What It’s Like
At the Farmer’s Market last week I found a beautiful pork roast, island-raised, well-marbled. Frozen. So I set it to thaw, and then sort of ignored it. It seemed too big, too substantial, until today, when I realized that if I didn’t cook it the pig might have given her life in vain.
So I rubbed it with pink peppercorns, black peppercorns, fennel seeds, garlic, and roasted it all afternoon, ever so slowly. Made a sauce of vermouth and cream and pan drippings, utterly delicious. Based on this recipe, only slow-roasted, pulled into chunks, doused with the sauce. Absolutely delicious.
And then I put some on my plate, with nothing else, because I’d had radicchio for lunch and felt that I’d had my vegetables for the day. A glass or two of Hendrick’s before dinner, with seaweed snacks, a favorite light apéro, a surprisingly great combination.
Sat down at the table, took a couple of bites, and couldn’t eat. Had to put down my fork and not pick it up again. Because, you know, it was way too good to eat alone. The salt in my tears added to the salt in the sauce, already perfectly seasoned. Making something really good, to eat all by myself = does not compute. Even at the end, when Shel could only eat Mint Milano cookies, he was there with me, at the table. He would have taken a bite or two of the delectable pork, for old time’s sake.
Everything I’ve read about grief tells me that it isn’t linear, it lies in wait, pounces with claws bared to shred the most peaceful moment. A simple dinner, roast pork in a fragrant sauce, reminds me of all I’ve lost. It’s not just losing Shel. Now I don’t have a husband. Now I’m not a wife. I hate death. I don’t want to have given my life in vain.