Exactly what do you say in a condolence card?
Especially one that needs to go to a very special aunt who has lost her son in a horrific way?
How do you tell her that you feel the pain she is feeling? Not on her level, of course. Unless you have experienced that particular pain you cannot possibly even begin to imagine how she feels.
My cousin was killed approximately two weeks ago. I just found out about it less than a week ago. I don't think I have still completely processed it. I have a feeling that whomever was ultimately responsible will not walk away with a "murder" charge - but with one of those lesser charges like manslaughter or something equally irrelevant.
The end result is that he is gone. At 38. At the hands of someone else.
And that my dear aunt; the one who has told me consistently that I am really her daughter and that my mother stole me from her at birth, is broken.
Completely and totally broken.
I can't even begin to imagine.
The very thought of having Man-Child taken from me - in any way, violent or not - takes my breath away and leaves me sick and shaken.
And so I sit, speechless for once, unable to express my sorrow to her. Unable to soothe the pain she must be feeling. Unable to be with her and hold her in this time of immense need. To know that her son is gone. Forever.
His life; taken by another. To know that his last day on this earth was such a difficult and violent one. To have it played out, in detail, over and over again on the news and in the ethernet.
I look at the pictures of his life of late and can only remember the blond curls and the little grin that he had when he was a little guy and I cry. For the family broken. The life left unlived. The young daughter, and other family, left behind - who must, somehow, pick up the pieces and go on; without him.
And once again, I lift my pen to paper to try and express my immense sorrow. To try and soothe her. And again, I fail.