Stories of Kindness from Around the World

My Late Husband's Gifts Are Regenerating Smiles All Over Town

--by Riverwitch, posted Sep 4, 2016
I haven't been here in a while but I wanted to share what I've been practicing lately. Six months ago my husband died of ALS. There was no dignity involved, and though he was a kind person at his core, the disease broke him to the point that he self medicated and became someone none of his loved ones recognized. So two years of a very difficult situation, and after he died, most of our mutual friends disappeared.

Then people I thought were my friends started telling me how I should grieve, what I should and shouldn't talk about, how I should behave. I wasn't doing or saying anything crazy; I was just grieving in what I thought was a pretty typical fashion. So I'm starting over at 54 in more ways than one. Who ever thinks this will actually happen? I sure didn't, but luckily I'm flexible and adaptable and basically pretty happy.

One of the things my husband used to do before he got sick was bring me interesting rocks. I liked that better than flowers or other typical gifts, and I had a jar for my rocks on the kitchen window sill. After he passed, I put all the rocks in the garden. Then I got to thinking about how happy they made me, and I wondered how I could share that. I went out to the garden and picked up some of the rocks, then I collected more in different places. I spray painted them in bright colors - purple, yellow, raspberry, coral, and teal.

Then I wrote positive words on them - words like enchantment, epiphany, glorious, and other positive things. I live in a small town with a very quaint downtown area that sees a lot of interesting functions. I took 30 rocks downtown and put them in window sills and doorways, on benches and outside bistro tables, in planters and on statues. I'm hoping that whoever found them will have a happy moment and spread that joy because there is no joy like the joy you get from found things that bring a smile to your face. For me, this is what regenerative kindness is all about, and when I saw today's editor's note on that topic, I knew I had to tell the story of my rock project.
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Readers Comments

Virginia wrote: I think the bright colors and uplifting messages on rocks is a wonderful way to share your spirit and your husbands. Sharing is bringing you healing and good feelings for others. You will find new friends who will support you in new ways. It's a part of the life journey. Best wishes and continue spreading good cheer.
yvette wrote: Thank you for sharing your story, i am going to follow your example with the stones. Thank you for sharing this really moved me.
beachsand wrote: Thank you so much for sharing this story of your grief and strength. I am sure your rocks spread happiness to those that found them. What a wonderful way to remember your loving husband. A lovely story that inspired me this morning. God bless.
becky burnham wrote: I loved this story! I know if i had found one of those stones it would have made my day! I'm sure it brought many smiles to those who found them and hopefully brought you some too!
Laura Warfel wrote: I love this! Thanks for sharing.
RoseMarie wrote: Thank you for sharing your regenerative kindness story. You have had a tough time. I love that the rocks were more important to you than flowers could have been. Those who find your beautifully coloured rocks with words on them could never imagine their background but they will put a smile on faces as these individuals will see this is as the work of a positive person. You are strong, life will get better. Hugs to you. X 💓
jacobecramer wrote: Beautiful, thanks for your kindness! I'm glad you're adapting and flexible. It's so great to see you giving in times of grief.
gregacuna wrote: I so glad you are healing well and spreading kindness. Your story touched me in a special way. On my 15 birthday my speech and debate team happened to be in the town where my father lived. Just after we arrived there was a knock on the door and my hippy father appeared with a rock he'd just picked up from the planter of the motel and handed it to me as my birthday gift. I was totally embarrassed and later angry. It was a difficult moment in a difficult relationship. As i read your story i felt some of the deep seeded anger disappearing thinking he might have meant it as something special. I don't know.

I wish you all the best!
Novice50 wrote: This is a beautiful story of rebirth and kindness. I love how you acted from a place of happiness and joy, then added your own love and wishes for well-being for all into your actions. Thank you for sharing this story.
splain wrote: this is now letting you find a way to use something that made you happy,spread happiness.These rocks and now with your artistry will bring happiness to others. Such a positive, healing way to go.You have had a tough time and now you are able to give joy to others I so love your rock project

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