Saturday is the one-year anniversary of my dad’s death in a house fire.
Tonight I got out my journal that I kept after the fire and read through it. I went through an entire journal the weeks following the fire. I put my words in there, the eulogy I wrote for the funeral, all the sympathy cards I received and photos.
When I read my own words which bounced between extreme, raw grief to anger, to anguish, to confusion, I’m reminded of those days following. Those horrific days.
But what made me tearful were the sympathy cards. Those gestures of kindness from people — family, friends and people in the community who know me through the paper. And this was a good tearful — one that reminded me how precious people around us are.
And I’ve come to this conclusion tonight — never, ever underestimate the power of a sympathy card or a thank you note. I saved every single sympathy card and taped them in that journal I kept. They mean so much to me still, nearly a year later.
To every single person who sent me notes, texts, emails, who called me…I have your names written in my journal. Those gestures held me together that week. I am sincerely grateful.
To anyone reading this, reach out to someone. Hug your loved ones. Do something kind today out of the blue.
You never know who you’re going to touch and how badly they may need it. I’ll never forget the simple gestures after the fire — it doesn’t take a lot to make a big difference.
I’m lucky. And blessed. And so so grateful.