Means of support
I always enjoy reading Delicious Living, but I was surprised and touched at the sensitivity of your article “At a Loss” (January 2005) by Carlotta Mast. When I lost my sweetheart in a random murder 3-1/2 years ago, no one knew what to say, and most people dealt with it by not saying much at all, forcing me to be the one to bring it up. In any grief, and more so in the kind of complicated grief that accompanies loss through violence, the sufferer has a great need to talk to make some sort of sense of the loss. In my experience, few people wanted to get involved. My situation was exacerbated by the fact that I had just moved to San Francisco, so I was without my support group of friends and was surrounded by strangers.
The only thing that kept me from going crazy and possibly taking my own life—aside from the knowledge of the unbearable suffering it would bring my family—was the help of an experienced and compassionate grief counselor. When my counselor asked me what about the therapy had helped, I answered without hesitation, “You validated my feelings.” Any compassionate person could do that if he or she gave the gift of listening and just being there, not trying to “solve” anything.
I hope readers take your article to heart and realize they can do much to provide comfort to those who grieve acutely.
—Jeanmarie Todd, Oakland, California
Where’s the almond?
In “Sometimes You Feel Like a Nut” (March 2005), you covered popular nut butters. I’m surprised you made no mention of almond butter, given the health benefits of this alternative. A couple of years ago when I was advised to avoid peanuts for several months to address food sensitivities, I switched to almond butter, and have been a devoted convert ever since. In fact, now I can hardly stand the taste of peanut butter.
—Denise Miller, via e-mail