“I wanted you to have the background since the show on Saturday isn’t the typical episode of PW,” Drummond writes to her fans, adding that it was filmed just after the passing of her husband Ladd Drummond‘s mother. “Ladd and I thought about it and said, ‘Look, we can either completely pretend this didn’t happen on the show and just not acknowledge it at all, or we can show what’s really going on.’”
After the couple decided they didn’t want to pause filming and ignore sharing their tragic loss, they shifted the tone of her cooking show to devote an episode to documenting one of the days after she died.
“When we normally film our show, we document what’s going on around the ranch at that time,” she says. “Folks who’ve watched our show through the years have gotten to know Nan, too. We were all working at the cemetery, and we have a family lunch together. It’s sad, but it’s real.”
Drummond also described how they found out Ladd’s mother’s illness was terminal on Mother’s Day.
“At that time, while we had been given no timeline, I think we all assumed that we were looking at two or three months,” Drummond writes. “We couldn’t have imagined that in less than two weeks, she would be gone.”
They decided they would move forward with filming since the production company had already made travel arrangements and they knew it would be harder to film when her condition worsened.
“But as it turned out, Grammie was on her own timeline. It was as if once she knew the fight was over, she allowed herself to surrender and let it all go. She never did like to waste time,” she says.
The cooking star says they revealed the news of Nan’s passing to the crew, who has become close with her family since they started filming in 2011.
She adds that Ladd, his brother Tim, their kids and their cowboys started preparing for her funeral and “spruced up” the family cemetery.
“It’s how country folks deal with grief—they pick up a welding torch,” she says, adding that they wanted the ranch and the cemetery to look “beautiful” for Nan. “She loved the ranch, and she loved the creek behind the cemetery.”
The upcoming episode will also still feature Drummond sharing how to prepare a build-your-own BLT bar, Nan’s favorite.
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At the time of Nan’s death in May, Drummond shared a touching tribute on Instagram.
“Nan. My mother-in-law, my husband’s mom, my children’s grandmother, my friend. We lost her last night, and I’m not sure any of us know quite what we’re going to do without her. She was magnificent,” she wrote.
Pioneer Woman airs Saturdays at 1 p.m. ET on Food Network.