Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Kindness of Strangers

As many of you know, my sweet kitty of three years, Leo, was accidentally killed on Tuesday. I was home with my kids and I held it together long enough to take them to camp and then came home and buried my precious boy in the garden, sobbing loud enough to scare the neighbors indoors.

The writer’s life is often solitary and on that day, I felt deeply and incredibly alone. I came back into the house—dirty, sweaty, and in the first stage of raw agony and shock that accompanies grief and I posted a note on Facebook because I desperately needed to make a connection.
I got what I needed. Over 100 people commented, sent me poems, articles, and photos of the pets they’d recently lost. This helped me get the tears out because I’ve never been good at that. Some of the stories even coaxed a smile or two. I felt the cyber hugs and cherished the photos of so many beloved animals.
That’s the silver lining of this horrible week. I was truly touched by how many strangers reached out to me, offering an outpouring of love and compassion. I know that sounds cheesy but that's what it felt like to this wounded heart.
Don’t tell me people are losing their ability to communicate because of technology. Don’t tell me that our relationships on Facebook are shallow. Don’t tell me that people aren’t moved to help one another. My Facebook wall will prove all those theories wrong.
Has a stranger done you a kindness that stuck with you over time?