34 days gone by

June 29, 2014 |  Category:   life me


I don’t want to turn this into a grief blog, but then again, if I’m not writing about what I’m feeling, what am I writing about instead? The way I see it, it can go one of two ways. I can understand how some people might want to alienate themselves from everything and everyone they know after a loss like this. Sometimes the only thing that makes sense is retreating into your own world and starting over. It feels completely fake to put on a “normal” front every day for the benefit of your children, your family, your neighbors, your friends and clients. It’s like you do this so they can feel comfortable in your presence. You know, avoid the awkward. Meanwhile, most things feel trivial and you start feeling like you can’t relate to people anymore because everything takes on a new meaning. That view of the water on a perfect summer day, the pretty bouquet of flowers, the sun that filters through the leaves, a child’s hug…all things that he will never see or experience again. So you keep it to yourself because who wants to be burdened with someone else’s grief. That feeling of being out of sync with the world just grows deeper.


I’ve considered shutting the blog down and starting a tumblr for our business. Photos of cookies, pretty food and business news; normal stuff like most businesses post, not this. But then again, it wouldn’t feel real – more of that “putting up a front” thing that I’m doing every day, everywhere else. So maybe this is turning into a grief blog, I don’t know. What other place do I have?

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  • Dee Dee June 29, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    Hi Jenna,

    I’ve been following your blog for awhile. I rarely post comments, but I did feel I needed to say something. I very much appreciate your raw honesty in your blog. Often times people write about fluff, and never really deal with real issues. Life is not always easy, pretty, or happy. Sure, it would be great if we could always only write or talk about happy things, but that’s not reality. At least not for most people.

    I really am sorry for your loss. Grief is no easy process. I have been through it in my early 20s with the death of my father, and then the emotional loss of my sister and mother. So I’m well acquainted with grief. And at that time, I had absolutely no one talk to, and no good way to process what I was going through.

    The most important thing I want to say is that your TRUE friends walk with you on the mountain tops and in the valleys. With them there is no need to put up a front. It’s okay for this blog to be an outlet for you. Those readers who personally know you, as well as those who have only met you through this blog can help you through this process, for as long as it takes. Personally, I would rather you write something, then close the blog. Even though I don’t personally know you, I honestly would worry about how you are doing. Sorry this is so long. It’s just that I think it’s important that you know that your readers do care about you.

    Please keep writing. It will help you, and you never know, it may help someone else as well.

    Take care,

    • Jenna June 30, 2014 at 8:42 am

      Thanks Deanna. I think that is why I want to write about it here. Reading other grief blogs or personal stories about grief has been helping.

    • Tameena June 30, 2014 at 4:52 pm

      Dear Jenna,

      I’m sorry about your loss.

      I’ve been reading your blog for a while and enjoy everything you write (good, bad, happy, sad).

      I recently read an exerpt and it struck a chord in me…

      “I actually attack the concept of happiness. The idea that—I don’t mind people being happy—but the idea that everything we do is part of the pursuit of happiness seems to me a really dangerous idea and has led to a contemporary disease in Western society, which is fear of sadness. It’s a really odd thing that we’re now seeing people saying “write down three things that made you happy today before you go to sleep” and “cheer up” and “happiness is our birthright” and so on. We’re kind of teaching our kids that happiness is the default position. It’s rubbish. Wholeness is what we ought to be striving for and part of that is sadness, disappointment, frustration, failure; all of those things which make us who we are. Happiness and victory and fulfillment are nice little things that also happen to us, but they don’t teach us much. Everyone says we grow through pain and then as soon as they experience pain they say, “Quick! Move on! Cheer up!” I’d like just for a year to have a moratorium on the word “happiness” and to replace it with the word “wholeness.” Ask yourself, “Is this contributing to my wholeness?” and if you’re having a bad day, it is.”

      —Hugh MacKay, author of The Good Life

      This is your blog and you should definitely write whatever is on your mind, to contribute to your wholeness.

      • Jenna June 30, 2014 at 6:18 pm

        This is beautiful. And true. I also like the part about teaching our kids that happy is the default position. I agree with this and it’s something I’ve been thinking about. Thank you.

  • Angela June 29, 2014 at 10:18 pm

    By all means, start a tumblr for Whimsy and Spice. Like Deandra though, I’d be worried for you if you closed this blog. However, everything is entirely your call, especially whether this is turning into a grief blog. It’s your blog, it reflects your life, and if they care about you, your readers won’t turn away from you just because you’re writing about losing a loved one. Without being too long-winded, I guess I just want to say that how you cope with your brother’s passing is entirely up to you, so if you need a place to let down the front you’ve put up IRL, this is as good as any.

  • Lauren June 29, 2014 at 10:25 pm

    Thanks for sharing, Jenna. Things WILL get better, which weirdly will be comforting and alarming. There will be a new normal. Time may not heal completely but it does make things easier–eventually I stopped being angry at people for moving on when I hadn’t yet…

    Good luck.

  • Brittany June 29, 2014 at 11:25 pm

    I actually just started following your blog, but what drew me to it was the honesty and real life subjects you post about (I was linked to the self promotion post) I think what you’ve written about your grief is beautiful, raw and real. It really is your call; writing about it and turning this space into a place for you to be honest and confront these emotions may be what your heart needs. On the other hand, it’s completely understandable that you wouldn’t want it to public. Make the decision based on what leaves your heart feeling lightest.

  • cindy June 29, 2014 at 11:53 pm

    Hi Jenna!

    Please do what you feel is best for you and your family! I would really miss reading your thoughts and about your family, but at the same time I understand the need for you privacy and being honest with yourself. I’ve always thought it took a brave and courageous person to write and keep a personal blog consistently updated… some readers are rough out there and well, it’s not always easy being vulnerable

    Hopefully writing can help with the grieving process and can bring some relief to other fellow readers as well.

    Thinking of your family…

  • Ronnie June 30, 2014 at 12:02 am

    Whatever you need to do, Jenna.
    All of us appreciate your honesty and how you share such true glimpses of your life.
    Grief is frigging hard.
    Ronnie xo

  • cgw June 30, 2014 at 12:17 am

    It’s all part of the process. If you want to write honestly, I will read it. If you want fluff, I will read it. But I’d rather read honesty, to be honest with you. If you’re tired of talking about it, that’s another thing. Perhaps a blog vacay is what you need. Just to recharge and think quietly. But if writing your feelings out is helpful to you, why would you want to stop using the salve? It’s a way to heal some wounds, there will be a scar left behind, no doubt. And that will be a part of you. Your brother will always be a part of you. Share what you want of you, this is your safe space.

    • Jenna June 30, 2014 at 8:48 am

      Writing has always been helpful to me, as long as it’s truthful and this is the only space where it can be. I’ve “moved along” within the other social paltforms (twitter, IG) for the sake of the business, but this has always felt like a personal space. Thank you for your words.

  • Angela M. June 30, 2014 at 12:21 am


    I have hesitated to post a comment, but your blog post today spurred me on. I am so sorry for your loss, and as someone who has experienced a loss of someone close to me, I grieve for you. I am a nurse and have witnessed countless families deal with grief as their loved one passes away. The one thing I am certain of is that each situation I have witnessed is unique. In other words, there is no appropriate way to grieve and no appropriate time to put away your grief. You find your way through it by what works for you. If continuing your blog gives you an outlet, then by all means continue.

    When my loved one passed away, it took me six months to let all the emotions out. I had felt I had to be strong for my husband and my three children, and had bottled everything up to keep everyone else afloat. I was in my kitchen cooking one day and burst into tears and cried for 30 minutes, by myself. No memories or other triggers brought it about…I hadn’t been thinking of anything in particular except getting dinner ready. From that day forward I allowed myself to grieve my way and to acknowledge how the loss affected me personally.

    I too, used writing as a way to acknowledge my loss, and I am so glad I did. I wrote and gave the eulogy for my loved one, and even though I wrote it through tears and stumbled through part of it as I read it during the service, I am so glad I did it. It gave comfort to me, and to my family to know I honored her place in my life. When I read your blog, I pulled the eulogy out and read it. The loss is still real…but I was able to smile at the memory of her….something I had told my children someday they would be able to do, but I had doubted my own words as I spoke them. I pray you find the same peace…in your own time…in your own way. Blessings to you.

    • Jenna June 30, 2014 at 8:50 am

      Angela, I was asked to write a eulogy for our family memorial last weekend and I couldn’t. I have some issues around it that prevented me from being comfortable doing so. Maybe I’ll talk about it sometime, but I do feel sort of guilty about not doing it.

  • Michelle June 30, 2014 at 12:34 am

    Jenna, please allow yourself time. Grief unites us ultimately, but sometimes feels like it divides us because we ultimately must deal with it in our own way. And know that it will ebb and flow always, and that’s OK.

    Please don’t expect yourself to feel a certain way, act a certain way, or change or not change. The only thing to do is to feel, and also to enjoy and relish the other parts of life, which include memory. It’s so hard, and will be with you always, But you will be more a part of everyone’s heartbreak, which comes sooner or later. And believe it or not, that can be a conduit to joy.

    I love your writing and I’m thinking of you.

  • Deepa June 30, 2014 at 2:01 am

    Jenna Dear,

    This is your space to write whatever you feel like- grief, getting thru grief, putting up a front, not putting up a front…..no one should feel upset, irritated, bored or anything for that matter about it. There’s a reason this blog is yours, so you can write or pour out your feelings.

    I know what you mean when you write “everything takes on a new meaning….and things feel trivial”. We lost my beloved MIL much too soon last year to leukemia and just as she was deteriorating we discovered I have invasive cancer(with no family history whatsoever). As we go thru two simultaneous cycles- one of mourning my MIL and the other of trying to get on with the biz of treating my cancer nothing feels the same anymore. It’s like the world has taken on a new color, there are more shads of grey than ever before and only I see them mostly.

    Hang in there, feel the way you want to feel, come out of it anew when you wish to or don’t. All of it is ok. The people who really love you will either journey with you or wait for you.

    • Jenna June 30, 2014 at 8:51 am

      Thinking of you and I hope your treatments are going well Deepa. I’m sorry you are dealing with this.

  • Michelle June 30, 2014 at 3:13 am

    After my mother’s sudden death almost two years ago, I felt so tired of being the one who had to tend other family members’ feelings on top of my grief.
    But now I think back, it was my way of coping my grief through listening to others..
    Hope you will come out of your grief. It will not be easy but it will come to you slowly. Just let your feelings flow through you, it is okay to feel sad and sorry. Just be yourself, Jenna…

  • Roos June 30, 2014 at 5:07 am

    Just love, oceans of love.
    Take good care of yourself and do what is necessary for you to be able to put one foot in front of the other.


  • Magda June 30, 2014 at 6:25 am

    Let it turn into whatever you want it to. Grieve in any way feels right or good to you. Don’t worry about your readers. Those who’ll stay will stay. Those who will leave, they were gonna leave anyway. I understand the business part but who cares? Business is run by people and people have feelings so do your thing. I’m sorry for your sadness. I know how it feels. Keep getting your feelings out there no matter how painful it is. Stay well and take care of yourself.

  • annton June 30, 2014 at 6:38 am

    Things take time and even more, what I am finding out these days, moods come in waves. Totally out of order sometimes. Some days, I can feel there is progress in how I grieve, than another day, I am thrown back right at the beginning. It might look like you’re jumping back and forth. For others. And even for yourself. But I kind of sense, it all we’ll be explained with time. Right now, I am in the silence mode, but you’ll never know. Maybe tomorrow, I’ll will go out there and hug everybody precious to me. Everbody grieves in their own pace and that is exactly what we should. I love how you open up and the appear more shy the next minute. This is your space and it is great to read your words. Any time you’re ready for it. Thank you for sharing!

  • RebeccaNYC June 30, 2014 at 8:03 am

    I read every single post you write, I follow you on Instagram, and if you had a Tumbler account, well, I would have to get one of those too (and I’m not even sure what that is). We are all acquainted with grief, and are right there with you. Writing about it will surely help you, and will help us too, as we each walk our own path trying to understand this most human of conditions.

  • Jenna June 30, 2014 at 8:53 am

    Thank you dear readers for your kind words. I appreciate all your comments and thoughts over the past few weeks. This is a healing space, yes.

  • Hata Trbonja June 30, 2014 at 9:35 am

    Your realness and your rawness is what keep me coming back to your blog. I nominated you for a Liebster blog award. I hope you accept. Thinking about you.
    Big warm hugs,

  • Marlena June 30, 2014 at 10:11 am

    Continued thoughts of peace and healing.

  • lulu June 30, 2014 at 11:53 am

    Grief away. Please do. I never did and it took me longer to heal after my mom died. You have given us readers so much that I wish I can give you some comfort back. Let us know.

  • Susan June 30, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    I was so sorry to read about your loss. I’ve just started reading your blog and have been thinking about you. Sending warm thoughts to you and your family.

  • Isahrai June 30, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    Just adding my voice to the chorus of love and support. I selfishly hope you will continue you to share your authentic self, the grief, the ugly tears, the moments of silence, all of it, because everything you have shared is so universal and most certainly has been a validating point for me. Even those days when you were in California and not writing, I checked every day – just because it was like checking in on a friend even though I knew you wouldn’t be here? I for one, am “happy” to sit with you for a while – or however long it takes – in your grief and whatever form it takes.

    • Jennie July 1, 2014 at 12:08 am

      I second this beautifully written comment. I’m a faithful reader and have absolutely no plans not to be. I check your blog often, and it is, indeed, like checking on an old friend. I’ve recommended it to many people and likened it to reading Jane Austen (FYI, Jane has helped me through some rough times).

      I am so deeply sorry for your loss. And now I find, reading your posts, some comfort. I lost two very close friends about five years ago, one to a car accident and one six months later to suicide. Everything you have written so far about grief resonates. The world just keeps going and suddenly you’re a puzzle piece that doesn’t fit the same way anymore.

      I am so appreciative of your honest, raw emotions. And the fact that you put yourself out there. I tend to hide out like a turtle in its shell. But just look – by writing about what you are feeling, you have, indeed, created a healing space here on this blog. Thank you for that, as well. It’s something I can certainly learn from.

      The most important thing I learned about grief is that you can’t put a time frame on it. I feel a surge of it anytime I have a big life change (when I would have called my two friends for support, but now I can’t).

  • Camille June 30, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    Dear Jenna, I hope that reading these comments has helped you to feel the loving and supportive community that is behind this beautiful blog. It must be strange not knowing all of your readers. But I think it’s clear that many of us come here for the same reasons– to read honest and raw posts about the struggles and joys of life. For example, to me this was not just a “grief post” but a reminder to cherish those hugs from children, the sunlight on my walk to work. Whatever decision makes sense for you is good, but we will miss finding you here if this blog ends! Sending love.

  • Cathy June 30, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    At long as it’s healing for you, you have every right to write about what’s on your mind. I think there’s not enough authenticity in the virtual world. The truth is, life is a mix of both incredible pain and everyday joys. If we feel obliged to subvert the hard stuff, we’re only half alive. Your honesty is a gift. Though it can’t compare with your pain, my father-in-law died two weeks ago and I am mourning him deeply. It helped me to blog about it yesterday. I’m also trying hard to stay present to the small moments of peace and happiness through photography and spending time with others.

    Your grief is, of course, very personal. But, maybe it’s also universal in some way. I will be sending you healing wishes and hope you’ll keep on writing about whatever you want to share.

    • Jenna June 30, 2014 at 6:21 pm

      I’m sorry to hear about your father in law, Cathy. We shouldn’t compare grief. Every loss is personal and painful. I’ll be keeping you in my thoughts.

  • Nan June 30, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    Grief is a process, it takes as long as it takes. I feel I can relate so well to what you’re saying. After my mom died, I had a hard time with “normal life”. I couldn’t even watch movies. It was all just… silly noise. Grief can be very profound, very deep and very still. Other things can seem so trivial in comparison and move so fast and blah,blah,blah and just be very hard to relate to. The thing is, you’re NOT alone. It’s just very hard to expose that level of pain and grief to others. I hope this blog IS your place to do so, you have a lot of faithful readers and your honesty has always been valued here. Please, write about your brother and your process as much as you want here — it feels really right to this reader. It’s a beautiful tribute to your love for your brother.

  • MCC June 30, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    Just a loyal reader, fairly frequent commenter, total stranger – with nothing to say but I continue to think of you and wish you peace in this very, very difficult time. Whatever steps need to be taken, the mark you’ve left on this reader is real and true. Although you may feel that way, you are not alone. Sending you good vibes of strength and comfort while you grieve. Mary

  • S Nelson June 30, 2014 at 10:49 pm

    This ” Meanwhile, most things feel trivial and you start feeling like you can’t relate to people anymore” struck a cord with me.
    I lost my mother 3 years ago this week and she was arguably the only person in the world that I was close to. I am still floundering to this day figuring things out. You know that saying that time heals? Well, kinda. The days get easier but really, life and the days themselves will never be the same again. It is accepting that fact that can be hard.
    I think if writing helps, you should. I like your deep posts as well as pretty cookie/flower/city ones too.
    Best of wishes as you navigate this transition in your life. Also, of course, so sorry in the loss of your brother!

  • gizella July 1, 2014 at 1:18 am

    whatever you are feeling and want to write about is right. i am also a mother of two in a city, and everything hits me harder now that I can see things from a child’s eye, what they will miss etc. I have read your blog for a long time, and because of the variety of what you post, you are, even though we haven’t met, a real person to me. do whatever you need to, we’ll be here if you want.

  • Sora July 1, 2014 at 2:31 am

    Still reading and still thinking of you and your family. I’ve always appreciated your candor and your perspective on life. So, thanks for being honest and I do hope you will keep the blog. You have an outlet here in grief and as your other readers have said, we are just glad that you are posting and letting us know how you are doing.

  • Sue Lee July 1, 2014 at 11:55 am

    Good morning, Jenna.

    I’ve been reading for a while, and am now moved to send a note again. When my husband died by suicide nearly 7 1/2 years ago, I wasn’t even able to count. Then I counted the days. Then I counted the months. Now, still painfully, I count years.

    Since you are a writer, you’ll probably get the most comfort from writing. I did a bunch of journaling, and immersed myself in every frickin’ book on suicide I could get from the library. There wasn’t enough money to buy the books, so I just checked out every single one of them.

    Along the way, you’ll meet people who get it, and many others who think they do, but don’t. Sometimes, still, I am taken aback by rude, tacky, insensitive, and ignorant comments. Sifting through all this takes a bunch of energy.

    My hope for you is that you’re able to tell Mark and the girls a little of how you’re feeling. My kids got so sick of me asking how they were doing, if there was anything they wanted to talk about, etc. I discovered their way of grieving was so much different than my needs at each step of the shitty journey.

    Have patience, dear one, as you’ll need it. A smile and a hug sent your way today. : )

    • Jenna July 2, 2014 at 4:58 pm

      Sue, I’m sorry to read this. But yes, I can understand how you felt and still feel…Thank you for your comment, I really do appreciate hearing from you.

  • sylvï July 1, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    just about everything i feel like saying in response already has been said by others above, but i will say this anyway:
    i have always liked your blog because it has the quality of real life (however much through the ‘blog lense’ but still) and death is part of life, grief is part of life, for all of us. if i was going through grief i think i would find some comfort in reading about yours, even if just as a remainder of how natural it is. pain has a way of making one feel isolated and like no one else in the world can know how it feels.
    i also think it’s a really important point, like others have mentioned, that grief has no rules. you can do what you want with it. if you need to separate is from your business, that’s understandable, but only do it if it comes from within yourself. i don’t think customers mind knowing whimsy and spice is a product made by real people in the real world, quite the opposite.
    one day this grief you are feeling will metamorphose into something else, and i hope i can read about it in this blog, too.

  • ezrazoe July 1, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    sorry to hear of your loss. I know it seems like – at first – you wonder if you will stop thinking of your loss daily and then once some time passes, you will be happy that you are STILL thinking of that person daily. you carry them forever.

  • Vicki in Michigan July 1, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    I believe that some comfort may come from murmurs of sympathy and support. I know I’ve been comforted by the kind words of strangers, and I feel it’s a gift to have the opportunity to try to share a bit of that comfort with someone else. I know I’ll be the one who needs it again at some point….

    As others have said, you should do what feels right to you. I hope you’ll want to keep talking to us about what is going on with you.

  • Sylvia July 1, 2014 at 10:15 pm

    Please keep writing.
    I am sending you soothing peaceful thoughts and when you are ready, you will receive them.

  • Kat July 1, 2014 at 11:04 pm

    Your blog is a rare place online because of the honesty and unpretentious that you write with. I am so sorry for your loss. My father lost his mother after a long decline in physical and mental health and his brother suddenly from a heart attack. He’s one of the most talkative people I know, but when it comes to dealing with his grief he does not talk about it. We all have our own ways of continuing on. Whatever you choose to do just wanted to say a heartfelt thanks for sharing a part of your life.

  • Linda July 2, 2014 at 1:22 am

    I’ve been following your blog for quite sometime and usually never comment. Though we do not know each other, I feel a strong sense of connection with your writing and always look forward to reading your blog. Your writing is raw and refreshing so I hope you will continue this blog. Perhaps you may find a little comfort from our comments and well intentions.

  • Naomi July 2, 2014 at 9:38 am

    Hi Jenna,

    I’ve been reading your blog for some time now and don’t comment very often but want you to know that you are supported and loved by your readers. We are here for you and you can write about whatever you need to write about. Thinking about you and your family during this difficult time and sending big hugs your way!

  • Jen July 3, 2014 at 1:05 am

    I just read your letter to your brother. Maybe it’s because I’m feeling raw about children right now, but looking at that little boy in the picture I teared up. I am so sorry for your loss, Jenna, for your parents’ loss, for your brother’s family’s loss, for what your brother has lost by no longer being amongst us… For what it’s worth, I hope you keep blogging about your grief process provided you feel comfortable (and comforted by) doing so. I get what you mean about feeling out of sync with people because everything has taken on new meaning. Perhaps this space can be one small corner where you might feel a little less out of synch given that, from what I’ve seen of the comments, you are touching and being touched by people through your writing. In a world where it’s easy to feel disconnected even if the best of circumstances, voices like yours that inspire connection and understanding are invaluable.

  • Josephine July 3, 2014 at 5:59 am

    Jenna, I’m another long-time reader, infrequent commenter. Just want to add my voice to the many that are saying use this space as you see fit. I’ve long loved your honesty and eloquence, it’s what makes this blog so special.
    Coming from a family of stiff-upper-lippers, I feel ill-equipped to offer comforting words, but want you to know you and your family have been in my thoughts, and my virtual hugs are being sent from the other side of the world.

  • Theresa July 3, 2014 at 10:43 am

    Hi Jenna, I’m sure my comment will be very similar to those that posted before me. The reason I return to your blog month after month, year after year is your honesty. The truth is sometimes tough but without it what do we have… fake fronts and a feeling of isolation with possibility of understanding. To be true to oneself can be painful, and as you say, it can make others uncomfortable. But I admire those who have the courage to live, speak and inspire honesty (as you do here). As I understand it, this blog has become an extension of you, where you share your hopes, dreams and fears as well as random daily goings on and there is something about the way you share that speaks to me and many others. To not include your pain would be understandable but to include it seems so right for some reason – it’s another part of you. I wish you healing, it takes time and you’ll do it in your way. Feel no guilt.

  • Eliza July 3, 2014 at 10:50 am

    This is your space, so do what you gotta do.

    Sending hugs and love your way….

  • Michele July 3, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    Of course I support you in doing whatever you need to do, but if you keep blogging I will keep reading. I’m so sorry for your loss. Thinking of you and your family.

  • Nicole July 3, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    Jenna, I’m so sorry for your loss. The process of grief is different for all of us, but the one prevailing truth we are all reminded of during this difficult experience is that life is precious and we must treasure every moment. When I lost someone so dear to me, I was asked to write the eulogy. It was incredibly difficult for me to write, and even worse to say aloud and share. But the words I wrote – which were written during the rawest point of my emotions – reflected on the wonderful memories of a life with my loved one. I will always have those words to turn to and remind me that with death, there is always the memory of life that must be celebrated and remembered. Your blog is a space to write an unspoken eulogy and to emote in ways that doing it aloud may be difficult. The moving words you’ve shared with us shows a glimpse of such wonderful memories, and we are all grateful that you are reminding us that a life remembered is a treasured one. I hope you continue to write. You don’t need to be strong for your readers or contain your grief – because we are here to lift you up when you need us – so write about what you want and we will be there to support you.

  • Mary Anne July 5, 2014 at 6:41 am

    Hello Jenna I echo everyone’s support of your thoughts and feelings. I started reading blogs when my son was born 8 years ago a and I can truly say that yours is the only one that I have continued to read from my original core blogs. I love how you are so honest with your feelings and i feel i have a connection with you and your family – eve though i live in Australia. If you feel you need to stop the blog then you do that. Do what ever is right for you and your family. If your writing needs to be about your grief then that’s ok too – very ok if you ask me. Thank you for sharing your feelings. I often think of you when your feed comes up on Instagram xx

  • amy July 8, 2014 at 7:37 am

    dear jenna…i am so very sorry for your tragic loss and all the feelings and emotions you are experiencing and going through. grief is so personal and i guess all you can do is try to get through each day until some day you will feel a bit less pain. thank you for sharing and i really hope you dont stop the blog – i love it and read it all the time!! x amy

  • Alexandra July 9, 2014 at 8:41 am

    Of course you have this space. This is your space to do whatever you want to and if people think there is too grief, they can always come back some other day!
    take care

  • Caroline July 9, 2014 at 11:32 pm

    Dear Jenna, I am saddened by your loss and to hear a bit about the pain you’re experiencing right now. I want to add another reassuring voice that this wonderful space you’ve created here can be and is a way for you to mark your journey. Thank you for sharing. Here is a quote that gave me comfort when I was also grieving the loss of a loved one.

    “People wonder why I want to share the darkness, why I don’t instead tell stories of light. But I know in my heart that making agony ordinary is its own kind of sunflower face, turning toward the future.” – Stacy Morrison, fillingintheblanks.com

  • KP July 10, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    Please stay, if you can.

    Have you come across Eden? She remembers her brother on her blog http://www.edenriley.com

  • victoria July 18, 2014 at 4:51 am

    I’ve always read to enjoy your company and that doesn’t just mean the good times. I believe in sharing, in good company, and there is amazing comfort that can come from sharing not only the good but the bad times. I hope the fact that you’re still sharing means that you too get something in return from us x

  • Lauren July 20, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    Hi Jenna,
    Sorry that this will be so long… I wanted to add a voice from a different sort of audience. I have been reading your blog for a few years now. I don’t know why I started but I came back for things like the Mixed Race Project. I myself am multiracial and it helped me to see documentation of other families facing the same identity questions and privileges at a time when I was struggling with my identity. I came back more and more because you remind me of my mother (I read her diaries from high school once). I love my mother so much and she amazes me all the time. Reading this blog has been like being able to watch my mother raise me and my sisters. That is kind of a strange thing when I see it in writing but it has been very comforting to recognize my childhood in the way you blog about your family. It has also helped me to understand my mother as a person, a human, apart from who she is as a mother. I think it has helped me to become better friends with her. To “listen” as you share your grief gives me all the more reason to be in awe of her, and my mom lost her father when I was about Claudine’s age now. I think when Claudine is in her 20s (like me), assuming you let her read this blog, she will be grateful to see the grieving process from your side of the story and to see life in all its shades. You are incredibly human and your writing helps me to understand the world, my mother, and myself. Please know that you are an inspiration when you are happy, when you are sad, when you are angry, and when you are unsure. Judging from the comments, your readers are sure: your writing is important to us! We will be very happy to read whatever you have to say if you choose to share it. And although I am honored to be privilege to your words and your honesty, I am so sorry for your loss and your pain. Your family is in my thoughts.

  • Heather M July 28, 2014 at 9:13 pm

    I’ve been reading your blog for years, and you have given us so many thoughtful, genuine responses to so many different phases in life and so many different situations. I so appreciate that for now you have decided to continue coming to this place to write and share. One of the nice things about the blog feeds these days is that whenever someone decides to update their blog, months later or whenever, the post pops up in the subscribers feeds and we are all together in this space again.

    I listened to an episode of the podcast WTF with Marc Marron just yesterday, and he was interviewing Jack Antonoff from the band FUN, a band I wasn’t that interested in, but the interview and Antonoff were interesting. One of the things he talked about quite thoughtfully was his sister’s death when he was 18. If other people’s experiences have been helpful to you, you might find that episode helpful, or almost comforting in a certain way. It’s a newer episode, so available for free on iTunes.

    I hope you continue to share what serves you best. I guess I think that’s the equivalent of helping all the rest of us by showing us how to put on your own oxygen mask first. :-)