Last week, on the morning I was having my book launch at Powell’s a very close friend called to let me know that her mother had passed away that week after her several month battle with cancer. She would not be coming to the book signing because she was heading back east for the funeral. My heart was so heavy. We had both known this was inevitable since her mom’s cancer diagnosis several months before. We had spoken many times and I knew my friend was happy she had taken time off to spend it with her mom over the previous several months, but even when you expect something like this it’s very different when the reality hits. That morning on the phone, I shared my story with my friend about letting my father know I would be looking for signs from him after he was gone and that if he wanted to come back to me as an animal I would keep an eye out for it. I write more about this in my 1,000 Mitzvahs book in the Final Goodbye Chapter on Death and Grieving. But essentially I believe that my father comes to comfort me through a black crow. My friend mentioned my story to her cousin who explained she feels her mother’s presence whenever she sees a rainbow. That day as my friend landed in Florida to attend her mothers funeral she says she saw the most breathtaking sunset and felt calmed and knowing that she was connected somehow to her mother.
Last night, when I went to see my friend and pay my respects she told me this story. I realized sometimes we won’t know what to say to a friend who’s lost a loved one even when we have been there ourselves. It’s okay not to know what to do or say. A hug, a smile, a visit, a card or just letting them share a story with you can sometimes be enough to let someone know they are in our thoughts and we are available to them.
Thinking of my dear friend and her family in their time of loss and hoping they will enjoy glorious sunsets that help heal their torn hearts.