An Unspoken Bond

I met her a few times. She was nice. Quiet. I was one of the more junior stu­dents and she would occa­sion­al­ly give me words of encour­age­ment.

But what endeared her to me was the way she inter­act­ed with him. A com­fort­able famil­iar­i­ty, an unspo­ken bond they nev­er overt­ly dis­played in pub­lic but kept hid­den between them, a secret they shared as if to reveal it was to spoil it.

Sometimes, they’d talk about their kids. They were get­ting old­er. Getting mar­ried. Moving out.

When they found the can­cer in her body, he sus­pend­ed class­es imme­di­ate­ly. He told us we could find new teach­ers with his bless­ing. I looked up their address and sent a bas­ket filled with pâté and dip­ping oils. That was over a year ago.

They buried her last Wednesday.

And as much as I’d like to do some­thing, any­thing to make him feel bet­ter — offer my con­do­lences, tell him he has an ear — there isn’t any­thing I can do. Nothing will make up for his loss.

Our bond will remain unspo­ken too.


  1. I hope you say SOMETHING to him.
    As one who has lost a loved one (my moth­er) , the WORST is the feel­ing I get when nobody will acknowl­edge her absence. I have so many ‘friends’ who for­get she’s gone, won’t talk about it, men­tion it, acknowl­edge feels shitty…because she’s con­stant­ly in my thoughts (as is any­one who’s lost a loved one). Perhaps it’s fear..on the part of ‘friends’..afraid they’ll say the wrong thing or some oth­er crap…it’s their own fear of my opin­ion.…

    What I would like, in my life, if my friends and peo­ple around me acknowl­edged her death…said some­thing; ‘you must real­ly miss your mom’ or ‘your mom was a real­ly great lady’ or ‘it must be hard for you with your mom gone’
    but the silence is WAY more painful than any words come­ing from ‘friends’

    A bunch of my friends, upon the death of my mom, only sent me a bunch of flow­ers and a card ‘from the group’…not a sin­gle one of them has ever men­tioned a word, face to face or on the phone, about her death.…it’s like my pain ceas­es to exist, in their eyes…or they refuse to acknowl­edge it…dunno…but it’s harmed my friendships…how can I relate with them? when they are unwill­ing to relate with me??

    So, I hope you say something.…anything…any words are bet­ter than a card, a gift, or silence.…..

    just my expe­ri­ence talk­ing…

  2. I can see why some­one would be afraid of say­ing the wrong thing. I don’t pre­tend it did­n’t hap­pen, but I don’t think it would be appro­pri­ate to men­tion it, giv­en the lev­el of our acquain­tance. I think it’d be like dig­ging up old graves. Maybe he’d just like to for­get?

    I think you’re right though. I should at least say one thing, to put the ball in his court and let him know that I acknowl­edge it. That way, if he’d like the sup­port, he would know that he could talk to me.

    What your “friends” did is quite appalling. A group bas­ket is so imper­son­al. I liken it to send­ing you a text mes­sage about your loss. Thank you for shar­ing your expe­ri­ence. It’s taught me a lot.

  3. don’t be afraid to say the ‘wrong thing’… that’s sil­ly.… men­tion­ing the death/passing of a loved one is cel­e­brat­ing their existance..any words you say, with the intent to acknowl­edge or comfort…even if they come out awk­ward would still be appre­ci­at­ed by your friend/acquaintance..I’m sure… esp if you say or ask if it upsets them…
    I know evey­one deals with grief differently..some try to ‘stuff it’ and ignore it.…but I think most peo­ple think of their loved ones who aren’t here..everyday..many times a day…
    so acknowl­edge­ment is the kind­est thing.… and to let them know if they ever want to talk about their loved one, or hear you talk about their loved one…that’s wel­come too.…

    As far as your oth­er post…your new one about your psy­chol­o­gist meet­ings…
    from my sounds’re quit attached to your suffering…you say you NEED it to be cre­ative… you want a rela­tion­ship but val­ue your FREEDOM.….
    so, it seems you have a deep belief that a life free of most suf­fer­ing and cre­tiv­i­ty are mutu­al­ly exclusive…same with being in a rela­tion­ship and FREEDOM…you believe they are mutu­al­ly exclu­sive too>??

    when you’ve REALLY had enough suffering,…you will find ‘the way’ and ‘the light’ and a lev­el of con­scious­ness that FREE’s ‘you’ from suf­fer­ing and pain…

    when you’re ready…read; “A New Earth’ by Eckhart Tolle…his book points the way to a life full of joy, cre­ativ­i­ty, peace and real pow­er.

    and good luck with your ‘shrink’ hope he/she is a ‘good’ one :)


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