Give Sorrow Words

Today I learned that a friend’s dad passed away.  I can’t say I knew much about his dad, or that he was sick, it never really came up in our somewhat frequent conversations.  We know each other long distance, one of those “professional colleagues who only really know each other online” sort of thing.  So while I can say, “I am so very sorry for your loss,” that doesn’t really feel like enough.  “If there’s anything I can do” doesn’t really seem to mean much from a thousand miles away.  My wife and I can’t even bring over some hot dish so they don’t have to cook dinner.

What’s left, then, is Shakespeare. This wouldn’t be the first time I said that Shakespeare contains within it the entirety of human emotion.  Whatever you feel, Shakespeare gave us the words to express it, that we may … what’s the word I’m looking for here, empathize? Commiserate? Share. To remind us that others have been there too, that we are not alone.

Not being the religious sort, I’m not a big “my thoughts and prayers are with you” kind of guy. But it’s cool, my friend knows that.  I think he also knows what I’m going to say next, because I certainly know that he’s reading this.  I have my own personal thing that I say when someone important leaves us. Maybe it’s a bit cliche, but I don’t care, because it means something to me.

Rest in peace, and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.

Thinking about you, my friend.


Which of Shakespeare’s words get you through grief, or offer comfort?  Share them in the comments.


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