I never understood how important a simple little gesture could be to someone who is grieving or in pain. A hand on a shoulder with a knowing look can help that person get through the day. A card in the mail with just “I’m thinking of you” can brighten a mood. Just knowing there is someone in the world that cares and might say a little prayer for you can be completely uplifting.
I ran into several old friends at different times this past week. I had not seen them since Lynn had passed away 5 months ago. In their own ways each one of them told me how genuinely sorry they were and were concerned about me. They spoke of the special relationship that Lynn and I had, and what a special person she had been. It made me so happy to know that Lynn had left a lasting, gentle impression on others. It also made me a sad because it was a reminder of what I had lost. Other married couples have also commented that our marriage and relationship had been inspiring. One couple even said they had used us as a model for the right way to do it. I never really understood these sentiments. We didn’t always agree or even get along sometimes. All Lynn and I ever did was love each other and commit ourselves to our relationship.
For several weeks after Lynn passed away, I received many cards and emails. Occasionally someone would drop off a meal. All of these gestures helped keep me going. But then it all tapered off. I would get upset thinking that nobody cared anymore, that everyone had forgotten. Everyone had moved on and I was on my own. But, after a time, I started getting an infrequent call or email. So now, when I get a card or an email from someone, it is truly a special thing for me. I am reminded that a few friends and relatives have not forgotten. It may bring tears or a smile, but it helps me heal a little. All it has to be is “Hey buddy, how you doing?” or ” I miss Lynn, too.” and I know that someone still cares. I also know that I will not forget when someone needs comfort no matter when that time comes.