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Random 5 .. Thursday ~ Love and Death

It’s Thursday already?   How did that happen?  I won’t be blogging tomorrow (more on that later) so here’s my very Random 5 for this crazy week:

1.  My supervisor’s mother passed away last weekend after a lengthy illness.  She was in her eighties and had lived a long, full live.  I’d met her a few times and she was a neat lady, so I was genuinely sorry to hear the news.  Stopping to buy a Sympathy card I suddenly had the thought that I should buy more.  I shushed the thought, bought the card and left the store.

2. The next day we received the shocking news of a young relative’s passing. Background: Hubbs brother passed suddenly 29 years ago, at the age of 29.  He left behind a little girl, Hubbs’ niece, who was 4 then.  The situation was tragic and life-changing and Hubbs talks of him often but always with that sad “what-if” look in his eyes.  Well this little girl’s Mommy went on to marry and have another family.  It was her son, niece’s brother, who passed.  At 28.  The similarities are just too close and when I told Hubbs the sad news, his eyes clouded over and his face went grey.

3. Feeling helpless, I did what I do in these situations – cook, clean or organize.  Since I was going to be on the road today, I knew cooking was out of the question.   And people wouldn’t be gathering at our house, so cleaning wasn’t necessary.  So I sent a private FB message to all the cousins and aunties and uncles to let them know the news and to rally support for our girl and her family.  Soon I found myself talking to the funeral home staff who said “sure you can bring food here for the funeral luncheon, c’mon over.”   We have a big family and all they needed was for someone to circle the wagons:  casseroles and desserts are being prepped as I write this.

4. Yesterday afternoon, I went to the Funeral Home, met the Director, and loaded up the kitchen with food I’d bought:  pre-made deli salads, veggie trays, chips, dip, rice krispie bars, punch and more.  I heard a door slam and found myself alone.  In a Funeral Home.  Let’s just say the speed with which I exited could have qualified me for the Olympics!

5. On my way home, I made one more stop and this time I bought 3 Sympathy cards.  Why?  Not to tempt fate but my experience is that these things always come in threes.

quotes_about_missing_someone_who_died_young

What is your family’s way of coping with grief? Do you band together?  Cook, clean, organize?  Have you ever been alone in a  Funeral Home?

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Categories: Faith, Family, fear, Food, Grief, Growth, Home, Life, Men, Personal, Relationships, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

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21 thoughts on “Random 5 .. Thursday ~ Love and Death

  1. The old folks were bakers. Funerals in our family were gourmet events that people wanted to attend. However they are all dying out and the younger generation doesn’t do that. Everyone works and has a hectic life. I miss having my aunts clustered in the kitchen chattering away, probably talking about the deceased. It was our way of grieving. I am sorry for your loss. Way too young.

    • Yes, I remember scenes like that – the ladies in the kitchen, washing dishes and slicing up cake to send home with others.
      Thank you for your kind words,
      MJ

  2. So sad, your week. Losing people is the hardest thing. My husband lost his two sisters, both at the same time to a drunk driver. The sadness was overwhelming but we found solace in the hugs and support from others. I deal with extreme grief by howling in private. I think my husband crawls into a place inside himself to mourn.

  3. Aw, MJ….my sympathy to you and your family. How very tragic…..and as mothers, we cannot comprehend losing a child….will be praying for all of you.
    You are so thoughtful to take care of planning the food; what a blessing to the immediately family.
    No, I don’t believe I’ve ever been alone in a funeral home. My mother used to clean our church when I was a little girl, and I remember folks being surprised that she and I didn’t mind being in church alone.
    You’ll be in my thoughts, MJ.

    • There were several other women my age (and older) who descended upon the kitchen and soon had things set out and organized. I was grateful for that, it was comforting to have something to do that helped those who were hurting the most.

      I’ve been alone in our church a few times and loved it — can’t imagine minding it but I do remember the sounds echoing as I walked between the pews. Thank you for your kind thoughts and prayers, MJ

  4. I’m so sorry for your husband’s family. It’s so sad and so unexpected when they are so young. I’m afraid to say it would be a good idea to have several cards stowed away. It’s not like you send one card because usually, you send to several members who were close to the one who passed. It’s so nice of you to help coordinate things sensitively remembering all who need to know. They are lucky to have someone thinking about the details.

    Our family is so far flung, funerals are a reunion for us. Food definitely gives us reason to think, prepare and then sit around the table, living room or house visiting after the service and burial not to mention enjoying the overnight company. No one comes empty handed because they stop at the grocery store and meet at a restaurant in groups. We take over somebody’s kitchen…make sure there’s food out. There’s always plenty of food with someone packaging it all up in containers for the immediate family and friends to take home if they live in town.

    So sad that someone so young has passed.

    • This was a reunion of sorts, and it was good to see certain folks in spite of the circumstance. I love that your family doesn’t come empty handed because they bring what they can — that’s love right there. We had a lot of food left over and that blessed our niece and her mother, too — no cooking for them for this weekend at least. Very tragic, and I know they are still reeling. We are.

      Thank you for your warm thoughts, GS
      MJ

  5. Our family definitely bands together when someone passes. Back in 2012 we first lost my last living Aunt, followed about a week or two later by my Dad. Two months later an elder cousin with cancer passes. And Christmas Eve, my mother decided she’d had as much as she could, and departed. Lots of family get togethers from all of us spread out around the country. Lots of connecting and coming together. But I notice it didn’t take too long for everyone to get back to their lives and stop connecting with the cousins. Now we are the elder generation (even though my brothers and I are the youngest: Dad had his family last).

    My sympathy for all the recent tragedy in your life.

    • I like the connecting and coming together part, am glad that it happens, even though the cause is sad.

      We realized we are becoming the elders now — yikes! MJ

  6. So sorry to hear of your relative’s passing. At our age, we expect to be more closely connected to death, but a situation like this one just feels too tragic. Kudos to you for doing something with those feelings of helplessness, and easing the burden on the immediate family.

    I’ve had that same feeling lately … that I should stock up on sympathy cards.

    • it felt good to help, but it didn’t feel like much even though I know they appreciated it. Feeling helpful beats feeling helpless, that’s for sure.
      Thanks for getting it, Ter.
      MJ

  7. My mother taught us to cook for a grieving family. She had a standard meal she always made. And I can still see the basket she carried it all in to take to them. It is a lovely tradition, one that says, let me take this small burden from you as people come into your house. Of course, we’re southern too. Which means, we cook for everything and every event.

    • Oh yes, I can relate to this so much. Chatted with Mom last night and told her the story only so I could thank her for teaching me how to do this.
      What was your Mom’s standard meal? 🙂 MJ

  8. Sorry to hear of the losses of family members. What a blessing to take care of the food. Yes, we go into that cleaning mode because we do it mindlessly. Never been alone in a funeral home.

    • It was a hard week but having something to do helped 🙂

      Don’t care to be alone in a funeral home again anytime soon … MJ

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