The loss of a loved one can literally take your appetite away.
You find that you can barely get out of bed and food is not appealing at all. You feel as though you are walking through cotton candy. All of your senses seem dulled and off.Sadly, these symptoms are considered to be pretty normal for a person grieving.
I remember at the reception after my husband’s funeral I really didn’t want anything to eat. I had a yogurt before going to the church for the funeral mass but that was about all I could handle. People kept giving me plates of food and I held the plates while talking to people but then I would put it down somewhere hoping no one would give it back to me. Later on, even though I wasn’t hungry, I did force myself to eat part of a turkey sandwich because everyone seemed so worried that I didn’t want anything.
I soon realized that I needed to eat smarter and take care of myself. I was responsible for raising my son and I needed to be strong for him. My thirteen-year-old son had just lost his father and if he saw that his mother didn’t care what happened to her, then God knows what would happen. I needed to show him that part of grieving was remembering to eat healthy. If I fell apart and I ate junk or skipped meals, then I knew he would feel the same way about his life and I couldn’t have that happen. I might not have cared about myself at that point, but I did love and care about him.
I started being aware of what I was cooking and especially made sure that we always ate a good breakfast, not the breakfast we felt like eating: doughnuts, pancakes, coffee cake and sometimes even pizza. Never had pizza for breakfast? You should try it! Totally delish!
Grieving is hard work. No one tells you this but it’s definitely a symptom of grief. If you think about it, it’s not surprising because it’s exhausting to be under so much mental and physical turmoil every day.
I also think it’s normal to find that you don’t feeling like eating. But you need to keep up your strength so for the sake of your good health, it’s important to make sure that you are having regular meals even if they are smaller than your usual portions.
That brings up the subject of grocery stores. You might think that a trip to the grocery store is routine but after someone you loved dies, the food aisles can be tricky. Foods that your loved one looked forward to eating sit on the shelf waiting for you to grab them and throw them into your cart. But sadly that is not the case any longer. You probably won’t be buying those items anymore.
For me it was Ovaltine. That yellow and brown label on the stout little jar was something that was always in our kitchen pantry because my husband loved to drink its malty goodness! In the first few months after his death, it was difficult to see it in the grocery store. It was another reminder I didn’t need. Other widows have told me that eventually there’s also another way to look at a trip to the grocery store. Food shopping can gradually become a kind of adventure because they can start to buy food that they always really liked but their spouse or partner couldn’t stand.
Either way, you are trying to stretch a dollar and you deserve to be healthy. Below is the link to timely story published in The Washington Post on Wednesday, Feb 27 discussing food shopping in the grocery store, saving money and learning to make those ‘aha’ wellness decisions: