The Gift of Loss

 

I went to sleep last night feeling so broken inside it was like nestling up against shattered glass

I had dreams of being cut and blood weeping out of my cuts

Tears of red

That someone saw my breast and shamed me horribly for being a human with a body, for not covering myself, hiding, shamed within a cowl

That he left again

That I was alone

I woke up alone. Several times. Tried to soothe myself back to sleep with calming thoughts and calming breathing. I ran my hands up and down my back to try to soothe away the distress, melt away the stress.

I woke up feeling broken the ice in my chest cutting off my air the feeling so much that I was unfeeling

The horrible sense of loss

The misstep on the stairs when you’re going up and suddenly there’s no stair and there’s emptiness and you put your weight, expecting support, expecting everything to be normal but life has cut out your support

I woke up with my heart so heavy and black in my chest I waited for the pulse to stop

I woke up with my mind so somber that I could not even bear to close my eyes and dream again

I turned over and over wishing I could make some sound to express the silent scream

The first time I felt a loss I was in the bathroom early in the morning on a Sunday

My phone lit up with a text message

She’s gone

And it was like the earth had fallen out under me I collapsed to the bathroom counter tears poured down my face

My losses… So many losses

Not having a mother or a father

Neglect

The day I came back from the MRI and was told it would take years until I could run again as I had used to, and that may not even be possible. A year later another stress reaction. Another stress reaction. unable to run. forbidden to dance. Tied to the ground and walking and staying out of the gym.

The day I held my bloated, tortured, suffering little dog in my arms for the whole night and she passed the next morning and I let go. I let go of my best friend. Who had never abandoned me or rejected me or shamed me. Who loved me unconditionally and was a saving angel to me for 11 years of my life. My little dog who was my sunshine, my smile, my companion, my confidante, my herder. Who acted like a queen, just like her owner, and was not shy about letting you know it. My little dog Angel who was my angel. My sunshine when I came home. My smile when I had the worst day. Her fur caught my teardrops and her tongue tried to lick them off my face. She danced in circles and barked for joy at seeing me and when I left the house for a day she keened and howled all night.

Loss

My best friend who I told everything to when I told him I would be so lonely without my dog who told me

“You’re so ungrateful. Jesus should be all you need.”

I lost my best friend that same day he just abandoned me it was as big a hole as if he had died and I was not invited to the funeral I was left with happy memories that burned like ice shards in my heart. My tears were tied to his face and his name. My memories scalded, cut, burned, and tore. I stopped eating to shut them off.

I lost the ability to cry for months after that

When I came back from a short run, took the straps off my aircast and took a selfie

I went into the living room

A text message.

She’s gone.

And I kneeled on the floor not even able to cry because I felt so much pain

I felt like if I let the tears start they would never never stop and I would cry myself to exhaustion and no longer could I pretend on the surface that I was a well-adjusted perfect little athlete with the 3.8 GPA and the posse of football player friends and popular friends

I lost most of my body too

Fat. Muscle. Pieces of bones. Periods.

Then two days later the phone rings and I hear my mother keen

She calls us together to pray for our uncle

Our handicapped, harmless uncle who had never done a malicious act in his whole life

And to plead with God please save him

And I could not say amen because I already knew

Uncle Ben was dead

I lost my peace of mind, my faith, my blind belief, my happiness, my body, my best friend, my dog, my family, my mind

And when I lost everything I realized something

It’s okay

To cry

When you lose something you can’t get back

You don’t have to be “happy” because your precious little Angel is in a “better place”

Because pain

Is what

Makes us

Human

And the more pain we can feel the more love we have felt

So if you think about all the suffering and loss

Think about how much love and happiness I’ll have again when I am given

The gift

To grieve

And a safe space

To cry

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