I spent the morning addressing sympathy cards. While signing my name and personal notes of condolence, I couldn’t help but reflect on the upcoming anniversary (September 19) of my Daddy’s 2008 death. Five years later, I still remember the support, love and thoughtfulness given during the difficult weeks that followed.

Our family was preoccupied with planning the funeral, gathering photos, sorting through belongings and handling the financial and legal issues that follow a death. It wasn’t until months later that we were able to fully digest our loss. And when we did, we found ourselves very alone. Close friends and extended family had already moved on with their life, they had worked through the grieving process; and most assumed we had done the same. For my mom, sister and I, the grieving process has just begun.

I licked and sealed the last envelope and placed my cards in the mailbox. As I raised the red postal flag, I vowed to have a greater awareness of the grief, pain and loneliness of those who have lost a loved one and seek a reason to be involved in their life. Maybe I can meet a need, offer guidance and encouragement; or minister with spiritual, emotional or physical support. There must be ways to lighten someone’s sorrow.

Send an unexpected handwritten note, share a special scripture, buy lunch, hand-deliver flowers from the garden or just reach out by phone. God has clearly commissioned us to pay it forward; to comfort others just as he comforts us with his abundant mercies.

There are plenty of people who would welcome your comfort, a warm embrace or kind words. Put up the red flag on your outgoing mailbox and send out blessings to those that are suffering a loss.

2 Corinthians 1:4 (ISV)

“He comforts us in all our suffering, so that we may be able to comfort others in all their suffering, as we ourselves are being comforted by God.”

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