When the thing happens again that you never imagined and you feel shattered into little pieces, you try to turn to others to reaffirm that you are still alive and whole and valid. Double whammy -- Your shit is inconvenient around the holidays and most other times; Or you are forcing someone else to confront their own personal, unrealized dreams; Or the hardest of all, you asked someone to step outside of their own tenuous world to hold onto your hand, just for a minute, so you won't drift too far away.
And that's when you are surprised to find that some of the greatest kindness comes from strangers. No one knows exactly what to say, and it's hard and awkward like life is sometimes. But they offer you an ear and comfort, because that's all it really takes.