Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sometimes I just really suck at words.

I never know what to say when someone is grieving. The default "you are in my prayers" is a lie coming out of my mouth. I don't lie, not in a time like that. I often say things like you are in my heart, or my thoughts. I offer sympathy and implore them to ask if they need anything at all. If it is in person, I give them a hug. If it is over the phone, I do my very best to make sure my voice is the appropriate tone. Over text/email/facebook or any other wholly inappropriate medium for sympathy, I am more lost than ever. Everything I write seems contrived and false.

I am capable of empathy and sympathy. I just don't understand. I mean, not really. I have never lost anyone that is so close to me it is devastating. I have lost people in my life, but they are all alive and well.

The thought of someone looking down on me from heaven is ludicrous. I know that it is comforting to some people, that their loved one is somewhere, happy and well. I understand that. But, it isn't really comforting to me. It freaks me out. My mom saying that to me when my grandfather died was when I first started doubting the existence of heaven. I was terrified to take off my clothes. Or shower. Or do anything wrong because my grandfather was watching. I realize that her intentions were innocent, but frankly, that scared the living shit out of me. Still kind of does. I seriously hope that if there is a heaven, they have better things to do.

Being an "atheist," or whatever it is you would call me, I sometimes struggle with the thought of afterlife, of what happens after death. Because, frankly, I don't know. And it makes me so uncomfortable to comfort people when all I want to do is talk about the deceased's life, when everyone else wants to talk about their death.

I usually just stick with an apology, a hug, and an offer to cook them a good meal. I can put my heart into the food, my grief, my sympathy, and my empathy. It's so much easier for me to love through actions than words. Sometimes, I just really suck at words.

1 comment:

Bradshaw said...

Sometimes, the non-words are the ones that help the most.