Lori's Stories

Lori's Stories

with heart

There Are No Words



This is my first blog post, please don’t stop reading! In my writing, I enjoy contradictions and irony. Take two opposing ideas, mush them together and watch the sparks ignite. Today’s topic is not having words. As a writer, I get anxious as I compose texts, email, Facebook posts, because I feel like they need to be well written with proper punctuation, because I picture people judging me, possibly thinking, “what’s wrong with her, I thought she was a writer!”


So, when I have to write a meaningful message to someone to express sympathy or deep concern, I find it hard to transcribe the perfect message, to convey my feelings. Then it hit me - in some situations, there just aren’t any words. Try to describe to someone how you felt when you experienced love well up inside your chest the first time you held your baby? You can’t, but all of us who have been there, get it. You don’t need to put it into words.


I was faced with two instances this week when words wouldn’t come and those words that did seemed hollow and disingenuous.  My work with the Children’s Heart Foundation has led me to some amazing people, led me to many children fighting big battles and led me to witnessing some miraculous and some horrendous situations. I met a woman recently who has been at Pittsburgh Children’s Hospital since her son’s birth six months ago because he was born with a critical congenital heart defect. His situation is now dire and he’s losing his battle. Nothing more can be done for him. We will celebrate his sixth month birthday on Mother’s Day with a balloon release and then his parents must “let him go” on Monday. I wanted to write to her this past Wednesday after she met with a funeral director, but every word I wrote sounded stupid. Because, what do you say? I just let her know she was loved. That’s all she needed to hear.


Yesterday, another friend at the same hospital announced that her six year old was getting a new heart that she’d been waiting to receive. Tears hit my eyes and I fumbled for what to say to her. How many exclamation points? The same amount that matched the goose bumps all over my body? There was also uncertainty and anxiety for this mother as she prepared to wheel her daughter into surgery. I just let her know I was praying. She didn’t need my words or my exclamation points. She needed that heart. And, she just needed to know she and her daughter were loved.


I reflected on situations in my own life when I experienced profound loss. No one could say the right thing to me. No one’s words were comforting. But people showing me their love did ease the pain temporarily. My greatest comfort came from those who had experienced the same situation as I had. They didn’t need to say anything. They got it. They were there for me.   


So writers, don’t stress about not always finding the words. Sometimes there simply aren’t any words. Put down your pen, stop typing, just open your arms and form a big hug around someone who needs it. Just like the Children's Heart Foundation logo illustrates ...


Just give them your heart. That’s all everyone wants.

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