Sunday, September 11, 2011

Junk Food for the Soul

Two days ago, I found myself sitting alone in my car in the nearly empty parking lot of a movie theater on the outskirts of town.  It had been too long to remember since I had eaten anything from a fast food drive-through, and yet at this moment in time, I held a small mango pineapple smoothie in one hand and a McDonald's three-piece Chicken Selects in the other.  The radio played at a deafening decibel, and as a song by Darwin Deez sounded over the airwaves, I started to cry.  And then I started to laugh at myself, at the ridiculousness of it all.  I also distinctly remember snorting, which made me laugh-cry harder.

Two observations: (1) Grief is a crazily convoluted emotion, and (2) eating while laugh-crying feels awkward.  But in that moment, it was what I needed to do---I'm sure of it.  We all have that tipping point, where the surface tension of bottled up emotions finally spills over, and apparently that moment was mine.

My reactions to grief have ranged in my lifetime from convincing myself that the benevolent spirit of a loved-one resided in my family's spare bedroom, to a full-blown anxiety of flying in airplanes, and even to a habit of changing the radio station whenever a Modest Mouse song is on.  And I guess this time around, I needed some junk food and an upbeat, goofy love song.*

Do yourself a favor.  Don't ever let anyone tell you that there's one way to grieve that's better than others, because my life experiences so far have taught me that not only is that not the case, but you can never predict how you'll react to grief.  Don't limit yourself.

Life is so beautiful, so precious.  Gosh, I hope you're enjoying it.

*Thank goodness Dr. D will be home in a week to remind me how nutritionally gross McDonald's is, because so help me, I didn't think the chicken was half bad...


Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree with this post more... we all have our way of grieving (and I too have been guilty of eating McDonalds and actually enjoying it!)

Mrs. Ham said...

i love your blog! i just laughed at the so i married a med student. my friend did the same and i love listening to her talk about it.

Rod and Alex - aka: "Rolex" said...

Oh goodness. I have definitely had times like these. I could actually picture myself in your place.
What an intimate moment to share with us. Thank you.

Post a Comment

Feel free to join the conversation! If you'd like an answer to a more personal inquiry, you're welcome to email me at