When there is a death in a family, whether is was expected or unexpected, the impact and the finality of the loss of a loved one is overwhelming. The last thing a family needs to think about is food.
Before I started to write this I decided I should set my booty down with a few people that have recently experienced loss first hand. I picked two very special ladies brains, one being my amazing friend Lori, she has suffered unbelieveable loss in the past 18 months. Lori shared with me what she found helpful, in the days and hours after the death of her husband and sister. The second amazing lady is my Mom. Back in May I shared with you how the tornado in Joplin had affected my family. You can refresh your memory here. My great aunt was killed, and my cousin and great uncle suffered many injuries. My mom bless her heart, traveled to Joplin, and stayed for two weeks to helped nurse her cousin and my Great Uncle back to health.
Three pieces of advice both women stressed were:
Don’t hesitate- Lori said don’t ask just do. She said when someone asked, her tendency was to say “it’s ok, we’re fine”, but if someone brought food or took the initiative to help in someway, she was ALWAYS grateful they had.
Think Simple- it doesn’t need to be gourmet or even a whole meal. I give examples below.
If someone you know has lost someone, and you feel your heart telling you to help by bringing food, then do it! Make it so they can freeze the meal for later if they choose to. When there is a death lives don’t snap back to normal as soon as the funeral is done(if ever). They may benefit from a long term meal schedule. Every situation is different. The key is being open and flexible to the needs of the family.
After the funeral for my girlfriends husband, she said she was ready to get back to cooking for her family. However, in her brother-n-laws situation his family could really benefit from someone bringing them meals every week.
If you want to bring a meal or help with food after a death. Both my mom and Lori, said time is of the essence. Once again I say don’t hesitate! Bringing food is most helpful right away and keep it simple. Foods that can be eaten around the clock and on the fly; vegi tray, water bottles, disposable dinnerware, deli meats, cheese, bread, fruit. After a death, people are coming and going from the house, of the loved one, frequently, it’s helpful to have food that can be taken out and offered to whoever finds them self there at mealtime.
I don’t know about you, but when I get the news that someone has died, I feel paralyzed. I spin in circles. What should I do? What should I do? Oh Lord, help me to know what I should do.
When people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality. Romans 12:13
OKey-dokey, I heard that answer loud and clear. Be ready. Be eager. I don’t know the percentages but I would bet 75% of the time when someone dies, it was expected. Because of a sickness, battle with disease, or old age. We can be ready, by preparing our minds, start thinking about what we can do when the time comes. Be eager, use your energies to help, encourage, and love the families who have suffered the loss. When should we do this, well the good Book says always.
BwoB~ Joplin Update
My mom(in green) giving the money raised by BwoB to Rosetta, Sasha, baby Elijah.
Three outstanding bloggers did just what I was talking about above. They acted swiftly, and without hesitation when she heard of what had happened to my family in Joplin. Bloggers with out Borders facilitated the raising of over $2000 to help my family and the family of Kristan from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen . Is that not awesome?!
I like to give you a quick update on how that money helped my family.
Above is the church that my cousin Sherry was trapped under for hours until she was rescued. After five months of therapy she is finally regaining some strength in her foot, but is still suffering numbness. The doctors say it will take time for the nerves to repair. She is back to work. My great uncle who lost his wife, my great aunt, in the tornado, is doing as good as can be expected. Neither of them lost their homes.
The money that BwoB helped raise, and that many of you contributed to, actually went to help my cousins sister-n-law. Rosetta and her daughter Sasha lost everything they owned. The picture above is what was left of their home, after the tornado. My family had suffered the loss of my Great-Aunt Dorothy, but their homes had been spared. When I told them that money was being raised they said they felt that Rosetta, Sasha and baby Elijah (5 months old in above picture) needed it the most. Because they had lost everything, we decided that giving them the money in the form of a Walmart gift card would be best. They could use it to start to replace smaller things first.
Most recent update: Rosetta and Sasha have found a new home, they are both back to work. They are doing well considering the losses they suffered. They were so appreciatvie of your generosity. Thank you so much Erica, Maggy, Aimee for listening to your hearts. You worked swiftly and with out hesitation! Many, many thanks. Joplin was the first fundraising project for BwoB, in the months since Bloggers without Borders has been involved in countless other project helping people all over!
I hope this was helpful! I would love to hear your thoughts, on sharing meals with those that have lost a family member or friend.
If you have a blog and would like to share the Meals 4 Sharing series, I’ve made it easy for you to do just that! GRAB my BUTTON over there in the sidebar. I had it made just for you!
With much LUV!
P.S. If you missed the past 16 days of Meals 4 Sharing you can catch it all HERE please and thank you!