I recently read a very touching article, which I am including here, about how a community helped support some of its members lovingly after a tragic death. Here is the article; below, my commentary follows:
I was touched by two aspects of this article. First, it seemed very sweet that the son, Arsen, picked up and took over his father’s business after losing him to violence. I admire the fortitude of the young man and how he has decided to be the “glue” that holds the family together. I hope that he still keeps his father’s legacy alive through the shoe shop and the kind customs that his father instituted, like bringing coffee to his neighboring businesses. I also anticipate that in time he can balance his loyalty to his father’s vision with his own goals and desires around his music career, if he so chooses.
Second, I feel inspired by the community members who have rallied around Arsen, total strangers who bring in their shoes and leather goods for repair, to show support and empathy for his loss. Thankfully, it seems that their kindness lands well with him and that he is open to the relationship glue that they offer. I realize that not everyone who loses a loved one wants or welcomes such support, but I think it’s still important to offer it to people. Even if the person turns it down in the short term as they adjust to the death’s reality, it’s still a basic human kindness, a mitzvah, that we can offer each other. Maybe in the future the person will be ready to receive it, but they can’t accept what isn’t offered.
I hope the best for the Sheklian family, and hope that I hear about more stories of community in the support. We all need each other, and when we show up for each other, it’s humanity at its best.