I took a break from Bell & Basket for a few months after I experienced a great loss in my life. Myself and so many others, lost a great love and friend, Scott Beigel, in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting on February 14, 2018.
This experience rocked me to my core. I’m extremely grateful to the Camp Starlight community who provided a safe place to mourn this tragic loss. At his memorial, I felt held by all of the love in the room, wrapped up in hugs, singing and memories from camp that Scott cherished so much.
After the memorial though, grief would strike unexpectedly (and still does, although less frequently). I couldn’t get away from news coverage, whether on my daily news podcast, the TV at my doctor’s office or Facebook. I began asking myself questions like, “what’s the point of getting out of bed,” “who cares?” or “why write about food when there are much more important things to focus on in life?” I was angry, sad, resentful and flailing. The last thing I wanted to do was post photos of cake on Instagram. It felt futile.
But even though I wasn’t blogging, I kept cooking and baking. I started reading more and spent less time on my phone. I was talking about Scott’s death–a lot. I talked to my therapist, my husband, my friends, and anyone who would listen. Even though I felt selfish and guilty for dominating conversation at times, it helped.
I’ve also since come to terms with the importance of doing what brings me joy. I love being in the kitchen. I love writing and creating. I love a good project. I love my husband and family. I’ve learned that what matters most to me is prioritizing those I love and who love me. This is the silver lining.