Hi friends. Yesterday was a rough day for us, as we said our goodbyes to a good friend of my husband’s at his funeral. He was 33 years old, married to a wonderful woman, and has 5 beautiful children. It was sudden, unexpected, and just so very sad. He lived a full, yet very short life. He brought life to all who knew him, and he was so good at bringing others together into community. He was a beautiful person, and he really did make an impact in the lives of those around him.
The loss of a loved one is such a hard thing. My sadness has been for my friend (his wife), and their kids. I’m just overwhelmed with so much love for them, and want to show that in a meaningful way to them. I keep thinking that right now she’s surrounded by family and friends who love her and loved her husband very much, and they’re all supporting her and holding them up. But in a few months, there won’t be as many rallying around her because life keeps on going even when these kinds of tragic things happen. That is when I want to be there for her.
When the flowers stop coming, the meals stop coming, and reality sets in that he is gone… that’s the desire of my heart is to be a blessing and a true friend to her then. Many tears of sadness have been shed today by my husband and I as well as many many others, and our friend will be missed.
She shared with me that the first few days after his passing, people just showed up with food. She was grateful for it, but felt so guilty because she knew that her family wouldn’t be able to eat it all before it went bad. And lots of it in the beginning was fresh fruit, meat trays, etc, and she couldn’t freeze some of it.
It got me thinking. Food is a universal sign of comfort and love, it’s something that brings all kinds of people together, and it is a way that we show our support during a time like this. We don’t want to go to someone’s house who just lost a loved one empty handed, so we bring a meal or a tray of some kind of food. It’s great, and she was very thankful.
I’m wondering if the next time you are faced with a situation like this one (I hope that you aren’t, but if you are…), consider bringing a gift card to the family. That way, after all the meals, flowers, cards, and other gestures stop coming, and the frozen meals are eaten… they can then have something to draw on. Consider it a delayed gift of love. Something they can use on an evening where they just don’t have it in them to cook, and they are really missing their loved one. They can go out to eat or even order in.
Or a few months after the meals have stopped, you can always go back in to their Food Tidings schedule that you were invited to, and order them a meal that will be delivered to them. Just because the schedule is done doesn’t mean you can’t still order them a meal. So that’s always a good option as well. 🙂
The other thing I am thinking is just to be there for them even a few months after the loss… consistently. Set up a weekly park day, a weekly or bimonthly dinner date where you invite them over to your house, or a game night monthly… just something that they can count on happening as part of their routine. And if they’re not up for it… ask them how you can help.
Just a few thoughts in the midst of this journey. Most of all, just love them!!