Human Kindness: Lonely and Grieving

Human Kindness #2: Lonely and Grieving

Welcome back to Human Kindness! If you haven’t already, please check out Human Kindness: Introduction for the background to this blog series! These stories are NOT all my own, they have been submitted to me for the purpose of this series and are a collection from some of the kindest people I know or who have contacted me.

I am ALWAYS on the lookout for kindness stories, so please do get in touch if you have one, there is a chance for you to submit yours at the end of this post (and I will always keep them anonymous). As always, if you’d like to receive these stories directly to your inbox every Monday morning, sign up to the mailing list at the end of this post.

This week’s is so beautiful, and as a dog owner, it made me cry when I received it. I am so glad to know that I share a world with people like this.

“I feel a bit uncomfortable writing this as it’s about something that I did for someone a few weeks ago. I hope it doesn’t come across like I am boasting.

I am a student veterinary nurse and a few weeks ago, I was at work reading the Christmas cards clients had sent us and I came across one that really worried me. It was clear that the man who had written it was very unhappy. He talked about how he lived on his own and was experiencing ‘crippling loneliness’ and that the recent passing of his dog had caused his longstanding mental health issues to take a turn for the worse. Despite this, he had taken the time to write to us to wish everyone a happy Christmas and to thank us all for the care we had given his dog over the years.

I was really worried about him so I found his account on the system and called him up. He initially thought I was calling him to say he owed us money (bless him!) but I just said I wanted to thank him for the Christmas card and to see how he was getting on since losing his dog. He said he thought he was doing okay but that afternoon he had been clearing leaves up in his garden and he had another wave of grief hit him and had spent the last few hours crying about Tom. It wasn’t a very long phone call, about 10 mins I think, but he talked about how much he missed his dog, how he didn’t like this time of year, he had no family, lived on his own and was really noticing it now his companion was gone too.

The Blue Cross have a Pet Bereavement Support Service so I gently signposted him to this and gave him their telephone number to call (0800 096 6606) should he find himself feeling low. He seemed really happy that I had called him and – I won’t lie – I felt proud of myself that I was able to help someone feel better even if just for 10 minutes. I noticed that he hadn’t been sent a sympathy card for the passing of his dog so I wrote one for him and added some “Forget Me Not” seeds. I also wrote down the Pet Bereavement support service number and email address again.

It had been a month since his dog had died but I figured he would appreciate the gesture. I have to be careful about my limitations so I really hope he did call the support service as they would be able to really help him and signpost him to other services that might benefit him too.”

Have you experienced an act of kindness recently? Maybe you have done something for somebody that you haven’t yet shared for fear of being judged to be “bragging” or you have been on the receiving end of a kindness that somebody has shown you. My inbox is ALWAYS open for your kindness stories so please submit them!

Stories will be treated with discretion and published anonymously at all times, and I will share as much or as little information as you wish. Message me using the form below and I’ll be sure to feature your story in an upcoming post.

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