It was around New Year's. They were laughing, planning, and dreaming about what their future home would be. They had found the perfect lot. After visiting, she went on to her bathroom and he went up to fix the satellite that had been broken for 2 days. She heard the crash of him falling through the roof and she found him on the floor. Her life changed forever that day. Her love of 5 years was no longer with her.
That is the story of the builder who was building the house next door. I didn't know him very well...we only exchanged waves and visited occasionally. He was very smiley and told me of his big plans with his wife to build their dream home. A few days after New Year's there was a knock on the door. It was a contractor next door telling me what had happened to the builder. I was immediately devastated...especially for his wife (who he had spoken so highly of).
I remembered what Kris Murphy had said in her etiquette of what to do when someone you know has a loss. So, I called the widow and left her a message. I then tried another number the contractor had given me and she answered the phone. We stumbled through the conversation with tears. I told her I was so sorry for her loss. I sent her a card and have been praying for her ever since.
Yesterday was the builder's birthday. I met his wife for the first time. She had been to the cemetery that day and was now coming to see his pride...the house he was building. The conversation started awkward but then the list of things Kris had mention rang in my ears. I asked all sorts of questions about him and their life together. Although I wanted in my own skin to run the other direction and not talk about the uncomfortable, I pressed on. It was a precious conversation...a celebration of her husband.
I was reminded of the widows Jesus talked about in the bible and how we are to care for them. That must be what He meant. Talk to them...even when you want to run away from the awkwardness. It might be more natural than you expect.