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It Could Be Any Of Us

Laura Collins Lyster-Mensh


The F.E.A.S.T. community lost a child today. It could have been any of us.

There is no reason why it was this loving family who lost a beloved daughter, sister, aunt. She could have been any of our daughters, sisters, or aunts.

The loss is immeasurable. Unfathomable.

There will be time to know her name. To know which family and what details. That day is not today, but it matters who it was, and her life and her family matter.

It could have been any of us.

We failed this person, as a society and as a field. We failed this family. We failed, but this family endures the loss.

We can and we will carry this family in their grief as we have for many others. We carry all the families’ losses. We carry these families individually as they grieve and as they honor their person. We carry their grief and their pain and their anger. We fold their activism in our own. We carry the love, as well, and we will love that daughter, as a community, and as our own. It could have been any of us and today it was.

Eating disorders are grueling, exhausting disorders. As we mourn the losses we must take responsibility for them as well as if they are our own. As a community of families affected by eating disorders and mental illness we take this person as one of our own, and her loss is ours as well. There is so little we can do, and it is the least we can do: make this daughter our own. This sister, this aunt: our very own.

It could have been any of us, but today it was this one family’s dearly loved and cherished daughter, sister, and aunt. That is all that matters.


  1. Lisa

    I immediately felt the same way. Crushing blinding loss of a daughter of all of us. I hold this loving family in my heart.

  2. AnnieG

    I’m so sorry for your loss. It immediately strikes panic in me, as I know my daughter could be next. We need a bigger spotlight on this illness. More money, more research, more help. I pray your family finds peace, Everyone in the feast community is in my daily prayers.

    • Rachel

      I am so sorry for all your heartbreak and sorrow. I can only imagine and fear. I pray for you and your family to find comfort and peace.

  3. Kaz

    There are no words

    I really don’t know what to say except
    I’m SO saddened and heartbroken to read this news

    My thoughts and love to all of the family and friends on the loss of their precious loved one ❤️

    Just makes you stop really

    This illness is just so damn hard to treat
    and no family should have to go through this
    So so Heartbreaking, I hope the family find some comfort in knowing that the community of us parents and carers do share their grief, shock and sadness

  4. Carolynn Moon

    I grieve this families loss along with everyone else.. no pain could be worse or more unimaginable.. I am so very sorry 💔

  5. Amy e Cunningham

    I’m so sad for our dear sister. And so angry that this battle was fought without the support the family needed, without the dollars for research, without the strong public health program support, without the investment in early intervention. But mostly right now I am just crushed for our dear sister and her family. Sending all love care and support – xoxoxo

  6. Susan

    We too lost a daughter, sister and aunt. Please know that we all mourn for your entire family. Your loss is immeasurable. It is almost 6 years for us and not a moment passes without a thought of what could have been. You will hold her in your heart forever and ever.

  7. June Alexander

    Every death from an eating disorder is one too many. Every person living only a part life with an eating disorder is one too many, but while there is life, there is hope. A part life can become a full life. We are family in the eating disorder field and we care about and love each other. The death of this beautiful daughter, sister, aunt, who had been living a part life for a long time, is a stark reminder that our job is nowhere near finished. We must gain momentum from this loss of life, work harder at our advocacy, and ensure this loss has ongoing meaning and purpose, by demanding improvements to accessible evidence-based treatments. Access to the right treatment at the right time is all that is needed. Despite her loving family’s best efforts, this daughter, sister, aunt slipped through the cracks in receiving crucial care at the crucial time. The cracks in our health care systems must be filled. Every death is one too many. We all feel the loss.

  8. Jeanette Kirby

    I lost my daughter two years ago to this disorder that unless you have had this disease or lived it through your child it is very hard to comprehend. The medical and judicial system failed her. I just had to sit back and watch because she was an adult. But her brain did not function as a normal adult. So sorry for this tragic loss. 🙏💜

  9. Julie Montal

    We pray for this “child” and her family. Her life was lost in battle…one that love, commitment and caring couldn’t win over…for professionals who are searching. And for the mission that FEAST has to support all families. Prayers for our sister.

  10. Dawne

    Thank you Laura for including all of us in this circle of loss, love, and caring. My heart hurts for this mom and family who clearly tried so very hard for so very long to support and love this beautiful soul into living only to lose the battle. May her grace live forever in their memories.

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