An Open letter to Everyone.

If you’re alive and reading these words, I’d like to say I am sorry. I am sorry for your loss. Whether it was yesterday, a few months ago, or years ago. I am so sorry. I am sorry that your mind is consumed with that one  conversation, phone call, the email, or facebook status and it haunts you to this day because it gave you the news you never wanted to hear.
“He didn’t make it.”
“I think we should just be friends.”
“We are letting you go.”

I’m sorry for the nights you couldn’t sleep, the meals you couldn’t eat, the days that felt like years.

I’m sorry the world shrugged it’s shoulders. I’m sorry friends distanced themselves from you. I’m sorry this season hasn’t ended yet, and it just seems to be one thing after another.

I’m sorry there were words left unsaid, and words that can never be taken badk. I am sorry for the loss of graduations, holidays, vacations. For the unmet expectations. For the loss of hope. The loss of self. I am sorry facebook is dumb and now reminds you of “the better days, the good ole days.” As if you needed that reminder.

I know these are just words on a page and they don’t take the pain away. They don’t answer any questions, or solve any problems. But I think the words are important. It is important to acknowledge loss. It’s important to say “I am hurting,” and to have people circle around you and say “I love you, I care. i am so sorry.” It is important to say “I see you hurting. I want to help you.”

It is easy, and natural to feel alone when we suffer a loss. I remember when my friend took his life in 2007, I felt so isolated from the rest of the world because of my grief. They don’t understand, they don’t get my pain. I always thought to myself. Well, after spending 4 days as a leader for a Bereavement camp for Children who have lost an immediate family member, I learned that everyone has experienced loss. Those kids all had suffered a loss.  Every adult volunteer, every leader, every counselor, they all have suffered a loss. It wasn’t strange to ask someone “What was your loss?”  And exchange stories over dinner or while walking around the camp. 13 year old me found great comfort at that camp (as a 22 year old) knowing she isn’t alone.  She was never alone.

Sometimes in our grief, we are not ourselves. A trip to the grocery store might as well be a 5k, a minor setback at work sends us spiraling, a few words from a friend sting deeper than they should have. Dont beat yourself up. Be patient with yourself, be kind to yourself. Loss is not easy. Take a deep breath and do the best you can.

Let’s flip the situation.

A customer gets really upset over a mistake you made when you ring up her groceries. You find your coworker crying in the bathroom, but they are “fine.” You  joke with a friend, and they get really upset. Instead of taking offense, and taking things personally. Perhaps, imagine what they might be going through.It’s like that quote “be kind; because everyone you meet is fighting a battle.” Don’t kick a person when the are down.

Everyone you meet has lost something.

Be kind, be patient.

And once again,

I am so so sorry for your loss. I pray that you find a circle of people who will walk through this with you. And that strangers will be kind to you and that you will be kind to you.

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