A few days ago I posted this short piece on our CharitySmith Facebook page and the reaction was way more than I ever expected. My intention was to share some of what really goes on at CharitySmith. In our society we are often too uncomfortable to discuss death, even though it is a part of life and one of the few things we all share. What happens then is all the beauty that comes from this natural part of life is lost, ignored, swept under the rug. There are ugly parts, sure, but how can we celebrate the good in anything when we ignore the bad? The fund administrators that partner with us have taken the first step, the hardest step, and have refused to stop talking about their loved ones. Facing the loss head on with a mission to create something beautiful out of tragedy. The healing they find and the love they put out into the world can’t be measured in any amount of sentences. Below is my attempt –

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I’ve been asked this a few times & I’d like to answer it today.

“What’s the best part about your job at CHARITYSMITH?”

People say to me “I don’t know how you deal with death every day.” and they ask “Isn’t it so sad? Don’t you cry when you talk to people that have lost someone?” The answer is yes, I cry, and yes, it’s sad. But the silver lining here is so huge that it gets me every time. When I hear people’s stories, there’s nowhere else I’d rather be than in a puddle of my own happy tears and reminded of the beauty in all people. There is one aspect of this job that never ceases to amaze me. People always reach out to us in the wake of the greatest trials of their lives.

A few days ago I got a phone call from a father who, four days earlier, held his 8 month-old baby girl as she took her last breath. Why did he call us? Because in the midst of his grief and personal tragedy, he wants more than anything to help others who will walk the same path. Not just people, but perfect strangers that he’s never met and probably won’t ever meet. He wants to raise money in his daughter’s name and donate to charitable organizations so that her legacy is one of kindness, giving, & compassion. Anyone who says something tiny can’t make a difference is so wrong. She leaves a trail of love behind her that is so much longer than her short 8 months here on Earth. The only way this man knows how to keep moving forward is to open his heart to others and try to make a difference. THAT, my friends, is the goodness in humanity. You can watch all the bad news on TV and the Internet but this is the real stuff, the stuff that never changes, no matter how dark the world seems.

 

Ashley Galleher
Executive Director
www.charitysmith.org

My favorite song of all time –