I got a lot of calls today from folks saying, “Hey, I read your last blog entry, I hope I haven’t said anything to offend you”. Don’t worry, it wasn’t you! Even if it was you, don’t worry.

Andy and I aren’t the only ones who love Ramona. We’re not the only ones processing our grief. I know that each of you also loves Ramona and is mourning with us to one degree or another. Do we always say the right thing in response to your sadness? You don’t need to say the “right thing”.

I also know that you want to help. You want to say something or do something that will make this better for us. Thank you for loving us that much. Thank you for stuffing our house with food, our inboxes with emails and Ramona’s room with visitors. Your comments are always so welcome, even if they don’t scratch me where I itch on that particular day. I often find that if I revisit your remarks days later, which I often do for encouragement, they will strike me completely differently than they did on the day they were posted.

One of the reasons I love reading your comments is that I’m learning so much about the people I love. There’s a theory that people express and take in love in different ways. Some people give gifts, some give their time, some give words of affirmation, etc. This is something I think about a lot when I encounter difficulties or misunderstandings in my relationships. I might think, for instance, “Here I am pouring myself out by giving my time and showering them with praise, would they prefer it if I just sent them a muffin basket?”. So now I’m spying on you, taking notes so that if and when you need my support, I will have at least some idea of how to meet you where you are and love you in a way you can take in.

There aren’t words to express how our community of friends, family and some strangers has transformed this experience for me. I’ve often described this time as a nightmare that I can’t wake from. But in some ways it’s also a dream of what we can be for one another, what you’ve all been to me.

Thank you, Jane.