Oprah Winfrey Is ‘Loved’ On The March Cover Of InStyle Magazine

It looks like 2018 is off to a fiery start! TV Mogul Oprah Winfrey is gracing the cover of InStyle magazine’s March issue and we can’t stop looking at it.

With her Golden Globes speech still lighting up social media, Oprah seems to be breaking the mold with her latest magazine cover, showing a push for diversity. She’s sporting a black Gucci jacket with red and blue flower design and the word “LOVED” stitched across her back.

Instagram Photo

Chatting with the magazine about her mind-blowing speech and thoughts about a Presidential run, she confirms her stance to the disappointment of many, who thought they would see her in the 2020 campaign. “I’ve always felt very secure and confident with myself in knowing what I could do and what I could not. And so it’s not something that interests me [running for President]. I don’t have the DNA for it,”

At least she’s being honest! In the meantime, we’ll continue to appreciate her for her classy appeal and definitive style.

Check out this behind the scenes peek at the stylish jacket and more below!

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(Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)

Life & Style – Black America Web


Bombay Bustle open their book of family recipes to create the cities most loved dishes

Who doesn’t love anything home cooked? Bombay Bustle’s art deco dining room is the perfect setting to enjoy Mumbai’s culinary favourites

Bombay Bustle

For some inexplicable reason I haven’t been to an Indian restaurant for about 18 months, there really isn’t a good reason, only sheer stupidity.  This was a very welcome invitation from Bombay Bustle, I’ve missed fragrantly spiced dishes and equally tempered cocktails, how great the Indian twist on drinks, taken in a more decadent direction – Italicus (Italian liqueur made with bergamot), mango, Darljeeling and Prosecco (£9.95)

On approach to the glass fronted restaurant, you can see diners sitting in the recreated luxury colonial train carriage, designed by Fabled Studio, all beautifully art deco with a pretty pallet of mint green at the front and a rich brick red in the second half of the room. We were shown to our booth at the side of the restaurant near the bar, perfect vantage point for people, plate and cocktail watching.

Bombay Bustle

Co-Founder Samyukta says ‘Mumbai is a city built on traditions, filled by an endless influx of dreamers, working professionals, and those seeking their fame and fortune; A true melting pot. In one moment you can be in old world Bombay and the turn of a street corner will thrust you into an urban amalgamation. In this complex, bustling metropolis, the Dabbawalas are a constant, bridging the distance between work and home, between different cultures and diverse regional cuisines, with their near-clockwork precision, and we hope to bring the same ethos to London’. Executive Chef Rohit Ghai adds ‘Bombay Bustle will capture the essence of Mumbai, our love of home comforts alongside our rapid pace of life, both existing side by side. The restaurant will be a place just as well suited to a leisurely dinner with friends as a quick lunch for one, always inspired by Mumbai’s diverse flavours, and home style cooking,’

Bombay Bustle

After talking to Samyukya, feeling her passion we took to the small plates menu which is packed full of temptation, you could happily dine tapas style with just these dishes. We went for the Masala Akuri, Truffle Naan – Indian spiced scrambed eggs (£7), it’s all about getting the eggs right, here they were creamy and light, perfect with the naughty truffle bread, we also choose Samosa Papdi Chaat – Punjabi vegetable Samosa, wheat crisp, sev and mint chutney (£6) again airy not greasy, dipped into the chutney it gave a light crunch, flavours bursting into the yoghurt, last of our starters was the Amritsari Fish – beer battered fish, masala green peas and Gurkha chutney (£10), the batter so crispy I half longed for the salt and Sarons but in reality the spiced peas and chutney turned this simple British dish into a potential Mumbai street food classic.

Bombay Bustle

A short pause to choose a bottle of wine, Arpeggio Settesoli, Italy (£19.50 for a bottle) and time to chat about the food, drinks and ladies bathrooms (lovely) we got into the main course.  We choose one from the Tandoor menu – Murgh Malai Kali Mirch, black pepper, cheese, mace green cardamom (£12) and the other from the Biryanis & Pulao menu – Chicken Tikka Tawa Pulao, Suffolk chargrilled chicken, basmati rice and fresh coriander (£16). Portion sizes great for us maybe larger appetites might want a couple of side orders, the flavours full, seasoned well, not too much heat in the chilli but you could go for the Madras Chicken Curry if feeling a little spicy.  To sum up Bombay Bustle is a gorgeous room, friendly knowledgeable service and a good mix of traditional and new dishes to try. It suits well heeled Mayfair, a wonderful lunchtime or dinner escape from the craziness of the West End.

Bombay Bustle
29 Maddox Street
Mayfair W1S 2PA
020 7290 4470

The post Bombay Bustle open their book of family recipes to create the cities most loved dishes appeared first on Marie Claire.

Marie Claire


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I Tried a Sensory Deprivation Tank … And Loved It

If only I had a glowing pod and 1,000 pounds of Epsom salt lying around every day.

Health – Good Housekeeping


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Celebrating the Holidays with a Loved One with Dementia: A Guide for Family Caregivers

When you are a caregiver for a family member with dementia, the holidays are a mixture of many things: practical organizing and preparations, as well as a jumble of feelings and emotions. It is not uncommon for family caregivers to feel overwhelmed, anxious, or sad, as they look forward to the days ahead. Old traditions may not feel the same. Holiday planning may feel like another chore to get done. We may be faced with the decisions regarding how to include our loved one with dementia in our holiday plans. While we attend to our day-to-day duties it is important to attend to ourselves. This can be annoying advice to hear – maybe you’ve been told this several times already by friends or family. But I think we need continual reminders to do so. Especially since the times we need self-care the most are also the times we find ourselves least able to step away, relax, and take a deep breath. Because the holidays evoke strong feelings and emotions we need reminders and encouragement that it is okay to embrace the days ahead in a manner that is in alignment with our true feelings, experiences, and needs. The following is a guide to the holidays for caregivers that focuses on self-care, as well as finding meaning in new routines adapted to meet the needs of a family member with dementia.

Be kind to yourself.

Don’t judge yourself or set expectations too high. It’s okay to amend holiday rituals or shift how celebrations take place with your family member with dementia. Be compassionate with yourself as you encounter anxiety or painful thoughts and feelings associated with disappointments, grief, or family disagreement. Self-compassion in caregiving is essential year-round and especially during emotionally-fraught holidays. Often caregivers experience feelings of loss with the holidays as it marks the changes in their family member with dementia and ways rituals are carried out. Let your holiday grief be what it is. Only do what you can manage and give yourself permission to be okay with that. In short, again, be kind to yourself. I believe it’s the single most important thing we can do for ourselves as caregivers.

Savor the moment.

If you keep yourself too busy during the holidays, you may leave no time to work on the critical need to allow yourself to be present with new rituals and family gatherings in whatever form that now takes. Don’t over schedule and don’t try to “keep busy” simply to avoid anxiety, pain, or preoccupation with making everything perfect for everyone else but yourself.

Also, one of the biggest lessons one can learn while being with our family member with dementia is to truly be present. Because the present is all we have with a person with memory loss – and actually, everyone in our lives – centering ourselves and truly being with our family members endows meaning and spirit to the role of caregiving. It can foster opportunities to learn a tremendous amount about ourselves, our preoccupations, expectations, and the changing relationships we have with the people we love. Concentrate on what is going on around you right now. Sit with your mother, father or partner, hold hands, and listen to an old holiday hymn or watch a holiday film together. Sing together. Read from a religious text or poem that highlights the holiday spirit or themes from the winter season. Ask your loved one with dementia what their holiday rituals were like when they were children. What food did they eat? Who did the cooking? What presents were received? Be mindful to be with the person in the moment while asking these questions. And avoid asking too many questions in rapid succession. The goal is to intend a connection, not merely retrieve information or test memory. Often, it’s not what we talk about; it’s the manner and spirit of how we interact with the person with dementia that makes all the difference. Be curious and engaged.

You can also look at familiar objects, together, such as an old ornament, menorah, or stockings. You can take time together to savor a favorite holiday treat. These moments offer opportunities for connection and demonstrate that important holiday rituals can still take place. It may be different but no less loving and meaningful.

Receive ongoing support from others.

When friends and family reach out to you during the holidays, accept their support. Let them spend time with you and take some of the responsibilities of preparing for the holidays or caregiving. Don’t feel ashamed by your dependence on others. Instead, revel in the knowledge that others care about you and want to help. If you do not have close friends or family members, write out a list of people or support communities that you can count on; neighbors, people at your place of worship, a caregiver support group or counselor. Seek out people who you can count on for practical assistance with holiday tasks or emotional support.

Let go of the need to stay strong during the holidays.

You do not have to plan a perfect holiday gathering or contain your sadness if you are mourning the loss of tradition or relationship as it had been before your loved one’s diagnosis or further decline. During the holidays it can be very important to express your feelings, happy and sad. Our society teaches us that emotional pain is to be avoided, not embraced. Yet it is only in moving toward our pain, discomfort, or grief and feeling our genuine emotions, that we can truly heal and be present in our lives.

Instead of cooking the entire holiday meal as maybe you’ve done in the past, have a potluck, have the meal catered, or order in. You don’t need to do all the holiday cooking or keep up with your 20 + guest list. Perhaps it makes sense to spread out holiday guests to just a few visiting at a time to reduce the impact of too much stimulation on the person with dementia.

Communicate your wishes.

Gather the strength and courage to tell the people in your life what your wishes are for the holidays.  If you’d like their company but prefer to gather somewhere differently, say so. If you’d like to skip some celebrations, that’s okay. If you’re feeling ambivalent or unsure how to celebrate the holidays, tell them this too. If your family member with dementia has experienced considerable declines or an increase in distressed behavior feel free to communicate this. The more family and friends are able to understand your current situation and feelings, the more likely they may be able to offer support. Your friends and family want to help but may not be sure how they can. You can guide them by being direct. Call or send an email expressing how you would like to see the holiday plans unfold.

Celebrating the Holidays with a Loved One with Dementia

Plan for some alone time.

Even if it’s for only 15 minutes. Take a long walk, meditate, pray – do what ever helps to nurture your spirit. Especially if you are grieving the loss of old traditions, roles and relationships, take some time to mourn. Express feelings in a diary or light a candle to mark and honor the changes, gains, and losses in your life. They become the small rituals that nurture and heal.

Be still. Take time out of the holiday hustle and bustle and caregiving role for stillness. Again, even if that’s only for 10 minutes. Meditate.  Allow your body and mind to be still. Concentrate on your breathing- in and out. When your mind begins to wander, return to here and now. If you need help, find a meditation audio recording and use it as a guide.

Focus on Relationships.

It might be helpful to instead of concentrating on everything that you have to do during the holidays, concentrate on for whom you are doing it for. Do you need to make 15 dozen cookies? Perhaps pare down to one special recipe or purchase a favorite pie at a local café. Similarly, do you need to buy piles of gifts for multiple family members? Ask yourself “Who do you care about and what would truly be meaningful to them?” Instead of going overboard with gift buying and decorating your home, top to bottom, make a meaningful toast. Prepare a few words before a holiday meal begins. Express your feelings and recollections about the last year. As a caregiver, you invest in and value the importance of relationships and family. Talk about this. Write thoughts down if it helps you feel more comfortable. These are the moments people remember.

Bottom line, focus on the people, not the production of it all. Focus on the relationship with your family member with dementia as it is now while mourning past relationships and roles. There is room for both.

Schedule something that gives you pleasure each day.

It’s hard to look forward to each day when you anticipate anxiety, stress, or feelings of loss with upcoming holidays. Counterbalance the demands of the holiday and caregiving by planning something you enjoy each day. It can be simple. Read, go for a walk, have lunch with a friend – whatever relaxes and brings you comfort and joy.

Don’t take hurtful advice or criticism to heart.

The holidays are a time of family gathering. This can also be a time when well-meaning but unhelpful friends or family members attempt to counsel us about our decisions and roles as caregivers. The effect can sometimes leave us feeling hurt, criticized, and unsupported. This can be additionally upsetting if you are dedicating your time, energy, and love to a family member in the best way you know how. Often people are uncomfortable with aging and dementia and offer advice or suggestions without recognizing the complexity inherent in our roles as caregivers making decisions. Guilt is already a common feeling caregivers struggle with. It can be additionally painful when a family member asks why, for instance, mom couldn’t attend the Christmas Eve present opening. Or alternatively, why you haven’t “just put mom in a nursing home.” Often the most sensitive and thoughtful caregivers are also those most impacted by hurtful suggestions and lack of understanding. Remember that you are doing your best and success cannot be measured based on perfection or lack of issues or problems. Find people who you can count on, who support you, and understand the challenges that arise.

Don’t cancel holiday traditions all together.

Traditions are important because they endure for generations, through good times and bad times. Adapt and alter holiday traditions as life changes instead of cutting them out entirely. Without these meaningful rituals the losses experienced due to dementia will feel even more severe. If your family member cannot attend a holiday event, have a small gathering at their long-term care facility. Rent a family room or simply sit next to them and hold their hand and sing a favorite holiday song. Find out the holiday event schedule at the care facility. You can recreate the essence of the holidays anywhere, at any capacity, when you engage whole-heartedly with the people you love.

Find your hope.

Caregivers can feel overwhelmed, anxious, and whipsawed by the uncertainties that chronic illness brings. This can lead to depression and, in some cases, despair and loss of hope. The holidays may magnify these feelings and if you find yourself in despair, fight to find your hope. Hope is an expectation of a good that is yet to be – that healing can occur, that generative purpose and meaning can be felt and carried out. Spend time in the company of people who truly listen and validate your feelings, happy and sad, and at the same time offer space for you to explore future possibilities and goals even if they can’t be pursued right at this moment.

If you are feeling despair, make a list of things you still look forward to in your life. Make a list of people who are present and who you care about. Make a list of everything that gives you joy. For some people spirituality is a source of meaning and hope, for others art, music, and literature can engage the complexities of life, including, joy, loss, and tragedy, as well as, resilience.

You may find that you are growing emotionally and/or spirituality as a result of your experience as a caregiver. What have you learned in your caregiving role and how has this provided strength or promoted wisdom or resilience? Has your vulnerability or the vulnerability of your family member made you more compassionate? Has it encouraged you to be more comfortable with uncertainty? These questions can function to help recognize how your role now impacts your life and offers growth – even if under the surface and not always recognized. This revelation from French writer Albert Camus offers insight, “In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invisible summer.” Recognize your growth and ways painful times have impacted you in profound ways, times when on the surface there appeared no hope – just loss or sacrifice. I think we often perceive that dementia “robs a person” and leaves them “empty shells.” A caregiver once told me, “Alzheimer’s disease impacts the brain, not the heart.” Remember that. A person on the surface may appear to have lost so much but their essential humanness and need and ability to connect is still there in even the most advanced stages. There is hope in this understanding. Keep centering yourself, remain present, let go of expectations and see what happens. And again, the holidays remind us of the joy that can be found in the depths of a barren winter, a time of apparent deprivation. It teaches us to look under the surface and find the beauty that may be hidden but is profoundly still there. When we experience the holidays as an opportunity to take time out to nurture ourselves and engage the values we carry out everyday, it can do wonders to affirm our purpose and the skills, time and attention we give to others.

What you do truly is exceptional.

Celebrate this.


First published: Nov 28, 2016




The post Celebrating the Holidays with a Loved One with Dementia: A Guide for Family Caregivers appeared first on Women's Health.

Women’s Health


Jeanne Moreau Led Me On. I Loved Every Minute.

Jeanne Moreau and I got off to a rocky start. Who knew it would last a lifetime. It was always one-sided, of course, with her up there on the screen, and me in the dark, watching. Nevertheless, I persisted.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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I played Jake LaMotta’s wife in ‘Raging Bull’ — and loved him

I met Jake LaMotta in ‘79 on the “Raging Bull” set in LA. He was there every day as a consultant. He was Jake — but he was not the Jake in the movie. Those years had passed. He was very calm, cool and collected. And he was funny. I’d be in costume, all dressed…
Entertainment | New York Post


Jeanne Moreau Led Me On. I Loved Every Minute.

Jeanne Moreau and I got off to a rocky start. Who knew it would last a lifetime. It was always one-sided, of course, with her up there on the screen, and me in the dark, watching. Nevertheless, I persisted.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Buy 2 Get 1 Free on fiction and non-fiction at booksamillion.com — Shop Today!

See Brett Young’s Somber ‘Like I Loved You’ Video

Southern California native Brett Young's influences from the Golden State are all over his self-titled debut album. Now he's taken one of those influences – Laurel Canyon in particular – pretty literally in a new music video for his single "Like I Loved You."

Directed by Phillip Lopez, the scenic clip finds Young gazing out across the famed Los Angeles enclave, known for its breathtaking

This article originally appeared on www.rollingstone.com: See Brett Young’s Somber ‘Like I Loved You’ Video

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Kristen Stewart and Stella Maxwell Totally Crashed a Wedding in Canada–and the Brides Loved It!

Kristen Stewart, Wedding Crashers Attention newlyweds: Perhaps it’s a good idea to have an extra table at your wedding day just in case.
Over the weekend, Kirsten and Kayleigh Jennings tied the knot at a family…

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How This Mom Is Reminding Women They Are Loved

A Kentucky mom and blogger wants to remind mothers that they are deeply loved and valued. 

Ashley Glass is the creator of “Beloved,” a project focused on empowering moms through photography, interviews and inspirational products.

“I want to take women from every walk of life and show how loved they are by those around them,” Glass told The Huffington Post. “My dream is for these posts to inspire women to see their own worth, their own beauty, and truly know how beloved they are!”

Glass reaches out to women she’s come across in her local community or even on social media platforms like Instagram. She asks if they’d like to appear on her website and then conducts an interview and photo shoot at their homes. 

“I love for them to be in their element, doing the things that they love. The shoots are casual, laid back, and as care-free as possible,” Glass said, adding, “All of them so far have been excited to be a part of this movement.”

The mom said she hopes to interview and photograph one or two women each month and has even traveled to Nashville to meet with a few subjects. So far, she’s featured four different women on her site. 

Glass lives in Louisville with her husband, 4-year-old son Pierson, and 3-year-old daughter Reese. She came up with the the idea for “Beloved” after writing a viral blog post about body shaming as a “skinny” mom. Glass said many women emailed her after that blog post to share their experiences. 

“There was a common thread among them all and it was that they appreciated the post and were very much so trying to love the woman that they are, regardless of their body,” she recalled. “I am a photographer and have shot quite a few boudoir sessions over the last year. It dawned on me that what I saw was beautiful in them, they did NOT, and all day, we could go back and forth comparing one another, wishing we were more curvy or skinnier, or had longer hair or less wrinkles ― but what resonates with me is this: When are we going to love ourselves?”

Thus, she decided to focus on celebrating women and making them understand how many people truly love them ― from their partners and children to their co-workers and friends.  

“I want women ― especially moms! ― to feel and know that they are beloved,” Glass said. “It is no small feat to be a woman. Our bodies go through SO many trials, so many unique challenges; some of us work hard to get pregnant, others don’t necessarily have to try so hard. But something we all have in common no matter HOW many babies we’ve had: We are a different woman. Our hair is different, our skin, our emotions, the way that we look at ourselves.”

Reflecting on her own sense of self-worth, she added, “It’s been three years since I’ve birthed a baby, and I’m still learning to love the ‘new me.’”

In addition to photographing and interviewing women, Glass also developed a line of motivational quote prints, shirts and other products with her friend Chelcey Tate.

The line includes a 12-month calendar filled with Glass’ photography. They also selected quotes for each month, which appear in Tate’s lettering on the images.

“One of my very favorite quotes is, ‘You are esteemed, chosen, valued, pursued, loved,’” Glass said. It’s one I really hold near and dear to my heart. It really does hurt my heart the many insecurities we all have … and I pray this is something we as a generation can somehow improve and overcome.”

Since sharing her interviews, photo shoots and products, the mom says she’s received a lot of emails from mothers thanking her for starting the “Beloved” project. She hopes her series will impact more women in the year to come.

Ultimately, Glass wants viewers and participants to know that wanting to feel celebrated does not indicate self-absorption.

“You were born, you are talented, you are unique, and you deserve to be celebrated and empowered, no matter who you are.”

The HuffPost Parents newsletter offers a daily dose of personal stories, helpful advice and comedic takes on what it’s like to raise kids today. Sign up here.

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Style – The Huffington Post
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Ultra Music Festival 2015: The People And Outfits We Loved (NSFW PHOTOS)

Crazy outfits, neon, and a definite excess of exposed skin are staples of the 3-day electronic music rager down in Miami.

It’s the 17th year of the Ultra Music Festival which has attracted the high profile talents of Tiesto, Avicii, Alesso, Nicky Romero, Paul Van Dyk, Bassnectar, David Guetta, and Skrillex. Up-and-comers like Goldfish, Kygo, and Klingade are set to take over the scene and hypnotize the crowd with their melodic beats and cascading sounds of pianos, saxophones and xylophones.

The entire gamet of the electronic dance music genre is covered, from trance to dubstep, tropical house to deep house, trap to techno. With such an impressive lineup and range of artists, EDM and festival fans flock to Miami’s Bayfront Park for the 3-day festival that attracts over 150,000 people with crunchy beats, mind-numbing light shows and non-stop dancing.

Fashion standards for the weekend include crazy wigs and edible jewelry, and attracts more neon than a 711 sign does to a fly. Some of our favorites include the iconic Nintendo characters of Mario & Luigi, a cat on a moped, and lots of national pride.

Check it out:

Style – The Huffington Post
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You Are So Loved

You Are So Loved

The runaway success of bestselling book Everything Is Going to Be OK proved that good vibes are back! And uplifting messages of hope, love, and encouragement continue to crop up everywhere in contemporary art and design. You Are So Loved serves up a second delightful helping of optimism from a mix of favorite artists from the first book-including Enormouschampion, Katie Daisy, and Jen Renninger-and new talent like Dallas Clayton, Lisa Congdon, and Jessica Hische. Each artist offers warm and fuzzy sentiments packaged in cutting-edge art. Whether it''s an invitation to stay in the here and now or a reminder that everything''s alright forever, there''s a breath of fresh air on every page.
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Cars We Loved in the 1970s

Cars We Loved in the 1970s

Used – The 1970s saw some ground-breaking new metal in British showrooms: the Renault 5 established the new ‘supermini’ class, the Volkswagen Golf gave the average family car a hatchback and top quality, the Ford Capri made sporty cars available to everyone and, despite all of this, that old favourite the Ford Cortina continued to rule the sales charts. It was a funny old time to be a driver, and Britain started to experience a love/hate relationship with the four-wheeled machine that previously

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The Girl Who Loved Camellias

The Girl Who Loved Camellias

From the author of Nureyev, the definitive biography of the celebrated Russian dancer, now comes the astonishing and unknown story of Marie Duplessis, the courtesan who inspired Alexandre Dumas fils’s novel and play La dame aux camélias, Giuseppe Verdi’s opera La Traviata, George Cukor’s film Camille, and Frederick Ashton’s ballet Marguerite and Armand. Sarah Bernhardt, Eleonora Duse, Greta Garbo, Isabelle Huppert, Maria Callas, Anna Netrebko, and Margot Fonteyn are just a few of the celebrated actors, singers, and dancers who have portrayed her. Drawing on new research, Julie Kavanagh brilliantly re-creates the short, intense, and passionate life of the tall, pale, slender girl who at thirteen fled her brute of a father and Normandy to go to Paris, where she would become one of the grand courtesans of the 1840s. France’s national treasure, Alexandre Dumas père, was intrigued by her, his son became her lover, and Franz Liszt, too, fell under her spell. Quick to adapt an aristocratic mien, with elegant clothes, a coach, and a grand apartment, she entertained a salon of dandies, writers, and artists. Fascinating to both men and women, Marie, with her stylish outfits and signature camellias, was always a subject of great interest at the opera or at the Café de Paris, where she sat at the table of the director of the Paris Opéra, along with the director of the Théâtre Variétés, the infamous dancer Lola Montez, and others. Her early death at age twenty-three from tuberculosis created an outpouring of sympathy, noted by Charles Dickens, who wrote in February 1847: “For several days all questions political, artistic, commercial have been abandoned by the papers. Everything is erased in the face of an incident which is far more important, the romantic death of one of the glories of the demi-monde, the beautiful, the famous Marie Duplessis.”          With The Girl Who Loved Camellias, Kavanagh has written a compelling and poignant life of a nineteenth-century muse whose inde

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Coping With Loss of Loved Ones Through Theratainment

The holidays can come loaded with affect for those who’ve had someone close to them die. More upsetting can be a recent loss, one which occurred around the holidays, or the first anniversary with a glaring non-attendance.

To begin with, it’s glaringly obvious that their space at the table is vacated, a recipe is lost, or traditions have changed. The goal is for the void to become a less painful footnote to your history over time. However many years pass, though, people are not replaceable, and the empty space can be tangible.

Seemingly innocent comments such as “She’s in a better place now,” or “I know how you feel,” can be counter-productive. Whatever the circumstances were, the company of someone once cherished is still desired. If there were conflicted emotions and fragmented relationships in life, the holidays can be further complicated by death.

Consider options to reduce or eliminate stressful shopping outings or have someone else host instead of entertaining. Set good limits by practicing saying no to whatever is unhelpful or uncomfortable. Keep true-blue support systems close.

The deceased can be a beloved presence in their absence in your heart and memories. It’s okay to mention and acknowledge vulnerability around not having them physically present. A donation can be provided to honor their life, or plant a tree or small garden in their name, or volunteer at their favorite charity.

Putting together and going through a memory box with cards and pictures commemorates the departed and keeps them ever-present. Lisa will wear the Icelandic booties her late mother-in-law knit to keep her close. Tara is wearing her grandmother’s gloves this winter.

To illustrate the ideas we’ve been talking about, let’s turn to film, television, and books with topics of grief and loss at their core.

Terms of Endearment, 1983

Debra Winger plays a young dying mother and Shirley MacLaine, her mother. This gut-wrenching and heart-warming movie portrays a free-falling fractured family crumble. They ultimately rise above old hurts and wounds by pulling together for each other, and the children left behind.

Steel Magnolias, 1989

A stoic Sally Fields plays a mother grieving the death of her adult daughter, played by Julia Roberts. Being rescued from grief means to work through pain rather than suppressing it by shutting down or going numb. Fields’ character finally allows herself, through the scaffolding of her friendships, to feel every crazy-making emotion that grief can bring as a way to heal.

The Lion King, 1994

Simba, a lion cub voiced by Jonathan Taylor Thomas, experiences the death of his father. Instead of facing his father’s death, he runs away as if it were a geographical problem. Maturing into adolescence, he realizes the importance of facing his pain, to move forward and recreate normalcy.

The Descendents, 2011

George Clooney is a grieving husband, father and go-to patriarch who navigates choppy emotional waters to hold his nuclear and extended family unit together. A remarkable depiction of the variable emotions during grieving, it’s a skillful representation of how families mourn and support one another collectively.

Glee, 2013

Initially, the show does a nice job exhibiting individual self-expression along with groups suffering loss together and shoring up one another. Jane Lynch’s character slips by suggesting the best tribute would be to not make “a self-serving spectacle of our own sadness.”

Unfortunately orders like this can cause grieving individuals to believe their sadness is wrong. To pretend that everything is okay, or to suppress feelings and “move on” prematurely, isn’t realistic or recommended. When appropriate grieving is short-circuited the risk increases that what manifests later on is worse — angry outbursts, often with depressive features, such as panic attacks, and/or physical symptoms such as pain that can’t be explained by other medical reasons.

In conclusion, managing the finality of death is a personal journey. Surrendering to the process to make meaning of the experience is not a cookie-cutter affair. One size does not fit all.

Author Joan Didion writes about this territory in two fine memoirs: the first, The Year of Magical Thinking (2005), about her husband’s passing and Blue Nights (2011), her daughter’s. She spoke eloquently with interviewer Michael Silverblatt about these twin occurrences, which struck Didion in less than two years’ time.

The same month Didion turned 69, her only child, an adult daughter, was in a coma, and her husband of 40 years, writer, John Gregory Dunne (whom she collaborated with at times) died of a sudden heart attack at their dinner table. Her daughter died two years later, while Didion was on a book tour about surviving Dunne’s death. Didion described her grief as coming in “waves,” meaningless — a sense of incomprehension or incoherence — took over, and how hard healing can come.

Rainer Maria Rilke’s 1903 classic, Letters to a Young Poet, offers comfort that applies well to mourning:

“I beg you, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”

GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
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