The other day our friend Bill passed away. Tuesday morning my husband Tim walked into the bathroom. I stopped brushing my teeth. It had happened, his dear friend, the man he told stories with, swapped jokes with, was gone. He expression said it all – he had just lost his very dear friend. He didn’t want to talk much, and I sensed his despair as the reality of never being able to visit with his friend again to swap stories and tell jokes sank in. [more…]
As I watched my husband in the hours that followed I could tell he was distracted, and unable to focus. He eventually became too restless and did what he does best – go sit with Bill’s family – to be there for them and provide comfort. I, on the other hand, went about figuring out what food I could bring to feed Bill’s family. I immediately knew I needed to cook – something that would be comforting, nourishing, and easy for them to heat up, and supply leftovers for lunch the next day.
I laughed at myself a bit as I went about preparing the lasagna – heating the water for the noodles, defrosting sauce, frying the meat; “Why is it that I always think to feeding people when they are in mourning?” When I hear of someone passing, this is always my first thought “What can I bring them the family to eat?” Maybe it is being Italian, and the whole thing of showing affection through food. Whatever it is, I’m pretty sure food is something that people appreciate.
My brothers and I all love to cook, but when my mom passed away a few years ago, we did not have the energy, focus or desire to prepare even a simple meal. In those first days especially we were overcome with grief and sadness and too distracted by the business of preparing for her funeral, and phoning family and friends to consider cooking. When friends arrived bearing casseroles and sandwiches, I was hugely relieved. We were so grateful to be fed and even more grateful for the nourishment and care. This experience left me certain that feeding those in mourning is one of the finest gifts you can give.
The next time you hear of someone who has had a loved one pass – bring them food. Even if it is bought from the deli, or takeout from a restaurant – the act of feeding and nourishing them will be the most comforting gift you can give!