What can we learn from death?

*News just broke this afternoon that actor, Heath Ledger was found dead in his NYC apartment. I remembered about this article I read a while ago and thought I would re-post it for anyone who struggles with loss of loved ones. My heart is out to Heath's family and baby.

I read something today in a Newsweek column called The Spiritual State by, Rabbi Marc Gellman. Rabbi Gellman's father passed away recently and he wanted to share the most valuable thing he learned from his dad's death with the rest of the world. It was touching and I thought I would share it as well along with my own personal experience.

I agree with the Rabbi, that the most important thing anyone can learn from losing someone as close a father, is "the immense importance of expressing your condolences to those who mourn." I can remember with great detail certain events that happened when someone I loved deeply committed suicide. Most of the events that occurred after I got the news are sort of blurred together, but the moments when people reached out to me, sharing their comfort and love, are the ones that are etched permanently in my mind. Just knowing that someone else is sad for you, or even thinking about you while you struggle with your grief, is such a comforting and healing thought.

". . .until my dad died I had no idea how deeply comforting even a store bought condolence card with a brief handwritten note can be to a broken heart." - Rabbi Gellman

Mother Teresa said that God did not put us here to do great things, but instead put us here to do little things with great love. And she was right. Is there anyone in your life right now that could use a phone call, a card, or a hug? Maybe they haven't lost someone, but have been given difficult news. Lost job, sickness, divorce - the lists go on.

Can you recall a time that someone did something compassionate for you that touched your soul? Leave it in a comment, I'd love to hear about it.

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