Small unsolicited acts of kindness are like tiny rainbows that provide light and love through the heavy fog of grief and challenging times.
People often say “Let me know there if there is anything I can do”.
When people said it to me I would usually smile and say thank you but rarely take them up on it.
Why? Because sometimes all the energy I could muster was to get my family and I through the day. To identify what I really needed, then communicate and then arrange a time and the details was beyond me. My organisational skills were in disarray. Where to start?
I also didn’t want to impose on friends and families whom I knew I had their own challenges, work commitments and young families to look after.
Some small acts of kindness that still make me smile and may inspire others are as follows
- A colleague of my late husband contacted me in the first week after my husband died and suggested that he pop over for an hour or two to fix things around the house. I didn’t know him but that didn’t matter. He brought his tool box and quietly tightened hinges, fixed fence posts and other minor things that were broken.
- In the first year of grief, we returned one Sunday after visiting my in laws for the weekend to find that our courtyard had been gurneyed by two good mates. They had popped over because they knew we were away and spent half a day cleaning all the pavement stones of grime and mould. I hadn’t even noticed that it needed doing but the courtyard looked so much fresher and more inviting once it had been done.
- A friend of mine spotted one of my husbands surfboards under the house collecting mould and grime. He took it away, cleaned it up, then returned it and stored it under a better more suitable part of the house.
- Some adult friends put a lot of time and effort into playing and interacting with my kids when we hung out together. I often felt drained, sad and flat and was so thankful that my kids could receive some love and positive interactions from other adults. When this occurred I could just stop and breathe. Or have a moment to honestly talk to other adults about how I was really doing – without my young children hanging around nearby listening to every word that I said.
- One day I mentioned to a school friend that it was the fourth anniversary of my husband’s death. She immediately advised that she was cooking meatballs for dinner and insisted that she would double the quantity and drop it off at five o’clock so that we had dinner sorted.
If you have a friend doing it tough and you can see a small job that needs doing – then just gently let them know that if it is okay with them you will be over at a certain time and just do it. Turn up on time, with no fuss or grand ceremony – and just quietly get it done. To lighten their burden a little. ❤️🌈💛