Today wasn’t much fun, I have to say.  We decided we needed to go to our friends’ home (that passed away) and deliver paper products for them.  When my father died, it was by far the best thing anyone gave us and ever since then, I’ve made sure to duplicate this gift whenever someone close to us passes.  In case you are interested in doing this, you take a big container of the medium paper plates (make sure they are made by Dixie as they really hold up well and are paper so will be biodegradable.)  We also take napkins (without any cute flowers, just plain white), cups, silverware, a six pack of paper towels, a big pack of toilet paper (I think it had 24 rolls in it), small packs of Kleenex for inside pockets, a case of purified water in smaller bottles, Tic Tacs and Altoids, a box of gallon Ziploc bags, Dawn dishwashing detergent and a box of kitchen garbage bags.  There may have been more things, but that’s what I can remember off the top of my head.

The thing that’s great about this gift is it allows the family to focus on the important things and not worry about whether they need to do dishes, or if they remembered to buy toilet paper, or where to store all of those leftovers.  It’s also great because you can take the small Kleenex packs in coat pockets as well as the Tic Tacs because anxiety makes you get dry mouth and if a couple people in the family have these things in their pockets, the rest of the family can go to them to get some reprieve.  Same with the water bottles.  Some funeral homes provide water, but if they don’t and the family wants to have some on hand, they can bring a couple of bottles and sip on them when they have a moment’s break.

I’m not sure why I felt the need to go on this big explanation, but I have to say, it was such a great gift that I’ve never forgotten it.  One of my close girlfriends lost her husband about ten years ago and of course, she got my great big trunk full of paper products.  Ever since then, she only gives this gift as well, and it makes me happy that it had such an impact on someone I’ve given it to.  Sometimes a practical gift can have real impact.

Rich was a real trooper.  First shopping for everything, then driving almost an hour each way to deliver it.  He’s a great guy, never complained once.  Ok once, when I almost gave away the candy bar we’d bought for him.  The day would have taken an ugly turn if he’d have been without his candy.


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