We’ve all heard the sayings.
“Grief is universal.”
“There’s a 100% death rate.”
“We all have to go sometime.”
You get the gist.
In the end, we will all take our final curtain call.
Unless Jesus comes back before then, in which case, this party is lame AND WE ARE READY TO GO.
No matter how much “head” knowledge we may have about the inevitability of death, our hearts are a different story.
Because when grief, that literal home-wrecker, decides to come barreling down your street and bust your world wide open, head knowledge flies right out the window.
Sure, the death rate is 100%. But of every street in the world, how did it get my address?
And yes, we all have to go at some point, but did that point have to be now?
So, to the ones who have loved and lost, I dedicate this to you.
I didn’t know.
Sorry, let me start over.
I did know.
I knew someone you loved was gone. I saw the social media posts and the tearful goodbyes. I cried with you and prayed for you.
But until it personally affects you?
Well, you can never really know until you know… you know?
And I didn’t.
I didn’t know that they would always be on my mind.
That old text messages with them would hold such meaning. Or hearing their voice on an answering machine or in a voicemail could be so hard, but also exactly what you need.
I didn’t know that mornings would be the hardest.
Because throughout the day, your brain allows reality to set in and you slowly begin to come to terms with what’s real. But, if you’re able to enjoy a restful night of sleep, your mind goes through a factory reset and you wake up the next morning to do it all over again.
I wasn’t prepared to go through such a range of emotions.
For the pangs of jealously felt when seeing those who lived longer than my loved one. And the twinge of guilt for the younger ones who didn’t. For the anger to berate, the sadness to overtake and numbness that gave my puffy eyes a reprieve.
I look to you, you know.
Yes, even you.
You, who have lost a spouse, a parent, a child. A sibling, a grandmother, a nephew. A best friend, a lover.
You, who get out of bed everyday, if only to shower and brush your teeth.
You, who have done a deep dive into your faith, leaning desperately on a strength that’s not your own.
More will join your ranks.
More will find themselves in this club that no one signed up for, but were thrown into all the same.
To the ones who have loved and lost.
I am with you.
I am you.
I love you.
photo credits: Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash, Karim MANJRA on Unsplash