What would you do if you were faced with a phone call about a personal tragedy in public? That’s the horror Deborah Greene had to experience almost a year ago when she was shopping in Whole Foods in Colorado and got a phone call from her brother stating that her father had committed suicide. Understandably, Greene broke down in the middle of the grocery store and was helped by her fellow shoppers and Whole Foods staff who made sure she was okay.
Ten months later, Greene has published an open letter in The Mighty to the strangers that helped her that day. You can read the entire letter here: The simultaneously touching and horrifying account will restore your faith in humanity.
“I remember in that haze of emotions, one of you asked for my phone and who you should call. What was my password?” Greene writes. “I remember that I could hear your words as you tried to reach my husband for me, leaving an urgent message for him to call me. I recall hearing you discuss among yourselves who would drive me home in my car and who would follow that person to bring them back to the store. You didn’t even know one another, but it didn’t seem to matter. You encountered me, a stranger, in the worst moment of my life and you coalesced around me with common purpose, to help.”
Another customer offered to pray for her, another reached a friend for her who worked at Whole Foods, and a different customer sent her a Whole Foods gift card.
“I never saw you after that,” she concludes. “But I know this to be true, if it were not for all of you, I might have simply gotten in the car and tried to drive myself home. I wasn’t thinking straight, if I was thinking at all. If it were not for you, I don’t know what I would have done in those first raw moments of overwhelming shock, anguish and grief.”