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Talking to Grievers

I still don't know what to say

When someone's spouse dies

I fumble with inadequate sentiments

And words that fall flat


"I'm so sorry" doesn't cut it

"I hate this" is a little better

But why do we mention ourselves at all

While triaging a hemorrhaging heart?


Losing a spouse

Is a nightmare few understand

An out of body shock

No words can fix


The closeness of the relationship

And the tearing apart of a union

Makes a pain so deep that

The griever feels like they died too


But if words aren't sufficient

And those meant to reduce pain only make it worse

What can we do

When silence is just as cruel?


We can show up

For the funeral

With a meal left on a porch

Or flowers sent to the home


We can rage against death

Let them know we grieve too

Find ways to say "this is horrible"

And let it be that way far longer than is comfortable


We can send a blanket

Or a text

Money for coffee

Anything that shows we haven't forgotten


We can use their precious name

While telling stories

That show we remember

They lived


What matters most is that we

Show that we care

Even when we're not sure how.


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