A letter to my grandmother

Remembering my Nan on this Mother’s Day: “Motherless, yet so motherly. Starved, yet so giving. Hard on yourself, yet so kind to others. Every time you hugged me I thought your bones might break.”


Dear Nan,

In this age of mindfulness, and greater discussion about mental health in general, would you have opened up about your struggles?

You talked to me about so many things, shared secrets, that as far as I know, you didn’t tell anyone else. And yet, you never did talk about the one thing that was the most obvious of your problems.

I will never understand how the words eating disorder were never mentioned to you.

Maybe your doctor did bring it up, and perhaps you brushed him off with a funny comment.

You were neither bulimic nor anorexic. You knew you were not fat. You knew you were skinny.Everyone knew you were too skinny, and yet, we all danced along with you, never daring to ask what was causing you to punish yourself.


It’s not that you didn’t eat anything at all; rather, you didn’t eat enough.


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