There is something so divine about being able to love and support someone as they overcome adversity. There’s a certain pride that comes with supporting someone in their most intimate and challenging moments and seeing them through each of those. The magnitude of those feelings are amplified when you experience this with someone near and dear to your heart. These journeys are filled with a rollercoaster of emotions; some difficult, some triumphant; regardless they are written in stone and the degree of the concrete can make some moments unforgettable–even if you want them to be.
You develop a new type of hope, one that leaves you feeling vulnerable and naive to any sort of possible outcome but the favorable one. It’s a hope that teaches you a new lesson, each and every time you experience it and it is different with each individual. There is almost a certain err of ignorance, a blessed one, that encourages you through each trying moment. But it is a beautiful one–one that reminds you how precious life and love are. It encourages you to savor every moment and every memory, to embark and acknowledge the little things much more than we already do. It reminds you of the significance of the simplest, most precious things, relationships and people in our life and teaches you how to fight and love fiercely and unapologetically on their behalf and with them.
With each soul and heart I come to know and love, I develop a different fondness for each of them. Much like a snowflake, no two emotions nor souls alike. There are moments that I remember distinctly regardless of how much time may pass, there are characteristics and quirks that remind me of them each day, there have been countless celebrations and victories but there have also been unspeakable losses and dark memories.
Despite their uniqueness and individuality there is a certain familiarity, an uncomfortable recollection that can flash before my eyes. It’s the familiarity of the lump creeps up in the back of your throat and leaves you feeling numb both physically and emotionally. It’s the private, unspoken familiarity that we witness but dare not acknowledge. It is triggered with the slightest word, or experience and can leave you in a state of reliving prior heartbreak. Much like loving them, each parting goodbye is unique and profound but the devastation never grows familiar nor does the goodbye.
Once you enter a world of struggle, you gain an instant connection with those that experience similar journeys and that connection makes it too powerful to look away. You know that your loss does not make you any less aware of the struggles that still remain, but rather draws you closer. There’s an obligation to change the injustice you face, to challenge it and that can be sought in the victories and memories of others–a beautiful exchange. But the connection that is created in strife and loss is one we wish we did not have, but cannot deny. With each soul that departs, and each goodbye that passes that familiarity can be crippling. It brings me back to the moments that I felt the deepest sorrow, and makes that pain just as real as it once was. I realize that that pain never really became any less real, or less profound. I relive each and every emotion, each and every second. I remember actions and reactions, I remember hurting to the depths of my core over and over again it is a feeling I’m desperate to escape but fall victim to each and every time I experience loss. Each and every time I say goodbye, I recall each and every time I said goodbye and I hurt just the same.
There’s times I want to run as far away as I can from it, many times I wish I could shake it from my mind. Each memory remains vivid, and each void remains prominent and there are times where salt is rubbed on a wound that never seems to heal. Though you may not see it, we break too. Though it may be familiar, it never hurts any less. But I know that this pain remains familiar because it becomes my reason for doing and being and regardless of the pain I feel there is always great redemption in the soul I was blessed to know and love. The soul that taught me countless lessons, provided me with precious memories, brought laughter and joy. There is no soul that goes forgotten or unloved, nor missed or wished back. I try to remind myself of how lucky I am to have known someone who makes saying goodbye so difficult, a bittersweet blessing. However just as the trees do, we will break down and be led vulnerable but I will bloom, grow and rise through each coming season of life and love to my full capacity for those that have come to pass.