So often we are at a loss for words when someone dies. How do we express our sadness while extending comfort to the bereaved? In this beautiful NPR piece, Ann Finkbeiner speaks of the almost magical healing she experienced from caring friends, family and neighbors following the death of her 80 year-old husband. She writes, “Empathy gives the pain meaning, and pain with meaning is bearable.”
In a comment to her posting, one woman responded, “A Jewish coworker’s father passed away a few weeks ago. I’d never been to a shiva before so I sent out a red alert on Facebook to my Jewish friends basically begging for help. “What do I do? What do I bring? Is it okay to bring food? I’m black so I want to bring macaroni and cheese. Is mac and cheese appropriate? Is there a prayer I need to learn? What should I wear?” They all told me that the most important thing was to show up. “Your presence is a blessing. Your love is what matters.” They also reminded me that bringing food is never bad thing. Especially macaroni and cheese.”
May we all learn how to show up with kindness, with empathy and with food!
(If you, or anyone you know, need help with grief support, please contact our Full Circle bereavement counselors at 912.303.9442)