Some days I catch myself thinking of her, eighteen and at her high school graduation rehearsal, learning in a sea of classmates that her father has died. Suddenly and unexpectedly.
She must have felt like her life was just beginning. And then, not anymore.
It must have felt like nothing mattered. Like her life was ending too.
Some days I think of myself learning similar news. At 8 or 13 or 22.
How grief sneaks up on you and even though the wave has already crashed, the news already broken, it can take days for the rumble of the wake to shake your legs and pull you down.
I think about those three days of disbelief in 2003. How on Day 4, the floodgates opened. How I couldn’t close them back up. How hard it was to push push push that door closed, the water streaming in.
Those are crossroads moments. Some of us catch them and some of us point as they drive past. Some of us lock them up tight and some throw them to the wind.
I was always a locker. A keeper. A carrier.
And though it might feel heavy at times, mostly I like it. Mostly it reminds me why I do what I do. Why I am who I am.
At sixteen I was messaging this guy back and forth on AIM, and I remember him saying, “you’re a very emotional person.” I don’t remember what prompted it or if anything did at all, but it’s stuck with me.
When bad news comes and the clouds roll in, it might seem harder. But then it’s the reason we feel so much for the people and things we lose.
All those moments that add up to a life well worth it. Because they mattered to someone like me. Or you. Or him or her or them.