It’s been 6 years since the very unexpected death of my husband of 32 years. It has been journey that I would not care to repeat, but I will be the first to admit and praise God for His faithfulness and comfort.
We are told there are 6 stages of grief. The first is shock (you just can’t quite comprehend that this has happened.) The others are denial, anger, bargaining, sorrow, & acceptance.
Denial- MAYBE it really didn’t happen-I’m dreaming, or the diagnoses hasn’t come back with surety.
Bargaining-where we might ask God…”Lord, if you will just do this thing or heal this disease, I will do whatever You require of me.”
Anger-It might be with God or the person who died.
I was surprised to find myself angry with my husband for leaving me behind. It was unreasonable when dying was not his choice, but in reading books on grieving, I have learned that this is a normal response. Anger can turn into bitterness if we live in that land too long, so be wary of this. God can heal an angry spirit if we allow Him to.
Sorrow-This one needs no elaboration, but as I move through this grieving process, I find this one lasts the longest. On those really hard days that seem to come out of nowhere, and a memory or situation emphasizes my loss, it is good to know that this is normal.
Then finally comes acceptance. Accepting the situation doesn’t mean it is over. Some stages last longer than others, have no particular order in which they come, and no set time frame for their completion.
I have kept a computer journal these past 2 years. Next to prayer and reading God’s word, it has been one of the most beneficial tools in my grieving process. When I revisit those days, and compare to today, I see progress. There have been blessings, victories & spiritual growth these past 4 years, along with the sorrow. God is good. He has given me hope and a future.
I’m sharing today a recipe for Chicken & Dumplings. My friend Pam brought it to the house that day, and it’s the only thing I even remember tasting that sad day. I’ve always thought it was real comfort food. I still do.
Chicken & Dumplings
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast (or a whole chicken with skin & bones)
chicken soup base
3 c. flour
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
3 c. milk
1 tsp. salt
3 T. butter
6 T. shortening
pepper, to taste
Simmer chicken in enough water to cover. Add soup base to make a rich broth.
Remove chicken and allow to cool. Add 1 & 1/2 cups milk to broth along with butter/margarine.
Mix the flour, salt, and baking powder. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles corn meal.
Add 1 & 1/2 cup milk to make a soft dough.
Roll out very thin on a lightly floured surface. Using a pizza cutter, cut dough into 2 x 2 inch pieces. Do this in advance, so that when the broth starts simmering you can add the dumplings without interruption.
Bring broth mixture to a boil. Drop dumplings into simmering broth. Dumplings will expand and rise to the top.
Using back of spoon, press dumplings into hot broth as you add additional dumplings. Do not stir as this will break up the dumplings. After all the dumplings have been added to the pot, put on a lid & turn done the heat.
Simmer 10-15 minutes, gently stirring every 5 minutes. Broth should thicken and dumplings will become light in texture. Add additional soup base if broth needs extra seasoning or
extra milk if too thick or broth tastes too concentrated.
Remove cooked chicken from the bones, or cut up the boneless skinless chicken in bite sized chunks . Set aside.
Taste dumplings for desired level of doneness. Stir in cut up chicken and dried parsley .
Note: My daddy was a cook when he was in the navy and he did not use a recipe for
anything. I learned from watching him. When you try this recipe, adjust the
consistency of the broth/ milk/ amount of dumplings to your taste. Daddy used canned
biscuits (the inexpensive ones that come 4 to a can) for his dumplings. Roll thin and proceed as above.