Celery, carrot sticks, pickles.

Shocked, she read about a friend’s death on Facebook. Diagnosed with cancer two weeks earlier, it was a swift, awful demise.

Potato chips, chocolate, churros.

Last time they spoke, he told her he had some garden variety back pain. They’d made vague plans to get together when he felt better.

Apples, cantaloupe, sauerkraut.

He’d promised to return a sweater handmade by her grandmother that she’d left at his house. Now it was lost forever, just like him.

Ice cream, pizza, French fries.

Facebook’s biased algorithm kept his diagnosis and hospitalization updates out of her feed. She checked regularly, saw nothing from him.

Hot peppers, radishes, lemon in tea.

When he died, she discovered his friends and family leaving messages of grief on his profile page. She composed and shared one of her own.

Donuts, string cheese, caramels.

Angry at Facebook for preventing her from saying goodbye, she wrote a status update about struggling with emotional eating to self-soothe.

Light popcorn, oranges, cherries.

The few people who responded tried to be supportive, but two encouraged her to binge on ice cream. She despaired.

Cake pops, mochas, shortbread.

Sighing, she stepped into a hot bath with fragrant botanicals. She soaked until she stopped crying, the water was cool, and then dried off.

She ate one hard boiled egg, waiting until lunchtime, and was grateful for her health.