My Journey out of Debt

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Supporting a Family in Crisis

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Supporting a Family in CrisisIn late February, a very good friend of mine unexpectedly passed away. His wife and children were understandably in shock as they were trying to deal with the sudden loss of a loved one as well as the need to handle funeral arrangements and move on with life without their husband and father.

We live in a very tight-knit neighborhood where the people who live in the houses around us are our very best friends. We eat together, attend sporting events of each other's children, and experience life together. 

As a neighborhood we rallied around our friends as they tried to move forward during this very difficult time.

The most important thing to do is simply be there for them; to be an ear to listen, a person to lean on, a shoulder to cry on. We had to be all of those, even as we mourned the loss of our friend.

Someone else in our circle of friends had recently gone through the death of his father and recognized that in the days between our friend's death and his funeral their home would be a revolving door of people coming to pay their regards and to lend support. 

The last thing we wanted his grieving family to have to think about was providing food and drink for themselves, the family members that came to stay with them, or the people that may have just stopped by. An email went out and a schedule was formed. 

Each family in our close circle of friends would take a day and would drop off breakfast at the home around 9:00 a.m., and make something for dinner that evening as well.

Responses were sent back and forth, and very quickly a menu took shape:

     Day 1 Breakfast:  Doughnuts and fruit

     Day 2 Dinner:     Sloppy Joes

     Day 2 Breakfast:  Egg bake

     Day 2 Dinner:      Chicken chili

     Day 3 Breakfast:  Cinnamon rolls

     Day 3 Dinner:       Walking Tacos

     Day 4 Breakfast:  Homemade pastries

     Day 4 Dinner:       Soup

     Day 5 Breakfast:  Scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, French toast

     Day 5 Dinner:       Lasagna

Additionally, each family volunteered to drop off a case of water, soda, coffee, paper towels, or toilet paper to help stock the home with necessities that would be used often with people coming in and out of the home.

Dealing with the loss of a close friend and supporting the family is a tough time to have to think about financial matters and sticking to a budget. However, as we're fighting to rid ourselves of debt, we have to be money conscious all the time. 

I was glad that one of the people in our group of friends organized the schedule the way they did. It allowed us to provide support to the grieving family and to each other with a minimal financial impact to any individual family. There was no duplication of items brought to the home, and there was the right amount of food at just the right time.

We did what we've always done. We ate together, we drank together, we experienced life-good times and bad-together.

Related Links:

Surround Yourself with Support

Developing an Effective Support System Can Take Imagination

Believe When Nobody Else Will


Travis Pizel, CareOne Services, Inc. Customer Blogger Travis Pizel

Travis is a contributing writer for the My Journey out of Debt blog and is a very active member of the CareOne community forums. Travis is currently enrolled in a CareOne Debt Management Plan (DMP). Travis very candidly shares his personal journey to pay off his debt and the tips he's learned along the way. As a father and husband he provides a unique perspective on balancing debt, finances, and family. You can also follow along with Travis on his personal blog, Our Journey to Zero. Compensated Blogger for CareOne Debt Relief Services.

Follow Travis on Twitter @DebtChronicles

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  • Wow, just wow. The support you all provide for each other is undoubtedly something valuable and one of a kind. I would love to live in this kind of neighborhood. Where I live, we all just see our neighbors go on with their daily lives, and if we're lucky we'll get a wave or a "hi." I don't think that meal planning and being there for them in times of need has ever happened or will ever happen, but I'd like to think someday I'll find this type of community to live in. That's awesome Travis!

  • It is a very unique neighborhood, Erika - and I absolutely love it.   To be honest with you, I give all the credit of the closeness of our neighborhood to my wife.  We were the first people to move into it (it was a brand new subdivision), and every time someone new moved in she would put together a "welcome basket," and drag all of us to go meet the new neighbors.  She's outgoing like that.  It was very sad to experience the death of a close friend, but it was heartwarming to see all of us rally to support each other.

  • Kudos to your wife for helping create such a loving neighborhood.  I think it is awesome for all of you to know that you have each other through both the good and bad times.  Knowing you always have someone to lean on, at a time of need is a great reliever when you already feel lost.

  • Mdavis1964, it is wonderful to have a support system in place, knowing that if you need someone to lean on, they're always there for you.  I have a very similar feeling of comfort when I think of the online community here  as well. :)

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