Death and deli trays

My grandma died last Friday.

It still seems weird to write that sentence...even though she was very sick and we knew she was going to die. Eventually.

Well, eventually happened last Friday morning at about 5:15 a.m.

The next few days were a blur of family, old photos, and lots of deli meat.

Yes, I said deli meat.

See, there's this weird thing that happens when people die.
Friends offer to bring the family food.
Lots and lots of food.

"I'm so sorry for your loss. Oh, and I brought you a casserole."

I get it....sort of.
Death makes people uncomfortable.
They send condolences, they hug you and then they aren't sure what else to do.
You can only say "I'm sorry for your loss" or "She is in a better place" so many times.

And so, not knowing what else to do....they send food.

In our case, it was deli trays.
I have never seen so much corned beef and pastrami.
I also never want to eat another bagel sandwich again.

It started Sunday - Mother's Day - when one of my mom's friends came by the house with a huge tray of deli meat, cheese, cole slaw, potato salad and three dozen bagels. [I should mention that we already had dinner planned - ham, macaroni and cheese, etc.]. Not knowing what else to do with ourselves, we made sandwiches. And then we ate dinner a few hours later.

Then, another friend brought a cake.
A very heavy cake.

Monday at the funeral home, another family friend delivered yet another deli tray.
This one came with at least four dozen bagels.

At one point my uncle joked that perhaps we should start handing out bagel sandwiches as people walked into the funeral home...

"Hi. Thanks for coming. Here's a pastrami sandwich."

I thought that was a good idea.
And, it made people laugh.

As strange as the food/funeral connection is to me, I know my family appreciated the gestures. We just won't be visiting the local bagel shop anytime soon.


  1. I used to say all of those things too Tracy and then my Grandpa died in 1996 (and growing up living with him and without a father he was essentially my dad). After that I stopped saying all those things that people always say, because the truth is that none of it matters - sure they aren't suffering, but now you are. Sure they had a nice, long life - but it will never be long enough. It doesn't mean I've figured out the right thing to say, but I suppose I've just moved on to other cliches. So from someone who was very close to her grandmother I offer you the best I have - it will get easier, but you'll always miss her. And now you at least have a silly deli tray story to share in her memory :)

  2. thanks...and yes, we have a great silly story to share now ;)

  3. I'm so sorry for your loss, Traci....and please pass that onto your Mom.

    hugs to all of you :(

  4. First off, Traci, I am sorry for your loss. Losing my grandmother several years ago was very tough for me as I was the only granddaughter, so we had an extremely special bond. So, my thoughts and prayers are with your family.

    Next, I totally get this....our family actually joked about the same things...it does help to have that laughter in such a difficult time. Since then, I wait a few weeks, then offer to bring a meal or just a sweet gesture such as a fun dessert. Because weeks later, it is still hard, but it isn't often fresh on the minds of others.

    Again, my condolences!

  5. thanks, allison :)