Today I had a moment. I read Chuck Wendig’s post, It Takes The Time It Takes, and realised I’m guilty of sending stuff out 95% finished because I just don’t know how to get it up to 100%. So I flailed about that for a bit. Felt sorry for myself. Beat myself up. Etc, etc. Then I took notice of the world around me.
Two good friends suffered personal losses today. Two young mothers of my acquaintance (this is a different two people) are currently suffering through abusive relationships.
I can’t do anything to help any of them, but it occurs to me that I probably shouldn’t be feeling sorry for myself. My dad called me today and invited me round for dinner. Sure, this hasn’t happened in a while but all my parents and friends are alive and well and I’m thankful for it. I’m thankful that I’ve escaped all the abusive relationships I’ve suffered in my life and no longer have to deal with that shit. I have much to be thankful for.
But I don’t know how to help my friends (or acquaintances – one of the young mothers is a neighbour and a new one, at that). Words don’t seem adequate. And unless I can be there in person, which I can’t (offered the neighbour but she doesn’t know me and someone was already coming round), I can’t do anything else.
So I’ve done the “I’m very sorry for your loss” thing, which is absolutely true, but I can’t do anything else. I’m not going to say to people, “he’s in a better place now” because it’s not much comfort when the person who’s gone isn’t in the place you want them to be. Grief is not about the one who left, it’s about those who are left behind and the waste of life, and that’s not much of a comfort to anyone. I’m also not going to say that I’ve been there, because I haven’t. Sure, I’ve lost people, but not these people, not like this.
So I love you and I’m sorry. And that’s all I can say. And it feels like nothing, but maybe it means something to someone else. I can’t know, of course. I’m not them. But I do love them, and I am sorry.
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