Sarah Lysne: The joy of giving and receiving words or expressions of comfort

Published 5:29 pm Friday, October 15, 2021

My cousin passed away a week ago. When I called his sister to express my condolences, I broke down in tears as soon as I heard her voice. I didn’t expect to do this, and I was ashamed. I was supposed to be the strong one. I told her I would call her later and after I pulled myself together, I was able to call her and talk for a moment about the loss of my cousin.

It seems that death is a very sacred part of life, but our culture in the United States does not want to spend a lot of time talking about that. We would rather deal with it quickly and get on with trying to be happy, but that is not always the best thing to do. In other cultures, death is something that is dealt with in a very different way. People sometimes spend days or weeks mourning. Even though that is not our tradition in this country, I do feel that we could spend more time honoring the person that has left this world than we do.

I know it is easy to send someone a quick text or an emoji on Facebook with tears after a friend has lost a loved one, but I would like to think that we could spend a little more effort in acknowledging the loss of someone’s loved one. Think about how long it might take you to make a phone call or send a card or a plant. Maybe not any more than 20 minutes. That 20 minutes can make a world of difference in someone’s life who is hurting emotionally.

I remember the beautiful Peace Lily I received when my father-in-law passed away. It was delivered to me by my neighbors down the block. They didn’t know my father-in-law well, but they knew we were having a difficult time dealing with his sudden loss. I remember when I went to his funeral and looking out in the crowd and seeing people that I did not expect to see. I was feeling very grateful for their presence. I believe that life is eternal and that when we leave this world, our spirit lives on. It is very important to do things to keep the people I have lost alive in my heart. I try to spend time sharing memories of them whenever possible. I would just like to end this column with saying your efforts are never wasted on providing comfort to someone. It is always appreciated.