Words to a friend who has lost her partner of many years

I’m not good at times like this. I want to shake the world for being unfair. But I can’t do that. Many times, I can barely manage my own pain. But I want to say something to you.

There are  things we can something about, and there are things we can’t. Rage, rage, rage, if that helps. It is unfair. It is not right. That is one reason I hate people who talk (to you!) about angels and prayer helping them: are they so important, so good, so prayerful that angels will help them and not blameless children who have a disease beyond their control? Or someone who was loving and good and never did anything wrong?

My second least favorite expression: “God never gives you more than you can handle” The person who said that never had a friend who killed themselves, trying over and over till the pain was gone. I do not believe that “higher powers” help any of us. We help ourselves. Our friends help us. Our family. The casual people who know something is wrong and just reach out a little.

You cannot unwind time. You cannot redo things. And even if you did, how could you make this situation right now different? I know you are strong. I know you do not believe that. But one step in front of another and you will someday be in a new place. I will walk with you until you are there.


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