My friend called to share some heartbreaking news. She had been to the doctor and had learned that she would not be able to have children. A dream she had nurtured for years had died a sudden and unexpected death. She was devastated and I was devastated for her.
I felt profoundly sad and powerless. I, the verbose writer, was at a loss for words. I waded through the clichés and platitudes that flooded my brain, desperate to find the one comforting phrase that would buoy my friend’s sinking spirits. “When God closes a door, somewhere he opens a window,” just didn’t seem enough.
I could not conjure the words that would illuminate the mystery or lessen the inequity of her infertile status. She cried uncontrollably, questioned her purpose on the planet, and beseeched me to explain why this terrible thing was happening to her.
I didn’t have the answers. All I could do was cry along with her and repeatedly utter, “I’m sorry. I am so sorry.”
Listening to my friend’s soul-wracking sobs reminded me of another time I had felt utterly useless and at a loss for the right words.