As a writer, I've spent most of my life believing words mean something. They're my passion, hope one day they will be my trade. But lately, I've realized words sometimes don't say anything at all. No, I haven't been drinking. ;)

In times of stress and worry, you realize how trite so many of the standard phrases are. "I'm so sorry for your loss."  "I feel your pain." "What can I do for you?" And of course, we say them, and we mean them, but what do they really mean when someone's hurting? How do you convey to someone you care, other than saying it over and over, no matter how hollow the words seem? That's some of what I've been struggling with lately. When you think about it, it truly is an amazing thing that words on a page written by someone you don't know can touch you so profoundly. A gift with words is something not to be taken lightly, but that gift sometimes disappears when you need it most.


SoulGirl said...

I hear you, this is a good post, sometimes as writers there are always times where words fail us, but then others there are times where the simplest word means as much as a thousand. We kill ourselves over those ones. ;)

It's almost like writing, how do you say something and mean it...when it looks so simple and over told. I guess you look at who wrote it -- and you just know. It came from the heart.

Great post.

J.A. Saare said...

So true, and so sad. What's terrible is, right now -- I have no words. I do understand, but I can't adequately convey it.


Ashley N said...

I agree with you wholeheartedly on this. :-/

Sarah Simas said...

When I was dealing with all my medical stuff back this time last year, all I heard was that trite stuff. It just seemed so scripted and used as 'something to say'. I think the best words can simply be nothing more than a hug and a warm smile.

Great post, Cari. :)

Helen Hardt said...

So true. Another online author friend of mine just lost her premature baby after six days. What can I say to her? Words are my life, yet there are no words.

Kaily Hart said...

Deep. I'm one of these people that never know what to say in situations like that. The standard and accepted responses just won't roll off my tongue. I've never really thought about it before, but perhaps that's why. I know it wouldn't sound sincere, that it's what everyone else has said. In many of these instances I have no idea what the person would be feeling or thinking, so how could I convey that I do? How would I know what would help? In the past, I've sometimes just said something like 'I can't begin to understand what you're going through, but I'll be here if you need anything at all.'

Kaye Manro said...

Wow, Cari. Great post. And you said so much with only a few words too. Yes, I understand.