Grief doesn’t always turn you into an unpredictable ball of emotion, but sometimes it does. Sometimes things like a song, a word, a familiar face, a commercial, a cheesy quote, a shoe without a match, a wilted flower, or a nice looking stranger waiting at a bus stop can bring you to tears.
I mean think about it, before your loved one died would you have ever thought it possible that green bean casserole could make you sad? Of course not! It’s green bean casserole and it’s delicious! The only time anyone should feel sad about green bean casserole is when it’s gone. Yet I’m willing to bet at least a handful of you will be sad about green bean casserole this Thanksgiving.
After someone dies, all of a sudden you see reminders of their memory and absence everywhere. A random display at Target leaves you in tears, the season changes and it hits you like a ton of bricks, a song comes on the radio and you have to pull your car over because you can’t see through your tears. The triggers are everywhere and your holiday meals are no exception. If you’re having trouble imagining why, please allow me to elaborate with 10 reasons why grief and food might make you cry this Thanksgiving.
Grief and Food: 10 Ways Your Thanksgiving Spread Will Make You Cry
1) Your loved one’s staple dish (also your favorite) is missing for the first time in years.
2) You try to recreate your loved one’s recipe and it’s a total fail.
3) In a horrible confluence of emotion, anxiety, and stress you impulsively eat everything in sight.
4) You drew the short straw and reluctantly got stuck making the Thanksgiving meal.
5) Your Aunt Millie graciously offers to step in and make the meal, but sadly Aunt Millie is a terrible terrible cook.
6) You decide to skip the meal altogether but feel a tinge of sadness about what you might be missing.
7) You had the meal catered because you couldn’t face cooking and everything just seems a little lackluster.
8) The food looks amazing but you have no appetite.
9) Negative coping in full swing, you spend the day numbing the pain.
10) Everything looks amazing and the food is delicious. You made your loved one’s famous stuffing and it came out perfectly. Except, without them there, you are acutely aware that things will never be the same.
Although the fact that Thanksgiving will never be the same is as clear as the food on your table, this doesn’t mean the holiday will never be happy again. Keep yourself open to every emotion this holiday season, including joy.
We invite you to share your experiences, questions, and resource suggestions with the WYG community in the discussion section below.