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  • Writer's pictureAmbrazia Sublett

Food Memory and Grief

This blog post may seem like a really heavy topic but I promise it will be a good one. Have you ever smelt or tasted something that transported you to a moment in time or felt like a hug from your favorite person. I'm sure you're thinking of something right now. Food memories can be negative or positive. It could be the sweet smell of your favorite bakery you went to as a kid. It could be the sound of a can opening that reminds you of drinking coke with friends in the summer. Vice versa it could be remembering how the sweet chocolate bar you were eating turned sour once you received some bad news. It could be a multitude of things I hope you hold space for all the memories good or bad. Additionally, I hope you try and make good memories with people in your life whether they be around food, people, places, or things, and that they fill you heart with joy.

I'm focusing on my grandmother in this post specifically. Today is her birthday but she isn't physically here celebrating so I thought I'd continue to share memories instead. Just a little back story, I did not have your average grandparent experience because my grandparents were both disabled. So growing up hearing people speak how they remember baking with grandparents or having their grandparents have them over on weekends. My memories looked a little different I wheeled my grandmother around racing around every corner in the nursing home. Getting her sweet tea and coffee making sure it is sweetened appropraitley. When I was younger it was sharing paydays and circus peanuts with her. Having thanksgiving dinner in the nursing home dining hall with all the residents enkoying the love and gratitude that filled the room. As we both got older it morphed in the best way. I was lucky enough to have these experieces. I learned that she used to bake (if you didnt know I LOVE baking). She always had baked goods in the house. I know try to carry on that same tradition. I wasn't lucky enough to eat her baked goods or taste her cooking but I love hearing about what she would make in hopes I can learn recipes and memories. There is a food she used to cook for my mom and aunts, hamburger casserole (at least I think it was her). I have now learned how to make it. The smell of the golden cheese on top and the crisp sound of cutting into the hot casserole dish. That is a food memory for me. I hope to learn more recipes she made and who knows maybe they will be just as delicious but even if not it makes me feel closer to her. So today I enjoyed coffee and thought of her and I will bake something and fill it with love as I am sure she did. I hope to share about the women who I'm so similar to and miss more than ever.

I truly never experienced grief until I lost her. It is a daily weight to carry some days heavier than others. I challenge you if you miss someone talk about them, and keep their memory alive even if it is a food memory. In the end, grief is not linear and I hope that you too can grieve easier by utilizing your own food memories.



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