If I receive an email or hear about a colleague who has lost a loved one, I often send one. I don't do it every time, but if I have had a reasonable professional interaction (which with me might include personal conversations, too) I will send a card.
I often get a warm response that my condolences were well received, and I'm usually a bit surprised.
On the other hand, I'm not surprised when I look back at this past week and see all the warm thoughts that have been sent to my wife on the passing of her father. Many people knew her devotion and care for this great man and the phone calls, cards, e-mails, facebook messages are quite the tribute to both her and her father.
I was a bit surprised, however, with the number of colleagues from work that have reached out to me. Many knew that I provided a lot of support to my wife and her father, but I didn't really expect people to reach out to me personally. I am deeply touched.
We give because it is the right thing to do and never expect anything in return. That's the nature of giving.
I am unable to end this post with some clever statement. Let's all just remember how important it is to reach out to others in trying times - and do more.
Photo credit: artnoose