I Was So Blessed By The Kindness Of A Stranger And I Will Never Forget It
By Clare • January 3, 2022
Do you find that sometimes an act of kindness or compassion can so completely take us by surprise, that we don't notice it's significance until later - when it's too late to express our gratitude?
It happened to me a couple of months back and I don't think it would be right to keep it to myself! I was so blessed by the kindness of a stranger and I will never forget it.
In May, my friend died by suicide. We were very close. We had met in hospital when we were being treated for mental illness, so we connected deeply and stayed in contact as support for each other after being discharged. His death was a shock as he seemed to be doing ok. I was gutted. We didn't have any friends in common so I felt extremely anxious about going to his funeral on my own. However, I wouldn't have missed it for the world. His family contacted me after reading a tribute I wrote and asked if it was OK to have it read out as part of the service, I was honoured.
The day of the funeral was cold, windy and rainy but that didn't stop hundreds of people turning out. As I stood surrounded by so many strangers, the tears flowed continuously down my face. When I saw his coffin and the pain in the eyes of his parents I began to panic. It was all too much for me to bear, I felt like I couldn't breathe. I needed to escape. I started to look around me for a gap in the crowd, when my eyes met those of a lady about the age of my mum.
She must've seen my anxiety, she simply said "You're here alone too hey?" with a knowing look and a warm smile. All I could do was nod and bite my lip to hold back tears. She said she didn't know him personally, but she was there on behalf of her daughter who couldn't attend. She took my hand and said "Don't worry, just stick with me and we can do this together." and we did.
She looped her arm through mine, led me into the chapel and found us a seat. She even had extra tissues. As my tribute was read out and I fell apart, she held me tight and whispered "he knew you loved him. He loves you so much." She held my hand as we made our way to place paper cranes on his coffin and told me I was doing so well. At the end of the service, she walked me out and I thanked her for helping me. Then I left.
When I think back to that day, I wish I could have said more to thank her or shown my appreciation. I really believe she was there for a reason that day. I don't think I could've done it without her and I didn't even get her name. I just want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart
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