Grief, Cooking, and Reorganization

  1. Suebob says:

    Beautifully written and stated. There’s nothing like death to bring life into sharp focus. I remember when my sister was dying – and we knew she was going to die – seeing a lottery billboard with JACKPOT NOW $103 MILLION on it and realizing “Even if I won all that money, there’s not a damned bit of good it would do.” The things we really need in life are truly beyond price, and we never know when the conversation we have may be our last. I try to keep this in mind. Hugs to you as you mourn.

  2. Andy says:

    Thanks for sharing Lindsay, so sorry for your loss.

  3. Raebabe3 says:

    Powerful.  Profoundly powerful and perfectly timed (for me) it seems.  I thank you.  (My kleenex box doesn’t, but I do.)

  4. amyvolskd says:

    Tears…Streaming down my face.  It is really hitting me as I have entered my 40’s how truly precious our time is.  When my grandfather died, he learned he had liver cancer in September and died in December, we spent those few months talking and spending time with him.  And then the hours leading up to his death we were all at his side.  Incredible sad but I did realize how truly incredible it was/is to be at the side of a loved one as they make the transition from this world to the next.  Prayers for you as you work through this grief.   

  5. says:

    What a great prospective for people of all ages!  I am much, much older than you, but concur on all points.  

  6. Steph. Donovan says:

    This post really touched me. My grandmother has been gone for many years now, but I felt that same way of connecting to her. In her last few years, I put together a cookbook of her favorite recipes for our family. The cookbook project was such a way to pay tribute to her, that it became so important to me. And, it was equally important to her…to leave her legacy. Since I’d spent most of my childhood helping her with her various recipes, when she sent me a list of them, I ended up sitting down and getting the “real” recipes from her verbally, then adding her “notes” as special additions to the cookbook. Things such as, “I got this from my best friend Louise, but we all know she got it from the back of the Crisco can,” and “I know the recipe says 1 cup of confectioner’s sugar, but I dump the whole bag in…because it’s just better that way.”

    I still cook up a lot of her recipes and we can all now kind of try to have a little piece of her there at the holidays. It gives us all comfort. Great post, Lindsay…

    • suburbanturmoil says:

       I love that, Steph. I’ve got a family cookbook too that my mom put together and I treasure it. I also sat down with my grandmother a few months ago, made copies of all her family photos, and wrote down the stories she told me about each person on the backs of the photos. I’m SO GLAD I did this!

    • suburbanturmoil says:

       I love that, Steph. I’ve got a family cookbook too that my mom put together and I treasure it. I also sat down with my grandmother a few months ago, made copies of all her family photos, and wrote down the stories she told me about each person on the backs of the photos. I’m SO GLAD I did this!

  7. Liz Miller says:

    What a wonderfully beautiful post. Thank you so much for writing it.

  8. Jenn says:

    Thank you for sharing this. I have lost many loved ones in the last 9 years. Eight years ago, I helped care for my Grandmother in Hospice as she died from Cancer. This past November, I sat w/ my father, helped w/ his Hospice care at home, and watched the Cancer take him away. Then just a few weeks ago, I held my Grandfathers hand as he slipped away too. In between these major events, I have also lost several very close friends, who died much too young, suddenly and tragically. I’ve never come to terms w/ the built up grief, and lacked healthy coping skills. I wish I had recognized, as you have, that my grief was coming out, whether I faced it or not, as I went about life. Unfortunately I did not cope w/ it in the healthful manner you have. I am only now, starting to come to terms w/ so much grief, and learn to cope w/ it all in a healthy manner. This post touched me very deeply as I am processing so much repressed Grief, and realizing how it’s affected my live, for years as I never came to terms, or accepted losing loved ones. Thank you again, so much, for sharing this.

    • suburbanturmoil says:

       Thank you for being so open, Jenn! I think grief comes out in its own way and time, and it’s almost never on your timeline or schedule. I’ve just tried to be forgiving with myself over the last few months, and to get better at accepting the terms of our existence on earth.

  9. libertybain says:

    Amen sister! My parents are {thankfully} working ont his now – getting their basement in order, so we won’t have to to that on top of grieving.  Strange that even that discussion is part of an on going exit interview.
    Love how you kept it personal and private:: that’s a mighty fine tightrope walk you soared through.

    Blessings as you continue to turn this over..

  10. jasmine j says:

    It’s terrible when you never get to tell someone that you love everything that’s been weighing on your heart. I am deeply sorry for your loss. So touched by the relationship you shared with your step mother. I don’t hear too many positive things coming from many step daughters, but I’m sure it’s just a tough place to be in. Thank you so very much for sharing with us. Grief can take many forms and as i’ve learned, it can show up when you least expect it.

  11. […] As I told you last week, I’m in the process of reorganizing my entire house right now, but each time I think I’ve gotten to everything, I’ll realize there’s another drawer, another cabinet, another closet I’ve forgotten. The proof of this came last week, when my kids invited a brother and sister over to play. […]

  12. Isabel @alphamom says:

    Lindsay, what a thoughtful and beautifully written piece.  I love your writing.  

  13. Nun2bright says:

    When the love of my life and I broke up, I looked around my apartment and thought, Who cares about all this stuff? The most precious thing I had is now gone. I threw out about half of what I owned. 

  14. […] been pretty busy over the last few weeks. The Grand Purge was followed by Fall Break, during which my children and I came down with a horrid and tenacious […]

  15. First of all “I didn’t feel her presence as I cooked, as much as I’d like to say I did. I didn’t feel her approval, or her scorn. Instead, I felt her absence. Deeply.” <- THIS. This this this this this. That's exactly how I feel about Sara when I see a sunset or breathe fresh air. 

    Also, I love your perspective on this, and it's truly one of the best things you can do for your family, I think. My family is STILL going through hell after my grandmother passed 2.5 years ago (!) because of legal battles and money and just, CRAP. Stupid, stupid crap. It's just so unimportant. And I remember going through a mess when my other grandmother died, clearing all kinds of stuff out of the house – I don't want my family having to do that with my stuff. Having stuff in order is a gift. Not having SO MUCH STUFF is a gift too.

    • suburbanturmoil says:

       The only “presence” I ever feel when someone I’m close to dies is that I always have a very vivid dream about them a few weeks after their death. I dreamed about my stepmother a few weeks after she died and we were both crying and we hugged and she said, “I’m just going to miss you all so much” and I said “It won’t be the same without you,” and then I woke up. It was disturbing and comforting at the same time. And so, so real.

  16. Kevin's Wife- Suzanne says:

    Visiting your blog looking for recipes of all things.  Came across this post.  Very touching.

    It was a shocking fact that you lost  your step mother in this way. 

    I’ve wondered how I will handle my grieving.  I am  caregiving for my loving husband of 15 years, in a hospice setting as the 5 year 5 month battle with kidney cancer comes to an end.  He still appears well, but his health is in a steep decline from even 6 months ago.

    I wonder how I will handle this part of life.

    Thank you for a meaningful blog post for others to read.

    Sincerely, Suzanne in Rock Falls, Illinois

  17. […] October, I was ready to talk about my stepmother’s death, and the post resonated with many of you. It helped me too- after I wrote that post, it’s amazing how much better I felt. Bottling […]

  18. […] first half of your eighth year was bumpy. You endured a rotten summer camp. You dealt with your grandmother’s unexpected death. You struggled to make friends in your new third grade class and faced your first bully. You missed […]

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