tragedy & love

For her birthday last year.

I found out this weekend that a dear friend of our family’s had a terrible tragedy last week. Her house burned down. To the ground. They have nothing left. Not only did she lose her home, she lost her beloved pets, and her business. She is a midwife and herbalist. All her product, all her specialized equipment, gone. Even the phone numbers to contact her clients.

My heart is heavy for this incredible woman and her sweet mother. And though I ache to make it all better, of course I can’t. There is nothing I can do to replace what’s lost, to mend their broken hearts, to heal their injuries, to rebuild their lives. Even though I want to, desperately.

I’m a fixer. I like to see a problem and do something about it. And now when there’s nothing to do, I feel a little unanchored.

They are currently staying in a long term hotel, and trying to take stock of everything they don’t have anymore. Their conversations keep reminding them of something else they don’t have. Just yesterday while talking to my mom, our sweet friend realized all her personal pictures were gone. The mourning process began again.

I know I’m being a little bit of a downer on a holiday, but what better way to show love than by helping someone in need? I plan on sending care packages and other comforts, but I’m still feeling like it’s not enough.

What can I do for this family? How can I help? What would comfort you in this situation? Your thoughts are much appreciated.


| Filed under events, friends

9 thoughts on “tragedy & love

  1. I would ask her what she misses the most. If it is pictures I would get a bunch of people together and go in to get them a camera or something. Or make them a quilt so they can start rebuilding their lives with new memories. I heard about this from your mom yesterday and it made me really sad. I couldn’t even imagine how I would feel.

    BTW, I love your blog. You did such a great job, as I knew you would! :)

  2. I am so sorry to hear this. What a horrible thing to have to go through. Possibly set up a way people can donate to help out her situation. That way she can at least go get the things she needs that she can buy. As for her pictures, that is too sad. :( I hope her family is okay, and if there is anything I can do to help let me know. :) Lots of prayers!!

  3. Did she have a blog or anything? If so, make a book from it, with the pictures – to help her start over again….go take pictures of the family now, have them framed – if she has kids, take them to a park or something, to help capture a “happy moment” Contact relatives, to have them e-mail you pictures to put a book together, if they have any from get togethers. Something is better than nothing. Artscow is a cheap website.

    Hopefully they have insurance and can restore a lot that was lost, but that is sad. Good Luck. I am sure anything you do, will be appreciated and thoughtful!!

  4. Love and prayers go a long way. I’m sure as they come to grips with their situation, ways to help will become more apparent. Right now it’s good for them to know they have friends that are there for them. You’re such a good example of truly loving someone and being there to help. :)

  5. As everyone else said, your prayers and love will go a long way. I loved what Molly said about trying to contact relatives that may have pictures from other family functions and putting a book together. I know for me, my pictures would be the hardest thing to have lost (and animals). It would be really hard losing all of your clothes, too. Maybe a gift card to a clothing store or something like that. I also love the idea of setting up a bank account for donations. I think you’re on the right track. She’s very lucky to have a friend like you!!

  6. I would want all the memories back…. anything and everything I had told people, or sent them to be written down and sent to me.

  7. We had a house fire when I was 12. We lost everything. What didn’t hit me until years later when I had children of my own was how sad it is to not have anything of mine to pass down to my kids. No baby memento books, no christening gowns, no favorite toys…

    If you know her friends and family, coordinate a large scale operation to replace as many pictures as you can. We were amazed how many people had duplicates or similar pictures to ours (parents who attended the same sporting event, the same Kindergarten play, etc).

    Beyond the material things (most of which can be replaced when you really stop to think about it), your love, prayers and support will certainly be needed.

    My thoughts are with her…

  8. If she is close by, I would think helping her to look forward would help. When they are ready to look for a new home, offer to go along and help her preview. You could offer positive insight and humor in what will be a hard time that really does mean moving on.

    I lost all my mementos, baby items, Christmas decorations etc a few years ago. Not to a fire, but still, I’ll never have them back. It is hard, but life goes on and she can find relatives and friends to help replace lost photos at least.

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