17th October 2018

Reaching a place of acceptance

A lovely piece of writing, written by a friend for a bereaved person.


A Portuguese word for which there is no English equivalent. It means feeling sadness at missing someone who has meant a lot to you at the same time as feeling the happiness from having known them.

I recently heard about the Portuguese word “saudade”. Wanting to know more about the word I asked Louie, who comes from Portugal, of its meaning.

Louie pauses and said the word quietly, almost as if he cherished the word. Then he smiles and gently said “You won’t be able to translate it into English because there is no equivalent word”  But I will try to share with you the essence of the meaning of saudade.

The word conveys the sadness which comes from a deep deep longing and yearning for someone who is missing. But sadness is only one part of its meaning. Saudade also conveys the thoughts of happiness. This happiness comes from having known the person who is now missing. Sometimes the happiness of the memories can intensify the sense of longing and loss.

In Portuguese, sadness and happiness are woven together in one word, “saudade”