Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Art of Condolences

The Art of Condolences
Expressing concern for those going through illness and loss is not easy for most people. With cancer in 2013 and the recent deaths of my grandmother and my Brother's wife, I have received many forms of ... love. Love is the only word that fits here. Commuter Family has been the recipient of phone calls, visits, emails, texts, facebook messages, notes,  scarves, clothes, meals, baked goods, shopping, errands, rides, books, plants, flowers, cookies, chocolate, cards, stories and other gifts of the heart. These have come from family, friends, work colleagues, my kids' school and our Temple clergy and staff.

This week I received a large padded envelope. A dear friend and respected work colleague sent the beautiful art of her young children and a hand written note on pretty stationary to convey her thoughts for us and my Brother's family. When I had cancer, she also took me to lunch and presented me with a thoughtful gift accompanied by the art of her oldest child.

Just a few weeks ago I received another similar envelope. It had a luxurious and unique scarf from a considerate friend and Temple staff member who has shown empathy for my cancer journey since I was first diagnosed. Two years ago exactly, I was deciding what treatment path to take and this kind woman was part of my support group from the first.
Picture does not show the softness of the velvety fabric and the rich colors. I wore it to a holiday dinner Sunday night with a black satin blouse.
I have learned to accept help and ask for help. Last week I reached out to three generous women who are mothers I have met through Oldest Son and are my true friends. They delivered dinner for my family and my Brother's family. We also had food sitting literally on our front porch the afternoon we returned from London - this gift from another "super duper special mother friend" met via Youngest Son. The food and the thoughtfulness nourished our souls in a horribly difficult time.

I am amazed at the number of emails and phone calls I have received from the various clergy at Temple Emanu-El. Likewise the meals, notes and reach out from Greenhill School has been tremendous. I was surprised and am comforted.

There are an endless number of examples just like these that I could describe. Thank You. Thank You a million times over. It has been an exhausting two years. I am forever grateful to all for surrounding my family and me.

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