I've had these words pressing against my ribs trying to get out all weekend, but I'm finding it hard to write in spite of that.
Earlier this week, a friend of mine was in the middle of handling a loss on their in-law's side. They'd been up since 3 am trying to keep the slightest handhold on the situation, and the exhaustion- emotional and physical, was reading on their face.
The death was sudden, completely unexpected. In the grand scheme of things, I don't know which is worse.
But as I talked to this person, I saw it rock their world, even though it wasn't someone they were personally close to. We talked some more and they mentioned that "you don't really think about it but anything could happen, any time, and you could lose someone you love."
That thought was particularly unpleasant to me where I'm at now, because there's at least one relationship in my life that is absolutely not right right now. If something were to happen now...to me or them...it's a thought I don't want to follow through on, though that's instantly where my brain went.
As I studied my friend's face though, I saw a genuine shock in their eyes. And I didn't understand it, I guess?
My brain instantly went "well of course anyone could be gone in an instant."
My brain doesn't go there, it lives there. Maybe my heart too.
I don't know if I mentioned it here before or not, and I probably didn't, but now seems like the time.
I knew loss before I knew much of anything in the world. I knew what the void was like that a person leaves behind. I knew that nobody you meet in your future can fill the hole in your past, and there's no piece that completes the puzzle.
My dad was gone about two weeks after I got here. A birthday, a birthday, then a funeral.
I have a strange relationship with grief. I had to figure out what was missing, then figure out if it was ok to grieve, then figure out how to do it, both as an adult and as a child. I had to deal with the fact that people weren't always going to accept my loss as real or tangible to me, since I was so young. Many times I felt I had to find a secret way to go through it, because I didn't think people would understand why or why now, and I didn't know how to explain.
I had to figure out how it affected my life, too. I don't believe that we're only a product of our circumstances and genetics, but I do believe they can have a deep impact on our lives.
For me...it's that I feel like I've always carried around a ticking clock. That I'm constantly aware that all time is borrowed time. In the darkest corners of that it's the expectation that people will always leave.
I know a few things about this.
It makes me fight too hard sometimes. It makes me push so hard to fix things that I just break them again or make things worse.
It makes me weak sometimes too. It makes me go the other way and let people walk all over me because of the fear I have of losing them otherwise.
It can be good too though. I think that it makes me love harder in the good ways too. Growing up knowing you don't have another shot sometimes makes you want to make sure that people know they're loved.
It gives me wisdom to know that there's things that are way more important than this fight right now.
I'm writing this because I couldn't not. I'm writing this because I can't explain it to the person I want to right now. I'm writing this because there are things that are so much more important than the way you or I feel right now. I'm writing this because we're all on borrowed time.