You don’t necessarily know me. You may not understand all the facets of why I function as I do, or all the aspects of my anything-but-simple life. But there is one thing you should know, putting words around my thoughts and expressing my struggles has saved my life more times than I could ever count.
It started in journals. Dozens and dozens of journals have been filled with terrible grammar and punctuation throughout my decades. I scribble illegible notes everywhere. I have hundreds of half-started pieces in my phone. There are books in different stages on my computer begging to be finished.
I write. Even when you don’t know it, I write. I have since before I can recall anything else.
When I share things publicly, please understand it isn’t necessarily a way of asking for attention but a way of sharing a piece of my soul to you in a moment I felt led to do so. Not all of my soul is beautiful, or clean, easily explainable, selfless, sensible, or even parts I’m proud of. There’s a lot of me I’m not proud of.
But still, I write.
Sometimes when I share, it’s done on days like these where my mind cannot stop. Days where I know misspellings and cluttered thoughts may make me sound like a rambling mess, but still I write. So here I am, exhausted in ways I’ve never experienced before in my life, lying in my bed knowing I need sleep, writing because it is the comfort I can grasp at in this one second.
I need to say this, please, please, I beg of you Learn from Us.
Don’t let me be misunderstood here. I don’t want to teach you anything. I don’t want to share some poignant life lesson in the hopes of coming off as having learned some valuable wisdom. I don’t want credit here. I don’t want kind words saying how beautiful anything is, all I want is for this pain, this soul-wrenching pain to do one good thing. Just one. Please. I’m begging you now, don’t let our pain be ignored. Please, learn from us.
This hurts. It hurts every part of me. My family is broken right now. Pieces who belong here with us were stolen. They are now the empty spaces at our ridiculously large table. They are laughter, and memories, and beauty that we cannot look across our plates and laugh along with. Our family is dynamic. We are diverse. We are the epitome of resilient, but man, we want nothing more than to be whole right now.
And what hurts more is the fact that each and every one of us who is left is broken at this moment. Everywhere I look I see pain seeping out of souls longing for peace. This hurts beyond words. These words are meaningless compared to what could be said. But what should be said?
There is much I never stopped to consider. I never realized so many things. I don’t know how anyone could endure something like this alone. I don’t know how it wouldn’t destroy the humanity of a person.
You will not sleep. You will not eat. This week has been a rollercoaster of emotion. Grief has been woven into things that must be handled, quickly, efficiently, without any mistakes because we want everything to be perfect. But we are not okay.
We have moments where we put our faces on and someone says, “man you’re doing good for someone who…”
No. Just no.
We don’t know you. Our family is me. I am them. We are not the same but we laugh. We joke. We work our asses off. We are a force unmatched. We are intimidating women who will get it done and that is what we are doing now. We are working because they need us to. We need to. Everything is depending on it. We are depending on it.
And the second we can, we break apart all over again. The second we sit down, or drive, or see a photo, we fucking shatter. Understand this, that word is the closest I have to express how badly we shatter.
We can’t remember who said what. Who was where. Where we are. We can’t remember our people. We walk out of the room and don’t know why. We’re looking for our phones that we’re holding. We get lost driving. We can’t remember how to finish our own sentences. And to anyone who has no idea, we look absolutely abnormal.
We have been judged all week because we laugh and push through in front of those who have no idea what has happened. But believe me, we are not okay. We simply have the grace of being a part of a huge family who is leaning hard on one another right now. When one is strong she takes the lead until she can’t. Then another picks it up. And this was definitely not planned. This is simply how I have witnessed it for us, through us, these past few days.
Please learn from us.
Stop moaning about having to put your pants on to go be around people. Stop putting the events off. Stop avoiding the memories simply because it means you can’t binge watch tv.
I swear. I absolutely promise you, the second or third thought you have after your heart shatters will be regret for every missed opportunity to share time, love, and memories with those who have been ripped from your world. And that word, that 6 letter word, it eats into you. Even when you know better. Even when others try to comfort you and say it isn’t a logical feeling. It doesn’t matter. Regret will win.
So, do the thing. Love them. Be with them. Don’t waste time on people who do not love you. Don’t waste energy on the people who want you to look bad. Don’t waste time on half or partial feelings. Go all in. Love them more than you’re capable and show them. Please. Please I’m begging you, show up. Stop finding excuses why you can’t or why you shouldn’t. Stop being lazy. Stop giving yourself outs and okays. Set your issues down and work through them if they’re worth it. Go to them. Be with them. Make memories. Hold your babies. Please hold those who live in your heart in any way as tightly as humanly possible for as long as life will allow you.
Because let me tell you this, we are not in charge of life and death. It will happen and it will destroy whoever you think you are. And all you will be able to do is push the pieces of yourself back together and hope it makes a new workable version of you.
Please, please, as I’m crying in the dark, please learn from this pain. Let it do something good. Let it be for some reason. Let it help someone because right now, it’s all I have to offer anyone.
That and my imperfect love. I love you all. I really, truly, deeply do.