Friday, June 8, 2007

Sitting Shiva

Yesterday's post took a lot out of me. Often as I'm writing, I have a kernel of an idea, but no clue where it will go from there. Yesterday was very much in that mold. My fingers seemed to take over and dug deep into my heart and soul and pulled that story out. That was a story that had never been told. It is completely true and left me feeling washed out and almost depressed.

I called my "shrink", aka, Dr. Deb (not a real Dr, but she plays one on TV :) ) She quickly diagnosed the problem: I was eulogizing the old me. In Judaism, after a person dies, שבעה (shiva) is the period of mourning after burial for a period of seven days. In a sense, I was sitting shiva for the old Jeff. I don't miss the old Jeff, but I do love him. It is the only point of reference I have for essentially the entirety of my life. Although the mirror shows the new guy, pictures show the old.

Fortunately, what really matters is what's inside, and that hasn't changed. Maybe a little smarter, maybe a little more experienced in understanding how my body works, but the rest of the inside is still the same.

L'Chaim!

3 comments:

Kim Ellis said...

Isn't life an amazing journey in which we have the opportunity to evolve? People may tell you that you're different or "you've changed" - my mom tells me that all the time. Well, essentially I'm the same person but yes I have changed - my life has evolved into something greater. Isn't that what's supposed to happen? I feel sad for the people who choose not to change.

Jeff - I applaud you for your willingness to share your journey. I hope that it inspires others to evolve into something greater. I also think that it's perfectly okay to grieve for that person you used to be. For people who have battled weight for most of their lives it is definitely a process and it takes a lot of time (I still haven't done it) to forget that you are no longer a fat person and to change that mentality. I think you riding on the coasters with your family was one of those life changing moments. You are now the guy who gets to do that.

Way to go!

Jay said...

Dear Jeff:
I have started to respond to this blog about a half-dozen times but each time I have changed my mind before posting, because I feared that anything I said about how proud I was of "Formerly ..." might be misconstrued to mean I was less proud of Fat Jeff. Today's entry showed me the way. Because we are "sitting shiva" for the old guy doesn't mean we didn't love him or in some ways miss him.

I don't know if you can ever fully realize how much I love you and respect you. You are an intelligent, hard working, and goal oriented executive and most importantly a loving, caring and giving father, and you are doubly blessed to have a partner/support staff who shares your passions. I'd like to think you inherited at least a small part of that from your old man. :)

Keep it up. I know you'll reach your goal. But just to remind you where your competitive spirit came from you should know that you'll never pass me!

Love,
Dad

Pat said...

I think your dad's post is one of the best posts I've ever read and I've read a lot of blogs.

You are a true inspiration and I will continue to read your blog, as well as, put it on my blog for others to visit.

Good luck and thanks for encouraging this stranger.

pat