Your heart pounds against the silence. There is only the blood that pumps fiercely through your body, chasing down meaning at a cellular level. There is only the crushing pain, the weight of emptiness, the hope that flew off when we weren’t looking.

I wish there was something I could say to you that would make things easier. That would illuminate the reason behind it all. That would bring you healing and peace.

But there never is.

I wish that I could simply hold you through all of this. Share the warmth, soak up your tears, help you breathe.

But, again, I can’t.

There is only you, hanging on to a shred of faith. I will tell you that you are strong, but I know you don’t feel it. Not yet. I will tell you that the light still shines when you’re ready to see it, but it might be a while.

You are torn open. Defeated, broken, hopeless. I do not know your pain. But I have seen the dark of the night, and I do know it will end.

This thing – call it grief, call it heartbreak – it isn’t linear. It will visit like an old unwelcome friend when you’re sitting at the dinner table or taking a bath. You can fight it if you want, give it a good punch. You can yell at it or throw your book across the room. I don’t know if it will listen, but it might give it pause.

The flowers will wilt. The wax will disappear around that glowing wick. The seconds will tick by with some kind of promise that time is supposed to heal. It doesn’t really work that way, though. I need you to know that. Instead, if you let it, your life gets bigger.

You also should know that everyone will say the wrong thing. Some won’t say anything at all. You will open the door and the normalcy of the day will be an insult. The silence of the world will infuriate you. You will go back inside and pound your fist on the wall or drop to the floor. Please know that if I was there, I would catch you. Cradle you.

It’s surreal, isn’t it? The sorrow echoes in my heart, flashbacks surface and linger, and my tears aren’t just for you. And that is how grief works, love. Hearts stop and suddenly we tap into the shared pool of despair that the world tries to hide. It is uniquely our own and yet part of the same cup.

This thing will stretch you in ways you can’t imagine. It does not have to define you, but it will alter your path, your heart, your faith. It will become a constellation in your ever expanding sky.

You are not alone, dear friend. You are scraped open with grief, but you are loved.

 

Photo by KaLisa Veer on Unsplash

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