Support in Early Grief: Nutrients Part 2
Grief takes a LOT of energy.
It takes a whole cocktail of vitamins, minerals, nutrients, hormones, neurotransmitters and pure energy just to make it through a day.
Grieving parents, and all grieving people, are very much in need of care / self care / physical and emotional care, and loved ones are the best people to take on this task. Ideally this care will come in the form of easy to manage, already-made, put in front of them, nutrient dense, easily eaten food, noting that they have nearly no capacity to source it for themselves. And this doesn’t have to be meals, which can often be viewed with overwhelm due to a person’s lack of appetite. It can be simple, simple, simple. Soups, broth, smoothies, juices. Fruit, or frozen popsicles made with, what, I don’t know – raspberry and beet juice?
Think toddler. Think finger foods. Ask their other loved ones what they might like. Put it in front of them, point it out and just sit, or step back. They may appreciate your presence or they may not, but you will likely not know for quite awhile – sometimes many years – whether your actions were helpful. Assume that they are, and keep them simple and heartfelt. You can’t fix this, but you can support.
I distinctly remember standing in my kitchen, in the depths of grief, just standing, looking at the door of the closed fridge, and feeling how impossible it was going to be to make lunch. There was no way I was going to be able to take things out and put them together in a way that was consumable, it just did not feel possible, let alone how I was going to lift my aching arm and open the door. So I walked out of the room, and went back to doing what I was doing, which was quite probably nothing, or looking at photographs and tokens that reminded me of the great love & great grief that was now my life. The days went on like this, and I really don’t remember feeling hungry at all.
We will be talking about nutrition and supporting your body through grief in the Mothering Your Heart program. What has grief done to your appetite and ability to get adequate nutrition, are there tips you would like to share with others, recipes or shopping or eating suggestions that worked for you?