Let's Be Vegetarian!
Or at least, I'm going to try to reduce the amount of meat that I consume for a few weeks.
Right after my grandpa died, I made sushi for me and my sisters. Then I tried to share with my mom, thinking that she would want some as well. When she said no, I asked why, and she said that it was because she was eating vegetarian for 49 days.
It shocked me, because while I knew my parents would typically eat vegetarian for one day a month, we were also the family that cooked a steak around the time we expected my mom to be on her period. She gets a little antsy without it.
After doing some research, it turns out that after a person passes, Vietnamese Buddhists don't do harm to any sensitive, living thing for 49 days (well, they're actually never supposed to do harm, but that's beside the point). The belief is that reincarnation takes up to 49 days, but it could happen sooner, and you don't want to harm anything that could've been the person who just died.
While I don't think that I can completely commit to being vegetarian, I have decided to reduce my intake of meat in solidary with my mom. My plan from now until the Lunar New Year is to eat vegetarian, with the exception of one meal a day.
There are some great health benefits to being vegetarian, along with some great ecological benefits. I don't think I'll be able to do it cold turkey, but it would be a great way to support my mom. Meanwhile, it will be a great thing to focus on that isn't grief.
I will probably spend some time scouring the web for some vegetarian recipes to try out, but if you have any suggestions, I would love to hear them. Please share them with me in the comments below. I'm hoping to be more active on here soon.