grieving my dead relatives, part 1

necco wafers, tootsie rolls, pepper and egg sandwiches, chipped beef on toast, coffee jello, split pea soup, hermit cookies… what do these foods have in common?  well, for  one thing, they are all foods that i don’t like much. also, they were some of my mother favorites  (i’m sure there is something very freudian in that admission). Her birthday was march 13, and if she hadn’t been dead since 1996, she’d have turned 70. do your loved ones that have died live on in your memory in the context of food, as do mine?  well-known grief expert elizabeth kubler-ross states that “Mourning can go on for years and years. It doesn’t end after a year:  that’s a false fantasy.” how much more pleasant are the memories when viewed through the lens of one’s own (or her own!) preferred foods? i say: much more!

here’s elizabeth kubler-ross’ website: http://www.ekrfoundation.org/

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6 thoughts on “grieving my dead relatives, part 1

  1. Although I do not remember the date of my grandmother’s death, I do remember that the petite French woman was born on March 17th. How ironic! And you can thank her for my extreme distaste of fish – any kind. An avid fisherman, she would bring home all kinds of fish. As I child I nearly fainted as she gutted them right in front of me, the poor thing’s cold eyes staring at me as my grandmother’s hand ripped its insides out. I write all this as I sit eating out of a box of wheat thins, one of my mother’s favorite snacks. Hmmm……
    Susan

    1. wow, susan. my maternal grandmother was the only female sibling with 4 brothers who loved to fish and who lived a few streets over from her house. they would go fishing most weekends, then drop all the fish off at her house to be cleaned. one of 4 siblings myself, i often was sent to stay with my grandmother on the weekend (to give my parents’ nervous systems a break from my endless chatter and motion, i believe). i used to stand in my grandmother’s kitchen and watch her gut the fish. i hated the smell, hated the vacant eyes (of the fish, not nana)…her siamese cat, simone, a mean one, used to sit above us on the fridge and would jump down on peoples’ heads from time to time (claws unfurled to inflict the most pain, but that’s another story). come to think of it, i didn’t eat fish myself for the first 35 years of my life. do you think this is a coincidence?

  2. Hermits, pepper and egg sandwiches, coffee jello; spam; salmon aspic and the best whoopee pies ever!!! These things and more are my “food triggered” memories of my Grandmother. Thanks for the sensory stimulous ( especially the coffee jello ) brought about by your sharing; hmmmm I can remember it well. Why don’t I make it…do I even know how??

    1. thank YOU for validating MY memory of coffee jello; another reader told me she had never even heard of such a thing! to make coffe jello…these are the directions, if memory serves: 1. go to the supermarket 2. go to the baking aisle. 3. find the pudding/jello section. 4. get down on your knees, rummage around on the bottom shelf till you find the dust covered box that says coffee jello 5. pick it up; dust it off with your sleeve, sneeze vigorously 6. purchase, take home, follow directions. this will work unless … oh oh! what if it is no longer sold in stores? 🙂

    2. thank YOU for validating MY memory of coffee jello; another reader told me she had never even heard of such a thing! to make coffe jello…these are the directions, if memory serves: 1. go to the supermarket 2. go to the baking aisle. 3. find the pudding/jello section. 4. get down on your knees, rummage around on the bottom shelf till you find the dust covered box that says coffee jello 5. pick it up; dust it off with your sleeve, sneeze vigorously 6. purchase, take home, follow directions. this will work unless … oh oh! what if it is no longer sold in stores? 🙂

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