To the grieving mother I found myself face to face with yesterday,
You don’t know this but my upcoming appointment with you had me knotted up with nerves. You see, I too have had my world ripped apart and straight out from underneath me. I too have felt such sorrow and pain that I didn’t think life was worth living anymore. I too lost someone I loved deeply and wholly very suddenly and I too have had to make sense of a world that would forever be broken for me.
You don’t know this but I wrapped your baby girls ashes in her little box with the blanket you had made for her about 10 times before I was happy she was nestled in there just so. I moved her teddy around that bag more times than I can count.
I fussed over the ashes. I cared for your little one in her final stage with us and it tore me apart. I knew this would be hard for you. I hurt for you. I might do this everyday but some of these tear through me like they’re mine. Because I too am human and I too have felt the depths of hell you feel right now. Different hell but hell none the less.
I got the call to let me know my family was in reception. I held back the tears and walked the hallway to reception. There you were, looking understandably destroyed.
When I asked you how you were feeling as we walked the hallway to a room, what I meant was, “I’m so so so fucking sorry that you have to feel this and go through with this and from the bottom of my heart, how are you? I feel you. I know. I’m just so sorry.”
I’ll be honest, I was terrified of getting it wrong. I was absolutely beside myself actually. What if one little thing I did or said further ruined your already horrible day.
I tried my best. In a shit situation. Nothing I could have said would’ve made that better.
When I farewelled you, I said something I don’t usually say. I told you I wasn’t going to tell you to have a good day because it wouldn’t be. What I meant was I am acutely aware that your day would be shit and that I knew from personal experience that people saying things like “Enjoy the rest of your day” Or “Try and get some sunshine in, it’s gorgeous out there” doesn’t make you feel better. You think they’re arseholes. How dare they see the good in stuff when you feel so revolting.
I was trying to be real. I was trying to show you I got it.
Your complaint brought to my attention this morning tore through me. I’d made it worse for you. The very thing is tried so hard not to do.
To the grieving mother who’s angry grief was made worse by me; I’m sorry. I tried. I can’t fix this for you even though I so desperately wanted to. Please know that I too am human. That I too feel deeply the level of destruction you feel right now. If I could make it better, I would. Over and over.