Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.
– Mary Elizabeth Frye
I’ve never shared this until now, but today feels like the right time. Most of what you will read is reprinted from a Pitney Bowes’ newsletter:
In the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, the Parent Teachers Association (PTA) was inundated with inquiries from people around the country asking how they could help. The idea to send snowflakes to the children of Sandy Hook was born.
Children, parents, teachers, church groups, and many others from around the world sent hand-made snowflakes, pictures, artwork, letter and donations to the Sandy Hook PTA. Every day, hundreds and even thousands of packages were arriving at their offices. Given their limited staff and space, it would take many months to open and sort through the backlog of more than 20 tractor-trailer loads of packages.
Laura Taylor, a parent of a Sandy Hook student, member of the Sandy Hook PTA, and Vice President, Strategic Sourcing and Procurement at Pitney Bowes, reached out to senior Pitney Bowes executives for help in managing how to handle the packages. They turned to my husband, Kerry, who at the time was Vice President, Asset Management, Strategic Sourcing of Pitney Bowes, to make it happen.
Drawing on his mail center operation experience, Kerry engaged internal resources – from Facilities and Business Recovery Services to document service centers and Desktop Support – to help create a center that could handle the high volume of packages. Within days, the center was up and running.
For months, my husband came home with his face and hands covered in glitter from opening packages and sorting snowflakes. Even after a shower, it clung to him. He rarely talked about his day other than to say it was very emotional. The compassion and love that these letters and packages represented was completely overwhelming.
Five years later, we still don’t talk about what happened at Sandy Hook. There are no words for that level of grief. But I will always remember the personal connection Kerry has with Sandy Hook – and the glitter on his skin.