In the Jewish religion, the key message of the bereavement process is that the mourner should not be alone. The role of the community is to tend to the needs of the mourners so they can sit shiva (seven days of mourning following death). Providing food so that the bereaved do not have to cook and can sustain themselves through the process is one of the vital roles the community must fill.
In an amazing display of the power of social media, the food blogging community came together this past week to be sure that Jennifer Perillo and her family are not alone.
Last Monday @JenniferPerillo, a well-know food blogger, lost her husband suddenly and tragically to a heart attack. In a lovely post by Shauna Ahearn (@glutenfreegirl), Shauna struggled with the tragedy, searching for some sense, and commented on the importance of gathering: “Maybe that’s the only light in all of this. The gathering.”
Last weekend, before Jennifer’s tragedy, we were lucky enough to celebrate a very special Bat Mitzvah of the daughter of a family who had also tragically lost their husband/father 3 years ago. At the evening celebration, the mom/wife mentioned how important the gathering of all of her family and friends at this Bat Mitzvah occasion was as part of the healing process and that she was the happiest she had been in 3 years. The joy that day was tangible in each note that was sung, each word that was spoken, each torah portion that was chanted. And visibly in each smiling face we saw.
This week, I watched a virtual community of food bloggers and wonderful human beings gather for @JenniferPerillo and her kids. In a touching post, Jennifer asked us to make #apieformikey. And so all over the land, people are making peanut butter pies for their loved ones. This simple act has created a virtual gathering around Jennifer and her family and reminded us all not to put off sharing a special meal with loved ones.
S0 today I made #apieformikey and so many others we have grieved for in the last few years.
It doesn’t have to be a pie, but make time to sit down with family and friends you love and share a meal. It can heal you in ways that you would never imagine and create memories that will last a lifetime.
Notes about the pie: I used Jennifer Perillo’s recipe but made a few minor changes. I found peanut butter oreos which I thought would be perfect for the crust and I used fat-free sweetened condensed milk and low-fat peanut butter as well as an 1/8 cup less of the sugar.