Community in Times of Loss

Idyllic, safe, beautiful, friendly. These were some of the words we had heard about Belvedere-Tiburon when we first considered relocating to the area in 2008. After having spend the past 15 years living in big cities, New York and Paris among them, our growing family was looking for a new place to settle. Belvedere-Tiburon, as those of us who live here have experienced, is rich in its resources and offerings: within close proximity to San Francisco, highly-rated schools, gorgeous Bay views, vast offerings of outdoor activities, and a haven-like environment for families with children.

When we made the final decision to move here, we openly took it all in, immersing ourselves in all that the community had to offer. In so doing, and as our family grew to five, we enjoyed all of its richness in a seemingly endless buzz of activity, stemming from my primary role of caregiver to three young children. Further to that was my start at the TIburon Peninsula Club, as a yoga instructor, which began nearly six years ago. In another realm, my husband, Andrew, cultivated a group of friends and acquaintances of diverse professional backgrounds on his twice daily commute on the ferry. From what I've heard, the 'dice' games, alone, fostered a spirited engagement among this amalgamation of individuals.

Then came the sudden death of Andrew in 2018 who passed away from an aggressive and rare form of colon cancer. When all seemed to come to a grinding halt in an all-consuming combination of grief and despair, the community that we had enveloped ourselves in, took us into its arms. Fellow mothers, fathers, church parishioners, neighbors, distance acquaintances, teachers, coaches, etc., were there for us. To be taken by the hand, and looked in the eye and asked, "What can I please do to help you," is an experience that I will likely never forget. Beyond the heartfelt cards and letters, nourishing, home-delivered meals, and hugs from friends and 'strangers' alike, was the unspoken sentiment that my children and I would not endure this alone. To this day, many of those same individuals holds us close in their hearts. To be thought of, prayed for, looked-after, and lifted up, time-and-time again, had served as the most cathartic element to our tender healing hearts.

This, to me, is what Community means. Community beyond the easy, the happy, and the good. For me, it lies in its unspoken strength to endure and to help those in the most trying of times. All without the necessity to ask. It just exists in the most natural and wonderful of ways. This is the Belvedere-TIburon that my children and I have come to know, experience and love. If ever asked, as we once did, several years ago, this is how I would define this blissful place that we are so very fortunate to call home.

-Published in Belvedere-Tiburon 94920, March 2019 issue.

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