I was out doing errands yesterday for most the day. It was all very normal. I was trying to be friendly and personable to people I dealt with, but was definitely not going to be winning customer of the year award. I was sitting in the car in between stops thinking about how all the people I was interacting with had absolutely no clue what was going on in my life. There’s no flashing light over my head or instruction manual in my pocket. Unless I shared my story, they simply didn’t know.
The day Killian died, we were able to stay with him for a long time. Once we were ready, we carried him to the elevator that would take him downstairs. It was extremely emotional. Handing over your baby for the last time is heart breaking. We were accompanied by his nurse who would take him the rest of the way and a security guard. Our security guard was a woman, probably around my age. She was very stoic and seemed very uncomfortable.
When we were leaving the hospital a few hours later, we passed her in the hall, and she flagged us down.
She told us that she had just lost her young son three months earlier.
She told us that it would get easier, that we would find a new normal.
I was stunned. This woman, who was responsible for escorting us to hand over our son for the last time, had literally just gone through this. That must have been unbelievably painful for her. The memories that would have been coming up must have shook her to her core all over again.
And unless she had stopped us and told us, we never would have known. She would have been the stoic, uncomfortable security guard, rather than a Mom who was 100% understanding the pain we were in.
Please, be so so kind to people. You literally never know what someone is going through. That snippy cashier may have just found out she has cancer. The rude man in the restaurant may have just have buried his wife. The quiet lady in the grocery store may have just lost her child.
I get it. Everyone gets frustrated and annoyed by other people. That’s human nature. But next time you feel your blood pressure startled to rise, think of that security guard.