NEW DAY NEW LESSON » Emotions, Grief, Lesson of the Day, Poetry, Writing Workshop » Feeling For Others Is What Makes Humanity Great

Feeling For Others Is What Makes Humanity Great

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Feeling our own pain is normal.

Feeling other people’s pain is extraordinary.
It’s our ability to show compassion and empathy that makes the human race special.

I personally believe that there are reasons for the things that happen in our lives even if the reasons aren’t always apparent. While you may not subscribe to that school of thought you can acknowledge that every adversity is the impetus for growth and for learning things about yourself. Things that you would never have dreamed possible.

Pain is one of life’s greatest catalysts. It can make you or can break you.

Although pain is not lessened by others feeling and sharing yours, there is a measure of comfort in being wrapped up in others’ concern. It can help you find strength and it can provide guidance and support as you try to get through each day.

The ability to feel pain for people we have never met is the reason that there are aid missions and volunteers. I was so impressed when Gabby from Matter of Fact rose above her own personal fears and went on an aid mission to Haiti.

Sometimes, you feel pain for someone you never met and there is no real way for you to help except to send your thoughts and wishes.

A week ago I wrote about a tragedy that befell a family that my husband and kids know. The pain that I know the family must be feeling has stuck with me and made me reflect.

I wrote this poem with them in mind.

Then my sister called me an hour and a half ago to tell me her baby had died. She was about 36 weeks along and due to delivery by C-section in 3 weeks time. My heart is breaking for her, her husband and her kids.

I’m crying with her and being 9000+ miles away never stunk more.

I love you sis and wish I could be with you, comfort you and I wish I could have protected you from pain like this.


What was is
no longer
but still
very real.


What will be
is yet
to be seen
and revealed.


Your heart is
so full of
wrenching pain.


Your mind is
and begins to


Your body is
You choose
not to
listen or hear.


Your legs
are moving
in place
while wandering
here and there.


Your arms
are grasping
to embrace,
the empty air
as it
returns your gaze.


Each day
brings advances,
a single step ahead.
Each day
brings relapses,
a fall down the steps.


Each day
joyous moments
with glimpses
of elation.


Each day
painful wounds
and stain.


Pain is good.
It means
you can
still somehow
feel love.


Pain is good,
even though
it’s a knife
plunging deep
in your heart.


What am I meant to do?
How do I carry on?
Silent pleas
in your
soul down.


The answer is
that there’s
no tolerable


The truth is
that the truth
is unknown.


Life is now
this moment,
this present.


The only balm
is love
its essence.


Live in the moment
you yearn
for the past.


Live in the moment
a brighter future
is within grasp.


One day
it will
all be made clear.


Why the past
carried you
to here.


But for today
override thoughts.
just breathing
is more than enough.

“Life Is” © Susie@NewDayNewLesson 2010

Feeling others’ pain can be as difficult as dealing with our own. We need to remember that as difficult as life can be, the blessings also abound. It’s not always easy. Some times it’s more difficult than others.

Dealing with pain is about acknowledging your emotions and feeling them. It is also about choosing to live and deliberately seeking ways to celebrate the joyous and the glorious as well as the pain.

How do you cope with pain? Do you find other people’s pain to sometimes be as painful as your own?

I know my pain for my sister today is so great that I can’t even imagine how bad her or her husband must feel.

© Victor Bezrukov | FLickr Creative Commons

© Pink Sherbet Photography | FLickr Creative Commons



This blog post was written for writing workshop #31 run by Josie at Sleep is for the Weak. I chose the third prompt “What last made you cry?”.

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Written by

I am me and also lots of other things like a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a daughter in law, a sister in law, a friend, an oncology nurse, a blogger, a life coach in training, an avid book reader, a chauffeur, a chef, a shopper, a maid and on some days a bit overwhelmed. On this blog I share my journey of striving to see the best in everyone and everything. Strive, because I don't always manage to. Yup, I am human. I would love to have you join me in learning lessons in positivity from life.

Filed under: Emotions, Grief, Lesson of the Day, Poetry, Writing Workshop · Tags: , , , , , , ,

91 Responses to "Feeling For Others Is What Makes Humanity Great"

  1. Nicole says:

    I weep with you for this tragic loss. Your poem is wonderful. Sending thoughts and love at a very difficult time. x

    1. Susie says:

      Thank you so much for your thoughts.

  2. katdish says:

    So very sorry. Your poem is beautiful. So much of life doesn’t make sense.

    1. Susie says:

      Thank you. Would be easier if we knew the reasons things happened.

  3. oh sweetheart, i don’t know what to say. what an terrible thing for your sister and her husband, and how awful that you can’t be there for her. This was a wonderful poem, brought tears to my eyes.

    1. Susie says:

      There is nothing to say, because for now it is just sadness and pain.

      I really wish I could be there to give them hugs and send my love in person.

  4. Sending much love to your sister and her husband and you of course. Wish I could offer some wise words of comfort but I can’t, so I am sending you all virtual hugs. xx

    1. Susie says:

      Thanks for the words and hugs.

  5. Sending so much love to your sister and her family and to you honey. This is such a devastating loss, and on top of everything your family has had to cope with.

    Your beautiful poem has taken on such new significance today. Beautifully expressed Susie.

    Thinking of you so much. What a horribly cruel and unfair thing to happen.

    1. Susie says:

      Thank you.

      There have been a lot of things going on in the past few months, but this was the saddest for me.

      Thanks for your comment about the poem-it means a lot to me.

    1. Susie says:

      Thanks Rachael.

  6. Debbie says:

    Beautiful poem. Heartbreaking circumstances. Even though you are not there with your sister – she knows that you are here for her. Love and hugs to all of you.

    1. Susie says:

      Thanks and yes-heartbreaking.

  7. jfb57 says:

    As you said so beautifully Susie, feeling someone’s pain can mean just thinking about them. That’s what I’m doing for you all. Distance does suck!

    1. Susie says:

      Then I am feeling loads of it. And yes distance stinks.

  8. Gappy says:

    Oh Suzie, what an awful tragedy for your family, especially your sister and her husband. Your heart must be breaking for her. You have written a beautiful poem – I hope in time that the pain starts to lessen.

    1. Susie says:

      Thanks Gappy. I hope so too.

  9. Vonnie says:

    Susie I saw what had happened to your poor sister, I’m so very sorry for their loss.

    1. Susie says:

      Thank you Vonnie.

  10. notSupermum says:

    I’m so sorry, these are incredibly difficult circumstances for your sister, her family, you and your family. My heart goes out to all of you. Distance can be difficult, but your sister still knows you are there for her with love. x

    1. Susie says:

      The distance is a real toughie. Thank you.

  11. Jenny paulin aka mummy mishaps says:

    So so sorry for you, your sister and those close to you. It’s a beautifully emotive post. I hope things will soon become less painful for you all xx

    1. Susie says:

      Thank you. I hope so as well.

  12. A very poignant poem. I will take from it the words “live in the moment”. Life rushes by so quickly and we don’t know what’s ahead of us so we must treasure our time and our families and our friendships.

    Thinking of you and your family x

    1. Susie says:

      So very true.

  13. Deer Baby says:

    I’m so very sorry for your sister and her family’s loss. And for you. It’s very, very hard. This is such a beautiful post, Susie. You can be close even though you are so far.

    1. Susie says:

      I have her and her husband in my thoughts. Am so sad for them.

  14. So sorry for your sisters and your families devestating loss. I hope you all find the strength and support to get through such a life shattering and cruel experience.

    My thoughts are with you all.
    Love and hugs.

    1. Susie says:

      Thanks so very much. I really appreciate it.

  15. Such a loss for your sister and her family and your family as a whole. Your poem is amazing, I hope that you sister reads it and manages to draw some comfort from it. x

    1. Susie says:

      I hope it brings anyone in pain comfort as well. Thank you.

  16. Vegemitevix says:

    Susie, my darling friend. I am so very sorry for your sister’s loss and for the horrific pain that has befallen your family. Distance definately sucks. I wish I was just around the corner so that I could offer my love in person. Vxx

    1. Susie says:

      Thank Vix. Wish you were here as well.

  17. Kerry says:

    I am so sorry for your sister, her family and you. You have been through so much recently, life is so unfair and even worse being so far away but as Deer Baby says you can be close however far away you are. Its a lovely poem and I just want to send you a massive hug xxx

    1. Susie says:

      Thank you so much.

  18. JulieB says:

    Nothing I can say can really take this pain away, but I wish I could. Your words are so beautiful and so touching.

    1. Susie says:

      There are no adequate words.

  19. Jules says:

    My dear friend,
    Your words have touched me, and I know they will touch many. I encourage your poetry – it is terse and raw – don’t stop writing.

    As for the grief, sometimes all we can do is hold someone’s hand – even if the hand is very far away.

    Your presence heals.

    1. Susie says:

      Thanks Julie and thanks for always being there.

  20. I am so sorry to hear this happened to your sister. It must be so hard for both you and her for you to be so far apart geographically at the moment. Take care, both of you. Jen

    1. Susie says:

      Thank you Jen.

  21. Sue says:

    Your poem and this post are beautiful. I am crying with you and joyfully acknowledging your request to be in the present. Thank you so much for sharing this.

    1. Susie says:

      It’s not easy but am trying.

  22. Billy Coffey says:

    So, so sorry Susie. Sending all of you my prayers.

    1. Susie says:

      Thank you Billy and thanks for the email as well.

  23. Lauren P. says:

    A Joy shared is multiplied. Pain shared reminds us of how much we all need each other. Have Courage and know that people you’ve never met are weeping with your broken heart. Love to you all.

    1. Susie says:

      Thank you-what beautiful words.

  24. Sandy Calico says:

    My thoughts are with you all at this sad time x

    1. Susie says:

      Thank you Sandy. I know you know what pain is.

  25. Chris says:

    I am so very sorry Susie. Your beautiful poem has been in my mind all week, I have carried it with me in my heart, I am sorry to re-read it in these circumstances but it is perfect. I have lit a candle for you and your family and am sending you so much love.

    Chris xxx

    1. Susie says:

      Thank you and thank you for the love.

  26. No words, just love and ((Hugs)).


    1. Susie says:

      Thank you so much Ellie.

  27. The Moiderer says:

    It’s a pain you wouldn’t wish upon a stranger let alone someone you love. My thoughts are with you all. I personally find it almost intolerable to deal with someone I care about’s pain. I would much rather take it on myself

    1. Susie says:

      I think whether it’s your pain or someone else’s it’s hard. Thank you for your thoughts.

  28. One of the most horrific things anyone can go through. I am so sorry to hear about your sister loosing her baby. Simply horrible. You are very brave to write about this. Sending you and your sister and all your family my thoughts and hope that the days, weeks and months to come are bearable.

    Maggy x

    1. Susie says:

      Thanks so much Maggy.

  29. Cheshire Mum says:

    I so so so terribly sorry to hear about your sister and whole family’s loss, my best friend and sister in law have experienced this, it is an unbearably cruel thing to happen. Time finds of way of helping people come to terms and cope but never forget. I’m so sad for you and yours. Claire x

    1. Susie says:

      I think that’s the toughest part-trying to move on and yet to still remember.

  30. I am so, so, sorry to hear this. I cannot imagine the pain your sister and family are all going through right now. Life can be so cruel at times x

    1. Susie says:

      I can’t begin to imagine either.

  31. Dawn says:

    I’m so so sorry to hear your news. Fate can be so cruel sometimes. I don’t think there is a single thing I can say to make it hurt less, just let you know I’m thinking of you. x

    1. Susie says:

      There are no right words. But being surrounded by love and positive thoughts and wishes does give some comfort so thank you and everyone else who have sent wishes.

  32. Kate says:

    Susie, I am so sorry for your sister’s loss – and yours. It must be so awful to be so far away when all you want to do is be there for her.

    Lovely words tho.x

    1. Susie says:

      It’s very hard-thanks.

  33. Dymphna says:

    So sad. Poem is really beautiful. Thinking of you,your sister and her husband. xx

    1. Susie says:

      Thanks so much Dymphna.

  34. Oh Susie!
    I’m unable to speak as I am choked up, so I will just type.
    I spent the whole of my two pregnancies thinking that at any moment something awful was going to happen and it might end. My Heart goes out to your sister and her family at such a difficult time, I wish there was something I could do to help.
    Big hugs to you too xx.

    1. Susie says:

      Thanks Julie.

      I have been very touched by everyone empathy and sympathy.

      Thank you.

  35. PhotoPuddle says:

    I am so sorry to hear this. It’s funny how hearing bad news about someone you don’t even know can make you feel so sad. Sending all my love to you all.

    1. Susie says:

      I think that’s what makes humans special.

  36. Meredith says:

    Oh, Susie… my condolences to you all as you mourn, and especially to your sister. Miscarriage is such a terrible wound. I have been through it, but not at 36 weeks. That is truly heartrending. The depth of pain she must be feeling — that you all must be feeling, but especially your sister — it makes tears rise to my eyes.

    I am so sorry for your loss…

    1. Susie says:

      Thanks Meredith. It is so many emotions for me so I am sure my sister and husband must be feeling like a hurricane.

      Thanks so much.

  37. Dear Susie, I cannot express the grief that I am feeling for your sister, you, and your whole family right now. There are no words. Please know that you are all in my deepest prayers. I just also received some terrible news. My own sister is gravely ill, having seizures, and unconscious. She is 1000 miles away and I cannot get to her easily. Please keep us in your prayers as well. You are in my heart. xoxoxo Naomi

    1. Susie says:

      Thank you Noami.

      I am so sorry about your sister. I pray for the best for her.


  38. Louise says:

    What a terribly sad loss, I think some of the worst pain we can feel is felt through others if that makes any sense. The feeling of helplessness makes us feel so distant so I can understand your pain. My love and thoughts go out to you all, but your sister is lucky – she has someone like you in her life.xx

    1. Susie says:

      Thanks Louise. Do wish I was there with them.

  39. Misha says:

    Sorry for your loss Susie. That is terribly heartbreaking. Someone once told me that pain and sadness is our body’s way of indicating that which matters to us. It’s a natural and sometimes almost comforting feeling as it points to what we naturally and truly care about. When you can allow yourself to fully experience sadness…on the flip side, you can also experience joy. Joy is accepting and being present to that which you have and care about. I wish you peace as you grieve through this process. lots of love.

    1. Susie says:

      Thank you so much. Love your tagged by kindness idea.

  40. Susie – I never know what to say in situations like this because I know that whilst words can be comforting they can also sound empty if everyone says the same thing. You know what a strong online community we belong to and I am certain that any one of that community will be there to support you if you ever need to lean on anyone.

    1. Susie says:

      Thanx Nickie. Everyone really has been so kind.

  41. […] And in both we can find sadness. […]

  42. Mrs P says:

    Absolutely beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing this with me!

    1. Susie says:

      Thanks and you are quite welcome.

  43. Lucy says:

    That was bellizimo…

    I’m sending you prayers..from a stranger.

    1. Susie says:

      Thank you.

  44. ella says:

    Susie, I’m so very sorry for your loss. Many hugs to you and your sister. xx

    1. Susie says:

      Thank you so very much.

  45. […] it is one tragedy after another. Sometimes, its just the strain of regular life that has a way of catching up with […]

  46. […] Today my sister and her husband are burying their third child, their son who was born stillborn at 36 weeks. […]