It has to be, without much question or argument, the most common topic for all of humanity. No single phenomenon has held humankind more spell bound than these four letters. No one is immune. One way or another, it finds us. We search for it, we long for it, ache for it and when we get it, we never want to let it go. And when the one(s) we love are gone, it becomes impossible to imagine how to go on.
For most of this month I have watched my twitter feed erupt with outpourings of love, generosity, respectful silence and hope for Jennifer Perillo and her daughters. I have never met Jennifer, but her reputation as a gifted member of the food blogging community precedes her. When I read the news that Jennifer had lost her husband Mikey to a sudden and unexpected heart attack, I could not help but stare at my twitter feed and refresh it over and over again as her colleagues and friends began the emotional dialogues of support. Like so many of them, many of you who may be reading this, I was dumbstruck imagining that loss. No words. Just empathy, understanding, and honestly, though strangely, love. Love for Jennifer, a woman I have never met and love for her their two little girls.
For those of us who have lost someone we love we know about paralysis; the the deep white silence that comes to fill the void when there is nothing to say, no way to change things, no possibility of bringing them back. We know the silence, the fear, the five stages of grief, the sleeplessness, the heartache. We know how it feels to believe in nothing, to feel forsaken, to fall back into ourselves and wish that it was us and not them. We know how it feels to have cried out all our tears.
And yet, we live on. In time the hollow fills again. We grow and change. We begin to reawaken and see the world in full colour. How can that be? How can such tragedy be overcome? Love. Slowly we begin to move again, to gather momentum until we are no longer suspended in heartbreak, but living, breathing and laughing again.
In the wake of Jennifer’s particular situation, this generous community of bloggers has come together and started an incredible movement that has gained astonishing momentum in a short period of time. Not only is this community there to nourish Jennifer and her daughters with support and well wishes, Shauna Ahern and Bloggers Without Borders have set up an incredible fund for Jennifer to help with all the pragmatic and logistical details that come with such a loss (instant-single-motherdom being just one of them.) You can read more about this beautiful project here.
Whether you know the depths of loss, or only the depths of love, please join this generous community by clicking right here and making a donation for Jennifer and her girls. You can also bid on a variety of items and services generously donated by fellow bloggers and readers. Stay connected with Jennifer and the whole community on twitter with the hashtag #afundforjennie and give a bit of your love to this project.