I've always said feeling your child's pain when they were little was so much easier than when they were older.
As little ones, their pain could most often be kissed and cuddled away - a bump from falling down, frustration when another tot took one of their toys away.
But once they were older, when the pain came from taunts at school or heart ache from the death of a pet, it became much harder as a mother to help them cope. At least I was still nearby and could give love and counsel.
Oh, but when they were miles and miles away..........
Yesterday, in response to hearing about the death of David Bowie, my daughter posted these words from his song Rock and Roll Suicide on Facebook:
"Oh no love! you're not alone
You're watching yourself but you're too unfair
You got your head all tangled up but if I could only
Make you care
Oh no love! you're not alone
No matter what or who you've been
No matter when or where you've seen
All the knives seem to lacerate your brain
I've had my share, I'll help you with the pain
You're not alone."
Followed by her own words of homage:
"There was once a very dark night, and Bowie's was the only voice that reached me, and he said exactly the right things. So I held on to him all night, and in the morning, things were brighter."
"I will love you and miss you forever, David."
I have not talked to her about this so I could be wrong, but I feel almost certain I know the time in her life she is referring to. It was during the time when this photo was taken.
She called me that next day, crying and sobbing so hard it broke my heart. Her lover was ending their relationship and Kari was devastated.
I was 230 miles and four hours away. All I could do was listen, try to offer the right words of consolation and love. I never felt so inadequate as a parent.
Only yesterday did I learn that it was a pop star's words and music that got her through that night. I know there were many times I told my kids to turn their music down, but I never forbade them listening to any music genre or performer. Thank goodness.