With the death of my friend John, I have been trying my best to help his partner Wayne through this time of grief- and a time of having a house full of friends and family here to comfort Wayne and celebrate John’s life. I remember keenly how I felt when Mom died; the disbelief, the numbness, the overwhelming waves of grief that rocked me to my core. The kindness that friends showed to me during that time helped me to survive.
Wayne has always been the person who takes care of everyone else. If you are ill, he shows up with one of his amazing homecooked Southern dishes. He offers to help, offers words of comfort- and always a funny story punctuated by his signature burst of laughter. Now Wayne is the one in need, and while it is difficult for him to be on the receiving end, it has been beautiful to see friends flock to him to offer their own contributions of food and support.
I think back to growing up; when tough times or good times happened in our very Southern home, food was always the answer. Illness, death, celebration? Casseroles, cookies, cakes, quiches. Southerners know how to comfort people with comfort food, for sure.
And so I will cook and and I will bake, hoping that the love put into the dishes I make will balance out any deficiencies in technique. All I know is that I want to help, and this is what I can do right now.
I have created a GoFundMe page, ‘Little John, Big Heart’ to help Wayne with the costs associated with John’s final arrangements, medical bills, and lost wages from his time taking care of John. If you are so moved, please consider donating or just sharing the page. Thank you so much.