My father, Jere Querry, passed away last Monday morning at home.
But with all of sadness, Hospice, funerals, viewing, speeches, caskets, burials and everything that goes along with someone you love dying, there was a lot of good, and love that came out of all of this.
I spent time with my brothers and their lovely families. I spent time with my mom. I got to talk to many people that I haven't seen for a very long time, and I spent time with my own family (and Munchie the Wonder Puggle, who was not, shall we say, great).
A few years ago, just after my friend Mary died, I wrote a short post about how food is love. You can read it here if you're so inclined.
And these 3 years later, I still believe it.
We received gorgeous baskets filled with quiches, fruit, and coffee cake, subs, cakes, danishes, a gigantic baked ziti, garlic bread, cookies, brownies, & muffins. And that's just what I remember! I'm sure there was more, but things are a bit hazy, I hope you'll understand.
We shared a meal with 36 people after the burial, and we talked, and laughed, and cried a little bit. My dad would have loved it.
It seems like any of the good times in the past week revolved around food. Sharing, and loving, and eating. And I am so grateful for that.
I'm grateful that when people don't know what to say, they bring you dinner instead of working the same, tired phrases in. That they bring you a cup of coffee, or send you salted chocolate bars. And yes, my waistline is reflecting all of this love, but that too shall pass.
Just before my dad died, I made a quick trip to Wegman's in Mechanicsburg. I zipped through and loaded the cart with anything prepared that I could find, and on a Sunday night, they were running a little low.
I grabbed salads and sandwiches and meals that could be easily nuked. But the best thing I bought was easily an assortment of lovely cheeses, roasted tomatoes, and bread. I knew this wasn't a snack that my mom & I would attack, but for some reason felt it was a necessary addition.
Because when someone dies, people stop by the house to express their condolences, and when they see how things are going, they tend to stick around and reminisce and offer to help with the details, which is invaluable. And more times than not, you want to offer them something, and they wouldn't dream of asking (or wanting) anything. But if you're able to pull out something simple and filling (because we all know that cheese deadens the appetite, right?), and set in on the table in front of them, they will eat it.
And you will feel good that you did something easy for them. They will feel good that they can enjoy something easy and delicious, and no trouble at all to fix, and you will all be as happy as you can be between the tears and the laughing.
And really, what more could you want?