Monday, December 10, 2007

I'm sorry

I’ve always felt that saying I’m sorry is kind of cheap and inadequate. It’s what you say when you spill a glass of root beer or accidentally give away the ending to a book your friend is reading. Although you regret what happened, you know there’s nothing you can do about it, and so the words always seemed to me really meaningless. A year ago today, however, those words took on new substance when Star C. Foster passed away, suddenly and shockingly, of a pulmonary embolism. I'm sorry about that too, and there’s not a damned thing I can do about it, and I feel more regret than words can say. So I’ll say those words to her, because I am sure that, wherever she is, she’s found a way to get Internet access.

I’m sorry that when you first complained of leg pain I didn’t know anything about blood clots and pulmonary embolisms. If I had, I’d have bundled you into my tired old Corolla and taken you straight to the ER.

I’m sorry that when I got to the hospital that morning all I could do was tremble and clutch Dan’s coat, and that when it came time to face your parents, I could only leave him to say the right thing.

I’m sorry that I didn’t have the power to restore life, and still don’t. Thousands of pages of fiction tell me that using such power never has a good result, but that day I would have used it in a minute. A stone-cold minute.

I’m sorry that when I saw you on Friday I didn’t know that the following Thursday we’d be standing around your coffin. If I had, I wouldn’t have let you leave, or I would have followed you home.

I’m sorry that I couldn’t muster the resolve to say a few words at your funeral. Once again, it was up to Dan.

I’m sorry that I used to regard euphemisms like “passed away” as a pathetic attempt to deflect reality. The reality was that I knew jack about death and how hard it was to name, much less to accept.

I’m sorry that I no longer reach for my phone to invite you for dinner when Dan and I have prepared too much food. That’s called, “getting on with life”, and I’m sorry it’s so cruel.

I’m sorry that Halloween is not for me quite the party holiday it once was. Your absence from it has changed things.

I’m sorry that I now know that wisdom is sometimes bitter to receive.

I’m sorry that I resent the person now living in your old apartment. He/she has done nothing to deserve it except be there when I want someone to blame for your not being there.

I’m sorry that when I see your number, still in my phone, I am reminded that even if I press the green button you’ll never receive the call. I don’t delete the entry, though; it’s a false hope I can’t live without.

I’m sorry that I didn’t hear your laugh at my stand-up debut, which I would have picked out easily from all the others. It was a terrifying thing for me to try but I think you would have approved.

I’m sorry I never appreciated the joy of walking around a city taking pictures until it was too late to share it with you.

I’m sorry that it took your passing to make me realize how disconnected I was from my emotions, and how ashamed I was of feeling. I can’t change the past any more than I can bring back the dead, but I have the power to carry the lessons I've learned this past year into the future, a future I get to have, and to feel, and to live.

And about that, I’m not sorry.


Blogger Debra b. said...

Ditto what you said. I'm not sure I can say it any better.

9:52 AM  
Blogger Tommy said...

Wondefully said, sir.

11:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am very proud of you

Luv Ya

12:57 PM  
Blogger Gillian said...



6:05 PM  
Blogger Star said...

Well said.

8:11 PM  

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