Difficulty eating food

It has now been four months since my beloved dad died. He loved good food, and ever since he has died, I have been unable to eat anything that I like. The pizza and chips are still in the freezer, no more ready meals, no more crisps or chocolate or sweets, no more pasta or rice or roast potatoes, no drinks except Lucozade for energy, it’s just boring, mundane, healthy food.

My mum told me that my dad’s soul would be very upset that I am not enjoying my food. She’s correct, dad would really hate it, he would be saying that I should be enjoying myself, but I just cannot. Today I tried to get a ready meal from Iceland, thought I would try Macaroni and Cheese. Got home, microwaved, it and ended up throwing most of it away, as I felt so sad eating it and that my dad isn’t here to have it.

This is all so illogical, considering my dad would want me to be eating food I enjoy, but I can’t, and it is frustrating. I feel like I am disappointing him. I am sure others have also done illogical things, how much time does it take to get over these things? Was there anything specific they did to overcome them, or was it just a case of time makes things better? Thanks.

Hi Abdullah. Appetites do tend to go when we grieve. At first food seemed to be the least of my problems. I hardly ate at all, but I kept thinking how my wife enjoyed cooking and making good meals. You mention macaroni cheese! One of my favourites. My wife did some amazing cauliflower cheese.
I don’t think logic has any meaning in grief. We do what we want to do when we want to and really, provided we don’t cause problems for others, that’s all that matters. Four months is so little time. Give yourself time and take things as they come. It’s all you can do.
Take care and best wishes. John.

Hi Jonathan,

How did you get your appetite back? Was it by forcing yourself to eat or just letting things take time?

I guess you’re correct, and we need to give time.

Hello John and Abdullah, I understand what you say about not eating the foods you love. Since I lost my beloved Mike 14 weeks ago I can’t eat the foods he would have loved. I tried to temp him with ice cream and delicate foods when he was ill and I just feel I am robbing him if I now eat what he can’t enjoy. I feel it is his food not mine and we always shared everything. It is all so illogical but I just stick to boring foods and then sit and cry that we can’t share lovely meals again.

Dear @Jean2, I am so sorry you have not enjoyed eating since your beloved Mike died. It must be particularly difficult for you at dinner time as you had spent so many years eating your dinner with your husband, I am lucky that I do not feel this loss as I did not live with my lovely dad, but that said, he would always ask me if I had eaten my dinner when I would phone him in the evening, and so at dinner time I do sometimes miss him not being here anymore.

Your Mike would want you to enjoy the foods he can’t have, the same for my dad, yet here we are, being so illogical! I have managed to eat rice during the past few weeks, which both my dad and I really like, so hopefully things do get better with time. As Jonathan would say, 14 weeks is no time in grief, and I really hope that some day you are able to enjoy the foods that your beloved Mike enjoyed, as I am sure that is what he would want.

Hi. Abdullah. It is way beyond any apology that I did not pick up on your question until now. It’s so easy to overlook something on such a busy site.
Appetites go so often when in grief. It can also swing the other way and people engage in ‘comfort eating’. I found to just eat to keep me going at first was best. Plenty of protein and good food. No rubbish. You know what I mean. After a while my appetite did come back, but I am eating less than I used to, which may be a good thing. I am sorry, but it’s all a question of time. The word that so many hate to hear. I don’t believe in time healing, that’s not possible, the loss is too great for that. But perhaps patience is a better word, and that too can be difficult. Individual circumstances dictate how we will eat. If someone else cooks a meal for us that’s fine. But so many ‘can’t be bothered’ and live on snacks. Not good.
Take it easy and give yourself time to adjust. Good talking to you again. John.

Hi Jonathan, you don’t need to apologise, there are lots of posts here and I am sure there are people I have forgotten to reply to. It’s good to hear you did get your appetite back, even if it isn’t what it used to be, I think you’re correct about patience, I think in society we’re expected to get back to operating as normal within a few months, but you keep saying that is no time and it can take more than a year, so now I have changed the time I expect to be functioning to a year or even more, and I actually feel better for it. Instead of worrying each day “it’s been months and I am still not better”, I just take each day as it comes and if I am having a bad day, just accept it takes time, and it does help a lot, it takes away that worry of getting better, the stress is much less when we stop worrying that we should be better by next month or so.