#APieforMikey: Love and Loss in the Age of Twitter

Monday, my friend Jennifer Perillo lost her husband, Mikey. At age 51, he suddenly collapsed and died from a massive heart attack – with no warning, he was here one moment, gone the next. I heard about this on Twitter.

The initial shock and disbelief was quickly swept away by waves of profound anger. Not directed towards anyone or anything, I was simply mad at the universe for this cruelly random and incomprehensible event.

I’ve only met Jennifer once, spending a few carefree days with her at a food event in Sonoma a couple years ago, but through our blogs, and more so Twitter, we had become good friends. For all its superfluous minutia, the social network not only makes real friendships possible, it makes them inevitable.

Instead of withdrawing into the darkness, and shutting out the world, Jennifer used her social network to share her grief, and help her cope with this unimaginable loss. She did so with a courage, dignity, and grace far beyond anything I could have managed.

Inundated by online friends asking what they could do to help, she suggested making this Creamy Peanut Butter Pie, as it was a favorite of Mikey’s. If you search the hashtag, #APieforMikey, you’ll see a truly astonishing outpouring of love and support. As I tweeted yesterday, if there's a stronger, more generous and caring online community than food bloggers, I don't know what it would be.

As many of you know, this has been quite an amazing week for me personally, with the announced acquisition. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced such a crazy, hectic week of soaring highs, and gut-punch lows. So, for reasons too trivial to mention, I haven’t made the pie yet, which is okay, since the tribute really isn’t about the pie.

It’s about making something delicious for someone you love, sharing it with them, and then, in Jennifer’s words, “Hug them like there's no tomorrow because today is the only guarantee we can count on.” This is something Michele and I try and do on a regular basis.

Anyway, stay tuned for a future video recipe tribute to Jennifer and Mikey. In the meantime, I wanted to share this extraordinary video done by the incredibly talented White On Rice Couple, Todd and Diane. This has to be the most powerful, sincere, and touching food video I’ve ever seen. Enjoy.