Before and after Sterling Heights, MI cremations, one of the most thoughtful gifts you can provide for a family who has lost a loved one is to make sure they’re fed well. While this is the first thing friends and neighbors do in some parts of the country, such as the South, it may not occur to us that the need may be on-going for a few weeks while the family is wrapping up the affairs of their loved one.
The time after death is a flurry of activity for the family. Quite frankly, preparing food and sitting down to a meal is not even on the radar. They may opt for sugary foods and drinks, as well as a lot of caffeine to sustain them, but it won’t keep them healthy for long.
There are several things to remember when providing food for a family who has experienced a death. One of those things is to enlist a group of people, whether it’s neighbors, friends, or church members, to share the duties. These are called “meal trains,” and the responsibility rotates around through each of the members so that all the cost and work doesn’t fall on one person.
Before actually taking food over, call or text someone to let them know food is on the way. Set up a receiving area outside the house with a box to store food and a cooler, kept filled with ice, to store drinks. That way food and drinks can be dropped off without disturbing the family.
The ideal meals for families who are grieving are those that are easy to eat (cooked, stored in microwavable containers, and little to no prep work involved), easy to transport, hold well, and freeze well. Focus on main meals, with entrees (casseroles, stews, savory pies, and sauced meals feed a lot of people), sides, salads, and bread, but don’t forget to include meal items for breakfast and lunch.
For breakfast, cereal, milk, fruit, yogurt, bread (for toast), and juice are good selections. For good measure, throw in box of sugar packets, powdered creamer, a can of coffee and a large box of K-cup coffee as well as tea bags and a couple of boxes of K-cup tea.
Lunch time will be the busiest parts of the first few days with people coming and going, as family members arrive, trips have to be made to the funeral home and to other places, and some of the end-of-life things that need to be done get started. Focus on portable food. Deli trays with meats and cheese, assorted fruits, and assorted vegetables are an excellent choice. Include a variety of loaf breads, crackers, nuts, healthy dips for the fruits and vegetables (that little one on the trays will not go far), and jars of peanut butter and jelly (you’ll be surprised how many adults will take that over all the other food choices). Don’t forget to add bottled water, naturally-flavored sparkling waters (avoid the ones with artificial sweeteners), juices, and bottled iced tea.
Don’t forget that you’re providing food for a crowd as family members gather from the four corners of the earth to honor and mourn a loved one. Be generous with all the provisions so that everyone will have enough to eat and to fuel themselves healthily to offset the stress as they grieve and say goodbye to someone they love.
For more tips helping bereaved families before and after Sterling Heights, MI cremations, our caring and knowledgeable staff at Lee-Ellena Funeral Home is here to assist you. You can visit our funeral home at 46530 Romeo Plank Rd., Macomb, MI 48044, or you can call us today at (586) 412-8999.