My dear friend Paul’s wife Stasi died on May 20th, 2013.
It was unexpected.
A huge loss to all those who knew and loved her.
I arrived at their home a week after Stasi’s passing. I had been in touch with Paul daily since her death, and with those close friends who stepped in to support him. I knew there was a lot of wonderful care going on and when I arrived my heart was overjoyed by the magnitude of the spontaneous out pouring of love – love in action.
The fridge was full of good food. The dishes were done as was the laundry and the house was clean and full of flowers. There were snacks on the table. Friends were over and there was a calendar of planned visits so Paul would have some company in the matrimonial home for the first couple of lonely weeks. All the logistics including the cremation had been taken care of.
Professionals, semi-professionals or volunteers organized none of this; Paul and Stasi’s friends and family organized it all. Neighbors dropped food off just because they cared. Friends and family cried together, laughed, and remembered together. Each person contributed what he or she could and magic happened.
The celebration of Stasi’s life was planned in an organic way. With many people having input the process was additive and everyone’s contribution was heard and added to the creative planning.
The celebration of Stasi’s life was magical. People pored into the community hall, in the early morning to help set up the space. During the day to prepare food and drink, all afternoon to set up chairs, and tables and video rooms. Each and every one poured their love of Stasi into the celebration by words, deeds and actions. Yes the loss was painful and deeply sad – at the same time the outpouring of love and care was breath taking and inspiring.
How fortunate I am to have witnessed Community – living, breathing, and feeling community. It made a huge difference. Paul could not have done it all alone.