Tear Soup

I’ve talked about it before. . . my love for Fall.  The beautiful season that marks such a prominent transition in nature.  The season when leaves begin turning a vast array of brilliant colors that take my breath away.  I just adore this season. 

Without fail, though, the colorful leaves slowly fall one by one resulting in trees that are naked and exposed in the cool autumn air.  I see it everywhere including our backyard with the sad fruit hanging from our crab apple trees. 

Fall brings with it so much beauty but it also brings forth another reality.  The trees lose their leaves, the days lose sunlight hours, and the heat of the sun seems lost to places of which I only dream.  In a way, Fall represents that part of life that we all experience, but wish to avoid.


Shortly after my Mom died I purchased the book, Tear Soup.  If you take nothing else from this post please hear this:  If you have lost someone, know someone who has, or are experiencing any kind of personal loss. . . this is a must read.  You can purchase it here.  It is an incredible book that normalizes, informs, and comforts those that grieve and those who love one who is grieving.

The book tells the story of Grandy, who just suffered a big loss in her life.  In the beginning we read:

Because of her great loss Grandy knew this time her recipe for tear soup would call for a big pot. . .

She put on her apron becasue she knew it would get messy.  It seems that grief is never clean. . .
And then. . . Grandy started to cry. 

At first she sobbed. 

Sometimes she wept quietly. 

And sometimes when she was in a safe place where no one could hear her. . . she even wailed. 

Grandy knew she had to make much of this soup alone.

I love this book because it touches that place in all of us that suffers with loss. . . any kind of loss.  This might sound really pessimistic. . . but I believe that life is, in part, a continuous cycle of grief.

As I reflect on my own life experience I see how I have grieved the ending of most seasons of my life.  I grieved high school ending, leaving home for college, the end of college, this town, that experience, what is, what isn’t and what will never be again.  Oh, and with kids. . . it only got worse.  I grieved no longer being able to hold their tiny little bodies in the crook of my arm, I grieved the transition from newborn to toddler, from toddler to preschooler.  Even now as we go about our daily lives I often feel  that ache in my heart knowing Charlie will be going to kindergarten next year and Chanelle to preschool.  I feel a pang in my heart as I recognize that I will be saying good bye to quiet moments in the middle of the day when we sit and play games or when we decide to go outside to play just like we did today. 

I’ll admit it, I’m a serial griever and I’ve made my fair share of soup. 

As I look back at all the soup I’ve made over the years I realize that each ending brought forth a new beginning that was not just differnt and scary, like I thought,  but full of hope and promise as well. When I held 1 month old Charlie in my arms I couldn’t imagine that it could ever get better. . . but one day he said “Momma” and I felt joy liked I’d never experienced.  When I held a bottle to Chanelle’s lips as she ate and wished the moment would never end. . . I had no idea how wonderful it would feel to sit at the table and talk to her about her favorite part of the day.   I guess what I am trying to say is that I am making a vow with myself to remember that with the close of each season not only is something  ending. . . something else is also beginning.

Later in the book Grandy is explaining Tear Soup to her grandson. . .

“Some days when you’re making tear soup it’s even hard to breathe.  Some days you feel like running away.  You just hope a better day comes along soon.  And then comes one of the hardest parts of making tear soup.”

“It’s when you decide it may be okay to eat something instead of soup all the time.”

Oh, I’ll continue to make plenty of soup. . . but when it comes to this Mommy-thing I want to do it with my eyes facing toward what is ahead of me, not just what is behind.  Seeing it for what it is. . . a part of seasons change.  Just as the falling leaves of autumn give way to a period filled with the deep quiet cold of winter. . . in time buds appear on the branches pointing toward a new season filled with hope.  While I may miss this period or that period with the kids, I think that it just might get better and better as our relationship grows and changes with each new season. . .  

And I just might find that I can eat something else besides Tear Soup.

  • Trophy Life - November 10, 2010 - 1:08 pm

    : ) i love you, friend. and i still have my copy and have read it several times. hugs to you.ReplyCancel

  • Stacy - November 11, 2010 - 1:13 am

    I want to get that book from the library…

    Thank you for sharing your heart Summ. πŸ™‚ReplyCancel

  • lisa - November 12, 2010 - 4:28 am

    Thanks for the book info…I'm definitely going to pick that up. We lost a grandma last year that still has all of us (including my boys) very sad at times.

    I just love how you seem to capture my own thoughts into such beautiful words! I,too, am a serial griever…nice to meet ya! πŸ™‚ReplyCancel

  • Hummel Family - June 7, 2011 - 12:03 am

    I'm heading over to Amazon.com and buying me this book ("Tear Soup"). Thanks for the recommendation. πŸ™‚ReplyCancel

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