Last Thursday night, I got news from the group mailing list that I belong to, that my friend’s mother was in the ICU. She told me two days before, that she planned to visit her mother and would depart on Sunday to her home country. I could feel her anxiety. Then on Friday morning, I called my friend again to know about more news of her mother. In the middle of our conversation, suddenly I heard her mumbling something. I couldn’t make up what she said, so I asked her about it. From the telephone I listened to her crying and said that she just received news from her sister, that her mother passed away.
I’m not good in consoling others when they’re in mourning. I can feel their pain and devastation. I’ve been there, but somehow I doubt that any words that I say would be sufficient to relief what they feel. Do I say,”I’m sorry for your loss”? Or, do I say,”You must feel terrible”? Or,”I know how you feel”? When I was mourning my mother’s passing a year ago, I learned at how people around me tried to console me. I didn’t ignore any of them, but when some people tried to console me by telling their own story of mourning, I stopped listening. It’s not because I didn’t care, but I think every mourning, every heartbreak is different. So you cannot draw the same line,”I’ve been there, you should feel this or do that”. Unless the person asks you to tell your own story, maybe keep yours instead. Sometimes a hug, a long-tight hug is all a person needs, nothing else. I don’t think there’s any words that can truly represent of sympathy, although, the usual “sorry for your loss”, is somewhat enough.