Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Hug of Stranger

Almost 9 months now. In all these 9 months there have been various people, situations, ways in which I have told others "I had a son, but he passed away". And each time people have reacted differently, and in ways which really wasn't too surprising. Some would change the topic, and some would give some kind words of condolence and then change the topic. But never to this day has someone's reaction actually thrown ME off - until the day before.

A couple of my coworkers and I were meeting with a lady for conducting training for our company. The meeting went fine, business as usual. Afterwards she was telling us how she was trying to get her daughters into the training field as well, and asked myself and my coworker if we had any kids. My first answer to this question is a simple no...I know I've read that many people who have had similar experiences prefer to say yes the first time this question is asked, but for me, for now - the first answer is no - I don't have any children with me. However, this very interesting instructor had met my husband a day or so back at his company and she proceeded to say something along the lines "I'm surprised, you husband seems like a great person and seems like the person who would love to have kids". Well, once she said that, I told her - I told her we had a son and that we lost him.

Her reaction - blew me away. I could literally see the tears form in her eyes. And she went completely speechless. So I started to blab, because I don't like being the cause of catching someone off guard. Blabbing the usual, about how such things can make you stronger, or how we're lucky that as a couple we've become closer and all that. She went on to say that she had goosebumps, and I said I'm sorry - and at the same time I'm thinking, why am I saying I'm sorry?? She must have been wondering the same thing. Then she actually went on to ask what happened! In a very polite way but I was blown away again! How many people actually care to hear what happened?

We wrapped up the meeting shortly afterwards, but before she left she shook everyone's hand - and gave me a hug. And that hug, I believe I will remember for the rest of my life. Why? She didn't know me, sure its a sad story - but what difference did it make to her? But she felt for us - she felt for our loss - she felt sad that Azlan was gone. And she showed it. And that simple hug from a near stranger was enough for me to feel, hey - we really have people out there who care for and will care for us. Who may not bring up Azlan even though we want them to, but who still remember him. Who give us those few extra minutes that they otherwise wouldn't have given.

This is not to say we're starved for attention or a little love or a little comfort - but sometimes being reminded that we're not alone in all of this makes the day a little bit better.


  1. Dear Sarah,

    I was very touched by your blog. I am very sorry for your loss. I pray that God gives you and your husband strength and patience and Inshallah happier times will come your way. Azlan's loss will never be replaced. He will have a special place in your hearts which will always be there..
    I am a mother of three and simply cannot imagine the devastation that comes from the loss of a child. No one can feel your pain the way you do.
    Please know that there are people who care and those who wish and pray that the pain from your loss is eased and that you are blessed with the gift of more children....

  2. Shehla, thank you very much for your words and your prayers. That was very kind of you.