This beautiful photo was taken by my friend nearly a year ago at Lucia’s 3rd birthday party.
When I think of a picture of empathy I think of someone giving comfort and love to another person and I feel that this picture oozes that emotion.
The actual definition of empathy is ‘the ability to understand and share the feelings of another’.
Lucia and I are so bonded from our deep loss that I can understand how she’s feeling without words but a simple look in her eye. At her age she isn’t able to yet communicate those emotions with me but somewhere in our souls we know what the other needs and a warm hug is always happily accepted.
Today is supposed to be how as parents of loss we can share with those who aren’t, how best to empathise with us. Yesterday I mentioned a few things not to say. In all honesty the ones who have touched me the most are those who know as her anniversary approaches that I might need a hug, they’ll send me a card for her birthday, they’ll deliver a bunch of lisianthus flowers on her anniversary, they’ll come over and have a cup of tea with me when they know I might be struggling a little.
Sometimes we don’t need words. A beautiful note in the mail, a meal delivered to your front door, babysitting so husband and wife can share a few hours together on her anniversary.
A really big hug from my Mum at that time of year usually reduces me to tears and it’s always exactly what I needed at exactly the right time.
As they years pass it doesn’t get easier as many would think. It gets harder on her anniversary to realise it’s been so long since you last touched her delicate button nose.
So long since you held her warm tiny but perfect body against your heart.
So long since you got to whisper ‘I love you’d’ into her little ears.
So long since she was taken from your arms that final time.
So long since your heart lost a piece of itself and never recovered.
So next time that friend of yours whose baby died is walking past you with her head down and sadness in her eyes, consider it might be a hard time of year for her and surprise her with a warm hug and say her babies name.
With love and strength to all my friends who have suffered a miscarriage, still birth, neonatal, infant or child loss. Xxxx