Hi Ernie,

It was nice to see you at the BOMA Trade Show yesterday. I was personally very happy with the venue and turnout of principal members! The trade show committee deserves a lot of credit for a job well done!

When we spoke I got very emotional about the impact your book had on me and my family. I hope I didn’t make you uncomfortable and I certainly didn’t expect that emotion to wash over me or I wouldn’t have brought it up, trust me…not a big fan of crying at trade shows…please let me explain where that emotion comes from.

My wife, Ashley, recently lost her Mother somewhat unexpectedly. Ashley and Jean at times in the past had a tumultuous relationship; in recent years they had reconciled and become quite close. Part of the reason for this closeness is due to the fact that they had both experienced a great deal of loss. Outside of me and my children, Ashley and her mother had no other living relatives to speak of. Ashley lost her Dad, Grandmother, and favorite Uncle in the past decade. She grew up living in a house with the three of them as her “immediate” family. Many times in the past several years Ashley has told me that she felt these three were in the room, especially surrounding the births of our two children.

When Ashley’s Mother passed she experienced a pain that she had a tough time dealing with; it was the loss of her Mother but also the overarching loss of her family. This pain led to anger, resentment, depression and put a strain on our marriage. Ashley felt that I couldn’t understand her pain; though I could empathize with her I couldn’t sympathize with her and we both knew it. I had a special relationship with Jean and though I could not feel the depth of pain Ashley felt, I too felt a loss with her passing. As much as I tried to take care of everything around the house and take care of the kids I wasn’t able to provide the comfort I would have liked and I was searching for a way. I was aware of your book prior to Jean’s passing and had considered buying it as I had been told by several BOMA members how much they had enjoyed it but had never followed through. As fate would have it, soon after Jean’s death, I was at a BOMA luncheon and overheard someone at the next table speaking about the comfort your book had given them when a loved one had passed on to the next life. They weren’t speaking to me but I overheard; I truly felt I had heard it clearly in that crowded room for a reason.

I am happy to report that my family has done a great deal of healing in the past several weeks. Part of that healing was due to your book. The idea of an “old soul” was one Ashley especially identified with and has spoken of many times. The sight of her lying on her back with your book overhead as she reads out a passage and then tells me of a similar experience or feeling she has been through is quite common around my house. Your book became a vessel for me to show my wife I loved her and was doing my best to understand. You see, I didn’t buy your book conveniently when it was available at a luncheon or meeting, I went to a bookstore where it was to have been on the shelf but wasn’t, I had to have one sent over and go get it at a different time. This effort gave me solace; without it the gesture may not have been so impactful. The shared experiences that you and Ashley have, after your loved ones passed on to the next life, has given Ashley a great sense of comfort. Though you don’t really know me or my family and have never met my wife you have touched us, made a positive impact on us, given comfort to my wife, and I thank you.

-Rich (direct e-mail on May 4, 2012)