Grief and Pizza

I have no idea what is going on. I cried on and off all day. This is ridiculous. Not to be rude, but I don’t really want to hear anyone else’s opinions about what they’ve “heard” from “other people,” either. So many people have the “check off list” of the stages of grief……..why in Grief Share do they say every one is on their own schedule and no two people walk the same path or have the same feelings?

Grief Share=people who have suffered similar, if not the same, loss.

I think we’ll throw away the lists of “stages” of grief and common things people have heard that were “shared”, and stick with those who have been neck deep in loss and survived to help me through it.

Tonight was Grief Share and I was more than ready for it. I wish there would have been a sacrificial alter. I could have thrown myself on it and screamed,”Take anything you want(stop–don’t read into this that I would ever sacrifice my daughter just so I would feel better. Common sense people: one cancels out the other), just FIX ME!” But there wasn’t….just a dvd and the workbook. More importantly, though, people just like me: broken and desperately wanting to be healed.

We talked about:

Self Care- Ok, so I’m slightly failing miserably in that area.

How the timing and duration of when we lost our loved one affects our recovery. Archie died extremely suddenly. The day before his passing we were told his cancer markers had dropped from 6,160 to 130! The lump on his neck was almost completely gone and we were making plans for when this was “over.” Less than 18 hours later….he went home. They say my grief may take a lot longer than someone who had a long illness.

How we view what happened in our lives around the time the death occurred. For us, he died on the anniversary of the renewing of our vows and the funeral was on our 27th anniversary. Valentines Day was in the middle somewhere. Now I will never view those occasions the same (even I’ll admit I pretty much had that one figured out).

It seemed like one of the main points of the evening is our loved one’s possessions and how they affect us. I’m going to process that one for quite a while. They said we’ll know when it is time to think about that and when we are ready. I’m trusting them and I’ll leave it at that.

So let’s back up a step: Today at work (like I said, more emotional than what I am used too and that is just not me). Emma Lou walks in with a beautiful hand made card and a bag of the most amazing Dutch cookies. Susan, one of the most gifted designers I have been introduced to and had the honor of rooming with while in California, had sent a “heartfelt” card of encouragement, along with a gift for me to “treat” myself. More tears… . Susan has shared that she is praying for me and has sent “hugs from over seas.” I love Susan.

Fast forward to coming home from work: Taylor’s car will not shift out of park. Peachy. Thankfully we have triple A, from advice we had been given by Lee, when he had to tow Taylor’s car twice from the college campus.

I didn’t even walk into the house.  I got out of the truck, walked to her car, kept fighting with it until we both gave up and left for Grief Share, me crying nearly all the way there. Poor Taylor.

We had not even had supper. Introduce the card from Susan: Something to “treat” myself….right now all I can think of is how miserable I am and how horrible I feel that I am the only parent Taylor has left and I am just a puddle! Treat myself….if only I could make Taylor feel better, comfort her, I would feel better…. . Cook’s Pizza! I have only eaten out twice since the funeral: Subway, Taylor and I split one and Panda Express, Taylor and I split a bowl after picking up her Regalia.

Cook’s is her very favorite! They are downtown Wakarusa, not 10 minutes from Nappanee. When I worked at the bakery the Cook brother’s would use our mixers to make their pizza dough. When Archie and Taylor would come in Friday nights to help (Archie was my fryer and Taylor my glazer), we’d always order Cook’s pizza and garlic cheese bread. The cheese bread comes on a plastic plate wrapped in foil. It is THE BEST! One of the Cook brother’s would come in around 10 pm and we would all chat. We’d talk baseball with Steve or chit chat with Stan about what was going on in Waky. Good times. Great memories.

When Taylor and I worked at Dutch Maid Bakery, Steve would come in to buy the yeast for the pizza dough. He’d catch up with Taylor, leave her a nice tip, and tell her to say “hi” to her mom and dad.

When my mom passed, the funeral was in Wakarusa. We ordered Cook’s pizza for the night of the viewing and then found out that my stepdad had been the Cook brother’s Sunday School teacher growing up–small world! They were very kind during a difficult situation.

The day of Archie’s viewing….Taylor said she had to get Cook’s pizza. This time “dad” wasn’t going to be helping us eat it so….let’s just get a small. Pastor Jason heard us discussing it before she headed out to pick it up. He asked her to let him pay for it, if she’d let him steal a piece (wink). She grinned and reluctantly accepted. When she returned with the pizza she walked over to Jason and handed him his money. He argued a bit but Taylor explained: When she got to Cook’s they handed her a medium pizza and garlic cheese bread. She tried to tell the girls that wasn’t her order. They then explained to her that the Cook boys recognized her name. Whoever took her order hadn’t written down what the fellows knew she wanted so….they corrected it, upsized the pizza….and gave it to her, expressing how sorry they were about her dad. Tears… .

Now to tonight:

Taylor tried calling over and over but the line was busy. Cook’s is always very busy. Time for Grief Share. During the break I excused myself, more tears, while Taylor tried to call Cook’s again. This time it rang through. When they answered the phone they asked what she would like to order. When she explained her sm pizza and garlic cheese bread, they told her they thought they were out or almost out of dough. They called back to Steve. Steve (God thing) asked,”What’s the last name?” (I think he recognized the order). “Cook” was the young lady’s response. “She’s got the last piece of dough…” was the answer.

Tears and hugs when I went to pick it up after Grief Share.

Isaiah 42:3 “He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle. He will bring justice to all who have been wronged.”

Today I was more than bruised and a flicker is all I had left of my flame. God showed His unfailing love using a beautiful Dutch designer and a compassionate pizza shop owner and friend.

Another day we were not crushed or put out. God is amazing.


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