Music for the Masses

Thursday, March 5, 2009


I got an email from my step-mom this morning. Her mom passed away on Saturday. She actually sent the email on Sunday, but our lovely client-based email crapper (read: Outlook) decided not to download any messages until today. Of course, I sent a heart-felt letter of condolence and expression of sympathy, but it just seemed ... hollow? Empty? Not because I didn't mean what I said; I absolutely did. I don't know ... I just felt like i was reciting from memory what I knew was appropo to say, yet it was exactly what I felt.

So now I feel like not a good step son. I'm an English major; I work with words for a living. You'd think I could find something a little more eloquent than rote dialog suitable for a passing, but no ... blank as a fresh-off-the-assembly-line chalkboard. Other than the expected churn, of course.

I don't know ... it's always difficult to know what to say to someone who's just lost someone. I mean, I always *want* to say, "Ohhh ... s/he's in a better place." But really, who wants to hear that? Or there's "I'm so sorry for your loss," "My deepest sympathies," "Our condolences" ... they all sound so trite and canned. But the reality is that she IS in a better place. I am sorry for my step mom and sister's loss. She was a wonderful woman. So warm, and kind and loving. We have such fond memories of her of when we'd visit in the summers and go to their cabin on the lake.

Which is precisely what I ended up telling her, along with the expected lines. The thing with death is that it's an end--someone or something loses the breath of life and pass on to the other side. They really are better off. We are the ones left with the heartache and void that seems so impossible to fill.

Goodbye, Grandma B. May you rest in peace and find your loved ones waiting for you on the other side.

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