Tear soup, a recipe for healing after loss, is a family story book that centers around an old and somewhat wise woman, Grandy. Grandy has just suffered a big loss in her life and so she is headed to the kitchen to make a special batch of Tear Soup. There she chooses the size pot that is right for her loss, and she puts on her apron because she knows it's going to be messy. And then Grandy starts to cry. At first she weeps, then she sobs, eventually she wails. Slowly the pot is filled with tears as the old woman steeps away. To season her soup Grandy adds memories, like the good times and the bad, the silly and the sad times. She does not want to forget even one precious memory of her loss.
I have been filling my pot of tear soup for almost 7 months now. Today it is getting an extra filling. I don't know why. Wait, I know why...it is the holidays. My sweet Lucy is not with me. It hurts. It hurts more than I can describe. I don't even know what to ask for as I pray. I don't know what to do. I don't know who to turn to. I don't know what I need. I'm just trying to breathe. I'm angry and sad and confused and in excruciating pain all at once. Sometimes you just want answers and they are no where to be found. Sometimes you just want comfort and can't find it. Sometimes you just want to stand in your kitchen over your gigantic pot of tear soup and cry until the pot overflows and pray that a friend will come over with their empty pot and let you fill it with more tears while they stand next to you and rub your back.
Her snow boots in her closet. her little shoes lined up nice and neat. Her favorite polka dot Mary Janes that she would fit into now.
Her winter coat. A littler girl was wearing the same coat on Temple square Friday night. WHERE IS MY LUCY??
Her scarf. The dress she was wearing the day she choked. I found it in a bag in her closet. The smell. The memories. The tears. The sobbing and wailing. The ache.
Lucy, Lucy, Lucy.
If your friend is the one making Tear Soup:
-Be mindful of birthdays, holidays, and anniversaries
-Be there for your friend, even when you don’t understand.
-Don’t assume that because your friend is having a good day that it means they are over their loss.
-Stick close to your friend and defend their right to grieve.
-Be a source of comfort by listening, laughing, and crying.
-Allow your friend to make mistakes…or at least to grieve differently from the way you would grieve.
-Send flowers. Send money, if you know this would help.
-Invite your friend to attend events together, as you normally would. Let them decide if they don’t want to attend.
-Send cards. The message doesn’t need to be long. Just let them know you haven’t forgotten them. Send one every few weeks for a while.
-Give your friend permission to grieve in front of you. Don’t change the subject or tell them not to cry or act uncomfortable when they do cry.
-Avoid offering easy answers and platitudes. This only invalidates the grief. Be patient. Don’t try to rush your friend through their grief.
-Try to anticipate what your friend may need. Bereaved persons sometimes don’t know what to ask for.
-Call your friend. Don’t worry about being a bother. Let your friend tell you if they don’t want to talk about their loss right now.
-Answering machines and e-mail are great ways to keep in touch, allowing the bereaved person to respond only when they feel up to it.