When Natalie Henderson and her partner lost their baby, Alice, in September, they were faced with the heart-breaking task of buying clothes for her funeral.
The compassion shown to them by a shop assistant in John Lewis has touched not only their hearts, but those of parents around the world.
Natalie has related her experience in a public post on social media, and has received thousands of messages of support.
She described the trip to the department store to buy baby clothes as ‘one of the toughest things I have ever done’. Watching other parents, with their children, picking out beautiful party dresses, Alice and her partner ended up ‘a bit lost and upset’.
Then a John Lewis employee approached the couple to ask if they needed help, and the sensitive way in which she then treated them displayed true compassion.
First, she offered them a voucher for coffee, while she went to finish what she was doing.
Then she returned to help them pick an outfit, wrapped it beautifully and refused to take any payment.
Finally, she walked the couple to the door, ‘calmly and dignified’.
Natalie wrote about the incident in a Facebook post on 30 December, where she thanks the department staff publicly:
Natalie Henderson’s post in full:
John Lewis. I would like to send your staff in Aberdeen’s children’ clothing department a huge thank you from me and my partner. We sadly lost our beautiful daughter Alice this September and had to make the very frightening trip to the store to pick some clothing for her funeral. This was one of the toughest things I have ever done, to see happy mums and dads with their children picking out beautiful party dresses etc with their child in their arms. Looking a bit lost and upset we were approached by a lovely lady who helped us greatly, she gave us a voucher to have a coffee whilst she finished what she was doing and then she returned to offer us any items we would like free of charge. She would not take any money from us, she wrapped the tiny pink dress and tights beautifully and walked us to the door calmly and dignified. What a wonderfull thing for her to do for us. We thank her and the store with all our hearts. Alice truely looked beautifull. X
Her message has since been liked by almost 70,000 people and has inspired a host of beautiful comments, including these:
Well done John Lewis. So heartwarming to know there are still some wonderful people out there.
You dont have to be just a shop assistant … a window cleaner … a street sweeper … a janitor … you can be what this woman is… an awesome human being!
Love is eternal.
This is not just great customer service but genuine love and compassion. Well done John Lewis on hiring such compassionate, warm and thoughtful people. I can only imagine that these small acts of kindness mean the absolute world at such a difficult time. Xxx