I Could Only Imagine. . .

And STILL, I Wasn’t Prepared.

Paula High-Young
19 min readApr 1, 2024

Two years ago, something happened that shook me to my core. I couldn't finish writing about it until recently.

Photo by Mateus Campos Felipe on Unsplash

What Can You Say?

As I entered my 50s, it became an all too frequent refrain, with friends and family alike.

“I’m so sorry for your loss.”
“I’m sending you my heartfelt prayers for you and the family.”
Or, “Let me know whatever I can do to help.”
Too many deaths. Maybe you’ve noticed this, especially as you get older.

Even as we utter the words, they feel empty — so powerless. What’s the right thing to say when you learn someone you care about is going through the death of a loved one?

As we look on, we can feel helpless and lost. We want to ease their pain — to help in some way. But. . . words seem inadequate in those moments.

I’ve been through the losses of several family members and dear friends. Each time, it felt unbelievably difficult. Each passing is different and can be hard to navigate, in various ways.

Do you ever wonder if other people feel similarly to your experiences in times of grief? I don’t believe there’s a “standard” way of “doing” grief. Everyone needs to…



Paula High-Young

Life & Wellness coach. Writer. “Ham radio” operator KZ5YL, photographer, & hot-air balloonist. www.HolisticWellnessWriters.com