One of my friends died during the last month, very slowly and painfully. I can’t talk much about her yet in real life because I start to grind my teeth and make weird gasping noises, which seems to be my substitute for actual crying. But I found this and it was everything I wish I’d been able to tell her.
“Whenever I saw her, I felt like I had been living in another country, doing moderately well in another language, and then she showed up speaking English and suddenly I could speak with all the complexity and nuance that I hadn’t realized was gone.”
It’s from Truth and Beauty, the book Ann Patchett wrote after her friend Lucy Grealy died.
If you can articulate feelings like this, no matter how clumsy they sound, say them.
I think that may be the only good advice I’ve ever given.