In Great Loss There Can Be Great Kindness

, , , , , | Hopeless | December 5, 2018

(Three weeks after the sudden loss of my daughter, I decide it’s time to take off the plastic hospital bracelet that matched hers, and have it replaced with an engraved bracelet. I find a store that carries jewelry, keepsakes, photo albums, dishware, awards, meaningful gifts, etc., that can all be engraved or personalized. I find a very nice silver bracelet and take it up to the counter to ask about having it engraved. There are two women, and the older one gestures to the younger one to help me while she’s with another customer. The younger woman comes over to me.)

Woman: *brightly* “Hi. How are you? What can I do for you today?”

Me: “Hi. I was hoping to get this bracelet engraved, and I’m wondering if there’s a character limit here.”

(The young woman turns to her coworker, and the coworker hands her a catalogue inventory book. The woman turns back to me.)

Woman: *flipping through book* “Thank you so much for your patience. Today is my first day. Okay, what did you want to have put on it?”

Me: “[Daughter’s Full Name], and I was wondering if I’d be able to get a couple of dates on the charm?”

(In addition to the main part of the bracelet, there is a small, heart-shaped charm near the clasp.)

Woman: “Of course!” *pulling out an order form and starts writing* “Okay, so, it was [Daughter’s Full Name]. And then on the charm…”

Me: *gives daughter’s birthdate*

Woman: *writing, pause* “You said a couple. Was there another date?”

Me: *deep breath* “Yes. To [date a few months later].”

(The young woman stops. She looks at me. I can feel my eyes starting to water.)

Woman: *quietly* “Was this your baby?”

(I nod, struggling to hold back tears. She steps forward and wraps her arms around me, giving me a warm hug.)

Woman: *stepping back* “My sister lost her baby. It’s been fourteen years; it’s still hard. But you will get through this.”

(I pulled myself together, and we finished placing the order and agreed to pick up in about an hour. When I returned, the young woman recognized me as I walked in and had everything ready by the time I got to the counter. Everything looked absolutely beautiful. It may have been her first day, but I think she will do very well in this particular shop. Her warmth and kindness gives me hope.)

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