Tuesday, nine days ago, Maxine Bowman, my mother died. She, and my dad who had died a few years before, were MUCH loved in Lawrence, Kansas. Being the very organized mother that she was, mom planned what music and readings she wanted to have at her funeral.
We planned for Sunday afternoon, so those who wanted to fly or drive had time to make travel arrangements. The church was full of those wanting to honor Maxine. Back in the kitchen a small group of women quietly uncovered dishes and laid out a spread of food for those who would want to visit or just make sandwiches for the long drive home. These women don’t get paid for the food or the service. They do it as a gift of comfort. They are in the background so others can visit, share stories, or mourn.
My sister and niece both teach in the same school. A group of their co-workers brought by a ton of food to the “Hub” (Renee and Jon’s house) where we gathered nightly as family and invited guests visited and shared stories.
But wait, there was more. Extended family brought/prepared food and another church brought food to the “Hub” house. Pantry, freezers, refrigerators…all filling over.
We knew it was an outpouring of love for mom and all of us. We were thankful for every dish, every box or bag.
When a loved one dies, it is so surreal. Many wanted to do something…SOMETHING. We received flowers, donations for my mom’s favorite charity, and loads of food.
Renee and Jon, the “Hub” hosts had one rule *smile* At the end of the week everybody had to take some food home. Seriously…everybody!
The picture does not include all the meats, cheeses, casseroles, or the dessert table. Many gathered the food to share with others. Funeral and food…I guess it’s a cultural thing. I bless the heart of each person who brought/prepared dishes, trays, drinks, and bags.
What cultural experiences do you have when a loved one dies?
Good morning…sorry to hear of your loss. Having lived in the States for 28 years I am very familiar with this outpouring of help – usually in the form of an abundance of food. It is very lovely for all concerned. Janet. 🙂
I think my mom was one of the first out of the door with soup or a hot meal when someone was sick or had lost a loved one. I think some of that impacted the outpouring of food. (Really, so many things can be frozen or shared….it is very lovely.)
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I think the stories and donations to your mom’s favorite charity sound wonderful but I have noticed that (lots of) food is often the thing you wind up with.
I am so sorry. Hugs to you. 💗💗💗
Thanks. We received more than we imagined for her favorite charity. I think sometimes when everyone gets together for such a short time (5 days) our host was just overwhelmed with all the food. Some of us even made sandwiches for the airport the next day. Food or funds to the charity, it is really the thought that was so precious.
I don’t remember just a whole lot of what went on at the time of my mom’s funeral, but I do remember the support in the form of food. I remember feeling cared for and comforted, and feeling that my mom was loved. Other experiences include a spread at a church such as the one you mentioned, or gathering at a favorite restaurant in loving memory.
Sharing those memories mean so much.
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