I'm Sorry. It Sucks.

by Jill Francis on August 20th, 2016

​I ran into an acquaintance recently; one who is familiar with my mother’s struggle with Alzheimer’s and her slow, lingering death.  His story is similar to mine in many ways and if anyone can relate to me, he can.  It was the first time he had seen me since my momma passed away and after catching up for a few minutes, he said, “I’m sorry.  It sucks.  And that’s about all I can say about it”.  It was Forrest-Gump-like in its frankness and simplicity, even in its delivery.  And it was perfect.  It was just what I needed.

I am realizing, at the height of my grief, I have myriad emotions I do not comprehend and cannot communicate; I simply have to live through this.  I also do not have the emotional capacity or desire to hear someone else’s story of grief, even if it is similar to mine.  And there’s the rub, the paradox of grief:  I do not want to hear your story, even if it shares the same DNA as mine…yet I do not want to feel alone.  The Great Lie of grief and loss is that it tells us we are alone.  Isolated.  Unloved.  And we will never recover.

Therein lies the beauty of my friend’s phrase, “I’m sorry.  It sucks”.  It conveys regret and empathy…and empathy conveys connection…and connection conveys community…and community conquers isolation.  I am not alone.  You are not alone.  Someone understands.  We will recover

Are you grieving?  Have you experienced loss?  The loss of a loved one?  A job?  A dream?

 I’m sorry.  It sucks.

**If the word “sucks” offends your sensibilities, the word “stinks” may be used instead.

Posted in not categorized    Tagged with Alzheimer's, grief, Long-term illness


Sean Eubanks - August 20th, 2016 at 3:44 PM
Wounds to the mind, the heart, the soul, all produce the same animal need to find a dark place to hide and heal, far from boisterous normalcy.
In sadness, grief, or depression, there is often no strength left to reach up to that offered helping hand, that lifeline.
Sometimes, for survival's sake, it is enough to have someone love you enough to sit quietly beside you, to touch your hand, gently stroke your hair, and, by nothing more than their presence, remind you that the world will wait, until you can stand up again.

Jill Francis - August 21st, 2016 at 9:24 AM
Oh my, Sean...those are wonderful, powerful and true words. Thank you.
Peggy - August 20th, 2016 at 5:56 PM
Losing my only sister and my Daddy within a year of each other nearly did me in, and I think the hardest part was living in Kansas, so far away from "home" that nobody knew them. People seemed embarrassed when I spoke of them. I needed the community of folk who could share Jackie and Jack T stories and remembrances. It took me years and a kitten to pull myself out of profound depression, and their deaths were not as long coming and soul draining as your sweet Mama's. Yep. It sucks big time, and I'm sorry.
Jill Francis - August 21st, 2016 at 9:23 AM
Feel free to e-mail me Jill@Graciousgoodbye's.org and tell me whatever you want about your sister and Daddy. I can't imagine that much loss in such a short time. Your story is just as hard...it's simply different...and I am sorry.

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