Filling the void - eating after a funeral
September 17th, 2011
08:00 AM ET
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Starve a fever, feed a cold. So goes the conventional wisdom, but what's on the menu for a wounded heart?

Post-funeral meal rituals vary wildly - not just from pole to pole and faith to faith, but from mourner to mourner. Some families decamp to a restaurant, too overwhelmed to tidy a house or light a stove. Some can barely wend their way through their kitchen for all the foil-covered dishes borne over by neighbors doing what they can to fill the suddenly hollow space in a once-full home.

Others gather around coffee urns and cookie plates in church basements and V.F.W. halls and some simply sidle off quietly, too shaken and broken to imagine they'll ever have the strength to eat again.

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