The Blessing of a Broken Heart (Toby Press) by Sherri Mandell is the heartbreaking story of Sherri’s life during and after the murder of her son Koby by Palestinian terrorists. The book touched thousands and continues to do so. It was a winner of the National Jewish Book Award in 2004. I had the honor of being the publicist for this book when it was released.
In the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy in Newtown, Sherri has shared some thoughts in The Times of Israel on how to be of assistance to the mourning families. While working with Sherri I quickly learned that she is a wise woman and her ideas are worth reading and sharing.
A few excerpts:
“The grieving families no doubt are receiving a lot of help right now. But eventually that help will go away. The families will be left alone. Stay with them for the long run.”
“I would give anything not to have learned the vital importance of loving words, helpful deeds and the embrace of community. But I hope my experience can provide guidance that will help ease the pain of others.”
“Keep calling. Don’t tell the person that they should call you if they need you. You are responsible for calling them. You are there to support them. Don’t expect anything back from them.”
“Don’t ask them if they need anything. Say, I will be by on Monday to take you to the doctor or to bring you a meal or to help you with the wash.”