A Letter To Those Who Are Suffering


She said, "They're sending her to hospice now." and I knew.

I knew too well...or maybe only as well as I needed to know, could know, the small drops I swallowed of the sea of suffering.

I knew the ice chips and the dizzying medication lists - my husband halfheartedly joking about the utility of using Army time. I remember that email from her, the soon-to-be-deceased, 'Oh Kerry, we have plenty of time' and me with a wild eyed panic, thinking 'But we have no time, that is the very last thing we have is time.'

So if you are also drifting oarless on the sea of suffering, I am speaking to you.

I'm so sorry.

There are no words and yet I want to say all the things and make it better and take away the sadness and suffering, for you, for her, for our whole f*ed up world that feels even more f*ed up recently than usual.

A friend said to Joyce Carol Oates after her husband died

'Oh Jo it will hurt so much'

I say to you with tears in my eyes, it will hurt so much, the hardest flip-coin-side of that deep love.

All the love, all the words.

By Kerry Makin-Byrd, PhD