Unable to cook

Since losing my Dad 4 months ago, I haven’t been able to cook properly since. It’s something I used to love. Microwave meals are all I can deal with right now haha. Anyone else affected like this?

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i can’t really cook per say but i find it an effort to do everyday things as my mind is a blur and makes mistakes alot

Hi Steph,
I’m so very sorry to hear about the loss of your Dad, and as it’s only 4 months gone by your emotions must still be very raw. I lost my wife 9 weeks ago and like you, I really cannot face cooking proper meals. My wife used to be the cook in our house, and literally has a 6-shelf bookcase full of nothing but cookery books - there must be well over 300 books of various shapes and sizes. I’ve never been very good at cooking to start with, although my wife did try to educate me at various times and I did assemble about 10 recipes which my wife dictated to me, and they are handwritten in a little notepad I bought specifically for the purpose. My recent appetising offerings have included croissants, toasties, sandwiches, pizzas, baked potatoes and the odd chilli which I did muster the energy to cook (and then freeze) myself.
I just find I cannot concentrate or be bothered expending the effort on myself to make proper food, there`s too many thoughts buzzing around my head and wearing me down. I expect this will change over time but in the meantime I’m just going to survive on whatever I feel like. Others on the forum may be able to offer much better suggestions than I can, but I would say just go with whatever food you feel like for now - as long as you are getting enough sustenance. (In saying that, I reckon I’ve lost about half a stone in the last 9 weeks, probably mainly due to stress).
Wishing you all the very best,


Hi steph
Definitely. Not so much cooking but 15 months after the sudden death I still cant do much supermarket shopping. The most I can do is get shopping in for a day or two at most.
I cant plan ahead at all.
Cheryl x

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I can’t plan ahead either! and when I do manage to do a food shop it’s only for one or two days. How strange, eh :slight_smile: Hope you’re keeping well. Xx

Aww bless you - and i’m really sorry to hear about the loss of your wife. It’s good that you have the handwritten recipes. One day you’ll feel up to giving them a go. Hope you’re doing the best you can. Xx

Thanks steph. My brain still cant handle much to be honest. The smallest things make me anxious and panic even though I have a full time responsible job, a child to care for and a home to run.
Its amazing what the loss of my little 4 feet 11 inch mum has done to me.
Hope you are well too x

True. I think there’s a bit of self-punishment mixed up in the inability to eat well too. Just treat food like fuel, get it down, keep it down and carry on. Seems wrong to enjoy anything too much. Then there’s the fog problem on top of that : like going out to the shop specifically to get milk and eggs AND both written on a list, but coming back with neither. It’s a weird old business. Pleased to say not every day is equally chaotic, but I am a bit concerned ( I see you are 4 months on, me a little longer ) that the chaotic days tend to outnumber the “functioning” ones. Hope that changes before the winter.

Hi both
I can say that it will get better.
I’m 15 months down the line. I could barely dress myself for 4 months I was so grief stricken.
Things very slowly improve and I definitely have more functioning days than not.
I’m still prone to the odd meltdown but the feelings have become almost like I dreamt them.
Like mum isnt here anymore and I know she isnt but it was all a dream. The pain is much less raw x

How about fish finger sandwiches? My staple for a little while. I really do get what you are saying " concentrate or be bothered expending the effort on (your)self". I can actually cook, meal every day from scratch fresh was the norm . Now, well, as you say, what’s the point? As for the weight loss, what you really need is a thoughtful neighbour who tells you - as I was told - "You have lost a lot of weight you know ", and then immediately proceeds to tell you all about the delicious tray-bake-and-share they had made the evening before ! Oh well … we can’t all be perfect. Good wishes to you.

Thank you. The knowledge that things are less raw for you is good. I’m sure we’ll all get there. Certain of it.

We have mo choice wil58.
It’s not easy even as time passes by x


Hi there
I also couldn’t be bothered to eat properly when I first lost my husband and this was unusual for me as I am keen on a healthy diet and then shock, horror I was taken ill and having never been really ill or even had a hospital appointment before, so it really was the kick up the bum I needed. I too cook fresh (having two large allotments It would be expected of me I suppose) and don’t find it hard to do, I enjoy it. But I do tend to throw things together now rather than taking my time and trying to please. I sometimes cook enough for a few meals and freeze. I have cartons of soup in freezer (all homegrown veg). Salads and stir fry’s are also a regular and don’t take long. I do however confess to walking into a shop and my mind goes completely blank and I haven’t a clue what I went in for. So a list is a must now but I still manage to forget something. I am blaming grief and not old age!!!
I can confirm that life in general does become more bearable. I am not saying that the meltdown’s and bad days don’t happen but you do learn how to cope better. I accept my feelings as part and parcel of my life now, this is it, so I make the best of it and do have those better days also.
Pat xxx


“Trying to please”…there is always something in every post that springs out. That “Yes, I really understand that” moment I suppose. But eating really is one of the best shared pleasures, and I too miss it. Like I say, fuel really, for now. Just stuff to keep you upright and moving around. Don’t worry about the forgetting bit…I do the list thing and even with THAT forget half of it. It is so easy to think you are going bonkers at times, but I’m sure we aren’t.

Hi Wil
Pleased you understood what I meant. I agree it is a shared pleasure. My husband liked a cooked meal full of our own fresh veg and I took pleasure in cooking the meals and knowing he enjoyed them. (He never failed to thank me). We sat at the table which I don’t bother with now. It’s a tray on my lap and although my meals are still full of veg, I pile them on the plate rather than place it all tidy. Silly isn’t it. It all goes down the same way.
I am pleased you have re-assured me that I am not going daft.
I will say to all those grieving people please look after yourselves with sensible meals. Grieving is hard work and we need to keep the body strong enough to cope. I found this out the hard way.
Fishfinger sandwiches Hmmmmmm

Thank heaven you replied. I was going to leave off dropping in for the day when I thought to myself I must get back on and amend that comment I made. I have got into the awful habit of responding with “Yes I understand that” and I sort of all of a sudden realized how darned annoying it could be. And you beat me to it. Glad to see no harm done :it’s so easy to tread on toes even when it’s the last thing we mean to do. Don’t mock the humble fishfinger sandwiches - very quick and easy and fill a hole. That’s about all you can say for them! Enjoy your vegetables…there’s stacks of apples on our old tree, I might find the gumption to get some in and do something with them. You are so right about keeping up the strength…not easy, but very wise.

I’m a bit concerned too. I’ve been running on adrenaline for a long time cos i’ve had to sort everything out. Then this week, all of a sudden, I feel like it’s really hit me. Crying an awful lot. I really do look forward to it getting better. I’m sure it will my friend. Sending love and hugs Xx

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Found this really comforting. Thank you <3 Pleased you’re feeling better most days now.

I too am having no desire whatsoever in cooking. Marcial was Spanish and I’m half Spanish so I cook Mediterranean, Spanish fresh food, I must admit takeaways are starting to pall, its time to start cooking again, I loved cooking for Marcial and the family, he so loved his food, bless him. I just find I have no energy. Its been 3 and a half months since he passed and it is still very difficult. We must all remember on here that we have to keep our strength up, so eating healthily will help.


Hi Wil
Absolutely no harm done and no treading on toes!!! I’m certainly not mocking a fishfinger sarnie, I love them. Don’t forget the tomato sauce.
I am also dealing with stacks of apples from the allotment and if I can’t eat them I lightly cook and freeze for a later date.
Not usually on computer this time in the morning as I take dogs out for a long walk every morning but wanted to look up some tide times. Walking, also important in trying to keep healthy.
Take care

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