“I’m sorry for your loss.” What a strange phrase. We usually use this phrase when there has been a death. A means of offering comfort, sympathy, or compassion. But why are we sorry? Especially if the one who passed suffered physically or mentally. Are we sorry the person is no longer sick or in pain? Of course, not. Are we sorry the ones left behind are hurting? Sure. But are we sorry for their loss? Isn’t their loss, their loved one’s gain?
So why say it? Why not say “I’m here to wrap my arms around you and hold you until the hurt goes away.” Or “I lend you my shoulder to cry on until you have no tears left.”
Why not say “I know you are hurting and missing them, but one day it will hurt a little less and the joyous memories will begin to grow and blossom.”
Why not be honest and say “I wish I could tell you the hurt goes away, but it doesn’t. I wish I could tell you when you stop missing them, but you won’t. The hurt will always be there, but you’ll learn to adjust. A day won’t go by that you won’t think of them or miss them, but you’ll learn to live without them. You’ll find away to go on living, but it won’t be easy. Remember there are others who are dealing with the same pain, and they will get you through the bad days.”
I don’t want to hear you’re sorry. I want to be held. I want to cry in someone’s arms until I can’t cry any more. When I’m all cried out I want them to continue holding me until I have the strength to stand. I want someone to tell me that some day the thought of them or the mention of their name, won’t bring me to my knees. I want someone who has been in my shoes to tell me the truth. Tell me the pain will never go away and that I will never stop missing them. Tell me I’m not alone. Tell me I will be able to breathe and live again, that some how I will have the strength to be able to go on.
Don’t tell me what I want to hear. Tell me what I need to hear. Tell me it’s okay to hurt. Tell me it’s okay to miss them. Tell me that it’s okay to cry. Then tell me again in six months, in a year, and in five and ten years. Remind me at every birthday, anniversary, and joyous occassion from this day forward, until I breathe my last breath and I am with them again.