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What To Say

Posted on March 27th, 2005

I just got back from hanging out with some friends from residence, with whom I am currently off-stream. Oi it is late. It’s also the first time that I haven’t been up talking on MSN or on the phone for the longest time, either (not to suggest that doing so was bad in any way, though). Regardless, I feel compelled to make a post…

On Thursday, the Forums discussed the topic of death. In light of Good Friday, it was somewhat appropriate to have a discussion about the normally taboo subject. I found out today, however, death hit quite a bit closer to home. On Good Friday, one of my good friends from the Embassy Staff team’s father died. Jessica’s father had been struggling with cancer for many months now and, Friday afternoon, he breathed his last.

To be perfectly honest, I have no idea how to react; I feel very called to make a response and to express my concern, but my inability to formulate and articulate what I want to say keeps me at bay. I feel utterly helpless because I had never experienced anything like this for myself. I so want to be able to tell Jessica that I understand and that I can empathize with her, but I really do not understand. While it is a complete blessing that I have not had to stare death in the face for anyone really close to me, it is frustrating to be so unable to console her. Ugh.

I have decided, though, to do my best to make a trip out to show my support for her. Her father’s visitation and funeral will take place in the next few days and I’m going to make an early departure from Toronto in order to get things arranged so that I will be able to attend. Despite me not knowing her all that well, she has been very open about the entire situation and I feel that having as many people there to show that they care will mean a lot to her. Hopefully I’ll be able to figure something out.

This whole experience has been very new to me; I’ve known about her father’s fight for months, and I’ve seen the toll that it has taken first-hand. I’ve witnessed the hurt, grief, and anguish that death can cause. It sucks so much. And even though we talk about death as being a doorway into the eternal life, it’s very difficult to keep that in mind when I see people about whom I care suffer through a death.

And I really don’t know what to say. All I can do is offer my support because I feel that no words of mine would do any justice for Jessica or her family. While I trust that they will all be able to rebound from this (they are all incredibly strong individuals), I feel so saddened and hurt by their loss. I am utterly speechless. Frig, this really sucks.

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