As I read about the grieving process, I noticed many suggest we should do something nice for someone else. It’s hard to think of reaching out to another person when you feel so broken, but doing so opens our eyes to the fact that there are still good things going on in life and being a part of them will lift us up. It may be a temporary fix, but even a temporary fix feels good. No matter how simple or elaborate it may be, it always works. When you give, you receive.
While working on my book, Brittany’s Rose, I had a truly heartwarming experience that I would like to share. I decided to get serious about finishing my book, so I signed up for an online writing class. I learned quite a bit in the class, but one assignment in particular helped me realize the importance of our connection to other people.
Our instructor asked us to pick a color, tell why we picked it, describe it, and tell how it made us feel. Once I started working on the assignment, I realized it was much harder than I had anticipated.
When someone asks me what my favorite color is, the word “blue” rolls out without hesitation. I have never wondered why I love that color. I just know I do. Maybe it began with my father’s blue eyes. His eyes had a gleam of kindness that made me feel safe because he always understood how I felt. Maybe God gave us each a different “favorite color” to make sure all colors would be noticed.
Our instructor told us that once everyone had finished the assignment, she would tell us why she had us do it. Once we all had completed the assignment, we watched every day for a posting from our instructor.
Each person’s assignment was posted on the website for everyone to read. I’ve never seen colors come so alive and have such extraordinary meanings attached to them.
Finally, her posting was there. She told us she had a dear friend who was blind, and every year she had her students complete this assignment so she could read these beautiful descriptions to her friend. Chills ran through my whole body when I read that. What an amazing thing to do for someone, and we got to be a part of it.
After reading our assignments to her friend, she wrote back and gave us a vivid picture of the expressions on her friend’s face as she listened intently to these beautiful works of art the class had created.
This was one of the most exhilarating experiences I’ve ever had. It was clear by the comments posted by the class members that the same chill ran through each of us as we realized the magnitude of the gifts we had given to this blind woman. This time, we were the angels in disguise.
Remember, people won’t always remember everything you do and say, but they will always remember how you made them feel.
Dear Mary Jane,
Your article brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for writing it and for giving readers such a memorable example of giving. I wish you all the best with your book.
What a beautiful experience… thank you for sharing it!
I firmly believe that while doing something nice for others is wonderful, you can’t fill someone’s cup unless there’s something in your pitcher. For those grieving, I warmly recommend that you learn to do something nice for yourself first, on a daily basis, in a similar spirit that you were doing it for your loved one.