Sheriff Sarah

Sheriff Sarah

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

When Words Aren't Enough

Words. We use them everyday at work, at home and in town. Spoken, written or typed, any method you choose. Words make us laugh and cry. Words bring us to anger and help us grieve. What happens when words aren't enough?

This past weekend I learned about the death of a young girl. Death is a part of life and it happens every day in many ways. This was a young girl whose life was full of promise and she was the daughter of a high school friend. Every premature death is a tragedy and this one is no different. When we face situations like these, words seem painfully inadequate.

The past six years I've seen two friends die from breast cancer; a beloved uncle die prematurely (also cancer); my last living grandparent fade as dementia set in; too many kids with liver disease fly to heaven; two people close to my wife's family commit suicide. The list could go on. It's nothing unique. We all experience death in our lives at some point.

But how do we adequately express grief or comfort in these circumstances? These are the times with physically presence and touch have their greatest impact. Words aren't necessary. A hug from a friend. A shoulder to cry on. Listening to the late night lamentations of a friend for things left unsaid to a deceased spouse. All of these capture the essence of what true relationship can be.

Words are a fundamental part of our lives but they are, after all, just words.

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