The Impermanence of Life + Dilly Green Bean Sauté (oil-free)


Good grief, saying goodbye to my parents is hard. Unlike batch cooking, hugging someone you love goodbye before they go through airport security does not get easier the more you do it.

It stings every single time.

For me, this is especially true when I say goodbye to my mom and dad. Especially when my mom is crying big warm, salty tears and her head is buried in my neck because she doesn’t want me to be sad that she is sad.

Heart fucking breaking.

As I hugged her close, holding back tears of my own that I would allow to flow freely just as soon as I got out of the airport, I said to my mom and dad, “THIS is the hard part.”

And isn’t it such.

Life is so full of happy moments that will soon become precious memories.
Exciting adventures.
Laughing until your belly hurts.
Sharing a yummy meal with people who get you.
Exploring this beautiful planet we all call home and gazing in amazement.
Hugging the people you love.
Telling your stories and listening to other people’s stories.
Swimming in the ocean.
Talking about the wonder of it all.

And then, because this is the impermanence of life, a shift happens.
Things morph and change and start to look and feel different.

The people you love get on an airplane and go home.

Or maybe you get the dreaded phone call with the news that someone you love is sick.

Maybe that call is for you, confirming that you are sick.

Maybe your partner isn’t home when you get home from work and all their stuff is gone.

Maybe your 4 legged best friend dies in your arms.

If you are present and your heart is open to the shift and to the hurt that comes along with that shift, whatever you are going through, there is always one specific moment that you can pinpoint, and realize…THIS is the hard part.

If you allow yourself to feel deeply in that exact moment – the pain, the hurt, the fear, the agony, the longing – if you can honor it and accept it for what it is without running from it, without closing down, without denying it, without getting defensive, that moment—that hard part, it will pass. And you might want to fight this, but that moment of pain straight through your heart is surprisingly brief. 

We are conditioned to think that hard and painful events or circumstances have every right to set up shop, make their bed and move right into our life. We think that because something is bad or difficult, we are obligated to feel like shit for the long haul.

But what if it didn’t have to be like that?

What if after we identify and fully feel that momentary hard part, we stay in the present moment and then we allow ourselves to be okay? And after the hard part comes up again (because it will and it will feel a bit different than the first time), we are one with it, we feel it, and then we allow ourselves to be okay again. And on and on for as long as it takes.

You can hold those dear people on the airplane close to your heart and find awe in your capacity to love.

You can call the person you love who is sick and tell them you love them and ask them what they need.

You can start researching treatment options and find a support group if you are the dear one who is sick.

You can thank your ex for leaving because now you have the joyful opportunity to get to know yourself again.

You can think about your 4-legged friend and smile with your whole soul because they brought THAT much joy to your life.

Nothing lasts forever, my friend.
And there is absolutely no rule that says you have to be miserable because of it.

Pinpoint the hard part.
Feel it.
Stay open.
Let it wash over you.
And then allow your beautiful self to be okay.

Are you okay? Talk to me in the comments below.

Dilly Green Bean Sauté (oil free)

Makes about 4 cups
Author: Molly Patrick


  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon dried dill
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper (about 10 turns)
  • ½ cup thinly-sliced red onion (65 g)
  • 1 lb green beans, ends trimmed and cut in half (455 g)
  • ¼ cup water (60 ml)
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced (2 teaspoons)


  • In a small bowl, whisk together the red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, dill, salt and pepper. Set aside for now.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes, adding a splash of water if it starts to stick.
  • Stir in the green beans, water and garlic, then cover the skillet with a lid and cook for 8 minutes, until the beans are just tender.
  • Remove the lid and stir in the vinegar-mustard mixture. Cook for 1 additional minute, then remove from heat. Cover and set aside to keep warm.

Wishing you a happy week. May it be filled with identifying the hard part.


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Our Sweary Saturday Love Letters are written by our ex-boozer, ex-smoker, plant-loving co-founder, Molly Patrick.


  1. Cynthia Crumlish on August 17, 2019 at 10:10 am

    I just saw a great interview that Anderson Cooper did with Stephen Colbert. It was a mini-lesson in spiritual direction. Made me ponder and reconsider so many things about being grateful for all of life. ALL of it.

    • Molly Patrick on August 18, 2019 at 11:33 pm

      I’ll have to check it out.
      Gratitude is so, so important.

  2. Amber on August 17, 2019 at 10:15 am

    THANK YOU MOLLY. ❤️ Your words always give me so much hope. I needed to read this today. Thank you!!!

    • Molly Patrick on August 18, 2019 at 11:33 pm

      You are most welcome, my dear.

  3. Rachel on August 17, 2019 at 10:49 am

    Thank you Molly. That was beautiful. Nothing like crying at the car wash ?

    • Molly Patrick on August 18, 2019 at 11:34 pm

      I feel you!

  4. Kim Williamson on August 17, 2019 at 11:16 am

    Thanks, Molly. My dear dog that I’ve had since she was 10 weeks old died suddenly three weeks ago. She was only 7, and a perfectly healthy, athlete-of-a-dog right up until she went into kidney failure. It was a very painful week of hospitals and vets and conversations about death. We were crushed, but there is life to be lived and another 4-legged boy who still wants to walk and play and snuggle. Thanks for staring things that are hard right in the face and sharing it with us. You are a great support and a wise sage in this crazy life. I’m so glad I found you and CFDG. Thank you. Hugs to you and Luanne XOXO

    • Molly Patrick on August 18, 2019 at 11:39 pm

      I’m so, so sorry, Kim.
      This is very similar to what happened to my kitty, Panda.
      He was healthy one day and gone the next. I was absolutely crushed.
      I actually hyperventilated.
      My heart goes out to you and your family.
      This is truly one of the hardest things.

  5. Sue on August 17, 2019 at 11:21 am

    So true, I find it was when I hear of others who move on to a new relationship following a devastating bereavement..and are then criticised by their own friends /family/ support system, as I have witnessed happen to someone recently. Hooray to the person who is open to life and A future, albeit not the same. If you have a child, then have another; or you have an ageing pet and are lucky in finding an additional pet, no one comments that you can’t possibly love another child/or pet, however it seems those who are bereaved sometimes face criticism. Moving on is a complicated journey, and doesn t mean the loved one who is no longer with us is forgotten, replaced, or that it doesn’t still hurt.

    So, yes, love the ones you’re with !

    • Molly Patrick on August 18, 2019 at 11:39 pm

      Absolutely, Sue. Thank you for sharing.

  6. dora Helwig on August 17, 2019 at 12:26 pm

    Words to not explain my feelings that you give every time l read your blogs .You are an angel from every where, the sun, the sky, the are pure LOVE.thank you.Dora

    • Molly Patrick on August 18, 2019 at 11:41 pm

      Hi Dora,
      That is so very kind of you, my dear.
      THANK YOU for reading my words.

  7. Dee on August 17, 2019 at 3:33 pm

    Molly. Oh my goodness. Thank you for your words. I think I’ll have to read it a few more times. xoxo

    • Molly Patrick on August 18, 2019 at 11:41 pm

      I might have to read it a few times myself.

  8. Cheryl on August 17, 2019 at 4:30 pm

    Just coming home from a 6 week visit to the mainland to see my family, I can relate to your post. I love living in Kauai but my trip back to Ohio is getting harder to take, given our ages (68 & 70) and more emotional with each trip. The last two trips had me extend for personal medical reasons. Hard on my family back in Hawaii, too. Mahalo for your thoughts on this.

    • Molly Patrick on August 18, 2019 at 11:50 pm

      Lots of love headed your way, Cheryl.

  9. Diane on August 17, 2019 at 9:22 pm

    Sweet, sweet words for the hard time we know will be coming.

    • Molly Patrick on August 18, 2019 at 11:41 pm

      Truth, truth, truth.

  10. Shari on August 18, 2019 at 10:41 am

    I am not okay. I am usually very good about moving forward and staying positive. But the hits keep coming and are starting to wear me down. 8-6-19 daughter in a car accident we spent 3 days in the ER and ICU. 8-14-19 my autistic foster son doesn’t want to go to school and had court the day before so he violently attacked me. I am covered in bruises. I was in 2 domestic violent relationships before and swore I would never live like this again. I have deeply thought things through and think it will be best to move him out of my home. This is sooo fucking hard. He started punching another child last night so the decision is made now he has to move. Yesterday my husband left a door open and my little Pomeranian Bear who is 10 years old got out. We can’t find him anywhere. It’s hard to be happy and light right now and I worry what will come next. I am very private and I feel vulnerable sharing this with you but you have earned my trust. I know I can come through this. Love you team dirty.❤️

    • Molly Patrick on August 18, 2019 at 11:48 pm

      Oh my goodness, Shari. I am sending you so much love.
      You are going through the ringer.
      When it rains it really does pour sometimes, doesn’t it?
      You will get through this – even if it doesn’t feel like it right now.
      I wish I could give you a big hug,
      I’m sending you one from my living room, right now!

  11. Vickie Demmitt on August 19, 2019 at 11:57 am

    I know what you mean about hugging. What if it’s the “last” hug you get to give or get from that person? My Dad is 94 and “home alone” in Michigan. I am always afraid that last hug will really be the LAST one. I hugged my last house cat goodbye last Friday. I am “cat-less” now after 40 years of many cats. I am a hugger by nature, so my daughters get lots. It’s a mom thing too, for me. Also, I just wanted to say I hope your sister is getting stronger/better.

  12. Samantha on August 19, 2019 at 2:48 pm

    Making this for the weekend. I had a hard day Saturday remembering a friend and the pain still resurfaces on occasion, tho not as sharp over the years. She taught me to be present and I love honoring her by example anytime I’m with others, including game night this weekend with girlfriends. No phones allowed, just good food and great laughs to heal the soul.

  13. Joanne Alley on August 20, 2019 at 4:25 pm

    Thank you Molly for always reminding me that life is to be embraced, the good and bad.

  14. Kirstie on August 22, 2019 at 3:18 pm

    Time to practice……???♥️

  15. NS on October 13, 2019 at 6:08 pm

    5 stars
    Listen, you have to note down that at the end the liquid should dry up and there should be non left, otherwise if you live it liquidy the dish does not taste as good. Otherwise, very nice flavour.

  16. Laura on June 13, 2020 at 7:57 pm

    5 stars
    I stumbled across your website when searching for recipes that are “whole foods plant based”-compliant and that are mostly compatible with my weight loss plans (I’m on Weight Watchers and also trying to follow Chef AJ’s Ultimate Weight Loss/Fabulous Over Forty programs). I scoured your free recipes and decided to try this out (this is the second recipe of yours that I tried; the first one was the canned beans recipe and it, like this one, was a total hit for me!). I love the flavors and the fact that there’s no oil in this. I also like that there is a bit of salt in it, as the only way I’m going to be able to make the switch from the standard American diet to WFPB is if I can still have some salt (at least for now). People not eating salt can simply omit it; the other flavors are delicious in their own right. I highly recommend this recipe for a quick, satisfying, and flavorful side dish, snack, or “greens for breakfast.” On another note, I just signed up for your paid membership program. Thank you for offering some free recipes on your website; they helped me see how flavorful your recipes were before committing to a paid membership.

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl - Steph on June 14, 2020 at 9:21 am


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