When I read Cikgu's entry about Raden Galoh, I immediately visited her blog and found many other already have and giving their comments wishing her well and so forth. As a first timer there, I was lost for words. But then I remembered a real life story I read - apologies if I bore anyone with the so many stories I read at a real young age. The story was published in a Readers Digest issue before the time almarhum Tunku's Abdul Rahman's Dwi Bahasa was published in the same said magazine; RD was, at that point of time, still a US issue worldwide. As such, the stories and articles there were mainly of US origin, as this story was.
A well known man(Henry) in a small town had passed away and the whole community was saddened by the news and came to visit the widow and pay their respects. The deceased, though not a wealthy man, was well liked and respected by the community and was helpful especially towards the small non-white residents there. And perhaps customary during such visit, visitors would offer their condolences to the family. Except - in this story - for one man.
He was a non-white, one of those whom the deceased hardly knew but not vice versa. This non-white - we shall name him Jim, as I have forgotten the names in the actual story - makes his living as a cobbler of which Henry had very little need of service for he shines his own.
On the day of the service, Jim arrived to a house that is almost full and saw the widow already has her hands full receiving wishes and condolences. Still, Jim approached the widow. But instead of offering his condolence, he asked for the shoe closet and later took all the shoes outside where he began polishing each, including those of the widow's. By the time the hearse arrive and the family and friends began to make their way for the burial ceremony, every single shoe had been polished and looked brand new. The widow was caught by surprise and thanked Jim for his simple act of kindness but meant a whole lot to her. The widow then changed shoes into a pair that was shined and wore it to the burial ceremony in respect of the man she had loved.
I guess each and everyone of us would like to do something similar to what Jim did. It is at times similar to the story that we, as friends, or be it even as strangers, do feel so helpless and not know what to do. But alhamdulillah, as Muslims, we are taught to give prayers for those in distraught or those that have passed away. Only Allah knows best.