Thanks to all the wonderfully smart women at Two Writing Teachers who host this gathering each week. It is a lovely place to capture and share those small moments in life.
Recently, I was sitting on my screened porch, doing some writing. While the screened porch is one of my favorite places to be, this particular writing activity had been weighing heavily on me for awhile and I was dreading it. I was writing the thank you notes for all the kindnesses shown to our family when my dad died this summer.
I think I put it off for so long because, after Mom died in December, and then Dad died a scant seven months later, writing these thank you notes meant there would be some closure around my parents' deaths and I wasn't quite ready for that.
But, through the days I procrastinated on this activity, I started to think about all the words that had meant so much to us as a family this past year:
- The kind words on each sympathy card that made its way to our mailbox.
- The words people used during calling hours to talk about what a positive impact my parents had on their lives.
- The words my brother gathered and arranged into eulogies for our parents - words that captured the special and unique qualities of both of them.
- The words the granddaughters used when sharing their favorite memories about their grandparents.
- At the memorial service for Dad, the words that a variety of people chose to share with the entire group.
- The comforting words on the cards accompanying the flower arrangements that added such a lovely touch to each service.
- The letters received from cousins recalling memories of their times with my parents and how much those experiences had meant to them.
- The online words: emails, text messages, Facebook messages, Voxes - these were words of comfort.
And then, one day, I had a big "aha" moment about my grief and moving through it - WORDS MATTERED.
Words mattered during my grief, and the least I could do was to share my words of appreciation for the gifts of concern and kindnesses we had received as a family. So, while those thank you notes were not my favorite task to do on the screened porch, I could only hope that my words of appreciation mattered to the recipient of each thank you. I know your words most definitely mattered to me!