An Open Letter to Everyone I Didn’t Send an “I’m Sorry for Your Loss” Note

Updated: Nov 14

I probably met you briefly over a Google teams meeting, maybe we had a casual coffee date 3 months ago. Maybe we were in the same lecture hall for communication in varsity. Or maybe you are a new colleague and I don’t know you all that well. I heard about the death of your fiance, brother, sister, child and even mother. I want to tell you that I didn’t have the words at the time and didn’t know if what I had then would ring genuine and true and in my view false shows of affection or care are worse than silence. That’s why I stayed silent cause I felt I barely knew you therefore could barely understand what this loss meant for you. But my silence is not erasing your grief. I still sometimes catch myself thinking about you and how you must be doing, if you’re having a good day with your grief, maybe you’re in therapy, or being supported by other loved ones. Of course my anxiety stops me from reaching out but I pray for you and wish you so well. I hope peace and comfort find you. And that you don’t think of my silence at all or me. I can’t imagine what you are going through and so all my condolences and “sorry” feel like I'll be fitting clothing I’m being forced to wear by the brand Societal Standards.

I want to tell you still, that your loss hurt me too. I haven’t lost a brother, mother, father, husband or best friend (mercifully) so, being in your shoes for even a second crippled me. And as a way to try and keep that feeling and fear away, I distanced myself from you like grief is just some contagion I can avoid forgetting that death is one really random roulette. And hey, if the roles were reversed…well I wouldn’t know what I would want.

I do want to be better at expressing my feelings but also my brain gets clouded with thoughts of how I don’t want to be another text you have to give an empty “thank you” too and I overthink my way of the simple stuff cause I’m trying to make it more about you but I have no idea how to physically manifest my caring and support for someone I don’t know all that well.

I guess what I’m saying is, hey person who could be defined as a stranger, I see your loss. I cannot feel or comprehend your grief and pain, but I hope you get all the comfort and support you need. And if there’s anything I can help with please let me know. And also feel free not to respond to this cause I know we have no real attachment to each other, but from one human to another, I care for you and wish you strength.


That acquaintance who didn’t say anything when you were going through a loss.

About the author:

I am a person of the world with a window that allows me many lives. Music and good food are why I'm still here. Apples are my arch enemy.


Instagram: @toki.suke


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