Forgive me for being a bit melancholy today. My husband's cousin Susan died yesterday from pancreatic cancer. She was in her thirties and leaves behind a boy not much older than Nicholas and Lianna. After the initial jolt (not a shock, as it wasn't unexpected), one of my first thoughts was what dish to fix to take the family. I don't know if it's a universal thing or not; but here in the South when someone dies, you take food to the family. I believe it's mainly so the family doesn't have to worry about preparing meals during their time of grief. But I also think it's to comfort.
I remember one time several years ago when someone in my neighborhood died unexpectedly. I found out about it while I was at work and stopped to buy a pie on the way home. My plan was to take the pie over to the family as soon as I got home and before they left for the funeral home. When I got home and started to put the pie in a pie plate (for some reason, you don't want the family to realize you didn't actually make the food item yourself), I saw that it was FROZEN! I had to thaw the pie and bake it before taking it to the family. It was well after dark by the time I got the pie baked and cooled enough to take to the family. Off I went with my pie and flashlight walking to the neighbors' home. Unfortunately, there was no one there. I did finally find someone home to take the pie, but a friend teased me about being like the old man in the myth who went all throughout the world with his little light seeking . . . truth, I believe. The joke was that I went all throughout the neighborhood with my little light seeking a pie-taker. [eyeroll]
I still don't know what to take to Susan's family. I mean, what can you take that will actually bring some comfort to a young boy whose mother has died? All that can really comfort him is the reassurance that he'll see her again.