I don't necessarily feel that you need to suffer in order to empathise with the suffering of others.
However, with every life experience - career, mortgage, marriage, motherhood ... - I understand my own parents more and more.
Yesterday was my birthday.
Today is my older sister's birthday.
We were born 364 days apart.
My sister passed away before she reached her second birthday.
My parents were twenty years old.
With a six month old me.
Today is not a day of celebration in my family.
It has always been a quiet day of private sadness, watching my parents grieve.
For me, it is a day of questioning.
And some shame when I recall childhood memories.
When I was young, I just didn't get it.
I had questions -
What was she like?
Did we play?
Would my sister and I have shared a room?
Would we have looked alike?
Would we have shared clothes and toys?
Would we have still moved to Australia if she had lived?
Would I still have a younger sister and brother too?
I didn't understand why parents didn't want to answer my questions.
I didn't understand why my parents would have left me to stay with my grandparents when I was such a young baby. Why they didn't want me at that time in their lives.
I didn't understand the level of grief for a baby who I had never truly known.
A baby who had never spoken or played.
A baby whom we didn't even have any photographs of.
I didn't understand the scars that don't heal.
I felt so disappointed each year that my Mum went to bed crying on my birthday, my day.
I still have those questions and more -
Would my sister and I be close now?
Would we live near each other?
Would our kids be playing together?
But now I certainly understand why my parents find these and so many more questions difficult and painful to contemplate, let alone answer.
When Magoo was eighteen months (the age at which my sister died) - I was king hit with the enormity of what my parents lived through.
I was finally aware of how intensely you love your child from the very moment you meet them and how embedded they are in your heart even before their birth - never mind by eighteen months of age.
Last night, after a beautiful birthday and with my own heart brimming with contentment - when the 8th of October arrived - I went to bed crying.
I get it, Mum.
And I'm sorry.