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It's More than Meatloaf
by Dr. Dale V. Atkins, October 2006

Someone in your community, whom you may barely know, lost his wife and is dealing with being a single parent. Or a father at your kid’s school died and the mom is trying to pick up the pieces.

Everyone rallies to help them. But, you know that as time marches on, fewer and fewer folks ask if there is anything they can do. Everyone’s routine has settled in and yet this family is still grieving as school is starting and the holidays loom in the near future.

Let’s face it, this family could use some tender loving care to save their sanity.

1. Love Them, Feed Them - After someone in your community dies, it is not necessary that the cue for the casserole brigade ceases to exist. Organize neighbors and cook meals, maybe to be delivered two or three times each week for several months after the death.

2. Caring with Care Packages - Place a refrigerator box or cooler outside their home or arrange to drop the food at the same time each day so one of the family members will know it is there and can receive it. With simple instructions taped onto the container this family will unpack some great and healthy food and know they are remembered and are part of a community.

3. Helping to Heal - Sometimes, a simple act of kindness shared among neighbors makes the world of difference to someone struggling in his or her new situation. Make sure everyone understands their role and the rules. No chit chat unless requested. . . cook, deliver and leave the food and that’s it. This is not the time to visit unless you are invited to do so.

Share your gifts.Go beyond what you think is reasonable and help heal the suffering in your back yard ... one person or family at a time.

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