Parents Who Just Lost a Child Find Life-Affirming Surprise on Cafe Receipt

receipt sorry for your lossLooking at the bill after a meal out can easily lead to shock, but one couple received a particularly unexpected and touching surprise from their waitress recently. Debbie Davis Riddle and her husband Shaun were eating at the West Side Café in Fort Worth, Texas. They eat there regularly. When they visited last month, had their infant daughter, Glory, with them. But when they went in just last week, the Riddles were alone. Their waitress, Kayla Lane, remembered them and innocently asked where the baby was. The Riddles then had to share the tragic news that their baby daughter had passed away.


Rather than pass out from embarrassment or deal with her mortification by trying to pretend the exchange hadn’t happened. Lane decided to try and do something to help console the couple. When the Riddles received their bill at the end of the meal, instead of a total amount due it simply read:

We eat at West Side Cafe on Camp Bowie in Fort Worth quite a lot and last month sometime we took our new baby, Glory in....

Posted by Debbie Davis Riddle on Thursday, June 4, 2015

Apparently Lane also refused to accept a tip from the Riddles. Debbie Davis Riddle shared the bill on Facebook noting her appreciation, and the post has since gone viral.

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Not only is what Lane and the rest of the staff at The West Side did heartwarming, it’s also bold. Loss is such an intense and private feeling, one that’s difficult to deal with no matter who you lose. But coping with the loss of one’s own child is particularly devastating and takes top billing on the list of a parent’s absolutely worst fears.

Because it’s such a terrifying and tragic event, so often people don't know what to say or do to show their support. Even close friends and family members can struggle to find the right words to express their condolences, as anything you think to say or do may seem trite in comparison to the gravity of what the grieving parents are going through. But as the Riddle’s gratitude towards Lane show, what this waitress and cafe staff did is a great reminder that it's the thought that counts.

Stories about how parents are treated while dining out are in the media all the time, but typically these tales center around poor treatment, like a mother being shamed for breastfeeding in public or an establishment having an issue that dares to cry. Not only were the Riddles treated with genuine kindness, but even in their grief they took the time to pay it forward and share their experience with others. It’s stories like this that prove there are still good, caring people in the world.

What are your suggestions for helping a friend cope with grief?


About the Author: Megan Zander is a recovering divorce attorney turned SAHM to twin boys conceived through the wonders of modern science. You can find her our for a run or eating a cupcake, depending on how many tantrums she's dealt with that day.


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