I’ve tried to write this a few times and even sitting here now, it just feels wrong. Where do I begin and how do I end something that has one of the most profound beginnings in my life and something that I still don’t want to admit has ended.
As you can tell I’m not a huge fan of writing everything personal in my blog. I keep it mostly business or major events. So many of you write me asking about my family and personal life. Some of you also ask about Dennis and his story since it used to be up on my site. Our love story was on the site for a long time as well. It’s posted below for those of you who have never read it.
Dennis passed away last year. I’m still devastated and find it hard to believe. I’m not sure how to be okay with losing him or how I even move on from this. He was my soul mate and I loved him more than anything in the world. We were connected on so many levels.
Along with his death came many changes. I’ve been busier than ever having to deal with the many things that he did for us. I’ve recently moved back to Massachusetts to be closer to family and friends. There’s been so much upheaval and change in the last year. I’d like to say I’m finally settled and have stopped crying at least once a day, but just when I think I’m through the worst part, a new wave of grief hits. I’m not sure when or even if this ever goes away. Maybe time just makes it easier to deal with.
Many of you have been writing about classes and asking what I’m doing next. My two assistants that answer the business phones, Lisa and Jessica are not sure what to tell people, so I’m writing this blog. I’m sorry if it seems cold and emotionless, it’s the only way I can get through writing it.
I wrote 5 months ago that I would not be doing classes for at least a couple of years. Now I’m not so sure. The last two classes in October and November were truly a healing experience for me; of course, the people that showed up had wisdom for me as well. It was difficult and emotional for me to teach but already having people signed up, I did the class. It was a magical 3 days. It made me realize what I’m supposed to be doing and why I am still Here without Dennis. My focus was on others instead of myself. When I helped other people that weekend and saw the breakthroughs they had and felt their love, humanness, gratitude and joy, it made me feel alive again – something I haven’t been feeling very much. I think after all of these years of “stage fright” and thinking that writing books, opening restaurants, etc. is my calling, I have to admit that it’s teaching and being in front of a crowd that is my true calling.
The last 8 months have been a time of mourning and healing for me and I’m going to take the rest of the winter, spring and the summer to try and find my “spark” again and remember who I am. I’m not sure what the future holds, (which is different for me since I’m a visionary and not real great about living in the details of now). Some days I think I still remember and can find moments of happiness, other days I’m still not sure who I am without him and can barely function from the sadness and pain.
– —Flash-forward a month… I wrote the above a month ago. It seemed disjointed and not very eloquent. I’m usually pretty good at expressing my emotions on paper but there really is no good way to express what I’ve been through with losing Den. I was trying to hold it together while writing and just give the information and not go to deep into the pain of loss. I’m sure many of you can understand.
There is a huge influx of emails and calls from those of you wanting classes– I’m just taking the next 8 months to heal and find peace again. I’m thinking I will do more in the Fall of 2012, a year after the last class. I will announce them much earlier this time as many of you expressed frustration at only having 2 months of notice to plan. Many of you also expressed frustration at not being able to register because they fill quickly. I will probably add two classes after September. But you will have plenty of notice. I will announce it well ahead of the summer since many of you are also away for the summer months and have told us you do not see the emails for end of the year classes before it’s too late.
I’m looking forward to having the next 8 months to do a lot of soul searching, now that I can at least see some light streaming though. Seems to me I am constantly called to do this, but this was the biggest for me. I’ve never gone through anything this painful and devastating before. Not being able to do anything about it is frustrating for me also. All I can do is BE. I know there must be a reason, but not being able to bring Dennis back to me has been a hard thing to come to terms with. I talk to him every day and feel him with me and know he is guiding me. It’s not the same as being able to feel his touch, hear his laughter and see his beautiful shell. I keep reminding myself though that that’s all it is, his shell that was here with me, and that his spirit is still shining bright through me. And when I listen really hard through the tears, I can even hear his laughter and beautiful voice again. Those are the moment’s I’m trying to focus on, the joy of who his spirit is and will continue to be. I know he is on to important work and without the constraints of a broken shell. That’s what is bringing me true peace, knowing that he is okay, more than okay… free.
Our Story that was posted on my site almost 10 years ago:
Back in time
Twelve years ago, when I was 24, I met someone who I fell totally head over heals in love with.
Dennis and I dated for 2 years.
I felt like he was my soul mate and we had a great relationship for most of that time. Eventually though, family commitments and a difference in lifestyles took its toll and we broke up. But I never stopped loving him.
I often thought of Dennis and wondered what it would be like to see him again. I knew though, that we were at different places in our lives and I had much to do. So, I eventually got over him, but I never forgot him!
Fast forward 12 years later
I was living with a boyfriend but getting ready to move out within the month. I knew he was not the one for me.
One afternoon, as I was walking out the door, my phone rang. The voice on the other end asked for Alissa Cohen. This is Alissa, I replied. Dennis Marciello, the voice on the other end said. I believe my reply to that was a big, WHAT?. I couldn’t believe it. 12 years later and there he was on the other end of the phone line. I hadn’t spoken to him at all, in 12 years.
So as he began asking me how I was, where I was, and what I was doing with my life, my brain was spinning! Nervously, I began to babble on and on but eventually calmed down enough to ask where he lived and what he was doing.
He owned a restaurant on the waterfront and lived close to that, only 45 minutes from me! And he had been thinking about me for years. (Always nice to hear) He tried to reach me a few times over the years to no avail. Eventually he contacted someone who knew me and they told him I had a web-site. He immediately got my number off of the site and called me that day.
At the end of that conversation Dennis asked if he could take me to lunch. (I began to explain what lunch for me would be, but that didn’t seem to deter him) I told him I was really busy and he told me he was going to Italy over Christmas, so I said I would call him after new years which was a few weeks later.
Well, as I hung up the phone my mind was on overload. All of the memories from t he past came rushing forward. For the next few weeks as I tried to focus on my business, thoughts of Dennis were distracting me to no end.
Finally, after the first of the year, I decided to call him. January 3rd 2003 to be exact. I asked if he still wanted to go to lunch, and if so, how about 2 days later on Sunday. He said absolutely and we planned a date and a time.
As I hung up the phone I had the most startling intuition. I knew that Dennis was going to ask me to marry him. I had a picture in my mind of seeing him again and felt that within an hour of our meeting he would be asking me to spend the rest of my life with him. Now, part of my brain was telling me I was crazy, but I just couldn’t shake this feeling or that image.
I had no idea where Dennis was at in his life. I knew that he never wanted to get married again, nor did I ever think I would. I just never thought it a necessary thing to do. I thought I was crazy for thinking all this and tried to let it go. I even started thinking I wouldn’t go, but I knew I had to, if only to establish that there was nothing still there between us and so I could get on with my day to day life and stop thinking about him!
Well, by the time Sunday came, 2 days later, I was a nervous wreck!
I couldn’t believe how I felt. I hadn’t seen him in years. What if he had changed? What if he hadn’t changed? HA! What if he was involved with someone and just wanted to take me to lunch! Ok, I needed to forget all of the inane chatter inside my head about marriage and getting back together with him. After all, I was working too hard to get distracted now. I was on a mission with raw food and healing the word to think about such minor things, right?
Well, the phone rang that morning. It was Dennis. Could I meet him earlier, he asked. He couldn’t wait. I knew I was in trouble. That’s what I kept thinking the whole way while I was driving to meet him. It was all over. My life was about to change. No mistaking it. I didn’t know how this was going t o play out, but there was no doubt after hearing his voice that day.
As I walked in to the place where we agreed to meet, I saw Dennis standing, waiting for me. I was stunned that within minutes it felt like we were never apart. After 5 minutes of conversation and small talk, Dennis sat me down and said he had to tell me something. He said he always felt that I was his soul mate and he felt like losing me 12 years ago was the biggest mistake of his life. He said he thought about me everyday for the last 2 years and finally had to try to find me. Sitting there that night looking into his eyes, it felt so different from anything I ever felt before. I knew that I never stopped loving him.
As we spoke and got to know each other again, I talked on and on about raw food and what I was doing with my life. Within an hour he asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. I told him how I was living my life and what I wanted from someone and he said he was ready to change.
Call me crazy, but I believed him.
And I’m glad I did.
Two days later he asked me to marry him.
We were married Feb 1st 2003
After the wedding
Dennis has changed more (and more quickly) than anyone I have ever seen. He has changed his entire life. He has become the person I always knew he was.
I really wasn’t sure if I would ever find that perfect person for me. I was almost giving up hope about finding that person with all the qualities I wanted in someone. The person that I thought I would love and want to be with and someone who was eating this way and living this lifestyle. I never in my wildest dreams thought that Dennis and I would not only be back together and married after all that time, but that he would become absorbed in this way of life, traveling with me and learning, and sharing this experience with me.
It’s so amazing to be able to experience this way of living with someone you love. Sharing food, preparing it, eating it, is such an intimate act and one we do so often throughout the day. It’s so often been a lonely act for me when ever I have been in other relationships. I’ve had to keep that part of myself separate.
It’s not just the food preparation but the actual sharing of food. Food for me is linked to love in so many ways. I love making food for people; it’s my way of loving them. And sharing a meal is a way to connect with people you love. And serving healthy, healing food is a gift for me that I feel honored to be able to give to people.
Does that sound funny? That food could be such a big part of a relationship? But its so much more then just the actual food. Eating healthy and taking care of, and loving yourself is essential to being able to care for and love other people. I’m reminded of a favorite quote I had hanging on my refrigerator for many years: You have a responsibility to yourself and others to make yourself happy!
There are so many things that partners experience, share and do in a relationship, but for me, sharing a healthy lifestyle just makes all of those other things happen so much more smoothly. When you feel unhealthy, overweight, sick, depressed, moody, irritable, etc, its makes it more difficult to feel and give love and have fun with your partner.
It raises your quality of life to another level when you’re operating at optimal health.
It’s so nice that I have someone who will inspire me to be healthy and fit and happy and that it’s not always me having to try to inspire and motivate the person I’m with. Having someone in my life that jumps out of bed at 4:30 in the morning ready to work out, meditate and then make a smoothie is so refreshing for me. (Although, yes, I have to admit, sometimes a bit annoying, its true. 4:30! Every morning! I think I’ve created a monster!) Now let’s see if I can keep up. Ill keep you posted!