Different cultures have different death rituals. In the flatlands of Indiana, when you knew someone who died, you baked a casserole or some such dish (maybe a pie or cake if you were a master at that) and took it over to that persons house. I think that there are a few reasons for this. One is that you don't want the family of the deceased to have to worry about sustenance......you want food to just BE there for them so that they can grieve without the worry of the day to day needs like eating. Also, it gives you something to do. Instead of being self indulgent and reflecting upon your self or what-have-you, you concentrate on what you are making. You need to find the recipe, you consider and consult with other on what THEY are taking over to the family to be sure that there is a variety and to minimize duplication. Then you probably had shopping to do, gotta get some peas, need some rigatoni noodles........etc. A trip to the store is in order, maybe an upscale grocery if you are really trying to distract your mind.
We do these things, to keep our lives in order in the face of grief. Look, we say to ourselves, everything is alright. 'I'm going to the grocery store, I'm picking out cumin or cinnamon and if I am doing these things, then everything is alright' we tell ourselves. 'I'm considering taking red beans and rice because someone else I know is taking over macaroni salad and if I'm considering menu items, then everything is alright'. Isn't it?
So today, I bake a mental casserole for my blogmigo Rob and his family.
But nothing is alright.