My beloved wife and I have seen entirely too many members of our families die recently, four in the past three months. Both of us lost a great uncle; I lost an uncle only Sunday, and she lost her brother in January.
I could easily slip into a string of clichés. Death tends to provoke such a thing, and I well understand why. For those impacted by the deaths, words do not suffice to express what is felt--even less than they ever do. And those people are placed behind a barrier by the impact of the death, the which makes it difficult or impossible for other people to offer anything that resembles a meaningful statement. But there is still the ingrained expectation that something needs to be said, and so we fall back on things that have been said time and again.
I hope to avoid the clichés. I have not always been able to do so, I admit; even though it has been remarked that my expression of emotion in the face of a loved one's passing was somewhat surprising, I do feel, and I feel intensely. Sometimes, it robs me of whatever it is that I have that passes for wit, and I act out of the need to say something, anything, to try to make such pain as is present go away. It matters not whether the pain is mine or that of others whom I love.
And, yes, there are people whom I love.
But there are a few fewer than there used to be.