This morning a friend called saying she was sorry for something she had said last night, as we were coming out of another friend’s birthday celebration. More than hurt me with her sharp words, she surprised me; saying you’re sorry is part of any relationship, and so is understanding, and forgiving, so in the end all was well between us.


She left me thinking about how hard it is to say “I’m sorry”; for some, the proud ones, it’s almost impossible, and often much pain is caused because of the lack of these two simple words, and the healing effect they might have is lost forever. At times you cannot say you’re sorry, because you never see that person again; at others, your pride won’t let you say them.


Songs have passed on this message, such as Chicago’s “Hard to Say I’m Sorry” and Elton John’s “Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word”, just to name two of the most well-known.


Then I thought of all the “sorrys” I should have said in my life and all those I would have like someone to say to me – and two of them would have been most significant.


Once there was someone in my life who gave me all his love and made me very happy; he made me feel loved, cherished; took me to the most beautiful places; we danced together the most romantic songs and he dedicated them to me;  we spent magical hours together in his attic, listening to the raindrops on the roof or watching the sun rays that came through the small window, talked endlessly into the night and walked with our arms entwined under the stars… a happy time that I destroyed in a minute, because I fell in love with someone else. I never saw him again, never had the chance to tell him how sorry I was, how sorry I still am for having caused him so much pain – that he didn’t deserve. Maybe one day we can meet again, in this life, and I can tell him “I’m sorry”; not only for the pain I caused him, but also for having ceased to love him, because if anyone ever loved me truly he was that person, and I sent him away.


Then there is someone from whose lips I would like to hear those words. It’s not that he didn’t love me deeply, even passionately at a time. What he should be sorry for is the fact that, even loving me, he let his pride win over that love; he let his ego take over the recognition that there were problems to be faced, and solved, if only he would accept them. Together, we might have fought them and won; but no, like an ostrich he buried his head in the sand and waited for the storm to pass, and for the problems to sort themselves out, without realising his whole body was out there in the open, for everyone to see. And the problems not only remained, they grew bigger and bigger, and became monsters who devoured our love.


Probably I’ll never have the chance to find my old love and tell him how sorry I am; and it’s highly unlikely that this love of later years will one day come to me with those words on his lips. No doubt, sorry must be one of the hardest words to say, but when it finally comes out of someone’s mouth it’s incredibly powerful, turning resentment into love and bitterness into hope. In the end, it’s not too difficult to say. If only we’d give it a try: “I’m sorry”. And say it from the bottom of our hearts.

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