Every year, as the leaves drop from the trees and the tamaracks glow yellow, melancholy memories filter through my mind like a disjointed slide-show: friends lost to slow, cancer-eating death; relationships permanently marred by thoughtless, angry words; moving from a secure future for one that is unknown and fraught with the fear of possibility; the unexpected exit of a beloved family member. I feel bereft of words to express myself.
Bordering on desperation, my mind continues to seek connections, looking for a story among the randomness of life, even as I try to rationalize the symbolism of a season that seems pockmarked by regular journeys toward death.
Yet, I am unable to share these memories with a man and his children, thousands of miles away who so desperately need comfort. My memories are meant only as a conduit for empathy, but I cannot find the words to truthfully express that emotion. It paralyzes me. I decide to write the following:
I'm so sorry. We love you. I'll call you soon.
It's not enough, but it will do.