Sunday, June 26, 2016

Keeping notes and letters about Marcy

When my daughter died, I received so many cards and letters of support in the mail. It was suggested to me that I keep them all and make a folio of them to look back on. I thought it a good idea and set to work diligently to make it happen. I am the type of person once I get something in my mind to do and I like the idea, it’s a done deal! Perhaps doing something like this would work for you and be something nice to look back on.

I felt most of the notes and letters were very powerful, telling a story of Marcy that even I didn’t know…how she was the one who held people together, how she was the one who helped those in need, how she was the one who lent a hand of kindness to all who were close to her, how she was a great leader and organizer, how she was like a sister to all and had a big heart and constant smile…

One friend remembers the spaghetti face kid, sitting in her high chair, covered with spaghetti, as was the entire kitchen. She was so proud of what she had done. Her little face displayed pride and humor. Even at that young age, she knew what she was doing. She did it well, she did it with humor and she did it with excellence, perfection and character. 

Another friend told a funny story about her engagement ring. “I just made him take me to Tiffany’s first and then every place else seemed so reasonable!” A parent of one of her friends had to tell me that on the day of the L.A. earthquake in ’94, Marcy called the mother to tell her not to worry, her daughter was on the east coast. The mother thought that was so sweet of her to do when she should have been worried about her own safety.

A couple of other examples of letters received included some people who celebrated Marcy’s life by going out to her favorite places, lighting candles at the accident site, and bringing flowers. Others said how much they learned from her about living life to the fullest and enjoying every minute of it. One friend said she liked to think that Marcy’s supreme logic will continue to guide her through life and that, as she writes this note, she knows Marcy is in a wonderful place—probably finding a fourth for tennis.

Some people sent photos of themselves with Marcy at parties, on trips and at work. Her energy kept everyone going at work, writes another and she was never afraid to try anything new. Her enthusiastic ways, leadership qualities, positive attitude and generosity of spirit were admired by all.

All these notes and letters were at first a comfort, and a realization I had a great kid. They inspired me to write my first book on surviving grief. I used a few of the comments to emphasize her personality and all her goodness. I now know that her life had great meaning, that she had many friends and that in death she would always be remembered. Her boss from where she worked said it best, “If you were a friend of Marcy’s, you were a friend for life.”

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