No Recipe for Grief

Yesterday I made Irish Soda Bread. It’s Conor’s Daddy’s favourite bread and a very easy bake.  It’s the first bread I ever attempted when I thought bread was beyond the reach of the very amateur home baker. I followed Paul Hollywood’s recipe:

With only 5 ingredients it makes a lovely old fashioned loaf from start to finish in 45 minutes. There’s even a handy wee clip on You Tube to follow to create this delicious loaf.  Give it a try!

Soda bread

I believe anyone can bake. A good recipe contains steps anyone can follow. It’s like a culinary treasure hunt. This appeals to my love of rules and predictability. Rules and predictability do not exist in my new life. There is no recipe for grief. I thought that like soda bread, grief contained just 5 ingredients; denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.  I thought that there were steps to follow to come out the other side. I thought that in the weeks and months after Conor died I’d work through each stage. I thought that I’d be healed by the time my maternity leave was up.  Grief isn’t like this. There are many more ingredients; fear, love, anxiety, loneliness, jealousy, guilt and incredible sadness feature heavily. There are no steps 1,2,3… and no predictability.  The different emotions approach like waves and sometimes I feel like I’m drowning.  While Conor’s Daddy is an all or nothing kind of man (“why just have one chocolate when you can have the box”), I was always very steady (“have one a day so the chocolates last longer”).  Grief does not allow you to be steady. I can experience the full rage of emotions in just one hour.  One of the biggest things I’ve learnt is that it’s not simply me working through grief, grief is working its way through me.  Grief does not seem to be following any steps or rules and the chaos is frightening. Since Conor died I have been working to try to gain some control back. My world and the people who feature in it are small. I am beginning to accept that life and how I live it is changed forever. I cannot predict what the next steps in my life are going to bring but I know that like a good loaf rising in the oven my world will slowly get bigger.

*Top Tip:

Wash your hands before you try to shape the dough into a ball. This will stop the dough from sticking to your hands making it easier to shape.


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