Lately, my heart has been full for several beloved people in my life who are struggling with big things.
Today, I offer this love letter. To those people who have held space for me when I needed it most. To those people who allow me to sit beside them in their hardest times. And to you, for your heroic moments of letting go, those moments that allow you to be present with another human being. Because sometimes really hard stuff happens in life, doesn't it?
you cannot help.
You cannot fix it.
You cannot make it better.
You can do the following things:
Make the food.
Clean up the food.
Say I'msosorrythisishappeningmylovemyfriendyou to you
I'm so sorry this is where you are right now it's awful I can see from here that it's so awful for you and I am sorry
I love you
Again and again and again and again (depending on the hurt)
Today and tomorrow and months from now (depending on the pain)
You can do these things when
his fatherchildbest friend dies
she's been betrayed
his heart is broken
they are embarrassed publicly
when her day is going to shit he doesn't get cast her best most loved most green and purple drawing gets ripped to shreds
When the worst happening
to someone you
you can do all these things.
This is a lot of things.
sometimes all these things feel like nothing
up against a tidal wave of grief
from your 72-year-old mother
your 38-year-old friend
your 8-year-old child.
And that nothing-feeling will sometimes mean that you try instead to paper over it
pretend it doesn't exist
not bring it up
distract with something loud and shiny
compare it with something so much worse
forget to call today and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow
find the silver lining
offer up your duct tape scotch tape caulk gun rubber cement any-other-tool-we've-got-you-take-it-it's-yours-PLEASE!
it is hard
to sit with someone else's grief
and see that we
none of us
not one of us
can undo it.
These are perhaps the biggest questions in all the kinds of loving we do:
Can you let go
let go of safety?
Can you unprotect yourself
to hold my hand
while I learn to be
with what cannot be fixed?
And will I let you?
How much, my love, can we weather together?