Instinct in a crisis

When faced with people who are grieving, bewildered, or upset, my instincts go straight to food. I must feed these people in their time of need. Maybe it’s a learned behavior, but it’s so ingrained that it’s almost completely automatic. You are crying. I will make you banana bread.

A good friend is going through some very bad things including a terrifying surgery, and some of her family is staying at my house because I couldn’t let them all pay for a hotel when I live so close to the hospital and can offer them a comfy bed, free internet and TV, and three purring cats. When I learned that they were coming, I went to the grocery store. Yes, I also cleaned the bathrooms and got the extra blankets out, but the food was so important. Unfortunately, they are the type of people who have no appetite when they’re under stress, so I’m at a loss. I’m becoming a pushy European grandmother, offering them food every hour or two, trying to get them to eat. Maybe just a smoothie? Nothing? Well at least let me show you where all the food is in case you change your mind later… and of course if I hear you rustling in the fridge I will come running and assemble that sandwich for you. The words “you need to keep up your strength” actually found their way out of my mouth. I am 30 years old and I have evolved into a bad cliché.

Food is comfort. Food is love. I’m not sure how else to be helpful.

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