My step-brother died this week. Having not seen any of that side of the family for 13 years at my step-mother’s funeral, I decided to fly to Texas. Dean, Oso and I took a nice walk and then I sat down to make all the arrangements. All I did was sit. And I when I got up I was exhausted.
Part of that was emotional exhaustion from people’s genuine kindness as they deal with you on the phone. I called to postpone a doctor’s appointment and when I told his receptionist why I had to cancel, she was so sympathetic. When the agent at American Airlines told me I had to spend a certain amount for booking so close to flight time and I said, yes, it was a family funeral and you can’t plan those ahead of time, he was very sympathetic and hopeful they would make my flight as easy as possible.
The family was pleased that I was coming. The friend with whom I am staying is pleased to have me there. She remembers my brother well and liked him very much.
People are basically nice and empathetic and given the state of the news right now, that is nice to have affirmed especially if it is at a sad time. It takes so little to smile at someone or to express sympathy and it means so very, very much. Practice kindness wherever you are. It costs you nothing.