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Continue Your Hobbies As You Grieve for a Loved One

June 09, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 155

My mother loved to bake. Her orange sponge cake was famous in the neighborhood and our church. She was also known for her chocolate and blonde brownies, flaky homemade biscuits, and French chocolate cake. Friends would drop off ingredients and ask my mother to bake for them. If she had wanted, she could have turned her skills into a business.

Mixes weren't available yet and everything she baked was made from scratch. It's a wonder any baked goods came from our tiny kitchen. When I say tiny, I mean there was no counter space. Mom did her prep work on the drain board of the kitchen sink or a small table in the corner. My father used the table as desk. In order to take, she would have to clear his papers from the table first.

I learned how to bake by watching my mother. At age 15 I was making French chocolate cakes for church suppers. But the famous recipe became a sore subject after our Cocker Spaniel, Timmy, jumped up on a chair and devoured a cake my mother had just made. No person or pet could resist this confection, so we forgave the dog, and put the recipe back on our "make it" list.

My love of baking comes from my mother. Today, when I bake, I think of her. I can see her in the kitchen, totally absorbed in her task, and singing "Hit Parade" songs at the top of her lungs. It has taken me decades to realize that baking is a source of comfort. The question is, why?

First, I'm doing something my mother taught me to do. This hobby links me to her.

Second, it brings back happy memories. Though I can't taste what she made, I can almost smell the finished products. Certainly, I can see them in my mind.

Like my mother, I become absorbed in the task and this is good when you're grieving.

Still, holidays can be difficult for me. Edward Myers writes about holidays in his book, When Parents Die: A Guide for Adults. Holidays and anniversaries are intense emotional times, according to Myers, and they can reawaken bereavement. Celebrating birthdays, including our own, can also be difficult. But that hasn't stopped me from making Christmas cookies or Yorkshire Pudding during the holidays.

Myers thinks we have the power to feel emotions, without becoming awash in them. "So you can indulge your memories without concern for becoming preoccupied," he concludes. That's good news for me and you.

Do you have a hobby that reminds you of a deceased loved one? Maybe you like to sail, or browse antique shops, or collect books on a certain subject. Instead of ignoring your hobbies during the grief process, you may turn to them for comfort. Continue your hobbies if you can. Enjoy them and savor the link with your loved one. Find strength in these links and happy memories.

Harriet Hodgson has been an independent journalist for 35+ years, is the author of 31 books and hundreds of print/Internet articles. In 2007 she lost four family members, including her daughter. Six grief resources have come from this experience, including "Happy Again! Your New and Meaningful Life After Loss" and "Help! I'm Raising My Grandkids." Please visit her website and learn more about this busy author.

Source: EzineArticles
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