Nadiya Hussain says cooking helped ease grief of losing sister-in-law


Nadiya Hussain has explained how the ritual of cooking for and eating with her family helped ease the grieving process following the death of her sister-in-law earlier this year.

The Great British Bake Off champion, 37, took to Instagram in June to share the news of the death of her sister-in-law, Ramana, from cancer aged just 34.

Ramana, who Hussain described as the “strongest person” she knew, left behind her husband Akmoul, the TV chef’s brother-in-law, and their two children.

“In difficult, dark moments like that it is really tough to function normally,” Hussain told Radio Times on Monday (29 August).

“It’s the first time I’ve experienced a loss so close to my family and it’s going to affect us for ever. But what I did notice was that, even in death, food becomes central.

“It’s the thing that brings everyone together. We were having to accommodate her family, making sure they were fed and looked after.

“And that was all (through) food. It was, ‘Let’s cook. Let’s make them things that they enjoy.’

“It was all food-centred. It put a smile on people’s faces (and) gave them sustenance.”

Earlier this year (3 May), the Junior Bake Off judge posted a video to her Instagram telling fans her family was going through a “tough time”, which she simply captioned: “#hello #thatsall.”

Returning to the platform almost exactly one month later (27 June), the mother-of three shared the news of her sister-in-law’s death, saying: “It’s been a difficult, sad time for our family, we have had a huge loss in our family which we were expecting but nothing really prepares you for that.

“Nothing really prepares you for death even though it is inevitable. We lost our sister-in-law who was 34 and it has been a really tough time for our family all around, my brother-in-law and their kids, and just my family as a whole.

“He has been an absolute inspiration, his wife right up until the end was the strongest person I know and she has taught us so much and that’s why we have not been around because we have been focusing on our family and being there for each other.”

After winning the baking show in 2015, Hussain went on to host and feature in a range of TV programmes, including the documentary The Chronicles Of Nadiya as well as the cookery series Nadiya’s British Food Adventure and Nadiya’s Family Favourites.

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