Monday, December 08, 2008

What To Say, What To Say...

Something with which I've always had trouble is: what can I say to someone who's suffering?

I hate cliches.

(I know there's supposed to be a ` or something over the 'e', but I don't know how to put it there!)


They're what people say when they shouldn't say anything at all.

"I know how you feel", "Things could be worse", "I know what you're going through"....


That said, I have real trouble when it comes to offering verbal support to friends who are in real pain. What can I say that doesn't come off as sounding cliched?

A friend looses their job... I say, "that sucks!" because I don't want to bring up the fact that I lost mine too, & trivialize their pain by comparing it to my own & maybe making them feel worse not because of their circumstances, but because it could seem as if I'm trying to usurp their misery.

Someone's loved one dies... I say, "that sucks!" instead of, "I know how you feel because I've had loved ones die, too" for the same reason.

I just wish that I had the ability to verbalize sympathy without sounding like a Hallmark card.

I don't have a lot of friends, but the ones I do have I feel a fierce loyalty toward, to the point that I want to "fix" what's wrong, "kill" that thing that's hurting them so keenly, "defend" them from what so often turns out to be indefensible.

(Am I making any sense at all, or is this one of those "stream of consciousness" things?)

I don't like to burden them with my problems simply because I don't want them worrying about me when I know they have problems of their own; most of them much worse than my own.

I'm unemployed, going on more than two weeks now..... A friend of mine has been without work for over 6 months!

I have a sick kid in the house..... I have friends who have things wrong with them that even the so-called doctors can't figure out!

So what can I say?

The only thing I can seem to do is pray. That should be enough, right? I mean, I'm not going to stop praying for you. I just want y'all to know that when I say, "You're in my prayers", that I'm definitely NOT spewing forth a cliche!

It also doesn't mean I'll show up on your front stoop waving my arms around, shouting "GAAWWD!!" at the top of my lungs, or waxing eloquently with a plethora of 'thees' & 'thous'.

Not for me.

Unless you REALLY want me to, you know, scare the bejabbers out of your neighbors...

ANYway, I just want you, my friends, who are in many ways more like family to me, to know that yes, I'm perpetually praying for you (and for myself, too) & eagerly awaiting the time when we can once again enjoy each other's company.



  1. Eh, I prefer the "Dude, that sucks. Let's grab a beer!" approach... it works for me.

  2. That defiantly *is* is a good approach.

  3. One too many "ises" = one too many beerses...?

  4. And that was supposed to be "definitely", for fuck sake!