two years ago on this day, my brother, his now wife, and i brought our beloved Edna to the airport. she was going to Guyana for her elder sister’s funeral. after many hugs – those warm, soft, enveloping hugs we’d been so lucky to have all our lives, she went through security. we watched through glass as she walked confidently towards her gate, and out of sight. it was the last time we saw her alive.
every summer, Edna would make raspberry jam, and give it to all of us, and friends. Secretly, we were all hoarding our last jars of jam. when i missed her i’d find that jar, and maybe taste a tiny bit. So in honour of her, her generosity and kind spirit, we got the idea to get together and make raspberry jam on the bitter-sweet anniversary of those last hugs. the first year, we put portions of Edna’s last batch in our new batch. and every year we put a little bit of last year’s jam in the new year’s jam, and like that there is always a connection to Edna’s lovingly made jam.
of course if something went horribly wrong and all the new jam was lost, as long as there are raspberries, a lovingly made batch of raspberry jam IS a beautiful connection to Edna. but i do like that there is the physical connection, too. its like Kombu tea or the soup that keeps boiling on the fire or a friendship cake. it is continuity within change. it is the beauty of grief and the taste of healing.