I’m good with words. Okay, well not always orally, but like. I can usually find the words, especially in writing, to convey my message. I mean, I based my future on the fact that I was a strong reader and writer: words are literally the tools of my trade.
In the last week, I find myself searching for words and coming up short. Someone from my home town passed away, a 26 year old. As I’m from a small town, obviously I knew him and his parents fairly well, I was his little sister’s first babysitter. Obviously, 26 is too young, but to make things even worse, he’d just had a baby. Like a week before. As a parent, this weighed heavily on me. I can’t imagine losing my child at any age, and I can’t imagine leaving my babies behind.
When I wrote in the sympathy card, I found myself at a loss for words. What do you say? Realistically, it doesn’t matter. No words are going to close the aching, endless emptiness that I imagine his family is feeling right now. Words can’t bring him back.
The next day, an acquaintance from college posted that her mom had passed, only a week or so after she and her brother had made the choice to move her to hospice. My acquaintance is a year older than I am, and her brother is younger. They just lost their mom. Again, words failed me.
It’s funny, not haha funny, but like weird funny, that so many authors made their names in writing about grief: Tennyson had a whole poetry book about the loss of his best friend; Shelly’s grief about the loss of her mom shows throughout Frankenstein. But, when confronted with real world grief, I find myself at a loss.
“My thoughts and prayers are with you.” First of all, this feels like a canned political statement at this point in the world. But also, it feels empty. Are you really praying at all? Let alone about this family or person who’s suffering? And what good does it do? I guess for the deeply religious this could be comforting, but I don’t know that I fall under that category, and for people who know that about me, doesn’t it feel empty when I say it?
“I’m so sorry.” True, but again, it feels like your making it about you on some level. And what good does pity or sorrow do.
I feel like I’m in a deep funk, a hole of darkness. I don’t think any one I’ve talked to in the last week or so has had good news, positive things to share. Everything just feels so dark and like too much lately. It feels like it’s one bad thing after another.
So I do what I always do, I try and get my feelings out by writing, but, like in so many instances lately, it feels like I can’t find the right words. Like I’m grasping for something and coming up short. Like I can almost touch it, but then it floats away.
Like maybe there aren’t words for what I’m feeling at all.