I guess to say what I want to say, and really have anyone understand why I’m saying it, I have to provide some background information.
On September 2, an extremely close friend of mine told me we couldn’t talk anymore. His reasons were vague and frustrated me. He asserted that I need to be focusing on myself and this was best for me. I was more than a little devastated about it, but I got through it. Sort of.
On September 5, I returned to school for the first time in three years. On this day, I had a massive panic attack for the first forty minutes of class. I could not concentrate on what my professor was saying, and I so dearly wanted to run out. Despite the fear running through my entire body, I stayed in my seat, fidgeting with a red face and a pair of sweaty hands. I got through it. Sort of.
On September 8, I found out a childhood friend of mine, someone who I’ve known since I was eleven, and whose family has been considered an extension of my family since I was three, was in a coma and had fractured his brain stem in an accident. I fell to pieces when I found out and as I held his hand in the ICU of Strong Hospital, praying for a miracle to no avail, a part of me died. I watched my faith fall useless on his near-lifeless body, but I kept some fashion of hope and I got through it. Sort of.
On September 9 around 11am, I was on my way out to visit Orry again in the hospital, when I was informed that he had just passed at 10:20. I sat in the garage, chain smoking, staring at the blank tv screen like a zombie. I could cry, but I couldn’t feel it, not in my heart, just in my head. I could keep a strong face, but I couldn’t feel that strength in my heart, just in my head, but I went to that church tonight, I broke down before God in the middle of song. I went home and deleted my facebook. I got through it. Sort of.
On September 10, I went to class and lived like nothing had ever happened to me. I didn’t have any panic attacks.
On September 11, I found out my best friend’s father passed away from a stroke. He was a man who I admired, idolized even. He was close to me, made me comfortable and at peace in his presence, and always made me smile with his dry, quick wit. I freaked out. I had known he was sick with an infection in his lungs, and I had been praying for him, but it did not occur to me that he wouldn’t get better and it certainly didn’t ever cross my mind that something else would kill him. He has survived cancer. He is a strong, hard-working man who loves his family with the most obvious kind of love. My heart broke for him, for me, and for my friend, his child. I survived, sort of.
On September 12, I attended church, again. The sermon didn’t relate to me, so I thought I could keep it together, but every familiar stranger in that place that put their arms around me and embraced me in genuine compassion made me melt into a pile of grief, almost instantly. I got through it, sort of.
On September 13, I attended Orry’s funeral/memorial. I saw every single person I could’ve lived with never having seen again. I felt alone in the masses, and didn’t find comfort at the end of my booze-filled glasses. I did not feel Orry in that place, but I saw Love in every embrace.
When I left, I visited my friend whose father passed away. I had spent every moment until then, feeling like a crappy friend because I hadn’t seen him yet, hadn’t consoled him. I hugged his mom tightly when I saw her, which I’ve never done and I sat up late, giving comfort in the only ways I know how. I didn’t sleep until Saturday.
These past two weeks have been the hardest of my life, and yet, I sit here now, almost untouched by it all. The worst part of all of this was seeing so many people I loved, suffering and not being able to do anything about it, not having any word of wisdom or encouragement for them. I was utterly useless for other people. Not to mention, it was a hollow kind of loss. The pain in your chest that keeps you up at night. I was a weeping mess when I started to map out all the dates and events, but now, I don’t know what to think. I had a few moments of clarity in the midst of all the devastation and saw that it’s all for Love. It’s all for freedom. There’s a method in the madness and a purpose for the pain. Even if the methods don’t make any sense to me and the purposes might seem too small and insignificant for such horrible effects, I trust that this is going somewhere good. I don’t believe in happy endings, but I believe that every conflict has a resolution and reaching it is only a matter of that imaginary thing we call, time.