Kind Strangers

The first 12 months after Zak died I have to admit to showing strangers his photos. Probably a bad habit but I think a lot of it was because once someone hears your baby has died they are so quick to turn around and say ‘oh yes I know what you mean. I had a m/c as well’. Now I don’t want anyone to think I’m making light of a m/c but after having both a m/c and a baby die (neonatal death) I feel there is a small difference. I think I was desperate to let people know he was a living, breathing baby.
Anyway I have been good the last few months and have not pulled photos out to strangers at the shops. Yesterday Mum and I were shopping and went into a store where a Mother and daughter worked. We got talking and I was asked when I was due. After that conversation I was asked if this was my first. I said no and explained (nice and short) about Zak. Normally that’s the end of the conversation for most. No one really wants to talk about dead babies.
As soon as I gave my quick rundown the lady said ‘I don’t mean to upset you but do you mind if I ask what happened’. So I gave her the long version and she had a little cry. She asked if we had photos and I couldn’t help myself and got a single pic out of my wallet. She cried some more. Then I cried. Then Mum cried. As I was putting the photo away she noticed in my handbag I had a small photo album. She looked at me and said ‘ oh are those more photos of Zak?? Can I see them??’ I was so excited that someone was interested to see photos of him and not run from a dead baby conversation that I got them out without a second thought. Mum looked at me and said ‘ well you haven’t had these out for a stranger in a while’ lol
So the lady went through the photo album, she oohed and arred and told me how beautiful he was and how amazed she was at his size. Her daughter came over and looked and then she cried. I have not cried in public like that for so long but I was so proud and happy someone wanted to look at Zak’s photos. We were in their shop for over a hour. Even some shoppers took a secret look at the photos. It sounds really sad but it was kinda nice.