In this week's issue of Sports Illustrated, there's a great piece by Rick Reilly in his column the Life of Reilly. He writes about how he heard from a truck driver named Mike Lemke who nominated his 19 year old son Cory for Faces in the Crowd. Cory had died in a motorcycle accident recently.
Colts coach Tony Dungy, whose own son died three days before Christmas in 2005 by hanging himself, called Mark up. They struck up a phone and email correspondence to support each other and Mark was in the stands when the Colts went to the Super Bowl, courtesy of Dungy.
It appears, moreover, that since his son's death, Tony Dungy has struck up a number of friendships such as this with others who have lost loved ones - fathers, a young kid who lost both parents in a car wreck, etc.
"I'm awfully grateful to Tony Dungy," says Lemke, who , like the coach, lost his son. "He helped me keep my faith. He taught me that he and I - we're not alone."
So many people grieve alone. I get emails from folks who suffer terribly after losing a loved one . What a great reminder this is that by reaching out to others, we can enrich their lives and our own as we journey through such experiences.