Wounds of the Kitchen Warriors

by Hilary Gauntt on February 20, 2012

This is something I wrote in the first months after losing Jimmy. I am posting it now only to reinforce the message of Heron Earth…..that the gift of a meal is healing for both the giver and the recipient.  Sending blessings  to you …and wishing comfort to all who are grieving; which eventually, is everyone.

After a week or so of having wonderful meals delivered to our home by loving and generous friends, I told the angel who was orchestrating this Meals on Wheels for our sad little family, to tell everyone that’s enough; I was ready to cook again.  The idea that life would now go on without our son was so breathtakingly unthinkable, that I hoped a way to regain some sense of normalcy in our lives was to resume the evening routine of making dinner.

There is therapy in the chopping and dicing, something soothing about the clatter of pots and pans and the appetizing odors wending their way through the house. Life was far from normal, but there was comfort in this routine.

And I have souvenirs to remind me of those early months…my badges of suffering.  Cooking when you are not in your right mind, whether due to grief, stress, exhaustion; or more happily, falling in love, can be a dangerous venture.  You are working with sharp knives, hot stoves and boiling water, and you are totally distracted.

I have three memories to carry with me from that time in the form of scars and burns on my wrists, and for some strange reason, I treasure them.  The largest was a burn that came with removing a roast chicken from the 425 degree oven.  Jimmy’s friend from Hollywood had offered to drive down on a Friday night to pay his respects (a nightmare commute) and deserved something wonderful.  Another was the result of rinsing out a vase (so many flowers coming then) and dropping it in the sink and the glass shattering.  Another came opening a bottle of wine with a dry cork and the neck of the bottle coming off and slicing me.  Lots of wine being opened then as well.  And the random accidental slicing of fingers that happens more when your mind is elsewhere.

They are all healed over now, but I doubt they will ever disappear.  Sometimes, I’ll study them and reassure myself that I’m better now, more sane and in control.  It helps to have a physical way to measure your progress.  Or to at least give you hope that time might also be healing the wounds you can’t see.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa Case February 21, 2012 at 7:02 am

Thank you for sharing this Hilary, it is a beautiful insight!


virginia February 24, 2012 at 12:42 am

With each wound you are still connected to him. I’m reluctant to give that up. But we must allow time to do its work in healing the wounds we can’t see; we are owed that. V


Casey March 12, 2012 at 3:27 pm

Valuable food for thought my beautiful warrior.


Deb March 18, 2012 at 5:49 pm

This is truly the eloquence of writing what you know in your deepest self. I am passing it on to someone who needs it today.
Thank you


ludie March 18, 2012 at 5:53 pm

i am speechless….so beautiful, hil.
you so calmly and eloquently put into words the greatest of dispairs. your strength and optimism are inspirational.
i love you, sweet friend.


Laura March 26, 2012 at 2:14 pm

ok, you wrote this a long time ago, but it’s amazing, sis, and should be the title page for your book:) I remember you telling me about these “events,” and how shocking they were, in their own way. And for me it’s the same. I’m not the kitchen genie you are, but I understand that if I can chop and dice and fry and bake and set a table and…sometimes this takes an espespecially long time, which doesn’t make sense really, light a candle, then the world makes some sense again. AND, I still have a cookbook you gave me in 1970something with the inscription, “and remember, the most important ingredient is love.” something I have NEVER forgotten and seems indeed to be that magical ingedient. xxoo you are amazing


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