This week, a great friend of mine lost his teenage brother to leukemia. It would be the time for me to turn all my love for him in mute physical support that would allow him to unwind his pain in whatever way he could. But then… we’re about 800km (google says: about 500 miles) apart, so the best I can do is a phone call and there are really no words. None, at all.
He’d been updating us through his facebook page on his brother’s status, so there was a lot of commotion down there, and though I personally find it too cold a way to express your condolences, I went on to read what other people were posting to him, in the slim hope of finding words for what is to be the heavier most unpleasant phone call I will ever give him.
All I found was this:
“He’s in a better place with God now. You should let Him guide you through this difficult time, knowing that He’s good and taking care of that little angel now. Let Him give you the strength you need.”
Which just, you know, pissed me off. That’s empty. That means nothing. Why don’t you go comfort him? Why don’t you go be the strength he needs? Does leaving it all to God actually help anyone?
(This AI is way shakier than it should be, but…)
What do you say to someone in a situation like this? How can you make them truly feel your sorrow (or can’t you)? What words would you put in such a phone call? How would you deal with all the “it was God’s wish” crap?
The Afternoon Inqueery (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Queereka community. Look for it to appear Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays at 3pm ET.