Today I took a leftover meal from our women's club party to the neighbor lady whose husband committed suicide a few weeks ago. We made up a plate of food with the thought that she would be happy to have it, and the comfort of knowing we cared. As she is my personal member, I was asked to bring her the food. When I was asked, it took me a moment to say Okay. It took me a moment to catch my breath and find the strength to take on such a task. But I said okay, and I completed my task, and I am glad I did.
She didn't take the plate of food (my kids are coming tonight and i already cooked) but she invited me in and told me she had only a short time to visit before she needed to leave. I wasn't sure I was welcome or she was being polite, but I am still glad I took the opportunity to do the right thing. What this accomplished was her knowing that I care, that though the funeral is over and the act forgotten by most, that she is still important and still thought of and we are open when and if she needs someone to turn to.
I drank a glass of water, talked about the weather and the garden and her kids and her parents, but we sidestepped the conversation of her husband and his death. I didn't know what was appropriate, what is appropriate in such a situation. But the simple act of my presence and my offer to be available if she needs me was well received. She thanked me for stopping by, told me she would appreciate me coming again as she said goodbye at the door.
It could have been an act, one of courage on her part as well, but that doesn't matter. I opened myself up and she let me in.
Coming to terms with how to act is not necessary in such a situation. Just being there is action enough. And today, I took action and showed someone that I care.