all is not lost

I think a few of you might find comfort in this today (an old story but one I revisit often). Loss never goes away. Loss never gets easier. The scars it leaves are embedded in our soul.

But, we can learn to live with it in a way where the pain feels less burdensome. I talk to Mikey every day, from the moment I wake until the moment I fall asleep. I ask him for advice, for guidance, for strength. For hope.

I originally wrote this post a year a half ago, and considering today is Father’s Day, a day where the girls and I need to be extra gentle with ourselves and each other, I wanted to share it again. And if he were here, we’d surely be enjoying some crispy fried chicken and creamy peanut butter pie. I might just make them today, regardless.

Creamy Peanut Butter Pie | In Jennie's Kitchen

originally published on February 14, 2018

I’m in constant awe how the invisible dots of our lives connect us. Loss is unique journey, and yet the longing, the need for closure, which sometimes is really the desire to keep a connection open, is a commonality. Last summer, I was listening to a rebroadcast of This American Life. The theme was One Last Thing Before I Go, and part one was about a “wind phone” belonging to Itaru Sasaki in Otsuchi, Japan.

Sasaki set up an old English phone booth up on his property, a line connected to nowhere, the cord wrapped up and tucked behind, as a way to stay in touch with his deceased cousin. After the tsunami that hit Japan in 2011, leaving 19,000 people dead, some who lost loved ones began making pilgrimages to the phone booth.

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Into the whispering winds | In Jennie's Kitchen


  • Lori

    Jennie, I started reading your blog right after Mikey passed away. I have long admired your resilience and strength. As someone who lost a brother and a father in less than three years time, I know to well how lucky we are to have memories of wonderful men and yet how painful those memories can be at times. I hope you and your girls have a happy Father’s Day and are able to celebrate the happy memories you have.

  • Michelle

    I was able to tape my husband’s greeting on his phone so I could hear his voice when I wanted to. Something else I did was keep several of his colognes so I could remember what he smelled like. Although we had many years together he was my soulmate and I miss him every day. He was cremated and his ashes were put in a beautiful cherry wood box that I have on a shelf. I say good morning and at night I turn on a small light in the living room that he wanted on every night where he spent the last 10 months of his life and I tell him goodnight every night. If I were to tell people they would probably think I was nuts. He has been gone for close to a year and a half. It is just something I do that helps me deal with the loss.

  • Jennie

    Michelle, thank you for sharing this. None of it crazy. It all makes sense, and I’m so glad you thought to record the greeting on his phone. I’m transported to a different place and time whenever I hear Michael’s voice from old videos.