Friday, July 25, 2014

krispie treats + grief

I'm grieving.

which conversely means that I'm in the kitchen a lot.

it's a thing I've always done. cooking is a sign of the placement of my emotional barometer. when I'm feeling things strongly, I bake and cook until the kitchen overflows and counters brim with goodness.

my grandmother is standing on the edge between earth's shallow pale and the glittering Holiness that is Aslan's Country. and she's ready to make the leap. and so we wait, wait for the appointed time.

I don't like to talk about grief. I really don't.
so I'll talk about Rice Krispie treats instead.

I'll talk about the way I stirred the melting marshmallows and butter together without thinking, a groove into which I fell so easily. because that's grief. it happens without thinking. it just comes and falls heavy and you find yourself doing the dance without understanding the steps. you just do.

I'll talk about the way I usually don't butter the pan, but this time, I did. because that's grief. you can't predict how you'll handle it, or if it'll be the same as it was last time or next time or the times before and after. when you find yourself bowing against it, you grieve your way. not his way or her way or your mother's way. you pour out in your own stream. no one else's.

I'll talk about the way I flung butter with my fingertips instead of neatly with a spatula. normally, cooking is tidy intricacies for me. little steps by little steps. but this time, it was just a little sloppy. a little haphazard. because that's grief. it's not tidy or ordained. we can try to make it that way, but it really isn't. it's greasy and slippery and creeps up your elbows and clings to everything it touches.

{via pinterest}
I'll talk about the way I burned my hand on the still-too-hot mixture of cereal and vanilla-aroma'd sticky goodness that poured from pot to pan. because that, that is grief. it hurts. even if you don't want it to, even if it was an accident and you would just rather not hurt at all no oh god no not even a little please...

grief hurts.

and I'll talk about the way it fell into the pan and filled in all the gaps. the way I used my hands, again, slathered in butter over the knuckles and over the little pale crease where my wedding ring normally sits. because that's grief. sometimes you just have to let yourself be buried in it, just a little, where you can still see yourself through the thin sheer coating that slips over your life. your hands are still there. just covered.

and then I'll tell you about the promise of deliciousness. I'll tell you about the way it seeps into my body through my tastebuds and fills me up with the knowledge that soon there will be treats. soon there will be sweetness. but there was burning and slathering and mixing and aching and weeping so that this particular pan of Rice Krispie treats might have a tinge of salt mixed in among the goodness.

because I know the ending. and oh, it hurts so bad that everything burns. but there is a promise. a whisper of what it will taste like when the door opens and I see it all, so clear and plain.

oh death, where is thy sting?
oh grave, where then is thy victory? 


  1. i tend to bake when stressed and also for fun. there are some activities in which the calming action invites slowness. in those moments i often hear Him whisper and my soul find reprieve. i see you. i hear you. i love you sister HUGS!!!

  2. Rachel, how beautiful this was. Though I am not a baker, I am dealing with grief. I just lost my dad in January, and it's so very hard. The one saving grace - which is really THE. SAVING. GRACE. - is that He has, indeed, arrived in Aslan's country. And one day, we will meet again.

    Praying for your family, and for your grandmother. May God take her in His perfect timing, in peace and without pain. Keep baking, keep praying, and keep hoping - for we know the Truth of the *happily ever after* that awaits us someday.


  3. I lost my dear MIL almost 3 years ago, and the grief of it still hits me at will. Usually in the middle of the night while I'm suffering my long time friend insomnia (ahh, but I used to lie in bed at least unburdened with all these grown up hurts I've gathered since I was a teen). Unlike so many others (it seems), I actually had a great relationship with my MIL - I the daughter she never had, she my closer and more predictable mother. I grieve for three reasons; I wish I did a better job of showing her how much she meant to me when I could, I wish I knew how much she meant to me before she was gone, and I wish I could have had my time with her with the 'me' now...the me who has grown so much wiser and world weary in the last three years. I also grieve for myself, because the thought of going through this for my mother, father, siblings, etc., fills me with a slow burning, mild terror. I wish I could go back and be that naive person who didn't realize how much this life hurts.

  4. Oh dear Rachel--I just found this blog for the first time (via Momastery) and already think of you as dear Rachel, hope that is OK! I am so sorry for your loss. This beautiful meditation on grief (and baking) was perfectly timed for me, as I am pre-grieving two people I expect to lose in the coming weeks or months. And like Donna above, I lost my very dear MIL some years ago, and still feel the grief unexpectedly as well. Thank you so much for reaching out and sharing this, as it has truly helped me and I'm sure will help many others. And as it happened my daughter just asked a few days ago to bake Rice Krispie I think today I will say "yes".


I look at you and see all the ways a soul can bruise, and I wish I could sink my hands into your flesh and light lanterns along your spine so you know there's nothing but light when I see you. :: Shinji Moon