; and even plant-exclusive diets. So plants are good. Wait — are juice cleanses dangerous?

Generally not, depending on your health at the start, but neither are they useful. The intestines, spleen, and immune system are in on it, too. So, you want to take good care of your liver and kidneys, gut, and immune system. How do you take good care of all your detoxifying organ systems?

By taking good care of yourself, of course. That means eating well, not smoking, exercising, sleeping enough, managing your stress, and so on. Is that … healthy? The only use of a ketogenic diet that is clearly medically justified is to treat refractory seizures in select cases, mostly in children. All plant foods are carbohydrate sources. Most plant foods are mostly carbohydrate.

Sure, but, I should still avoid carbs, right? You cannot have a complete or healthful diet without carbohydrate sources. Why have I been led to believe that carbs are evil? Carbs are not evil; junk food is evil. It seems like everyone is kind of gluten-intolerant now. Statistically, a small percentage of the population is gluten intolerant. About one percent of people have celiac disease, and perhaps 10 percent have lesser forms of sensitivity, which may be related to other factors, like a disrupted microbiome.

But still, 90 percent of people have no problem digesting gluten. Should I eat whole-grain bread? Eat it for that reason. I want to lose weight. Is diet really more important than exercise? It is much easier to outeat running than to outrun all of the tempting calories that modern marketing encourages us to cram in. Both diet and exercise are important to health, and exercise is important in weight maintenance. But to lose weight, the preferential focus needs to be on controlling calories in , more than calories out.

I keep hearing that lectins are toxic and make weight loss harder. Lectins are distributed across almost the entire expanse of foods consumed by humans, and concentrated in some of the foods most decisively linked to health benefits , such as beans and lentils, along with many fruits and vegetables.

However, I also read that they are digestive irritants and slightly toxic due to the lectin content. Beans are really, really , really good for us. Beans make me fart.

All beans should be cooked; they are nearly impossible for any of us to digest when raw. Despite all the nonsense, the bottom line is that beans are among the most beneficial foods for human health, and offer enormous environmental benefits as well.

Given the prevalence of heart disease associated with poor diets in the U. And, as far as farting is concerned, anecdotally at least, the more frequently you eat beans the better your gut tolerates them.

All of these can be addressed, but you need a clear diagnosis first. So this is an issue you should take to a doctor who can evaluate you, specifically. You should be able to have a healthful diet, and alleviate these symptoms, too. Do I have to eat grains if I want to be healthy? My friend never eats fruits and vegetables and is quite proud of that. Is it possible to be healthy without eating fruits and vegetables?

So, you could, in principle, have a diet rich in beans, lentils, chickpeas, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and perhaps fish and seafood, and it would almost certainly be better than the prevailing modern diets of fast food, processed meat, and junk. But as good as the same diet with vegetables and fruits? If I want to lose weight, should I eat less? And if I eat less, will my metabolism really slow down? And if you lose weight, yes, because a smaller body burns fewer calories than a larger one.

The effects tend to be modest, however, unless the weight loss is extreme. You can compensate with exercise, and building some muscle, both of which increase your metabolic rate. What kinds of foods do you think will help support weight loss? And, any food you eat while riding in the Tour de France. What should I care about on nutrition labels? Calories, fat grams, or sugar grams? But what about the ones with labels?

If the ingredients are wholesome, the nutrient profile will be fine. If the ingredient list is dubious — chemicals, various kinds of added sugar, questionable oils, sodium, and so on — the nutrient profile will be, too. It is really the overall nutritional quality of the food, rather than any one nutrient, that matters. For help getting it right, that even an 8-year-old can use, see here.

What about intermittent fasting? Is that actually effective for better gut health and energy levels? Fasting is not more effective than limiting calorie intake every day. Fasting is a way to control average, daily food intake — but not the only way.

Can I just eat the same thing every day? Variety over time is important to the quality of a diet, but that can be concentrated at dinner if you prefer. So, for instance, how about whole grains hot or cold , mixed fruits, and nuts for breakfast — every day? Then, how about a salad, soup, or stew of mixed vegetables and beans or lentils for lunch? And then for dinner, a wholesome variety of choices.

Is there really such a thing as a superfood? Yeah, except for quinoa, right? Which is magical or something. If your diet is excellent, no single food will be responsible for the benefits. If your diet is terrible, no single food will compensate. This would apply to foods like spinach, broccoli, blueberries, chickpeas, pinto beans, lentils, kale, peaches, or walnuts. Are they bad for you or good for you? One a day is certainly fine. Which is good fat? And too much is bad. How do I get that fat balance?

Hyperbole and a Half: This is Why I'll Never be an Adult

I try not to let it get to me but sometimes its tough. I cannot tell you how much I needed to read these very words on this very day!!! I was getting all caught up in some petty shit, and your post shook me out of it. Once again you rock. Thank you SO much!!! Another excellent post Chris. The quote about Paris Hilton reminded me about watching part of a rerun of David Letterman over here in Egypt.

I was trying to wake up and get ready for work. I swear I could feel come of my brain cells dying just listening to her talk. Hopefully there was not too much damage done before I could hit the remote and change the channel. I stopped taking life to serious when I was a paramedic. The two things that help me is that I have a dry, and warped, sense of humor.

I can, and have, joke about anything. Great way to not take things too serious. And I can sleep soundly through almost anything. Yeah man, that helps. Glad a friend of mine turned me on to you blog! Definitely puts everything into perspective. I had the craziest stuff happen off of cancelled plans yesterday. I met two new clients, because I still went out and did something.

They recognized me through somebody I know — friend, family member, maybe even an ex-wife — haha. But they trusted me, asked me for my professional advice. We talked business, we laughed, and I was in the zone with it.

Today is a big and exciting day for me. You actually take massive action and fix the scary stuff. Mark Twain is SO right! Solid as always Chris…. These posts are always a great compass to guide towards an excellent day! Loved this post, from one farting, possessed little kid eating a ham sandwich while laughing at Kramer in his pimp daddy suit with shit on my glasses to another.

I do my best to continually remind myself who created the cheese sandwich in the first place, oh the irony …. Joe over there in the car next to you is the star of his own movie, so is Sue at the coffee shop. What kind of action hero worries about the opinions of the extras anyway? I loved this article, seriously, it really changed the way i think. This thing made me smile, and just gave me even more confirmation about things I already embrace — that there are very few things in life worth taking any kind of seriously.

Or, as I tend to say: I always thought of myself as a super easy going guy until I graduated college and worked my ass off in the mortgage industry.

I was making good money and had what many people would consider a great career, but I was always so serious and stressed out all the time. I finally feel like I can be myself again and stop taking life so damn seriously. Hey Chris, this is a great and awesome article for those who are just too stressed out about life, it has really changed me and the way I act now. Man dude, this shit is so true, ive been depressed and questioning life for as long as i remember,around i decided that i didnt know why im here but it sure as hell aint to work my fuckin ass off and get treated like shit at some place i hate being at anyway,so i said fuck it, saved some money, and started a small business, and honestly felt the happiest ive ever been in my life,just the feeling of being home with my family was amazing!!!

But the past year or so, business has slowed and really never picked up like i expected it to,and when you feel like your busting your fuckin ass to be positive, spiritual, and straight up trying to be a good dude and shit still doesnt work out. You can only take so much, until your like ok, what the fuck is going on, this place is fuckin stupid, i mean, im the main one to say money isnt everything, but goddamnit when you got bill collectors callin you all day and confused as fuck why your business is not going well, and your preganant wife and six year old are depending on ME, to take care of shit, its hard not to take life serious, i mean fuck!!

Quantum physics has lead me to believe that this is an illusion but when the cock fucks come to reposes my house, that shit is gonna feel pretty fuckin REAL to me….. I mean maybe this place isnt for everybody, for example, if you get in the octagon with jon jones and he keeps beatin the brakes off ya ass, sooner or later your gonna say, ok, fuck this, i quit, this is stupid, i aint down with this shit no more i outta here,and no one would disagree with you for the most part, so what if life is pulling a jon jones on you?

Its just like, if i cant be happy and provide for my family, then fuck it, maybe its time to roll, by the way dont freak out, im just throwin it all out there, my bad for rambling.

Chris, thanks for putting some much needed enthusiasm back into my life! I appreciate you helping me to regain my perspective! You are right on!!! This article put all my thoughts into writing, i am always saying to people that we are very smart apes and that we take life way to serious!

Haha, no doubt brother!!! I love your whole blog, it explains everything that i feel ,but have trouble expressing, if that makes sense anyway, im on page 33 of the power of now by Dr. Ekhart tolle and am blown away so far. That photo by reason 18 with the goofy kid playing guitar is hilarious! Where did you find that photo?!

The Invisible Whatsis is strong with you, man. Good choice to repost and for me to read today. Fingers crossed, I want to thank you for such a great, inspiring expression of creativity. I get stressed feeling guilty of being unemployed and broke, and still taking time to play my guitar, go for a bike ride, read a book, or even write, like I used to. Then spend all day defeating the demons in my head, instead of the happy-go-lucky person I thought I was, then the rest of the night feeling embarrassed for whining all day about things I can do nothing about.

Pursuit of Happiness vs. Pursuit of meaningful Life…Cheers, Laila. You sound like me dude! When I stress try to look for the outside in and see my situation is not really that bad compared to what else goes on the world i always have the power to change my situation no matter what. Always make time for your passions, relax and have fun! Nice Chris, its nice to see a fan of Joe Rogan and stand-up comics alike. So during some free time I remembered how that quote made me feel better, and decided to search it up to maybe find out the author.

Before I even looked for the quote, this page showed up. I figured if I liked the quote I would probably like your page; I liked the title anyway, it stood out too.

The Joe Rogan part made me happy too, big fan of him and everything he does. Thanks Chris for making my day better. It can be important, but for if you the heart of entrepreneur not sure if you do — it can also be a hindrance.

Hey Chris i really love your article hey mad my day and make feel better next to my self Thanks broo. If there was something like The Truth, this might come very close, haha ;! Been saying these kind of things to a lot of people, but most of them just look sorta worried at you. I need to take a shit and throw it at the world, Chimp style!

Rite on Chris, i had a stressed , but really it was my mind fucking with me, everything is good in my life! Its just a ride! Life is just a journey of thought. Really enjoyed the blog. You see, not taking life seriously and being around people as such would stress me out. Life, to me, is meant to be taken seriously, and it is only the fact that we live in a more modernized world that everything has become so easy to us to afford us this luxury.

I take my relationships seriously and I feel deeply. Being light-hearted all of the time seriously gets under my skin and stresses me out. Totally appreciated this and let out a few laughs, which are really like medicine! This could not have been a coincidence that I did a search for being too serious and here you are. Work, school, study, gym, repeat. I know how to chill out and how to be serious but finding the balance is the struggle.

Your words are so candid yet profound. It makes me smile and nod all the way. I no longer need to make that call for whatever behavioral therapy bs. Needed to be reminded of this today and loved your suggestions at the end. You will never know how much I needed to read that. I have been a stressball for 65 years and I am damn tired of it…. Where would the word be at?

It seems like all anyone wants to do is…. Ive been overthinking everything and taking life waay too seriously for majority of my life and i can honestly say… nothing has sparked something in me the way this did to completely change everything and flip the switch. Immediately after reading this i knew my life would never be the same in the best way possible.

Thank you so much for posting this!!! Hey Chris… Bravo…and many thanks for reaffirming a lot of what I have believed for a long, very long time. Evert body needs to lighten LTFU up and enjoy their gift of life…and it can be so easy to do once you get it! And then I do it again…for all my physical time here. Thanks for your cool blog and podcasts…and have a great ride!! Congratulations, because YOU were realistic and true telling us all these things. I loved this site!!!!!!!!!!!!

I tell people stuff like this at work and they literally have fits hahahahahaaaa!! Hey Chris, i am an author and i work as a Technical Writer in India. Trust me dude, this article is an eye-opener. I have seen a lot of people having a high opinion about themselves and they are frustrated too. In this world of corporate communications, your article is like a breath of fresh air, keep writing and keep rocking.

Dude, you blew me away. I read a lot of mindfullness and zen stuffs but never presented this way. You know, I read your article before, this one, a long ago. And i believe it. Sometimes u got little problems other times you got big problems. What can u say to the people who gotta a big problem for the rest of their life?

Sometimes a bit hard to see until you get the opportunity to step away for a bit. So now I know what to do — chill the fuck out, because I we could all die tomorrow. Thanks for the article — peace. This is very pleasant to come across, living in the now is very important and due to current human condition slaves to our mind I plan to leave this concrete jungle and live in the amazon rainforest.

If we are all from that same source i will trust it and let the flow of life flow through me like the amazon river. One day i wont have the luxury of sharing my thoughts through the internet so i will do so now.

Live your dream the best way for you possible!! Comfort and security are the opposite polarity of our adventurous spirit… Go out and do shit fuck being safe, if we die, we die HAPPY! Your true essence is eternal, our human form is impermanent.

Dont be scared just be!!! Just wanted to say thanks for writing this awesome piece. I fart so often and so loudly. I fucking love it. So does my wife. I think our relationship is exponentially more awesome precisely because we rip ass in each others presence.

My theory is that if you can fart in front of your wife…. I have a graduate degree. And i love farts. Hey, what about the LinkedIn button? They take their jobs way to seriously!! Thank You — Kyle. Come on sometimes we have to take a stand. Absolutely sometimes you gotta take a stand in life, hell yeah.

But I mean the inner voice that always thinks life should be some other way. I just wanted to let you know that I am a huge fan. I just read your blog and as a psychologist, i think your approach is ideal to get important messages across to young people. Would love to have you write for us sometime in the future. How to Be Absolutely Fucking Unstoppable. Heads up, if you click a link on this site, it might be an affiliate link, meaning I may profit if you purchase something from the site I link to.

Home About Blog Chronicles Contact. You have shit on your glasses. Seriously, those things are caked. And who can blame you? Is it unhealthy to love your person forever into eternity? Is it unhealthy to make damn sure they are never forgotten by the world at large? Is it unhealthy to live your own life in honor of theirs, and in honor of the love you will always and forever share?

We, as a society, should be embarrassed at the ways in which we make people who are grieving feel. If you have shared video links of Prince or David Bowie or anyone else famous who touched your soul and recently died, yet you are uncomfortable or judgmental toward someone who shares pieces of the person they lost who died — you should be rethinking your behaviors.

Everyone leaves behind a legacy. The ones who are famous just get seen on a larger level. But everyone is a legacy to someone. And that person wants to share them with the universe, so that their soul stays alive forever.

When the people we love die, that is all we have — our memories, and that eternal soul connection. Our relationship with that person continues on a soul level, and that literally means everything to us. Keep sharing the people you love who died. And if the elevator tries to bring you down, Go crazy, punch a higher floor. For three years and a couple of months now, those words and that concept has been one that I simply cannot deal with or even picture.

The very concept of someone else literally made me sick. Not too much has changed in 3 years. I no longer feel physically ill at the mere mention of a non-Don human coming my way, but now it is more of an extreme intense sadness. About a month ago, my grief-therapist innocently asked me in session: Have you thought about it at all?

I think it might be a very long time before you are ready to even be able to consider this as a possibility in your life. And that is totally okay. Just sit with it for now. She says that a lot. At first, it kind of annoyed me. What the hell does that even mean? But now I get it, and I actually sort of like it. So that is what I have been doing. Not only that, but people of the male variety have been approaching me a lot lately, asking for my number, talking and flirting with me out of nowhere, and generally making themselves known to me.

This is very foreign to me. I was married for almost 5 years, and before that, I was with Don for an additional 8 years or so. So for about 13 years, I was with Don. And then he died. And now, it seems, the way that guys approach women has changed severely. Lots of times, I will be walking home from the subway, and a guy will just appear out of nowhere, and start having a conversation with me.

Can I have your number? Is it a NYC thing? Is it a modern-day thing? Or am I just running into lots of extremely aggressive men, over and over again? Lots of them happen to be weird-ish or just too aggressive for my liking, or tilting on borderline creepy. One night, about 2 months ago or so, I was walking home from the subway in my very busy neighborhood in Queens, and I was about maybe 7 blocks from my apartment, when a man seemed to appear out of nowhere and started a conversation with me.

He continued walking with me and having small-talk. His existence threw me off a bit, because he was, in many ways, very Don-like. He had dark hair like Don, and he was wearing a Mets hat, which I immediately mocked him about. I made the decision in my head to tell him I was stopping at the Dunkin Donuts that is on that corner, because I did not want a total stranger knowing where I live. So we stopped, and he said: It just sort of came out — me telling him that.

He said, very sincerely: He said he lived right here in the neighborhood and works as Security in the local Mall, and I said some crap about how maybe we will run into each other again sometime. We parted ways, and I walked around the corner and dissolved into hysterical sobs, right there in the open, autumn air.

It affected me for days afterwards. I kept crying over and over. Crying because the world moves much faster than what I feel ready for. Crying because I miss my husband, and talking to a perfectly nice guy for 10 minutes, does nothing but put a huge exclamation point on that fact. So two months went by. I did not call him or even think about calling him, honestly. Then last night, I was walking home again from the subway, after a super long day working and then some fun with friends in the city, and suddenly I hear from behind me: I am a block from my apartment, on my street.

Do you remember me? We did the small-talk thing again for a few minutes, and then he said: As nice as this guy seems, I dont know him. No, no, no, no, no. I just cannot live in that world. So again, he wrote his number down on another piece of paper, and we left it at that. And now, I am not sure where to go from here. He seems like a nice person, and what could it hurt having a cup of coffee with someone?

Then again, a guy who randomly approaches strangers on the street must have issues. The whole thing is just odd to me. Why did he pick me to approach? He was simply a nice person.

There is a small part of me that wonders if Im supposed to have coffee with this dude for some reason — because now it is TWICE that I have run into him this way. I am not ready for any of this.

He had a wife and 3 kids. Why would he throw it all away to do drugs? Life gave him everything. He had money, opportunity, talent. He had it all, and he still chose to do heroin anyway. Just writing it and then reading it back gave me shivers. These are my words. The comedian in me would have been pining away for that best tweet or that most shared Facebook status of the day, ending, of course, with a very sincere RIP so-and-so.

And although my joke of choice would not have been of the cruel type, mean-spirited humor has never really been my thing it still would have been my only immediate instinct — to post a silly pun about it, get a cheap laugh, and make it go away. He was only 46 years old! So please forgive me, universe, for my past behaviors.

Instead, it sits inside of you and it alters the way that you see the world around you. For me personally, once the shock and fog of my own pain finally began to lift some, I could suddenly see and feel all of the pain that others held in their hearts. Where there used to be judgement, there is now compassion. Where there was assumption, there is now empathy.

Where there was celebrity, there is now human being. He is a person struggling and crawling and wailing and guessing through life, like all of us. He is a person with addictions, and unless you are a person with addictions yourself, you cannot possibly comprehend the hell of that particular demon, and the control and the hold that it must have over you. This person, this extremely talented and flawed and real person- had been clean and sober from drugs for 23 years.

I am not an expert on addicts, but to me, that says a lot about how fragile the world of an addict has to be. I would imagine it is something like living your life inside a house of cards, just always waiting for that one card to topple over and ruin all your hard work. Many of my fellow widowed friends lost their partners to alcohol or drug addiction. Some of the deaths were suicides, some were overdoses, all were the result of someone being in a massive amount of pain.

I am a 42 year old woman, and I know way too many people whose partners lives ended because of addiction. I have sat with widowed friends on the phone or in person, holding their hands and comforting them as they try and live with the torment and the guilt and the feeling of helplessness that addiction leaves in its wake. The demons are beyond powerful, and sometimes the demons win.

Every single one of us has demons. If you look inside of yourself — really look — you probably know what yours are.

We all struggle with something, and some of us win that struggle. But the very fact that we all have a struggle makes us all the same. And in that way, you are only a few threads away from being Philip Seymour Hoffman. Or, he could be. I am still a comedian, and so I will probably always make silly jokes when someone dies.

But now that I am a widow, posting a funny comment is no longer the first thing that pops into my head when a famous person dies. I wish there was some way I could connect with her and just tell her that I get it. I wonder where she was when she found out. Was she alone like I was? Did somebody tell her personally? Were there cameras on her and her children in that moment when they found out the absolute worst thing you could ever find out about your loved one? What will happen to them?

How will they live inside of the pain? Not the brilliant actor part of him, but the man himself. The father who had two daughters and a son. I thought about the fact that this man was sober for over 20 years. And then he relapsed on prescription pain medication.

He was an addict, so he knew the slippery-slope was eminent, and he checked himself into a rehab facility in May of And I do not think that he, or any addict, chooses their particular drug or addiction over their family or their life.

But sometimes the addiction is just a little bit stronger. Sometimes the demons win. I wish like hell that I could go back to the days when a celebrity death was just a blip in my radar, and when I thought it had nothing at all to do with me. That life is gone now, and so is that naive person who was too quick to judge people and make assumptions.

I am different now. I know better than all that, and I know that I cannot unknow what I now know. This is solely from accidentally catching a few seconds of a commercial for it. I will not be watching one more second of this show. The first dream I had about this show was great. In the dream, my husband, who was dressed in his E. What are you doing? Real people, like my wife, with REAL loss. She was trying to get to sleep tonight after a long day in a long week, sat down to watch a bit of TV, and your ridiculous commercial made her cry for 20 minutes while clutching my photo.

That I somehow come back? That it was all some horrible nightmare? In the dream, he continued his awesome rant on these people: She is hurt enough already. Don has visited me in my dreams quite a few times, but this was the first time he came into my dream to communicate with someone other than me. So although it was quite a silly dream, it made me feel protected by my husband, who could somehow see that just watching a commercial for this new TV show made me so upset and shaken up.

Obviously the producers and directors and creative people involved with this show have every right to make such a show and air it, but I truly do not understand who their target audience would be.

It would have to be people who have never experienced death — people who have never felt the trauma, devastation, and intensely horrific pain of losing someone very close to them. I just cannot imagine that anyone who has felt the earth-shattering quake of death, would have any interest in watching a show such as this. I truly cannot think of a premise or TV-idea that would be more painful than this to sit through.

Back to the two dreams. The second one happened last night, and it almost destroyed me emotionally. This time, I had a dream that my husband was alive, just like in the premise of this cruel new TV show. That this was somehow all a nightmare. In my real life, on the morning he died, after I was told by the nurses in a closed room what had happened after I rushed myself to the hospital in a car service, not even knowing WHY I was being summoned there — I sat in the hospital bathroom, after calling our immediate family and a couple friends — and I typed into my phone on Facebook: My dear husband had a heart attack and died.

In this dream, there was a knock at my door, I opened it, and it was Don. Then I typed on Facebook: I got my husband back!!!! Then I woke up. It was so, so, so real — that I actually thought he might be alive, and that he never died at all, and maybe THAT was all a nightmare, the thinking that he was dead. I sat in my bed just baffled and trying to figure out where I was.

Are they really gone, or was that just some weird dream? So that is what I did. I searched for my box that is hidden away in my closet, the one containing the funeral cards and the Death Certificate, and the autopsy report. I was actually saying out loud to myself: Please be empty, box. Please, please, please ….. Saw the certificate and collapsed into sobs. Dreaming that my husband was somehow alive, was probably the most painful of all the dreams I have had so far since his death.

I know he is dead. I know and live inside this reality every single day. I called her 2 weeks ago, frightened, because I had a VERY REAL nightmare where I was in a Christmas tunnel with Don, like a Disney ride with all Christmas-themed things, and then suddenly a dark cloud pushed us into this room, and he collapsed right in front of me and died. For a few minutes and hours today, I was living in complete torture, not knowing what was real, and yet not wanting to find out and realize, all over again, that my husband was actually gone.

How many times must I be forced to realize, again, that he is actually, really, truly gone? I got an email today that made my heart do a little dance. This was what her email said:. She told me that most of the support sites were pretty useless, but then mentioned 2 sites that she liked, one of them being your blog.

So, there you have it. But one of her only 2. And now I share it with you, so that you will know it too.

All it really takes for isolation to become connection is for someone to say the first word. It got me to thinking, as my heart was doing pleas in the corner. I started thinking about all of the ways in which everyone is connected. Sometimes you can feel that connection, that bond, like a jolt of lightning that goes through your entire body.

Either way, it is there. It is always there. We all inspire hope to someone. Right now, right this very minute, you might be striving to get to where someone else is on the path of life. Meanwhile, at the exact same moment, there is somebody else who wants to be exactly where you are right now. You are inspired by the ones who are a bit ahead of you, and others are inspired by you. If you look forward to the ones in front, you think: If I just keep going, I can get to where they are too. It was awful there.

Maybe if I just keep going, they will be able to see my frame through the darkness, and they will know that they can get to where I am too. In the beginning, all you can see is pain. Nothing else can get in, because the pain is everywhere.

Our own pain is much too overwhelming. Eventually, the pain begins to spread itself out, like the end of a morning fog, and it makes some room for more of the sky. In that sky, and in that fog, you can just barely make out the lighthouse that sits far away in the distance.

The pain is still there — it is always there — but now you are able to shape it and mold it and turn it into something more than just pain. Like my friend Michele, who took her pain and with it, created a community for widowed people everywhere, by founding the Soaring Spirits Foundation, and Camp Widow.

Or my friend Janine, who I met at Camp Widow last year, and have become close friends with ever since. She and her pain packed up their life in Texas, and started a new one in NYC, using her own courage as the building blocks to glue together her new world, after the sudden death of her husband Jim. And there are countless others, each of them a beacon of light, scratching and clawing and finding their way to the top of the lighthouse, always fully aware of the others behind them, still wandering through the fog.

It is the ones in front of us, who offer pieces of what our own future might look like, if we just keep going. It is the ones in back of us, who offer us perspective on how far we have come already, especially when we are feeling like giving up, or feeling judged or like nobody can see us. They see you, in the same way that you see them. They are looking at your every step in the hot, thick sand — and they are saying with their tired and hurt voices: And someone else is yours.

Is it Nuts-ville Crazytown that I feel like I am more in love with my husband now, than ever before? That I would rather have one-way conversations with his spirit or soul, than put any real efforts into possibly finding a new partner who I could actually speak to, human to human? Is it insane that looking at his picture on my nightstand before going to sleep, and saying out loud, in a faint whisper: Seriously — level with me, people — is it time for me to just go and get the straightjacket and try it on for size?

This is the man I chose to spend the rest of my life with. Not another one that I have to go find all over again at age If I already trust everything with the person that I already chose, why should that have to change? How can I just not be deeply and powerfully in love with my person anymore? How do I train myself to fall out of love with him? My heart hurts with how much I love him, and with the reality that our time together here is gone. Four and a half years of marriage will just never be enough for me.

Imagine being a baker, and spending 7 years of life creating the most delicious, incredible, perfect chocolate cake — that took you until you were 35 years old to get the recipe just right, and you were so proud of your cake and you just wanted to savor in it and taste it over and over and over until time ended — and one quarter of the way through your first, tiny bite of enjoying all your hard work and your creation, before your taste-buds could even react — a large and menacing hand snatches the cake away abruptly, and proceeds to smash it into tiny crumb bits, all over the floor.

You only got a crumb of cake, and the rest was taken away for no reason at all. Leave it to the fat widow to come up with a cake analogy. My heart is with my husband, and my husband is not here. And there is a very large part of me, that would rather have this with my husband, than have something unknown with anybody else. My whole life, nobody was ever in love with me. Nobody ever returned my feelings back. Nobody ever protected me or made me feel safe or truly, deeply loved.

Not until I met Don. Not in high school, not in college, not after college — nowhere. I dated a lot of idiots over those young years. Some were nice, some were not. But none of them were deeply, madly in love with me. He was in Florida, I was in New Jersey.

We bonded in a music chat room online, and became instant friends. He flew out to meet me, and then we were in love. I told him things about me that nobody else knew, or knows. I shared with him my soul and my fears and my heart. For 7 years, we dated long-distance, until he packed up his life and moved to New Jersey for me. Because he loved me deeply and madly. He supported me and cheered me on in my dreams.