My friend's dad died over the weekend. Went to sleep one night and didn't wake up. I went over there tonight, to bring them some macaroni and cheese and say hi. The macaroni because I have this weird United Church Lady streak in me - when something bad happens, I respond with food. When a friend's brother was diagnosed with testicular cancer a few years ago, I spent several days cooking and freezing food for them, along with a few other people. I think it's because I know there is nothing I can do to make things easier for them when it comes to dealing with their dad's death, but at least I'll know that they didn't have Kraft Dinner for a week straight. (My macaroni and cheese is vastly superior to Kraft Dinner. It has three kinds of cheese, none of which fall under the heading of fake, and thus it is far tastier and less alarmingly orange.)
But I also wanted to say hi, to remind them that I live just down the street and they should come over any time, even if they just want to sit on my couch and not talk to anyone. And it's sad that after nearly five months of living down the street from friends I've known longer than almost any other, it took something like this to make me walk over there. Why does it take a horrible thing like this to make me into a good neighbour, a good friend? I don't know. I am usually a good friend in normal situations - I should give myself more credit than that. But it's when something bad happens that I go into turbo friend mode, and perhaps that's more annoying than anything. Nobody's complained yet, I suppose, so I will continue to knit scarves for sick friends and cook dinners for grieving families and shovel sidewalks for sad people. (That is currently more of a theoretical plan due to the continuing unseasonable weather.) And I will wish that there was more that I could do, but I know that there is not. So I'll keep plugging away at the mundane, hoping that by lifting a little bit of work off struggling shoulders, I can ease the sadness just a little bit.