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Random Acts of Kindness in Time of Loss

I am now starting my third month without my husband.  Right after the funeral services, many of those attending dropped out of sight.  Another widow cautioned me that would happen along with a slump.  I have read a lot about this loss of companionship and communication.  There are many excuses for this behavior.  Examples:  we knew you two as a couple and now can’t relate.  We don’t know what to say.  We are afraid of hurting your feelings.  We don’t want you to become dependent on us for shopping, driving or other chores.  The last one is a sad but a true sentiment. 

It would be nice if more people called regularly for a casual chat.  If that is not happening, try to establish a new family of friends.  Keep an open mind and you will be surprised how many caring people are out there. Unexpectedly neighbors or even business acquaintances who I casually said hello to are stepping into my life offering support and concern.  Embrace the kindness offered to you.  Acts of kindness in turn reciprocate.  I have found that I too can offer kindness and support to other individuals.  An unexpected revelation was that a number of divorced or separated individuals are experiencing many of the same emotions I am feeling.  They feel abandoned by their prior friends and have no one who will listen to them.  Feeling their pain, I was able to provide some comfort and understanding to them.  This is also true of others suffering family losses.  I felt good that I could be there for them.  At that moment I started to feel there is a present and future where I can add value and be productive.  I was starting to live with my grief but not in grief all the time.  If you read this, please know that even in a state of loss, you can still be a friend or companion to others who need you as much as you need them.  I believe this is a longer-term effort and requires patience with others and yourself. 

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I have been surprised by some of the people who have offered support and care. I didn't even know them well, but they reached out to me with empathy. I'm determined to engage with people and organizations who find value in me - me alone. Hard as it is, I've made many new friends and learned much from that experience. Some people didn't make it into my future life for a reason. Love the people who treat you well and focus on the goodness they bring to your life.

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