Kindness does not give out gold stars, which is really annoying – or badges, or certificates or any kind of recognition that you are doing well at this. It should, because that would really help, but that’s not what kindness is for.Kindness is there to remind you that there is no good way to do this, there’s no magic formula that will allow you to tiptoe you way through this unscathed, like Indiana Jones calculating which steps contain the booby traps.

“You can’t go over it, you can’t go under it, oh no you’ve got to go through it”

Kindness doesn’t care if you’re strong of you’re capable, or an inspiration to others. Kindness is there to watch you do whatever you need to do. It wants you to be mean, and spiteful and full of rage. It wants you to snarl that this is not fair, it shouldn’t have happened, the loss is too great.

Kindness wants you to scream at people as they walk past your door that they cannot hide from your pain, that you will hold their hand in the fire until they burn.You won’t of course, because that’s not what you do, but kindness would let you.

Kindness would let you stay in bed for days, to eat pancakes until you couldn’t face anymore, to do nothing but read and read and read until you forget your own story.

Kindness would let your hair go unwashed and your pyjamas unchanged.None of this will help of course, and will probably make you feel worse, but that’s the point. It’s kind to let yourself do things that don’t help, that aren’t productive, that hurt.

You’re not supposed to cope with this – it is too much. Yes you can walk in the fresh air and eat vegetables and stay hydrated and get lots of sleep and sign yourself up to writing courses. You can talk and write and talk and write but the loss remains the same. Broccoli is not going to bring him back.

Instead, kindness is there to sit in the chair beside you, night after night, knowing that it would give anything to make this better, to take the pain away. It will sit, come what may, to remind you that whatever happens, you will not have to face this alone.

Kindness learnt that from you.

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