You lost someone this year.
I know how much that hurts - I did, too.
It's been a little over a month since he's left us, and it still doesn't seem real. When I came home from his funeral, I cried even more. I got out of my car, and stood in my driveway and shook my fists and the night sky.
How is the world going on like nothing happened?
Why hasn't everything stopped?
I want everything to stop.
Give me a goddamn second to breathe.
That's how I felt.
Did you feel it too?
It's ok if you do.
For me it comes in waves. I hear a song. I see a picture. I see his name in print. I pass by one of his theatres. I drive down Sunrise Highway. I get text messages from friends and colleagues who miss him. Who are waiting for him to walk through the door of the studio. I look into the eyes of his wife, his best friend, into the eyes of my father, people who knew the inner most corners of his heart, and I break all over again. They still hurt, too. We all do.
You must hurt, too.
Life's such a collection of tiny memories. Sure, there's big moments like weddings and funerals and vacations and job successes and birthday milestones. But then there are the tiny bits.
The bear hugs when you're stressed cause of work. The chuckle that calms your nerves. The phone calls to say hi. The impromptu lunches and dinners and cups of coffee. The texts of funny pictures because you know that person would appreciate it.
That's when the wind gets sucked out of you.
That's when the loss hits you like a ton of bricks.
In those little moments.
I wish there was this quick fix to heal your heart that I could give you. I wish I could take your pain away through this screen. I know I can't. But oh, a girl can dream.
All I can offer is this - you are not alone.
You are so not alone.
The older I get, the more I realize people keep their pain close to the vest. They tuck it away in the deepest corners of their hearts and minds and try to put it into a box that is never opened. I know that all too well, I've done that too many times.
And trust me when I say, it doesn't work.
Keeping pain covered doesn't work. It weighs heavy on your soul in a different kind of way, bottles up until it spills out - having no mercy for anyone who's in it's path.
It's not pretty.
It's not healthy.
So what do you do?
You cry. You cry if you need to. You shake your fists and that starry sky and yell and God or whomever you need to. You look at the pictures when you want to, knowing that there will be a steady stream of waterworks once you look at that face. You walk by the places that have made up the moments of your lives together, and your cry.
And then maybe you laugh.
And then you remember.
Remember the love that you shared. Remember how it lifted you up. Remember the moments that have made imprints on your soul.
Those moments have led you to this point. To a person whom you loved. And even though you've lost them, those moments are still beautiful.
For love and beauty doesn't disappear in death. Even with great loss, the goodness sticks. Even with death, love stays.
With time the pain will lessen - and that's ok.
But till then, cut yourself some slack this Christmas and holiday season. Cry, if you need to. It's ok.
Cause one day you'll pass by the bright lights of your Christmas tree, and your chest won't hurt and your breath won't catch.
One day those bright lights will make you smile with the love that's never left, and simply miss the memories of time gone by.
One day you'll stop crying.
And that's a beautiful thing - but it doesn't mean you'll ever stop loving.
Sending you all the virtual hugs I can muster.