To the editor:
As the verbal and written congrats keep rolling in, I am increasingly grateful that the Lawrence Journal-World sponsors the Only in Lawrence awards project and especially for those staff members who worked directly with me: Emily Mulligan, Nick Krug and Julie Wright. In addition, I am grateful for the person or persons who nominated me, the large staff at Warren-McElwain Mortuary, the hundreds of survivors who have been my best teachers and the many participants who have referred others into our program.
Recently, I was surprised while walking in a local store by a voice saying, “Are you who I think you are?” I replied, “Yes, I may be. My name is Phil Friedeman.” She responded, “I saw your picture in the Journal-World.” I asked “Did you read the whole article?” She replied, “Yes, I did.” And then I asked, “Do you or any member of your family need my services?” “Not yet, but many are ill,” came the reply.
One of the sure ways I know the healing force has been at work in our support workshops is when the participants become grateful for each other, for life and for the joy that follows suffering and the pain of grief.
Believe me, I am grateful to be honored, but I am more grateful for the millions upon millions of our people who serve well and faithfully and are never thanked sufficiently. I, for one, intend to say thank you more often. May you do the same.