not knowing what to say

Most of the time, I think co-blogging is a great idea. Some of the time, though, I wonder. For instance, right now, I have a long list titled “blog ideas” that includes: some thoughts on the latest book I read about food; ideas for design on a budget/ with kids/ as a renter; motherhood and feminism; some connections between writing about faith and writing about motherhood; my experiment with making my bed every day.

But. I’m kind of frozen because none of that seems important after your last entry and the news about Scott’s dad. And I’m one of those people who never knows what to say about this kind of news….I’m so sorry. Of course I am. But I can’t say I know exactly what you guys are going through and if I can’t fully empathize, I sort of freeze up, for some reason. I guess I don’t want to say the wrong thing. And I’m pretty glad you told me over the blog and not by phone so you wouldn’t have to gracefully endure my bumbling and stuttering and end up trying to make me feel better about my lack of empathy and eloquence rather than me trying to make you feel better about a Very Real Thing you are experiencing right now.

I guess this is partly a bridge for tomorrow’s entry, when I attempt to get to that “blog ideas” list, and partly a way for me to acknowledge that you and your family are hurting and scared and hopeful, all at the same time, and that I feel pretty useless as a friend, though this is definitely not about me.

I’m here, both virtually and literally, if you need to talk. I love prayer beads. I bought some once, in Ireland, when I was there for my senior trip. I returned home and gave them to my best friend, who grew up Catholic. She used to take me to church with her in high school and it was such a refreshing difference from the churches I grew up in. I loved the cushy kneelers, and the memorized prayers (like chants, almost), and the line for communion. I wasn’t supposed to take communion, because I wasn’t Catholic myself, but I didn’t know. My friend never told me. It doesn’t matter now, because she isn’t Catholic anymore, anyway. But it was a small town and there had to be people in that church who knew the girl visiting wasn’t supposed to be taking communion and maybe someone should say something.

But they let me do it anyway.

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5 thoughts on “not knowing what to say

  1. Mers, I never know what to say, either… Things like “that really sucks” just doesn’t seem to be enough. It’s hard to completely empathize, even if you’ve been through something similar because it’s never really the same situation…

    On another note, I have also taken communion and didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to. Growing up in a catholic country, people just assumed I had been baptized… oopsie! =)

  2. Having been the person in the middle of the harsh reality where someone you love might die, can i just say that friends “showing up” is the main thing people need when things are crappy. In fact, its really the only thing. Because everybody wants to run away from it, including the person it is happening to. So good job Maria, you showed up!

  3. I wish I could remember some of the specifics of a talk I had with a friend who deals with chronic pain. He seemed to find solace in some of Tolkien’s words.

    “In sorrow we must go, but not in despair. Behold! we are not bound for ever to the circles of the world, and beyond them is more than memory.”

    Sometimes there is nothing to temper sorrow.

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