Saturday, August 27, 2011

Do It Justice

Am I the only one here that remains stuck?  Doesn’t see it as others do?  Cannot comprehend what others are going through?  When it happened to me, to my family, it wasn’t the end of the world, just a changed world – a different place.  Though, I’m sure it’s different for some people, since there are many drastically different ways of this happening.  But yet, here I am, trying to find words to explain how I feel, or rather, how I should feel, but nothing comes to mind.  I’m stuck in awkwardness, and the line in front of me is slowly getting shorter.  I gulp down my own saliva and flatten my wet palms against my pants.  I think I’m more nervous than they are sad.

I breathe deeply to try to calm myself.  I play words over and over in my head, but nothing feels right, it all feels fake, forced.  Am I really sorry?  I’m sorry that they are feeling sad, but you can’t say that – you can’t say “Sorry you’re upset,” that sounds horrible.  Why did I come here in the first place?  To be respectful?  Show that I care?  The words that will come out of my mouth will show me for who I am, a fake, a fraud, a cheat.  I want someone to come pull me out of line, snag me and say “Have some water, you look like you’re going to pass out,” but there’s no hope for that. 

I think it has gotten ten degrees hotter since I’ve been standing in line.  The humidity is so thick that I can barely breathe.  I’m next, oh crap, what do I say?  How do I tell them that I hope things get better, because of course they don’t think that’s going to happen, of course they don’t want to hear it.  No one really wants to hear it.  I shuffle my feet like everyone else in front of me did and bow my head towards the family members in front of me.  I hold out my clammy hand and say, “I’m so sorry for your loss.”  They reply with thank you and empty nods of heads, empty handshakes.  That didn’t help them at all. 

I shuffle away, wishing I had said something better, wishing I could let them know that they will be together again – this isn’t the end of the line.  Life is ongoing, it’s continuous, but no one can see it when it happens to them.  They can’t know that tomorrow will be the same, but different.  That the person is still around, their energy still floating, in a safe space that we cannot touch.  They still feel for us, and we still feel for them.  They are not gone, they are not lost, they are certainly not forgotten, never forgotten.  I’m sorry for your loss just doesn’t do it justice.

I always feel so awkward at funerals or wakes.  I view death as a change of life, a next step, a different part - but I don't see it as a loss - and yes, when it happens really close to me, I'm sure I'll feel differently.  However, I like to believe it continues beyond what we can see.  So, I always feel weird, strange.  Even the one for my grandmother, I didn't feel a particular loss - which is horrible sounding, but I viewed it as her finally moving on, since her brain had already done such (Alzheimer's).  I saw it as a blessing for her, no longer having to live in the nightmare of her own mind.  She was scared half of the time, which is no way to live.  With that being said, I am sorry for my co-worker's loss, but I truly believe she's in a better place.  But I'm sorry for your loss just doesn't do it justice...


  1. I really understand this piece and I think it speaks to how so many people feel at funerals. There really are never words that can cleary state what one feels in a moment like that and I think a big part of that is because, when the moment is happening, most can't put into words how they feel themselves, let alone what they want to convey to someone else. Anyways, well done. You have great rhythm to your words and the meaning is beautiful as well. I enjoyed reading it.

  2. Thank you, that means a lot to me. I honestly have no idea how you've kept writing for almost an entire year now, and more power to you. I almost didn't get to write anything today (and what I did write, I'm second guessing - but that's usually the way, isn't it?) :) Glad to find someone else to take this journey with!

  3. Honestly I don't even believe it most days because once you get going, you don't feel like you've done much (of course there are also days where you can't imagine doing more). I read through your writing so far though and I think you'll be fine. You have a great style to your writing. Don't worry about second guessing, I know it's crazy putting it out where everyone can see when you doubt it, but I try to remind myself it's a first draft and there is loads of editing to go before it's truly done(hopefully people reading remember that as well).

    Just try to remember whenever you get stuck, there are infinite sources for inspiration you just have to look and be open to trying. If all else falls, try a new style or genre. It's a good way to mix things up.

    Anyways, I'm enjoying your writing and can't wait for more. (sorry this is long, I talk a lot, especially about writing.)

  4. It's not that long - and thank you :) I find that I am a perfectionist with my writing, I read everything like five times over before I post it - and even after I post it, I still find errors. But I've gotten a lot better at letting the first draft, the first flow of ideas, out and onto the page, without censorship - that can come later.