My Grammy was the most special being I could have ever known. There was always something so comforting in her presence, the way that all were welcome in her home and life. There was always room at her table for more to join. She was always interested in what others had to say, would offer an ear and a hug, give kind words and wisdom, and offer praise and celebration for accomplishments big and small. Every moment with her felt so special – safe and warm and cared for. She truly was my introduction to what it is to love.
And every time she came for a visit, along with many hugs and kisses and snuggly cuddles, she was also a phenomenal baker and the smells she’d bring out of the kitchen were the best comforting smells. One of the most special treats she made was a brownie recipe (deemed “Grammy’s Brownies”). A recipe that included an entire can of Hershey’s syrup, and the fudgiest frosting ever!
After her death, there was this devastating emptiness around life. Cuddles weren’t the same, the smells in the kitchen weren’t the same, and the holidays came to have a hollowness to them.
The recipe card for “Grammy’s Brownies”, in her handwriting, came to be a most cherished item – something I even carried with me for years as a linking object. Try as I might, they never tasted as good, but every year that I could bring the recipe out and get myself to bake them, I not only felt a connection to her in the making of them, but there was an appreciation in the sharing with family who also craved the sweet flavors that Grammy had given us so generously before.
I share this in the spirit of understanding how hard the winter season can be, with all of the holiday pressures and hoopla, and how sensitive our grieving hearts can be during this time of year. There is a hardship, and even resistance, to get through this season. Every turn there is a memory, a wound bleeding out from one sting or another.
At the upcoming Open heART Studio, we are introducing the opportunity to bake. This decision to include a baking activity was intentional for all of the things that can take place in the process of baking.
The heart of almost every home is the kitchen. There is a caring and tenderness that can breathe in that space. There is an intimacy and connection that blooms there. The familiar sounds of the kitchen equipment, the clanking of glasses, the laughter, the memories that spring to life. There is honoring of the people before us and those to come after. There is caring for ourselves and for each other in this space. There is nourishment both physically and emotionally. It can bring a sense of play, a sense of hope, a sense of care and comfort.
At the Open heART Studio this December, we welcome you back into the kitchen, without pressure or expectation, and with lots of support. While holidays stir up memories that can feel difficult, we want to give you a gift within a safe place to create, experience, and connect while giving yourself a sweet takeaway – an accomplishment for your heart and belly that you can share with others (or not!). We will provide all of the materials both for the baking activity and for arts and crafts while treats are in the oven!
We hope that you will join us in this space on Saturday, Dec. 9th at HeartLight Center with Michael, Molly and me. To register, click here.
Please let us know if you have any questions or if there’s anything we can do to be of support.
OPEN HEART STUDIO DECEMBER DETAILS:
We invite you to share in creative space to help explore and connect about grief. HeartLight Center will provide supplies that you can use to create either an instructed activity, or something of your own as you let your inner artist create! You are welcome to bring any art supplies that you would like to work with. No past art experience required.
Date: Saturday, December 9th at HeartLight Center Denver from 9am-12pm, our time together will include a baking activity and also have art supplies for crafting/creating
Registration is required.