One stranger’s kind words made a difference for this grieving mom.
When faced with the most difficult and unimaginable circumstances, sometimes it’s the small kindnesses of other people that can offer a little light during the darkest times. On a recent Southwest Airlines flight, one flight attendant took notice of a female passenger who didn’t appear to be doing well. That passenger was Tricia Belstra, a mother flying home to lay her son to rest.
Belstra shared her heartbreaking story on Facebook, and it’s quickly gone viral.
I couldn't tell this story until now.. I flew in on #southwest airlines flight 1076 on August 18th.. I was not looking…
She describes how difficult it is for her to tell the story of how awful the flight was for her, and that after a flight attendant filled her drink request, he asked her if she was okay.
“I told him I was flying back to bury my son. He said he was so sorry and brought me a can of water, a glass of ice and my diet coke. The girl next to me offered to pour the water for me because my hands were shaking.
“When we landed the girl helped me with my luggage. As I am leaving the plane the young man who waited on me was standing on the landing and as I walked off the plane he stopped me and handed me a napkin and said he was sorry for my loss and this wasn’t much,” she writes.
The flight attendant handed Belstra a heartfelt hand-written note on a napkin, which reads:
In 2004, my family lost my older brother. As traumatic as it still is for me, I can’t even pretend to truly know the pain you feel as a mother. I did, however, watch my mother’s grieving process (a process that will never end). Firstly, being a mother is about giving birth to new life as a promise to the future. Your mission doesn’t end now — your son’s life is bigger than his death and always will be. My mom struggled desperately chasing a far away goal of somehow lessening the pain. As she has realized now, the pain hardly lessens. Don’t expend your energy trying to chase this. Instead, go all out finding opportunities to experience joy. Visit family, get closer to those you’ve lost touch with, travel. This is your story and you owe it to yourself and your son to make sure that you survive this. Do not pressure yourself.
This world is full of people who do truly care about you, even if it doesn’t feel that way.
I won’t stop thinking about you anytime soon, or how you’re doing or what you’re up to. You’ll come out of this a stronger person and I’ll be rooting for you the whole time.”
Go ahead and take a minute to blow your nose in your sleeve and catch your breath, because we all need to collect ourselves a bit after reading those beautiful, kindhearted words.
Belstra said she thanked the young man for the note.
“When I got to where I was out of the walkway I looked at the napkin he gave me and cried,” she wrote.
She says she feels the young man is one of “God’s soul angels.”
“Thank you so much for your kind words from a person that took the time to write this not even knowing me.”
No matter what nightmares we’re faced with in life, no matter what unfortunate circumstances, sometimes it helps to know there are people out there who can understand our pain. The Belstra family never got the name of the flight attendant, but they hope the story reaches him.
There is an active GoFundMe set up in memory of Kyle Belstra, which hopes to cover all memorial costs and donate the remaining amount to a suicide prevention charity.