When my husband died, I was overwhelmed by the flood of emails, texts, calls, cards, flowers, meals and all of the other heartfelt gifts that people extended to myself and my family. The gratitude was overwhelming (and still is). I live in a suburban town just outside of San Francisco called Pleasanton (yes we’ve all heard the jokes about how “pleasant” it is to live here). I didn’t realize how special this town really was until tragedy hit so close to home. I was so grateful to each and every person who reached out to me in some way or another. I just hope they all know I would do the same if they were ever faced with the death of a loved one.
As I reflect back on the few days after my husband’s passing, one thing that always stands out is the love and support that surrounded us. From my close friends calling the funeral home for me to obtain all the information I needed in order to lay my husband to rest, to setting up a meal train so I wouldn’t have to worry about cooking for a month. I even had a friend arrange for her local cooking club to organize and bake all the desserts for his Celebration of Life. Another thoughtful and generous mother in our community offered her home to arrange flowers for my husband’s memorial that were handpicked from her backyard. This is the same family who donated cases of their wine to the memorial service that they grow and harvest. Again, overwhelming gratitude. One of my friends planted a rose bush in honor of my husband in an area of her backyard that my husband I enjoyed every time she hosted a get together at her home. How do you repay and thank someone for such thoughtfulness? I also received beautiful frames, books, necklaces and small mementos that I keep near and dear to me for comfort each and every day.
I wanted to share with you some of the heartfelt gifts that I received over the past few months. If I featured every single one, you would be reading for days. I picked three that really touched my heart and put a smile on my face because of the way they’ve brought me peace and comfort over the past few months
Eat Carbs! Handmade Picture
During my husband’s eulogy, I talked about living life to the fullest. Below is the closing of the eulogy that I read to over 500 people who attended his Celebration of Life on May 22nd of this year:
“…When you leave here today I ask you to live YOUR life as if today is YOUR last day. Tell the people you love how special they are to you. Randomly text your loved one during the day and tell them how amazing they are and list some of the things you love about them. Try to forgive that person who hurt you. Try to judge a little less and understand both sides of the story. Dance in the rain. Jump in the pool with all of your clothes on. Eat carbs. Book those tickets to Vegas on a whim to see your favorite band perform. Hug harder, kiss longer, and love deeper. I am proud to say that I have done all of those things, and I am even prouder and more at peace in my heart and with God knowing that I did them with the love of my life.”
A few days after his memorial service, a package was left on my doorstep. Inside the package was this picture along with a beautiful anonymous letter about how my words touched so many that day. I have this hanging in my office and I still do not know to this day who left me such a wonderful gift on my doorstep since they didn’t leave their name:
I smile every time I glance at the picture and I hope the person who was kind enough to make this for me reads this one day so they know their beautiful gesture brings me light during a very dark time.
Kind Notes Jar
A former co-worker of mine sent this to me a few weeks after Mose’s passing. It’s a jar full of notes of encouragement. Each time I feel like I can’t get through the day, I reach for a note and read one and it reminds me every time that I WILL get through this difficult time. It’s an amazing gift to give to someone who is grieving and one that I will always cherish:
Tory Burch Necklace and Earrings
Aside from the fact that I love just about everything Tory Burch, this gift’s significance was special to me because of the story behind it. A friend of mine that I went to middle school and high school with sent me this gift a few months after my husband died. She had mentioned that this was her favorite jewelry set and she misplaced it before my husband had passed. She bought another set and a few weeks after my husband died she ended up finding the first set. She had also mentioned that she was so inspired by my blog that she wanted me to have a set. It is now MY favorite necklace and earrings set and every time I wear them it puts a huge smile on my face.
I am forever grateful for the love and thoughtfulness that has surrounded me for the past several months. Gratitude has turned what I now have into enough. Thank you to everybody who contributed to make my day and my children’s days a bit brighter. It will never be forgotten.