An inspirational woman

Several years ago a friend of the family slipped on ice in her front yard and suffered a concussion that proved fatal. It was hard to know what to say, because everything had happened so suddenly, and also because she had been the primary caretaker of her disabled son. As our family tried to reach out to hers, finding the words to express our concern proved difficult. Here is the letter I sent out to her sister, who lived out of state.

Dear Agnes,
My deepest sympathies are with you and your family now, and your sorrow is shared by many people whose lives were touched by Marie.
She was a pillar of strength. She had a way of making everyone feel like family. Her energy motivated people, and she had a way of seeing how to get things done that inspired everyone she came into contact with. More importantly, she did it all with grace and kindness.

Marie was an important person to me, and her inspirational efforts made an impact in my life that will remain forever. She provoked me to grow, and nourished values that have helped me countless times in life. I know that I’m not the only one who feels that way.

I know that you are also a strong and stable person, but times like these test everything and I hope that you know that I want to help you with any of the details of life that may be overwhelming right now. My heart goes out to you.

In sympathy,

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