Time Heals

Time heals all wounds

They say to the grieving

But they never mention the scars that remain when the wound heals

Grief fades

But it does not disappear

It fades into our bones

Etched into the fibers of our DNA

Forever carried with us

Gone to everyone but us.

Time heals

But scars remain

Pictures on My Wall

It has taken me four months to write this. Not for lack of trying, but out of a refusal to let the words come. They were still to painful to admit. The words are still painful, but they are finally ready to be said.

Every morning when I wake up, I am greeted by a wall of pictures. These pictures represent the best people and the best moments of my life. The pictures remind me that I have a full and beautiful life. But four months ago, that wall of pictures became a little less full when a dear friend of mine died in a tragic skiing accident. It breaks my heart to look at those pictures, but I can’t bear the thought of taking them down.

I am grasping at straws to hold on to what pieces I have left, because the thought that we will never make more memories together is unbearable.

Nothing can prepare you for the grief that death brings in its wake. The unanswered questions. The regret of words unsaid. The fleetingness of hope. The pain of loss.

It wasn’t just losing someone who was the very best of us. It wasn’t just losing a dear friend. It wasn’t just losing someone who had been so influential in my life during the most formational years. It was all three of those combined. That enormity of that loss crashes through you like a fucking freight train.

I think people come into our lives for a reason.  A deeper reason than  just our human need for relationship.  People are sent in certain times of our lives to teach us and to inspire us.  People are sent into our lives to show us there is someone in us worth believing in, and that we have a future that is worth fighting for.

Some people are meant to be in our lives for a long time, maybe even for our whole lives.  I am blessed to have a large group of people who have been in my life for the long haul.  There are always there in my corner pushing me forward.

There are others for that are only meant to be in our lives for just a moment.  Those people should not be easily discounted.   Sometimes they can be the most influential people we met.  I can’t explain it, only that it seems that life only gives us a few moments together so we fill it like a lifetime.

The hard part is when that time expires. When we must say goodbye to someone who has taught us so much. When we must move on because life is moving on.  When we must let someone out of our arms and they never return.

I have learned that no matter how hard a goodbyes can be, it is still better than never knowing that person.

To my dear friend Billy, saying goodbye to you has been the hardest part of my 27 years. It has been my immense pleasure to have spent so many of those 27 years as your friend. You were the first person who believed in me, and you were the first person who pushed me to chase my dreams. You were the wind in my sails. What a fierce and strong wind you were. I can say with full certainty that I would not have made it this far in life without your support. My life will forever be changed because you were in it.

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Dear You – I Know You Thought You Loved Him

Dear You,

I know you thought you loved him.  I know that you got swept up in what felt like a fairy tale.  I know you believed that it would all work out in the end because he was your soulmate, or so you thought. And finding your soulmate means something, or so you thought.  And he felt the same way, or so you thought.

He promised he would never leave, because you told him about all of the people who have left you and he understood how hard trusting someone can be for you.

But he left anyways.

And you know that in his mind he was trying to protect you, but the only thing you can feel is that he did what he always promised to never do.  And how can you forgive that?  How can you forgive yourself for opening your heart up to be broken?

But you have to forgive yourself.  You have to silence the voice in your head that tries to remind you over and over again that you should have known better. You have to learn to trust your instincts again.  Yes they were wrong, but they were also a little bit right.  You have to learn to reconcile that.

You have to learn to move on.  Dearest one you have to move on.  I know it is scary.  I know that you are too scared to open your heart because you just think it will get broken again.  Rightfully so, you are still picking up the pieces.

Because sitting here scared isn’t going to fix anything.

You have to let yourself love again. It’s about learning to love, and yes I really do mean learning.  Its about learning to allow yourself to fall in love, and to be in love.  Its about learning to be foolish in love, because love defies reason.  Its about learning to embrace the fear of being vulnerable with another human, knowing the risks of what could happen if things fell apart, but also knowing the reward if they don’t.

I know you believe yourself incapable of love, but I believe otherwise.  I know that you think your heart just healed to break, but you are wrong.

It’s okay be gentle.  Of course it hurts baby girl, of course it hurt.  Its okay to let yourself cry, even on the days when you thought your heart had healed.  It’s okay, but also know that you are strong.  You are stronger than you know.  You are tough and resilient, and you can move on.

I know you thought you loved him dear one.  I know it still hurts, some days more than others. But you will love again and it will be magnificent, just like you.

Love,

~ L

Peonies

Photo Credit: ZsaZsa Bellagio

Lessons on Love

Ed Sheeran’s Afire Love is one of my favorite songs.  I can rarely listen to it and not get  a little teary eyed.

V. 1 Things were all good yesterday
And then the devil took your memory
And if you fell to your death today
I hope that heaven is your resting place
I heard the doctors put your chest in pain
But then that could have been the medicine
There you are lying in the bed again
Either way I’ll cry with the rest of them

V. 2 Things were all good yesterday
Then the devil took your breath away
Now we’re left here in the pain
Black suit black tie standing in the rain
And now my family is one again
Stapled together with the strangers and a friend
Came to my mind I should paint it with a pen
6 years old I remember when

I lost two grandparents to memory related diseases, so this song really hits home for me.  If you have never listened to the song I would recommend it.  You can listen to it here, just make sure you bring a box of tissues.

Family is a weird concept.  Family can mean the people we are born with, the people we are married to, our extended family, our immediate family, or friends who feel like family.  There many definitions, and angles, and possibilities, and people to what a family can be.  All of which leaves slightly overwhelmed and lost in what our family actually is.

Losing a family member is painful.   A ghost appears, haunting you in the spaces that they use to fill.  Reminders of them are like knives that cuts through our hearts just when you think it has healed from the shattering.

We go through the stages of grief, sometimes forwards, sometimes backwards.

Stages of sadness;

Stages of anger;

Stages of confusion;

Sometimes all of these stages at once mixed with unrelenting demand for the answers we know we can never have.  

So how do we cope?  How do we move on so that we can begin to love again?  How are we suppose to open up our hearts again when they already feel so rubbed raw?

My family recently got together for my niece’s dedication.  We filled up two rows at church just like we always do when we are all together.  It is a beautiful thing.  I was in the back corner of our mob, and I just watched my family interact with each other.

The pastor was talking about marriage and building a foundation of love that will last.  The whole time I just watched the way that they loved each other.  I thought about the foundation may parent’s molded into our lives.  The type of foundation that was weathered, but still stood strong.

Family

It was then that I knew we would be okay.  Better than okay, because somehow through all of the anger, sadness, and confusion we had found each other.  We had learned what it means to be a family.   A family who had arms to welcome us home and shoulders to cry on.  A family that absorbed each other into our lives fluidly as we came and went.  A family that taught me about love, the real kind of lasting love.

They taught me that love is learning to rely on each other, like clinging to a tree when all of the ground is crumbling underneath your feet.

Love is fighting for someone when the other person isn’t strong enough to fight for themselves.

Love is open arms with open hearts, even if those hearts are still a little raw.

Love is family, no matter what definition that may be.