Before we begin, I must deal with a matter of some seriousness.
Around four months ago, my world fell apart. Two and a half months before our wedding, and almost eight years since we became "us", my beautiful Shane died.
Grief is an unusual thing. It is with you constantly, digging in its claws when you're unprepared, and generally making life less than bearable. At times it can be overwhelming. It is simultaneously gut-wrenchingly real and yet so surreal that it is difficult to comprehend all that has happened. Grief is a very personal thing. As far as I'm concerned you don't recover from grief, you just learn how better to live with it. You don't "move on" from tragedy, but rather move forward, taking as much as you can with you into the new life that you must make for yourself. This is something I am not yet ready for. I am afraid of what lies ahead, and I don't yet want to let go of who I was. I know I am already lost, and I hope what I have become will not last for long. Happiness is but a distant memory that I hope will some day return. Life will forever be tainted by a burden I alone must bear, but we can still long for the return of genuine laughter.
We continue to move forward simply because we have to. As much as we'd rather it didn't, the sun will always set then rise on a new day; and it is of no great surprise that our simple wants cannot alter the laws of physics. We move through a mixture of bad days and worse days, but we know we must move, because to stand still would dishonour his memory. That's not to say it is easy. I was not prepared for the devastation or emptiness, but I was even less prepared for the effort required to make it through each day. Was normal life always like this and you just never noticed because you had someone to share it with and to live for?
But I am getting sidetracked. This is not a blog to air my emotional insecurities or give a semi-anonymous voice to my grief. I have already shared well beyond my comfort zone, and it is unlikely to happen again. This is simply a distraction, a means to give a sense of purpose to each day, and a manner of preoccupation when I need a break from the inner turmoil. And so it is to business…
There are two things that have helped get me through the past few months – preoccupation and friends. To always make sure you have something to do or work towards stops you from sinking into the internal abyss, and this is usually better achieved with the love and fine company of good friends. And so it was that when I needed some form of distraction, the lovely Miss Rose stepped in with a proposition. Miss Rose and I share a number of interests, and to be honest, a few anal-retentive and OCD mannerisms as well. One distinct commonality bordering on insane obsession is a love for all things baking and kitchenware. With our powers combined, we rapidly progressed from some politely enthusiastic discussions over coffee to conceptual planning of epic proportions… And thus, Team Pretty Bake was born. A collective gathering of foodie intellect designed to challenge, impress (nay astound), preoccupy and be shared with those we love. Together we will bake, we will eat, and like true foodie wankers, share our culinary hijinks with anyone we can. And so with that, let the baking begin!