For when you don’t know what to say.

I have started, stopped, deleted, and restarted this post about 15 times. I’ve wanted to write, but my heart has felt so heavy and I just didn’t know what to say or if I should even say anything at all…not everyone wants their business put out on the internet, you know. But here it is.

The last two and a half weeks have felt like some kind of a weird whirlwind, a roller coaster, a strange dream…just insert whatever analogy you can dream up that applies to experiencing the heights of joy and the depths of sorrow in a matter of hours.

We had a beautiful Thanksgiving with family and then I went for a fun weekend of shopping in Atlanta with my sister-in-law and another friend a week after that. All of that falls into the joy category.

Then I got the text, at 7 o’clock on Sunday morning a week ago now. Call me when you get up—was all it said. Very unusual for my friend to text me at that time. I knew something was wrong.

I got up then, at 7, on the morning I was to return from my shopping trip. I called her. On the other end of the phone was my precious friend, my sister, my best friend for almost 30 years, telling me the devastating news that her sweet Daddy had passed away unexpectedly.

The sorrow.

I was dumbfounded—still am, really. Chatty girl that I am, I was at a loss for words. I did not know what to say. I sat there and wept for my friend, for her kids, for her mom, for myself and in my shock was only able to say to her, “I’m so, so sorry.” and “I love you.”

Somehow it just didn’t feel like enough. When you get news like this, there is always this inexplicable need to do something. To help carry your loved one’s grief in some way.

But do what?

In that moment, I could only try to imagine her pain and foggily try to process this information and then feebly try to convey my deep love for her and her family. But truly, all I really wanted to do was get in my car and go to her—two states away at the time—and hug her so tight. Fortunately, a couple of days later, I was able to do just that. Unfortunately, my time with her was so brief. Oh, but I am so grateful that I was able to go, even for a short time.

My heart is suddenly keenly aware of those who go through this season with sorrow and hurt and loss. You know, those things that you never really get over, but somehow learn to live with. And though I know that, as believers, we do not grieve for our loved ones as those who have no hope, grief is hard. Loss is devastatingly sad and painful. And grieving while at the same time trying to get back to the business of living can be elusive. We need each other’s help to do that. We need each other so much.

And so, when I don’t know what else to say or do, I sit, I weep, I hug, I text, I send a card. I try to make my friend smile. I wait to see if she wants to talk or cry or not talk at all.

I pray. And pray some more.

And I say “I’m so sorry” and “I love you.”

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18 NASB


Filed under Faith, Family, Friends

10 responses to “For when you don’t know what to say.

  1. findingninee

    Hi, I just wanted to let you know that I linked to your site from my post tonight as one of the awesome blogs I found via TALU. here’s the post:

    • That is awesome! Thanks so much for the mention! 🙂 TALU has been so great for me as well…I have found some great blogs and new bloggy friends-yourself included. Have a great evening!

  2. So often when a tragedy occurs, people are afraid to say the wrong thing so say nothing at all. Fortunately, our best friends don’t. Even if there is nothing to say but I’m sorry and I love you, they are the best things you can say.
    I’m praying for your friend and her family, but for you as well, in your support of them.

  3. Joy

    I am so sorry for your friend’s loss! 😦
    A few years ago the dad of one of my best friends battled cancer. We hadn’t heard of each other for some weeks and all of a sudden I felt the strong urge to call her and ask how her dad was doing. I called her immediately and she answered the phone, crying. She told me that her dad has just passed away 10 minutes ago. I was so shocked and we cried together on the phone. It was as if I had felt that something was wrong. I hope she felt in that moment what she meant to me and how I was so deeply sorry for her. I still shiver when I think about it.
    I found your blog over at TALU and I happy I did!

    • That is such a neat story, Joy. It is no accident that you were there in that instant for your friend. What a comfort you must have been to her. Thanks so much for your kind words and for stopping by!

  4. findingninee

    What a beautifully written post. And you’re so right that “we need each other so much.” I think that’s the perfect way of saying it and I’m sure your friend is very thankful to have somebody who will cry with her, laugh with her and remember with her. We lost my husband’s mother this summer and if it weren’t for loved ones, it would have been so much harder to accept.

I always love hearing from you! :-)

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