when “i’m sorry” is grossly inadequate

Last Saturday I was working on giving life to a flower bed in my backyard. The flower bed looked awful, really. It needed a lot of attention and work. If you know me well, you would know I’m a city kid through and through. I don’t know the first thing about maintaining a flower bed or keeping anything green alive. But this bed was a long coffin of soil, manure, dead roots, and weeds. It needed life. It needed air and something green.

It took me three weekends to dig up the dead roots and weeds. I used a shovel to break up the dense soil and extract the roots. The dense soil makes a weird heaving, sucking sound when you shovel into it. I was intrigued and kept shoveling, ripping out dead roots along the way and dripping in sweat.

As I tried to breathe life into this coffin of soil on Saturday, I couldn’t help but think of a #Jackson family who was burying their only daughter. She was 18 years old and en route to her high school graduation practice last week when she drove over a large hole in Ridgewood Road. The hole was gaping and large enough that it warranted a manhole cover, which was missing. The convertible car she drove flipped. She was rushed to the University of Mississippi Medical Center where she died.


I don’t know this family but I grieve their unholy loss. Words like “tragic” and expressions of sympathy like “I’m sorry” just don’t effing cut it. What could you possibly say to a family who lost their only daughter? I have no words.

Which leads me to my frustration with the English language. It’s so shallow sometimes. There aren’t enough ways to say “I’m sorry,” which makes me really freaking sorry. Sigh.