This week, a wonderfully human, poignant video from husband-wife team Mandy Patinkin and Kathryn Grody went viral. Perhaps you’ve seen it? They used the platform to respond to a Princess Bride fan named Amanda Webb (@Alaska_Webb), a young woman who had recently lost her father. She had found a deep connection with Mandy’s portrayal of Inigo Montoya, a character whose entire purpose in life (as you surely know) Is to avenge his father’s death.
Evidently the rumors are true — Mandy shared that he brought his own experiences to the part, having lost his own dad at 18, It makes his last confrontation with Count Rogan in the film that much more profound.
The entire video is worth a watch. However if you stick around to the end, you’ll catch Kathryn (who also lost her dad at a young age) describing their daughter-in-law Lennon Flowers’ TheDinnerParty.org, and how helpful it’s been for so many like Amanda who are grappling with loss.
I thought it might be helpful for you, or someone you know, too.
Lennon lost her own mom when she was 20. so in 2014, with partner Carla Fernandez, they started up what’s grown to be a worldwide community for those in their 20s and 30s who have experienced the loss of a parent, partner, child, sibling, or other close family member.
Described as “the club no one wants to join,” The Dinner Party offers multiple resources to members, from a Buddy System of one-on-one support, to storytelling projects; plus regularly scheduled Virtual Tables — live or online gatherings addressing specific needs like Covid loss or addiction loss with a group of your peers.
In other words, a dinner party.
Since Covid, there are so many thousands more who might benefit from it — maybe even you. Or if you’re the parent of a young adult who could use the support, this might give them some valuable peer support that you just can’t provide yourself.
Every time you think “the internet is trash!” you find an initiative like The Dinner Party that’s using the best of technology to connect people in very tangible, meaningful ways.
Even during tough times, initiatives like this give me hope in humanity. Even through loss, there’s always something to gain.
Visit TheDinnerParty.org for more information on how it might help you or someone in your life. There’s a pay-what-you-can membership structure, with a recommended fee of $50 though if you can only afford $1 they’ll accept that too. And because it’s a non-profit, it’s tax-deductible.