Author Topic: Unexpected Kindnesses  (Read 588 times)


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Unexpected Kindnesses
« on: August 27, 2017, 09:33:39 AM »
Widowhood is sadly full of people disappointing us. People saying and/or doing batshit crazy stuff to us. But it's also full of people stepping up to the plate and being there for us, whether it's just for a moment or for the long haul. These people come to my mind this morning:

1. Very early on, when I went to SS to pick up the death benefit, i had to use a kiosk to see which line I needed to be in.  there was a police officer standing by who asked me why I was there- I could only say it in a whisper because I was trying so hard not to cry- and he pressed the right buttons for me to get my ticket when my widowbrain was feeling overwhelmed by the task. He was so gentle with me.

2. That first couple years I had zero interest in leaving my house unless it was absolutely necessary. A friend of mine would call up periodically to ask me and my dog to take a walk in the park with her dog and toddler. She knew she could get me by appealing to my dog's need for a good walk, which he wasn't really getting at that point. She also brought yummy homemade snacks for picnicking.

3. A friend I'd known for many years but wouldn't say was too especially close, came and sat on my front porch with me pretty much every single week for two years. She watched me get way too drunk, heard me say some stuff that I'm certain was not at all easy to hear, and kept coming back anyway when most people were terrified to see me and my pain up close. My loyalty to her now is without end.

Please share the kindnesses you have experienced from others- both big and small. I think it's so important to have this place where we can vent freely our anger, pain, and sadness- but it's also just as important to remember to feel gratitude for the goodness in our lives, no matter how fleeting it may feel at times.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2017, 08:39:13 AM by Bunny »
It is a fearful thing to love what Death can touch.


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Re: Unexpected Kindnesses
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2017, 11:08:19 AM »
What a nice post, Bunny!

I will add a few unexpected kindnesses, too.

1.  I wasn't at home when my husband died.  When I called to change my flight, the customer service person was so kind, asked me simple questions that I could answer with one word, and the process was completed very quickly.

2.  When I checked in at the airport, I kept making errors checking in at the kiosk.  The attendant saw tears coming down my cheeks and came over and checked me in herself.

3.  When I got on the plane, I ended up sitting next to a pilot who asked me if I was flying for business or pleasure.  I told him my truth.  He cried with me!  He had lost a brother when he was younger and he was incredibly sensitive to me and my situation.

4.  When I arrived at my home airport, a married couple - colleagues of my husband that I knew but not well - picked me up, drove my car home, and walked into my house with me.  My husband had died in his sleep in our bed.  They didn't want me to have to walk in alone.  They brought simple snacks to my house every few days and left them on the front porch for me so I would eat something.

I know there are many more things that followed.


Life is short.  Love with all you've got. 

Barry 11/29/55-9/22/09       John  1/16/57-1/11/14

Empathy  Developer  Responsibility  Adaptability Connectedness


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Re: Unexpected Kindnesses
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2017, 08:27:52 AM »
Such a great post
Makes me look back at some of the wonderful people who held me up

1. My brother flew in to stay with me for almost two weeks
He put down wood floors and built a closet in the new bedroom
We were almost done with a two year renovation of our house  when mydon died 

2.My Sister's took over all my paper work and cancelled credit cards and paid all the important bills that needed to be paid , plus did laundry etc ..not including all the emotional support

3. The guys from his work got together and had memorial stickers made and sold them to raise money for where don mentored ptsd veterans

4. My neighbor just recently built a walkway in our garden because he remembered don talking about it and we had all the supplies

I could go on and it makes me smile looking back and I am still having wonderful people checking in
I just need to take a moment now and then to realize the good when the darkness tries to take over

My everything


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Re: Unexpected Kindnesses
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2017, 10:07:26 PM »
It's nice to remember these things.

1) my brother is an amateur boxer. He encouraged me to take up boxing as an outlet. So he would drive almost 2 hours to my house once a week to let me punch mitts that he would put on. Sometimes I couldn't focus and I almost be in tears but he never judged me. We'd box and have a beer and just sit there. Not going to lie I got me through some of the darkest times.

2) my dad is pretty high up in a corporation. He honestly spend hours upon hours in meetings. And during the toughest earliest part of my loss if I got desperate and needed to call him he always picked up. He leaving meeting regardless of what was going on just to talk to me for a few minutes. I honestly felt so guilty about it at first but in the end I'm so grateful that he cared enough to be there for me when I was weak.

3) one day when I was particularly mopey a barista at a coffee shop noticed me and made an extra cute smiley face in my latte and told me that it might not cheer me up and he was hoping it would get a smile out of me. It did.

4) I got so lucky with the one insurance company I had to deal with. The guy that was in charge of my claim was so kind. Every time I got too overwhelmed and wouod not be sure how to fill the paperwork he would send somebody to help me fill it out. He wouldn't answer my questions the day I asked them and every time we spoke on the phone you always made sure to mention that he recognized how tragic and difficult this must be for me and he wanted to do everything he could to make it easier. Turns out some of those insurance people do have souls.


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Re: Unexpected Kindnesses
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2017, 06:35:43 AM »
Great idea for a thread!

Immediately after finding my wife dead in my youngest son’s room, I pushed my two youngest out of the house into the front yard and then went back in to call EMS. As soon as I made the call, I heard the sirens kick off. Somehow, one of the neighbor moms was beside me almost instantly and took charge. She did all the things that needed to be done; answered the door and phone, cleaned up the kitchen, did laundry, took notes about who visited and what they dropped off, etc. She stayed for two days until my family could fly in. She was, and remains, a saint.

A few days later, I had to get clothes for my kids for their mother’s funeral service. They were in that stage where they grow out of their pants every four weeks and I had nothing suitable for them.  So off we go – while at the store I became overwhelmed with all the choices and the pressure to get it right and I think I just pretty much froze, standing there in one of the aisles with a blank look on my face. Some lady with 2 or 3 kids of her own asked if I needed help. I’m pretty sure it was obvious I needed help. I told her what was going on and what I needed and she jumped into it, pulling together outfits for my guys and remembering to get belts and dress shoes. I surely would have forgotten those items. She really took care of the boys.

There were many more occurrences of folks stepping up – really too many to write up but those are the ones that stand out.

I have been manifestly blessed.

Best wishes - Mike
The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped. (Proverbs 11:25)


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Re: Unexpected Kindnesses
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2017, 07:43:10 AM »
yes definitely a great thread

1. My mom was 84 and very frail when my husband  suddenly died. She told me she would stay at my house and take care of me. Of course I said don't be ridiculous she couldn't hardly take care of herself...which was true as she was very weak at the time. But she did take care of me , she phoned me every night for quite a long time, just about the time of night when I was getting ready for bed. It's like she knew that would be the time of day that my mind would wonder. Basically she made sure I got tucked in bed with a warm and caring voice. It helped alot.

2. An aquaintance at work befriended me and took me for a number of retail therapy adventures( at the thrift store to remain economical). She had suffered numerous losses and she got it. She knew I needed to be doing stuff. we both like clothes!

3. The condolences that are written on the funeral home website  maybe not  be acts of kindness , but definitely bring about a positive feeling. Of course there were numerous outpourings at the beginning , each one making me feel loved but then there are the others. My old friend who left a message on the 1st anniversary, I appreciated that.  And then there are the students. My husband was a highschool teacher and many students left a note at the beginning  but a couple of his students have written later , even 4 years later. It's nice to know people still think of him.