Some friends of mine (you know who you are) are currently dealing with the sudden, terrible death of someone they loved. And because I am unable to be there physically to tuck you all into hugs and dry your tears, I’m leaving this here for you to read whenever you feel like you need a reminder that someone across an ocean is thinking of you and sending you love from afar.
In these days and weeks following this tragedy, you’ll probably have a lot of people tell you how you should be feeling, how you ought to be reacting to something you never even knew you had to prepare for. You’ll likely hear a lot of platitudes, empty words that do nothing to dull the ache, shit that isn’t anything like a salve to the wounds you’ve all received with the loss of your friend. Well-meaning people will lay their hands on your arms and tell you that everything happens for a reason and you’ll have to swallow down curses or paint smiles on your faces. And in a little while, people may start to drift away to their own lives because even though you are devastated, unable to make sense of this, the world keeps turning for other people, doesn’t it? You’re meant to be okay not too long from now. To start healing.
The thing about grief is that it is not universal and nobody experiences it the same way. You might think of Kevin, who sounds like he was the best of men, and you might smile—even laugh!—because he was the type of person that made your heart float. You might find it difficult to get out of bed. You may be robbed of words and have nothing left but tears. I want to tell you that it’s okay. That your grief is real and important and nobody can rush you through it (seriously, tell them I will beat the brakes off their asses if they try.) I want you to know that it’s fine to lock yourself in a bathroom until you get composed and it’s also fine to cry openly at your desk; it’s cool if you want to eat a pan of brownies and reminisce in a room of people that love Kevin just like you do. I want you to understand that if in a week, a month, a year from now, your heart contracts and you can’t quite catch your breath because you miss him so much, that this is fine too because what are we, when we are gone if not a collection of the people that loved us the most?
I didn’t know Kevin (and I am sad about that) but I do know you and know that anyone you welcome into your lives is nothing short of wonderful. So it makes sense that it hurts and that it will hurt for a long time and maybe forever, and please listen to me when I say that’s alright. Grief lies dormant at times but it never truly leaves us when someone we love is taken. It’s not something we can ball up and stick in a drawer to be taken out and felt at a more convenient time. So cry if you need to. Scream if you want to. Pour yourself that fucking glass of wine and that second one and hell, smash the glass afterwards (but be careful not to step on that shit because I know Obama is like “sup fam, have some healthcare” but I don’t want to see you harmed). Feel your feels. Every last one of them is important.
I love all of you. And I am proud of you for lauding your friend the way he deserved and for banding together to care for one another. It’s a long road ahead, my loves, but just remember that your aunt O is only a WhatsApp away and has a heart full love for all of you.
I am so sorry this happened ♥