Recently, my father died. He was 52, nothing wrong, no warning … just gone. A cavalcade of thoughts and emotions swirled through my mind –- I didn’t get to say goodbye, my dad wouldn’t be there to walk me down the aisle, Superman really doesn’t exist.
Coming to terms with grief is going to be a long and arduous journey, but I have already found a positive lesson in his passing.
On the day he died, my aunt took me to the airport so that I could be with my mother. I had been crying all day, but had found a window of strength to get through the tense whirlwind of unpleasantness I had to face.
At the airport I ran into two women.
The first woman directed me to my gate … then she looked at me, paused, and smiled. She randomly gave me a hug and said, “You’re so cute.” The only thing I like more than compliments are hugs. Her random act of kindness was enough to make me smile on the worst day of my life.
As I walked up to the gate, I saw that all the seats were taken. I was in no condition to stand, I was so nervous I felt like I would pass out at any moment. There was a woman who had her purse upon the seat next to her. I asked her if I could sit down. She said no.
I’ve never been more angry at the selfishness of another human being in my entire life. I was taken aback, but calmly I said, “My dad died this morning.” Then I called her a profanity that would have made my Brooklyn-born father proud and walked away. She was bewildered and the people sitting around laughed at her.
I sat on the floor and thought about what had just happened. I realized that she had no idea what had just happened to me — how often are we rude, selfish, or indifferent to people when we don’t know what they’ve been through?
It dawned on me that every time I got angry at someone for mundane things like driving too slow, not returning a phone call, or showing up late … that anger was misplaced. The people in question could really just be having a bad day — carelessness isn’t always a character flaw. Although it pains me to say this, that woman might even be going through a rough time. Even though she had no right to be so rude, I should have been the bigger person and not said anything (I really don’t regret it though)
I will always remember that day when I am upset at someone for something trivial. There really is no excuse not to treat people with love and respect — at all times. For me, now more than ever, it is painfully obvious that you get one shot at this life, and it can be taken away from you at any time. Not to sound like a hippie, but instead of harboring annoyance, anger, or resentment, it’s important that we all help each other and be kind to one another for no other reason than it’s the right thing to do.
30 thoughts on “Kindness for No Reason”
I agree with you and with Michele as well, when we are in deep pain, we like to be adored, have sympathy and wish if everybody near us get in our shoe and feel for us. But my friend in this earth other person are also looking forward to the same thing “as if “, it’s vice versa. But not everybody feels for other and will try to understand for others. So from my experience we need to be strong enough to face any situation and do not expect anything from anybody. If we can realise this we would never be unhappy and mind others at any circumstances. Though it’s very hard to do so.
I think you expected pity, and expected others to view that chair as you viewed it. This came out in the statement my father died today. Let me explain. My brother was murdered in cold blood, I became angry. WHY? I no longer had him to SUPPORT my identity to exist, his late night chats of wisdom always helped ME face this world. It was always him I called when I needed help, and now that help was yanked from me. Much like when a bird tosses the baby out of the nest, to teach it to fly on it’s own. Ask yourself this: Was I sad he died? or was I mad my helper left me? This is something I think we all need to put into perspective when dealing with what we call a loss. Your father was done here, lived a long life, and you projected your inability to cope with that loss on the woman who said no. It was neither your father’s fault or the woman’s fault to please you in your inability to understand the birth and death of life process. The clock stops for no one. People call me cold for speaking like this, but I learned to live in my own skin, be responsible for my own feelings, and not expect others “to please me.”
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Thanks so much for your lovely comment. It means so much to me. I love what you said about Angels slowing us down, I had never thought of that but will always remember it. Thanks so much for sharing and for your comforting words 😀 Jen
I am so sorry for your loss Jen. I am a health care professional and unfortunately deal with death and dying all too often. It has taught me, that life is too short, and to stay clear of the negative energy ( the lady with the purse) that sometimes surrounds us. I am sure that you taught her to be a better person after that day. I believe that it was your, that was sending you that hug from the first lady at the airport, and then gave you the strength, to give the second lady what she deserved. Im sure you did him proud.
As far as your comment reguarding getting angry at people that drive slow. Someone said to me recently, that is Gods way of putting an Angel in front of us to slow us down. Found that pretty profound, and I try to remind myself of that.
Although, your fathers passing was sudden and tragic. I hope that you are able to find some comfort in the fact that he did not suffer. Unfortunatly, it is harder on those left behind.
I am sorry again for your great loss. Lots of hugs always!
I always love your perspective on things Duckie. Always so sweet and gentle. Hope all is well!
Thanks for sharing this, Jen…my heart goes out to you for the loss of your dad, but I can tell by his daughter that he must have been a great man. *HUG*
It isn’t often that we have such cause to stop and think about what is going on in the lives of perfect strangers. There is definitely good reason to, though. Although they aren’t always humane, they are as human as we are.
I hope that the woman who denied you a seat still thinks about that moment. I hope she wishes she had it to do over again. I hope she wonders how much of a difference that small act of kindness would have made for you that day. I hope next time she offers the seat without having to be asked. I hope that strangers show her kindness when she needs it most.
It’s unbelievable how life-changing it can be for all involved to just change someone’s moment. We all need to do it more often.
I hope most of all that you find joy and comfort in all of the wonderful things that your dad gave you.
I had to look at my angel deck that we are doing and then I found the Comfort card would fit your situation as Archangel Azrael says ” I am with you in your time of need, helping your heart heal.” Perfect fitting for you at this time… lots of love and healing to you! I hope things are better this time around for you as well.
Joy ext. 5142
Thanks Ailene! I will definitely check that out. It is a very interesting way to meet people…but I do believe everything happens for a reason 😀
Hi Fran: You are amazing! So thoughtful and generous. I thank you and yes, mom now hangs out on my shoulder guiding me everyday. It’s so funny at times. It seems that everytime I have a question, something shows up to answer it from her. I feel blessed and want to focus on helping our young Jen get through. I lost my dad at 20, and my brother 5 years ago. I have had 3 death experiences of my own. I am too good at seeing and speaking to the other side. I’m working on doing more with those of us on earth. I know what the other side looks like. I know that death is a transition and those who pass are just moving to another location. Ailene
Hello again Jen: AND thank you for your kind words too. Interesting way to meet one another, huh. Another great book I’d like to tell you about is HEALING AFTER LOSS, Daily meditations for working through grief by Marths Whitmore Hickman. I have used this book before and have given it so many times to people grieving. It is another great tool to help us sort, mourn and heal. With love and light, Ailene
You bring up some very great points that I think most people overlook in day to day life. It’s important to be weary and sensitive to people because we truly never know what anyone else is going through or experiencing.
I think you did the right thing and hopefully that lady at the airport will be kinder to people and be less worried about her purse having a place to sit!
I’m sorry for your loss. I believe that padre is up there having a martini and watching over you with a smile on his face at what a wonderful beautiful daughter and family he has.
So sorry for your abrupt loss and please be very gentle with yourself as you go through the grieving process.
It’s always been my experience that random acts of kindness and care for each other are so very powerful that they immediately increase the paying forward of kindness from one individual to another exponentially.
It’s rather a sad commentary that kindness, thoughtfulness and gentle acts are so uncommon these days that they are surprising to others when we practice them.
Know that you will, in time, be able to hear your father’s messages to you.
I have to say you really have such fun , upbeat wonderful energy….I bet you would be a blast to hang out with…
from a fellow animal lover….
Blessed Be )O(
Gina Rose ext.9500
I’m so sorry for your loss. I hope you find peace in knowing that your mother loves you very much….so much so that she came back to help you with the water. She’ll always be there for you….she’s only a thought away.
Dear Jen, my deepest sympathy to you and your family sending lots of love and blessing remmember if you were not meant to say what you did to that lady nothing would have come out of your mouth she learned something from it…. angel ext.9266
Fran, you’re pretty much a rockstar. Thank you so much for your friendship and support. As he would have said, “You’re good people.” Oh New York! 😀
Thank you so much for your sweet comment. It brought tears to my eyes, the good kinds of course, the kinds that make me remember all the good times.
I’m very sorry to hear of your mom’s passing. My dad also went quickly and painlessly so definitely something to be happy about. If it helps, I’m reading a book right now called, I Wasn’t Ready to Say Goodbye: Surviving, Coping and Healing After the Sudden Death of a Loved One. It’s helped me tremendously. A very good guide for the rollercoaster of emotions you’re going through.
I do hope that you continue to receive messages from your mom (and that I am one day able to as well!) Peace be with you my friend 😀 Jen
hahahhaha my dad always called me a hippie. In our last convo he said, “Why don’t you get married?!” and I said, “Why don’t you stop watching Fox News?!”
good times indeed 😀
I know what you mean. I don’t want to live in fear, but at the same time this made me realize that life is uncertain so best to live every day to the fullest. That’s a total cliche but I never understood it until now. I miss my Padre but his passing did shake things up for me, my family and several of my friends in a very positive way.
Thanks Joy 🙂 From your Angel card deck, which one do you think might be an appropriate meditation for dealing with grief?
I think so… I would say we both definitely learned a lesson. I’ve always been a hot tempered little fireball… but I never have the confidence to say the right thing at the right time. This was one of those rare moments where I did… and I kinda felt bad about it. This experience really taught me to harbor less anger and be more loving. Everyone is immersed in their own personal dramas, no one is more right than another, least we can do is show compassion. Thanks for your kind words Gina Rose 😀
My sincerest sympathies on your loss. My heart goes out to you. May your memories give you comfort during this time.
God Bless you and your family,
I just dropped in to say I’m so, so sorry for the loss of your Father.
Maybe, that was, ( lady at airport), her own Karma coming back on her (?)….and a lesson was learned as a result (?)
Blessed Be )O(
Gina Rose ext.9500
Dear Jen ,
My deepest sympathy for you and your family. I know that this is a difficult time for you and your family but I also know your father is very proud of you and who you have become. Continue to stand up and be yourself and be proud of it! Sending lots of love and healing light to you!
I am so sorry for your loss. I am sending you much love and hugs. Your Dad is my age and it really puts the light on we must enjoy every day with love and compassion. You just never know when you get called home.
WOW, so young and so wise. Your whole future is ahead with so much brighness. Having just lost my mother suddenly too, I understand. As long as you are open to your dad communicating with you, he will. For instance, last night a piece of paper fell out from a shelve in my mother’s house. I picked it up and read it and it was a hand written note that she wrote with instruction of how to turn the water off to the house. I thought how strange and place the piece of paper on the counter. Today, I had planned to have her water filters changed. The man who came said that I should get more hardware because some of the equipment was old and rotted. I looked and agreed. Then he said “I need to shut off your water to change this out” And, I handed him the piece of paper. Then silently thanked my mom. Death is a natural transition. I am so greatful that my mom died quickly and had little pain. She too was healthy. God Bless you!
My deepest sympathies to you and your family at this difficult time. Losing a parent is so hard at any age.
I have to say that being a Brooklyn-Girl myself, your father would be EXTREMELY proud of you for standing up for yourself the way you did. Yes, I agree with you that we should rise above the ugliness of the world, but that woman deserved all that you gave her!
Love and Blessings to you my friend,
Phenomenal post. Very powerful in so many ways. Thank you for sharing this story 🙂 I, for one, am quite glad you left that woman with something to ponder on — regardless if she was going through something, an act as simple as giving someone a seat should never be overlooked. Well said! Sending you lots of love!