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  • The 29-Day Giving Challenge: Day 29

    Today was Day 29 of my 29-Day Giving Challenge. I’m ending this challenge the same way I started it off: by passing on some clothes my youngest has outgrown to a colleague who’s expecting a baby boy.

    I was going to share some thoughts about the challenge, but instead of writing, I spent most of the day thinking about my friend J. For a while, we kept in touch in spurts – we’d talk several times during the same week, and then not talk for months. A few years ago, she moved several hundred miles away and we’ve pretty much kept in touch via sporadic email exchanges and Christmas cards. Today I found out that her husband was killed in an accident yesterday. It’s really hit me hard because they have two boys, just like us. The youngest is just two months older than my oldest, so J. and I were pregnant at the same time. J.’s oldest is about three years older than them. And I get teary every time I think of her boys having to grow up without their dad.

    Unfortunately, I only met J.’s husband once. So I can’t do what I really wish I could do, which is write down some memories that they can read when they’re older and have a little piece of their dad back.

    Since J. and I aren’t that close, I’m a little at a loss as to what I can do for her. I did send out a note today that included some money. I have no idea what their financial situation is, whether her husband had adequate life insurance, etc. But even if he did, it will probably take a little while for the policy to pay out. So I wrote that she should use the money for whatever she needs, or she could add it to the boys’ college fund. I may also be contributing to a group gift later, but we’ll have to see about that.

    I just wish that I could give more.

    Comments

    1. sorry to hear of your friend’s loss. that is so sad!!!
      that reminds me that although we should save and plan for tomorrow, we should also remember to enjoy what we have today with our family and friends. life is so precious!

    2. Try to send her a card, e-mail, letter, or call her periodically over the next few weeks/months. She’s going to be going through a tough time and it’s easy for everyone to just go on with their lives and not support her as she makes the many adjustments that her husband’s death will cause in their lives. I know two families where the Moms died of illness during the past 8 months and the husbands and kids are still trying to adjust to this new version of “normal”. Father’s Day will be especially tough. Don’t be afraid that your notes, calls, and letters will “remind” her – she’s not going to forget, even though many others will. Knowing that someone else remembers, too, will only help her.

      You would think that I had gone through this myself, wouldn’t you? Fortunately, I haven’t but I’ve seen those that have…

    3. Clean ClutterFree Simple says:

      Keep her in your thoughs, and as mar says, keep in touch. When something like this first happens, there tends to be a lot of support, but it’s months and even years later, when the wound is still raw, that the support disappears.

      So sorry for your friend’s loss.

    4. Chief Family Officer says:

      Thanks, everyone. I will definitely remember to keep in touch with her as the months pass.

    5. Jennifer says:

      Cathy,
      I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your friend’s husband. One of my classmates from high school passed away in an accident last May. The 12th was the one year anniversary. He left two young daughters behind and he was a blue collar worker I know with know means of support for his family after his death. I used your post to get people thinking on the Parents 2 Parents site about financial planning for the ‘unthinkable’ event. http://parents2parents.org/?p=108

      Please feel free to stop by and leave a comment. We’d love to have your input as we get ourselves off the ground.

      Jen

      http://parents2parents.org
      http://furoreandfrenzy.com

    6. Jennifer says:

      I’m not a COMPLETE moron ;)

      Or at least all the time…..

      ….I know he left NO means….

      NOT… I know he left know means…

      Geez….

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