The day after my dear friend passed away, I was at the airport about to embark on an epic family trip, months in the making.

While waiting at the gate, my friend’s mom called me. It was the first time we’d spoken since I got the news that morning. Needless to say, it was a very emotional call.

I tried to find somewhere I could have some privacy for the call. I found a corner area by the entrance to the women’s washroom. I was trying to keep it together, but my emotions got the best of me and soon I was sobbing.

A woman who looked about 19 or 20 years old walked up to me, looked me in the eye and said, “Can I give you a hug?”

Through the tears, I nodded. She pulled me into her arms and held me tight while I cried into her shoulder. She held me. She rubbed my back. She was my rock for those few moments at YVR, outside the women’s washroom.

To the woman who saw a stranger in need of comfort… to the young woman in the lifeguard hoodie…

Thank you.

(About half an hour later, she found me at my gate. She handed me a KitKat and said, “I hope you will be okay.” ❤️)