What are the hardest things to say? Or the things that would help us all if we said them more? Phrases like, "I don't know," "I was wrong," "Tell me more," "I love you," and "You can go." Phrases that enrich lives with active listening and help us through the pain and discomfort of human interactions.
Kelly Corrigan, author of The Middle Place, shares stories about twelve of these phrases that are hard to say, hard to know when to say, and needed at the hardest times in our lives. Corrigan's family and friend circle has been devastated by cancer and many of her stories reflect that reality. She is also a parent and some of the stories surround that. One of my favorite stories and where "Tell Me More" originated is about aging and a moment of clarity during a visit to a spa.
What I like best about Kelly Corrigan is that she makes sense. She is described as the "Poet Laureate of the Ordinary" and I agree. This is not to disparage the everyday moments in life or insinuate that the ordinary is the same for us all, but rather to celebrate the parts of life that we may have in common. Kelly's stories mirror my own when she writes about her relationships with her parents, the friends she made at different stages in her life, how to react to angsty or angry children, the guilt she feels about certain things, and the struggle to say good bye when someone is dying. There is no one perfect way to deal with what life throws at you, but reading someone else's stories and finding comfort in their words sure helps me and may help you, too.