I talk about apologies a lot. My mom always says that if you really care about someone, you should apologize to them whether you think it’s ‘just’ or not, because sometimes caring for someone’s feelings means shelving your pride and doing your utmost to make them feel good, even if you don’t feel you ‘need’ to. An apology is more than an admission of wrongdoing, according to my mother; it’s rather, an admission of caring.
And she’s right. People can battle back and forth all they want about who’s right, and who’s not, but at the end of the day, the reason people stick to those guns so vehemently, is because what they want is an apology. It’s a word that connotes so much more than what its definition represents. It’s a laying-down of weapons, it’s a white flag, it’s a bleeding heart tenderly wrapped in swaddling clothes. It’s a symbol of repair and caring. If countries apologised to each other, they would be more likely to mend, rather than continue on a path of destruction, of broken bridges and severed ties.
To not apologize, is to adamently defend and stand by your thrusting hatred. To not apologize is to say, ‘I am right, and nothing else matters’. To not apologize represents selfishness. It tells someone that you are somewhere out there in the far reaches of your world, taunting someone by dangling an unreachable apology. Not apologizing is telling of the kind of person someone truly is, that they would regard their own self above all else that they cannot so much as utter two simple words: “I’m sorry” to another person, who awaits an apology that will never, can never arrive, and so they’re floating far, far away on a boat aimlessly, when an apology would be the lighthouse that would guide them home. And there they are, trapped out in the doldrums, where there are three lighthouses sitting on the rocks at three different points: childhood, young adulthood, and adulthood; and none of them are lit, and none of them can be seen from the middle of calm, un-moving, still waters.
I’m sorry. I’m sorry you’ll never read this because you’re dead and gone and died with your terrible crimes, for which you never admitted to or apologized for; I’m sorry your family still has the image of you of a beloved father and husband, and I’m sorry that you love and miss him. I’m sorry you moved on so quickly, that you wouldn’t, couldn’t, and are never able to see the necessity of apologizing to someone like me; I’m sorry the amends we made were under the circumstances in which we made them; so deeply sorry. Lastly, I’m sorry… that you think you are living a “full life”, that you think you have nothing to apologize for, that you’ll read this and either know it’s about you but not give a shit, or else have no interest in reading any of my words, whether or not they are about you, or else you’ll read this and stupidly assume that it’s about someone else just as long and gone from my life as you are. I’m offering these apologies not because I don’t care, but because I do.