The Moments That Words Can’t Reach

There are moments that the words don’t reach…

My daughter and I sat in the balcony overlooking the stage as Angelica sang these words.

There is suffering too terrible to name…

All of a sudden, I wasn’t watching a show about Alexander Hamilton. I was caught in my own thoughts.

The moments when you’re in so deep…

Have I ever been there? Have I ever experienced a pain so deep that I now have the perfect words to comfort someone else? No.

It feels easier to just swim down…

Pain is funny. It’s so individualized and unique. Each story is different. Yet it’s so common and ordinary.

We’ve all felt it. From the youngest child, who is legitimately heart broken that he can’t play with the blue car, to the man who mourns the loss of that same child many years later because a child should never die before a parent.

The script is always different, but the pain is the same. So why don’t we have the right words yet? Why have we not figured out the perfect thing to say to ease that burden?

Because there are no words.

There are moments that the words don’t reach…

So we turn away and let them grieve alone because we’re too afraid to say the wrong thing, to add to their pain.

What would Kindness do in those situations? That’s what I constantly ask myself. Forget about bringing flowers and making meals. If Kindness were a person, what would she do?

I think she would sit.

I think she would sit close enough to feel the pain, to bear the burden. And instead of saying “This too shall pass” or “God has a plan” maybe she would just be silent. She would let her presence be enough.

I’ve been in the room where it happened. I’ve sat next to a dying friend. Age 30. Too young. And I couldn’t stand the feeling of sitting there, not knowing the right words to say. So I told myself if I really wanted to help, I would move — I would do her laundry and shop for her groceries and exterminate those damn ants from her kitchen. And that’s what I did.

But what I should have done was sit. Just sit in the bed right next to her like she asked me to, watching daytime TV.

There is suffering too terrible to name…

It’s hard my friend. But it’s not going away. Pain is going to travel this road with us as long as we breathe. Thank God, joy will too.

So let’s agree to be in this together. Let’s agree to let Kindness lead with her actions. Let’s agree to sit and simply allow our presence to fill the moments that words could never reach.

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