I’m Sorry

Two little words that can mean so much. Sometimes by saying them.  Sometimes by not. After my last blog and subsequent happenings since I have thought a lot about those words and their meaning.  And even if sometimes they are enough. So I wanted to explore my feelings on it just a bit more.  Which led me here yet again.

I’m sorry.  Do you say it enough when you mean it?  When you say things you shouldn’t in a fight or when you are mad. Do you say I’m sorry? If you say it when you are fighting, or if someone says it to you, is it true at that time, or do you say it in a sarcastic kind of way? If the other person says it to you, does it help? Does it make you forget the fight or the words? Is saying or hearing I’m sorry really have some magic power to make things all better? On the other hand, what if after the fight or the hurting words, the other person does NOT say it?  What about the absence of someone saying I’m sorry? I know it hurts when they don’t say it, because it feels that they are not sorry. So on the flip side, does it really make me feel better when they say it? Maybe. I hope so. But I have to know they mean it.  I know I have had to say I am sorry after words I have said and didn’t really mean.  And I meant it when I said I am sorry.  But it didn’t help me feel better about what I had already said. And it doesn’t help me forget how I made someone else feel.

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I think about how we say I’m sorry when someone experiences a loss in their life.  Whether it is a grandparent, parent, friend or other.  We tell them, I am sorry for your loss.  I know I mean it and I appreciated hearing it when I experienced such a loss.  But I get to thinking, isn’t there something else I can say?  Sometimes I can say, I know how you feel. In so much, that if I have had a similar loss, that is.  I guess I know how it felt for me.  So really, we can’t know how exactly anyone else feels such a loss for them! Then there is tragic loss.  My cousin a few years ago lost her son in a tragic accident. He was only 21.  He was the same age as one of my sons.  Although we live far apart we were always exchanging stories about them with each other.  When she lost him, I said I am sorry, knowing that could never ever be enough. I couldn’t and still can’t imagine such a loss. I still don’t know what words ever invented could be right to say to someone in that instance.

In my last blog, I talked about my friend who was diagnosed again with that word I don’t even want to say right now! I am mad there is such a disease that comes and ruins so many lives! (That is just where I am at again at the moment…not giving it any strength by saying it!) She got news about this that was not good. Devastating is the only word I can think of.  I said I’m sorry. And it feels inadequate. There is comment after comment saying, I’m sorry.  We all meant it, mean it still.  But there has to be something to say that is better than that.  Sometimes I think those words have been used so much that maybe they have lost their strength when uttered. I wish that the feeling I have in my heart, the one I carry when I think of this or my cousin, or others that have had bad news, I wish that I could put that feeling into words. But I don’t think the words exist to describe that feeling.

So I say I’m sorry, feeling it is never enough.

5 comments

  1. I think saying I am sorry is always appropriate and also saying “I just don’t have the words to say how I am feeling but I am here for you” is also very appropriate. I rarely say “I know you feel” because I don’t think I really can experience things exactly the same as another person. With that being said I think it is more important to make the effort than to not say a thing. Silence is much worse than not having the right words—your friend knows you and knows of your intention.
    Nice post, Joy. We all deal with saying those “I’m sorry’s” at times –the important thing is doing it.

  2. The thing is, when a person says, “I know how you feel, I’ve experienced the same thing” it can sound like it is about the person saying it. So, sometimes saying I’m sorry is better. Adding, “let me know if you need anything” or “I love you” (if appropriate)

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