I am the founder of a news website for parents called Mom is Born.
Mom is born. Because every time a baby is born, a mom is born too, right? It never occurred to me that there could ever be a situation where this does not hold true.
Until, it happened.
A close friend of mine, a sister to me, gave birth to a beautiful baby a couple of hours before midnight. We were holidaying elsewhere, and were beyond elated on hearing this joyous news from her husband. We all went to bed with a smile on our face.
Only to wake up the next morning to hear the worst news I would hear for a long time to come.
[T]he reason I am feeling unbearable pain is because "I am her". A mother of two small children.
My friend, someone who was there by my side as I was rolled in to give birth myself just a few months before, had died in the wee hours of the morning. She had developed complications during surgery, and didn't make it.
I never thought that in this day and age women could die as a consequence of childbirth, that too after a c-section. It's one of those things that don't even cross your mind as you happily anticipate the best moment of your life, a baby being born.
As someone who has seen tragedy and death at close quarters, I didn't cope with her passing away as stoically as I hoped to or normally would. After becoming a mother, something in me has changed. My heart is not what it used to be.
Like a friend wisely reminded me as I was trying to come to terms with her death, the reason I am feeling unbearable pain is because "I am her". A mother of two small children. We shared the same hopes and dreams for our kids. We spoke about this many times, every day. And for her to make an exit from our long-drawn plans left me, and many others, very shaken.
But somewhere in the midst of all this grief, something extraordinary happened. From places where I least expected it.
I was not the only mom to feel this way. Mothers who did not know her messaged me saying they couldn't sleep at night. I was inundated with messages, asking how they could be of help. Word got around that we were looking for breastmilk donors, and mothers came forward. They were willing to do whatever it took to help the situation; a couple of mothers even volunteered to move in to nurse the infant until a steady supply was found. Everyone asked if there was anything the family needed and how they could be of help. It was almost as if an army of mothers on social media came together to show solidarity and support at this heartbreaking time.
A couple of mothers even volunteered to move in to nurse the infant until a steady supply was found.
I was not the only one who was feeling so much pain because "I was her". Every mother was her. Every mother felt that pain. And every mother felt the need to hold the other's hand and make best of the given circumstances, in whatever way they could.
Mothers are strong, powerful people. And when we come together, we can do wonders.
This heart-warming response from strangers reinstated my faith in humanity like never before. While I would do anything to have my friend back, I hope she smiles knowing that even in death, it's not just me but moms who don't even know her who are looking out for her. Rest in peace, beautiful.
Also on HuffPost