Tomorrow is Not Guaranteed So I’m Saying Goodbye to Isolation…
I’ve been procrastinating writing this for as long as I can. I knew I needed to sit down & write it but the emotions that come with that kind of thing can be overwhelming at times. I was officially supposed to be ‘back to the blog’ yesterday – at least, that’s what I thought last week.
Last Thursday, I told Jennifer that I was taking back over my blog. I had decided that I couldn’t just lay in bed for the rest of my life & avoid the world. I got up that day, got dressed, put on makeup…. That evening after dinner, I even went to a friend’s house. My friend was doing something so I picked up my phone & checked facebook – and the very first post that popped up was that my very good friend, Joan from Chocolate, Chocolate, & More, had passed away in her sleep the night before. My first thought was ‘Nope. This isn’t true. Seriously, just can not be true’ & I fell into in instant panic. I called my friend Jessica (also a food blogger) – hoping she’d tell me that it was some stupid hoax… or something. Anything other than she was gone. Jessica ended up confirming that Joan was gone. I guess I hadn’t paid attention to what I was physically doing at that time because I looked up for the first time & I had somehow walked to the end of the street on the sidewalk. I managed to make it back to my friend’s house & just bawled my eyes out. I wanted to recluse again…. isolate myself. Lay in bed and cry. Joan had passed away in her sleep & also had left behind 3 kids… and somehow that tiny bit of similarity made me feel like I was not only grieving for Joan, but had just found out Mike passed away all over again.
I guess that’s how grief works sometimes though.
The next day, I spent a lot of time thinking…. and I spent a lot of time crying. Social media was something that I wanted to be on but I didn’t at the same time… there were posts all among the food blogging community (this amazing food blogging community that I’m so blessed to be apart of ) about Joan, everyone was reeling. Everyone was sad. The pictures & memories did my heart good and bad at the same time. One thing was clear, Joan felt like a best friend to so many people including myself. We hit it off within minutes of meeting each other at a food blogger event & managed to sit next to each other at nearly every event we were at together after that, giggling like a couple of teenagers. My parents live just a couple hours from her, so we made it a habit of meeting for breakfast or lunch at Cracker Barrel & then finishing up with a Goodwill shopping trip. In fact, I just moved closer to my parents so we were looking forward to getting together a lot more.
Joan was a ‘grab life by the horns’ kind of person – and she was smart, oh so smart. She amazed me by what a smart business woman she was, but at the same time – she was super personable, generous, & sweet. She was a proud mom of 3 kids – and she taught me to always eat dessert first, & one of each at that. She was fierce, loyal, & one of my favorite people.
Today, this wonderfully loving community of food bloggers that I’m apart of are making chocolate recipes & posting them with the hashtag #ChocolateForJoan to honor her – and it works out perfectly because today falls on National Chocolate Day… and Joan was the biggest chocolate lover I know.
I was wanting to make a recipe, but honestly – instead I spent the last few days with friends – However, I want you to scroll down below the beautiful picture of Joan & click on the Ding Dong Cake… it’s my favorite dessert off her site… and keep visiting Chocolate, Chocolate, & More to keep her site going forever.
My Daddy recently said to me that tomorrow is not guaranteed…. and I’m not going to choose isolation anymore. I think that Joan would be ok with that. If anything, thinking of her fearless ‘go get ’em’ attitude on life has pushed me even harder to not isolate myself anymore & to try to live again. So Joan, thank you for inspiring me…. Give Mike a hug for me in Heaven. Til we meet again.
I don’t know Joan but my guess is that not only would she be okay with that, she would encourage it. I’ve had the opportunity to speak with many folks about their wishes after passing and I have yet to hear a single person say, “I really hope that my loved ones cry and grieve and don’t get out because then I’d know they really loved me and miss me.” Quite the opposite. They know they’ve been loved hard and loved well and they want their loved ones to live, to love and to find joy in life. I hope you keep on getting up every day and making the decision to really live. It’s an incredible legacy your husband has left behind and he would want you and the kids to be happy and have joy. <3
I am so sorry. I know your heart hurts, I can’t imagine the loss.
this is all so heartbreaking, I can’t even imagine what you are going thru with these losses. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
This is a truly beautiful post. And I know that Joan would want you out there living life and not hiding away from the world. I didn’t know your Mike, but I venture to say that he would want the same thing for you as well. <3 Joan was an amazing woman and we will keep her alive in our memories and through her blog.
we should all be as full of life as Joan was, what a wonderful tribute to a dear friend
Your words are a beautiful tribute to the amazing friend that Joan was to so many of us. She would not want you to choose isolation and she would be proud of you for writing this and choosing to live life once again. I’m wishing you so many wonderful things over the next year, Crystal.
So many hugs!
Oh Sweet Lady! Sending big heart hugs and healing to you. Actually, when I read about Joan’s death, YOU were one of the first I thought of. This would certainly send your mind reeling to your own nightmare. I’m so sorry for your loss of Joan now too, while you’re still grieving the loss of your dear husband. How wonderful you had met her in person…blogging friends are so special, especially when we’ve gotten to ‘rub elbows’ with them too. Keep looking up…know many are praying for you as you process the grief of another precious person in your life. One day at a time…I think of and pray for you often. XOXO
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