Bereavement and Food

In the throes of bereavement food can seem unimportant. People lose both their appetite and their sense of taste. But food and cooking can also play a positive and healing role in helping individuals come to term with their loss. Sheila Dillon explores the healing power of food and how it can help to remember and recapture memories of those who have died.

Sheila visited the Hospice of St Francis in Berkhamsted which runs cookery courses for those who've been bereaved. Some of those taking part had lost the will to cook - especially the prospect of making meals for one rather than two. Others found they'd lost the partner or parent who'd made all the meals and found themselves not only grieving but without the knowledge and skills to cook for themselves. They explained how a simple course has given them far more than just a collection of recipes.

The programme also looks at the legacy of recipes which can be a way to remember loved ones and connect with them after they have passed on. Over the years Bridget Blair has gathered together the recipes of relatives, friends and neighbours for posterity and while the book is covered in spatters and finger marks her children are keen to inherit the secrets of those recipes and the memories. Meanwhile Rob Tizzard is trying to replicate his late mother's bread pudding recipe from memory which somehow never seems to come out exactly the way she made it but brings him joy trying.

Produced in Bristol by Anne-Marie Bullock.

Release date:

Available now

28 minutes

Last on

Mon 10 Jun 2013 15:30


Role Contributor
PresenterSheila Dillon
ProducerAnne-Marie Bullock

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