Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Creativity Tips: Creative Condolence

I heard a story on NPR yesterday morning about creative ways to make positive use of the debris in Haiti. I apologize; I couldn't find a link to the report. But it reinforces my belief that creativity is one way we repair the world.

Let me give you a smaller, more personal example.

When someone dies, it's typical -- and wonderful -- to offer mourners support through prayers, good thoughts, food, cards, flowers, friendship. Having just been through the mourning process, I can't tell you how much all that helps.

I can pass along another idea. For people you know really well, do one more thing. Put on your creative cap and offer them a reprieve from grieving. Let me give you an example ...

My buddy Chris came up with the perfect break for me: time with his amazing sons. Linden is 4; Clarkson will be 1 next month.* We met at Starbucks, Chris bought me a cup of coffee, and I played with Clarkson and read with Linden.

These boys are joy in motion, and time with them was the perfect antidote to grief.

Robert Frost summed up all he knew about life in three words: It goes on. It does. And friends make the journey so much better.

*I'm not sure how old Chris is, because I choose to forget. We have established he's young enough to be my son. Which is a much gentler way of saying I'm old enough to be his mother.

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