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OK

When Weird Things Happen

“I was standing in the garage and all of a sudden the door to the inside of the house swung open by itself. It freaked me out. Am I the only one who notices these things?” Tim in Oklahoma

Actually Tim, my mind is filled with stories from other people who have had similar experiences after a loved one has died or was killed. I, myself, have had these experiences as well.

Funny thing is…when you tell them to other people who aren’t in the same emotional place you are, they may think you’re a little nuts. But they can be a great source of contentment knowing that the person who died is right there with you.

I remember visiting a friend of ours one Sunday afternoon, whose daughter Maria had been murdered. As we sat in the living room talking, the front door slowly opened. There was no one near the door, nor at the door.

We all looked at her mother Luisa who told us, “Oh, that happens all the time since Maria was killed. I take that as her saying hello, as if she wants to be included.”

Another time, a small music box, which I had displayed in my living room and which I hadn’t wound or played in years, suddenly started playing while we were having dinner.

The first thing I thought was my stepdaughter, Angela was saying hello. And while it may seem like a strange occurrence, it actually was quite comforting at the time.

So when the garage door occasionally and suddenly opens, consider that your loved one is sending you a little sign. A gentle nudge just to say, “I’m with you, I love you, and you’re going to be ok.”

OK

Exactly What Were They Thinking…

One of the continual complaints grieving people have is the insensitivity of others to their pain. And yesterday in lower Manhattan we saw a perfect example of this. (Read more here.)

In an attempt by US Government Officials in Washington to get promotional pictures of Air Force One near Lady Liberty, they inadvertently frightened hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who work in the World Trade Center area.

I guess the first word that comes to mind is stupidity. Then my thoughts lead toward incomprehension as to how a government official would not have considered that this act would bring up significant pain to those still sensitive to what happened in NYC on September 11th.

Would it not have crossed their minds that they should do everything in their power to notify all New York officials and make it public knowledge so there would be no panic. Instead our folks in Washington told the NYPD to keep it confidential. And no one even told NYC Mayor Bloomberg!

Ironically, this is National Crime Victims’ Rights Week in the USA. We celebrate and remember the lives of those who have been murdered in our country…those who have been raped, abused, assaulted or harmed through the violence of another person.

The citizens of our country, but particularly the citizens of NYC who lived through 9/11 and the after affects and emotional strain, have that day tucked away in their psyches. It is a tender place and we don’t need to assault it in any way.

Perhaps our government officials can please review their need for PR photos at the expense of increased anxiety and emotional turmoil in the lives of thousands of New York and New Jersey residents.

OK

Tony Snow – A Good and Faithful Servant

I can’t remember the first time I saw Tony Snow on television. But I know it’s been very many memorable years ago.

What struck me most about this fine man, was his optimism about life. Whether I saw him on Fox News Channel, or listened in to his own radio show or Rush Limbaugh’s, I knew it would be a thoroughly captivating and educational time. I knew the time I spent with him would leave me feeling there were options out there I may not have considered. Options that would uplift our America instead of trash it. Options that were feasible.

And when he moved into the White House as Press Secretary, how happy I was to know I’d get to hear from him almost every day.

His husky yet soothing voice was unmistakable. And I would often be thrilled by the manner in which he would deliver his thoughts. As an author, I admire how others string sentences together and he did it so elegantly.

When a man dies, you usually get to know his character by the tributes of his family, friends and colleagues. Everyone was in awe of the manner in which he lived his life before and after he learned of his cancer challenges.

It’s said it’s not how we lived, but moreso how we died. From the accounts of all his colleagues, Tony worked through his illness with class and grace. He was a wonderful example of keeping his hopes high that he would beat his colon cancer.

My thoughts these last few days have been with his family, of course, but also his colleagues. It’s an interesting dynamic which takes place when it’s a dear friend who dies.

In Tony’s case, he’s in the media spotlight. Most of us will honor our friend and then go back to work immediately. But their loss and presence will be felt when we see their office empty, when they aren’t around to reach out to when you have a thought or are working on a project you know their advice would be valuable.

So I want to acknowledge and validate the pain of a friend’s grief. It’s real and sometimes it’s more real than grieving for a distant relative or other relative with whom we barely had a relationship. But a friend, and especially a business colleague…well, we’d see them or speak with them continually in the process of fulfilling our work. The vacuum left by their empty office, voice, writing, strategy, humor, talents will be felt for a very long time.

And when we lose a man like Tony, the level of that pain and loss, felt at FOX and on the radio and in the White House is significant.

When I think about the people I’d like to have the honor of meeting in my lifetime, Mr. Tony Snow was right up there on the list. I feel sad I’ll not get that pleasure now.