When we are feeling overwhelmed and emotional it’s very comforting to know that people are thinking of us, wishing us well, want to help and comfort us. Offering a loving meal does just that.
From the perspective of having a special needs son who has endured many surgeries and hospital stays
From the perspective of delivering a baby
From the perspective of recovering from an illness
From the perspective of being a caregiver
From the perspective of losing a loved one
When our lives become overwhelmed with the above, one common thread is present – Lack of TIME.
When my son was born, he was born with Down Syndrome and a heart defect. He had an older sister who was almost three when his many hospital stays started at CHKD. He underwent two heart surgeries less than three months apart all before he was one year old. During this time, our family was strained as we all took turns staying with him at the hospital and staying with my daughter at home. Structure and schedules were compromised as was family time, which included meals. Our meal time was often replaced with a pack of crackers and a soda pop, expensive non-nutritional fast food on the way to and from the hospital, or eating at the hospital which became costly, too. We were very fortunate and blessed to have people in our lives to provide meals to our family.
When my husband died suddenly, I found myself widowed at the age of 30 and suddenly a single parent to raise three small children on my own. I was struggling with my grief and each one of the children’s grief. There were times I felt that I was barely surviving my grief and as long as my kids got a PBJ, weren’t bleeding and the house hadn’t caught on fire, I considered myself doing okay. I know that sounds a bit extreme; however, when you are in the midst of grief and mourning there are many extremes. Once again structure and schedules were compromised as was family time, which included meals. I was so fortunate to have a group of wonderful friends through the Down Syndrome Association of Hampton Roads set up and provide my family with meals three times a week for over six months. This alone was a huge help in my grieving process.
When my mom was diagnosed with cancer, two of the four daughters lived in the area and I was one of them. Trips to the doctor’s office and specialists and eventually chemo became a big part of our structure and schedules. Juggling the kids’ schedules with the needs of my mom’s took a little bit of adjustment and strategy. Often, ‘mealtime’ suffered.
When we are grieving everything is discombobulated! There is no sense of time. There is no sense of rhythm. There is no sense of schedule. Being the recipient of a blessed meal is a godsend. The gift of a meal gives much more: it gives nutrition, a sense of relief, love, and comfort. When grieving, it is very difficult to make decisions. Not only is it you can’t think straight, your energy level is all out of whack.
Meals provided brought comfort in the following ways:
For a day I was freed from the responsibility of planning a meal, making a grocery list, loading the little ones into the van, getting to the store, finding a parking spot, hopefully remembering to not forget anything, get back home, unload the groceries and the kids, and then cook!
It gave my family quality time and nutrition
It brought my family a sense of normalcy when so much wasn’t normal anymore
My family felt important and remembered
Having a smiling face greet me at my door when delivering the meal to me and my family.
That was back in the day when we had phone trees and a lot of manpower and the internet was still coming to fruition.
These days there are a lot of ways to connect and help people through social media. There are several sites on the internet that can be shared in groups to sign up for meal provisions such as www.takethemameal.com and www.mealtrain.com . These are wonderful for the ones who like to cook and deliver the meal themselves.
There is yet another choice; one that does the cooking and delivering for you. This is a wonderful convenience to those of us who are giving and caring as well as have a full schedule with little time. I have had the privilege to connect with a great gal Laura Levenhagen, with The TLC Kitchen, who has a fantastic service and ministry to our communities. Please take a gander at her website www.thetlckitchen.comSYMPATHY FOOD, GET WELL MEAL, and THE MEAL STORK are all avenues her company provides.
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Grief Coach, Joy Restoration Coach, Emotion Strategist, Trainer, and Motivational Speaker
Hi, I am Cynthia. I have been where you are. I am proud of you for finding this site because that means you have reached out for help. I know how difficult that is. My passion is to walk YOUR walk with you. To companion you through the forward and backward steps and all the ones in between as you begin to heal and rediscover yourself and a new life. To LIVE well you MOURN well. To MOURN well you LOVE well. To LOVE well you LIVE well.
Cynthia's life experiences, her demeanor and education make her the perfect counselor! She is comforting but challenging; understanding and encouraging; and best of all she cares deeply about others and helping them through the challenges that life brings.
She has taught me how to move on in life and have feelings for another.. i know how it has gotten me through all the hate i had through the hard times....
Cynthia is a great listener. Her patience and experience are very helpful to grieving people who don't know how to live with this new status and life. Even though a member's loss may be very different from hers, Cynthia is able to give them some experiential perspective, and let them know that if they're willing to accept this change, they can build a happy life for themselves.
The experience of having someone there for me who understood made a major difference in my life. I slowly began to feel connected to the world again instead of feeling like I was on the outside looking in at other people. The education that Cynthia provided also helped me to feel empowered--"I can take care of myself."
Cynthia is not (nor has she ever been) just a coach or mentor. She's my friend. I know that, even now almost 8 years later, she is still there for me if I need her.
Being able to talk to someone that has already been in the phase of the grief journey that I was going through made it easier to get through each day.
I can welcome love into my life, most recently in the form of my precious grandson, Ethan. I feel happy looking forward to the future. There are times when a cloud will come over my life and I get sad missing my husband, but the cloud only stays a brief time. I have learned how to embrace the cloud remember my loved one and then let the cloud float away again. The clouds come so much less now than they did in the beginning. Through Cindy's guidance you learn how to live through those moments and then embrace the joy of life again. I'm blessed to have found Cindy early in my grief journey and have her walk it with me, teaching me the pitfalls and how to navigate them so that they aren't so dangerous. I live my life to the fullest most every day.