Baking and Grieving

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I was hesitant to bake while at my parent’s home in Guam, waiting for our mother’s funeral services, which is tomorrow. Numerous people have told me to take time and to grieve. To take time to process things. To be good to myself. I do appreciate those people who’ve offered those different words of wisdom. It’s true. Grieving is a process. And losing someone who had a major influence in your life, such as a parent, is going to affect you, and you need time to process the loss. I decided that I was going to bake to honor her. She would’ve wanted me to bake things in her kitchen, I think. I made ensaymada. I used a recipe from Santos’ blog, The Scent of Green Bananas, food from the guambat, one of my favorite blogs.

I thought I’d given myself plenty of time to process this, but honestly, I’m nowhere near ready for the funeral. I don’t know what that’s supposed to look like, how I’m supposed to feel, or be. The numbness that I had initially felt in the first few days after I learned about her death hasn’t left me. The only thing I notice that’s different is that I’m getting extremely sad at times, that I wasn’t able to talk to her much before she passed. That I didn’t skype enough. That I didn’t tell her how much I loved her. I also find myself questioning most of the daily activities we all do, and questioning interactions with people, and questioning what the purpose of life is? What is the point of our lives?

Going to church has been difficult, because I don’t consider myself a Catholic anymore. But I go because I know I’ll regret it. My mother was always urging us to go to church, even decades after I’ve left home. She would always ask if I went, then changed her question to just ask if I know where the closest Catholic churches are in relation to where I lived. I’ve gone to church every day since I’ve been here, to collectively grieve with my family. I don’t say the prayers, and I’m not worshipping. I go simply because this is the place where my mother spent much of her time and energy when she wasn’t busy raising five kids and working. She was a church lady. I go because I want to respect my father and his grieving, and together my parents worked hard to raise us as Catholics. I’m not going to go back to being Catholic once I’m gone from here and back in Seattle. The Catholic church will need to change drastically for that to happen. But for now, I’ll go to the church of my mother. It just happens to be Catholic. If she became a Mormon, or a Baptist, I’d still go to her church.

I’m starting to ramble. I’ll stop here.

4 responses to “Baking and Grieving”

  1. Dave, I am so sorry to learn of your loss. It is very, very sad. It happened to me 7 years ago, and it changed my perspective on life tremendously. I smell the roses more. I appreciate things more. And I am more accepting and forgiving. So, sometimes, good (or better) things come from tragedies such as this. Do take time to grieve. No one expects you to bounce back right away. Take care of yourself. Sincerely and with regards, Marlise.


  2. So sorry to hear your news Dave – all I can say is that there isn’t any way you’re ‘supposed’ to be or feel and I remember the numbness very well from when my dad died many years ago. Baking, which is clearly a great talent of yours, sounds like a lovely way to honour and remember your mum. Be gentle with yourself, and however you feel, don’t beat yourself up about it. x


    • Thanks so much for your comments and thoughts. I feel a little bit better, and that’s how I think it will be; I’ll never feel completely fine, but the pain of losing someone will fade as time goes by. Thanks again.


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