Each year, thousands of bloggers around the world participate in Blog Action Day—every blogger writing on a single theme. This year’s theme is “The Power of We,” and the official date for Blog Date Action Day is October 15th. My post will be different from what I might have written at a different time in my life and different from most other bloggers.
Instead of approaching the subject from the perspective of giving, I am approaching the topic from the perspective of receiving.
On September 23rd, I became a widow. Instead of being the strong, independent woman I have always been,I am temporarily needy and dependent on others. Family and friends have joined together to make this transition much easier for me. They, my family and friends, are we–using their power to make life easier for someone else–in this case me.
Within a few minutes of Jack’s death, my house was filled with family and friends who came to support me. Our priest arrived shortly after Sunday services ended. The hospice nurse handled all the details with the medical examiner and the funeral home. The next day, four loved ones went with me to make the funeral arrangements. A family member took me to the bank and helped me with business matters. A friend took me shopping for an outfit for the funeral. Other people called to offer help or brought food or ran errands. Family and friends made a beautiful memory board of photos and mementos to display at the visitation and reception after the funeral. Church members prepared a reception where family and friends expressed their condolences and shared memories of Jack’s life. The visitation and funeral were absolutely beautiful, thanks to the funeral home personnel, the church staff, our priest, and the military honor guard.
The support didn’t end with the funeral. My office was in a portable building in the backyard, and it’s getting harder for me to go up and down the steps. Family and friends have spent several days rearranging furniture in the house to clear a room for my office; moving furniture, books, files, and office supplies into the house; and organizing my new office. People are bringing me meals, helping with chores, and calling or visiting regularly.
I’m so blessed to have such a wonderful support system, and all those friends, family members, and church family who make up that support system are making a difficult time much easier.
Most Blog Action Day participants will probably write about the power of organized groups to effect significant change in the world. Those groups and changes are very important and should be recognized. At the same time, let’s not forget about the difference that we can make in the life of an individual who is going through a tough time. I’m very thankful for the difference that my friends and family are making in my life right now.