Grief in the South
Monday, April 08, 2013
One of the peculiar traditions we have down here in the south is that when someone dies, the family gets fed.
It's a very respectable tradition, and one that helps the family tremendously. I don't know if this is a south-only thing, although I doubt it. It makes sense. The last thing a grieving family should have to worry about is where their next meal comes from.
Down here, it has become an art form, though. Piles of fried chicken, pasta salads, green bean casseroles, bread (dear lord, the bread) all arrive unrequested but usually very welcome at a central location.
My husband's grandmother died last week, and we all met at the matriarch's long-time home on the family farm, where everyone always meets for family get-togethers and such.
It was enough to feed an army. (And did, incidentally. This is a very large family. There are 5 kids, 19 grandkids, 30-something great grandkids, and it goes on from there.)
I tried to be mindful of my health while navigating this very literal buffet of traditional southern comfort food. If it could be deep-fried or cooked in lard, it was there. ;) So good, too.
I stayed under control, in spite of the heightened emotional state. It was hard, being the strong one. In fact, I think I managed to undereat a bit more than I meant. I wasn't counting calories or anything, just trying to make the right choices to fuel myself for the grueling weekend.
It's funny how those traditions develop over time. It's still a comforting thing to sit around the table, surrounded by family, and share a good, hot meal.
Rest in peace, dear Granny Dudley. You earned it. (She was 92, and a dear, precious woman.)