To the ones who held space for me and supported me in the midst of my grief:
You appreciate my patience and understanding, and my willingness to be flexible. But it was you who taught me how to support you in these ways. And every opportunity that I get to support you, I am grateful to you for it.
When my world fell apart, you were there. Every moment that I needed you, you were always there. You called me just to let me talk, just to listen. You asked nothing of me in return. My life had collapsed and I was in crisis, and while the rest of the world tried to fix me with bandaids, you helped me to heal. Your phone calls and messages just to ask me how I am, just to give me a chance to open the valves and release the pain that continued to build up in my heart, showed me that I’m not alone. And despite the overwhelming loneliness, I knew that you were always there, and that I wasn’t alone.
You accepted my pain. While most people became uncomfortable with my pain, you accepted it as just another part of me, a part of me that needed to be tended to and acknowledged, yet was often ignored. Others would pretend it didn’t exist. They would avoid me because my pain was the elephant no one wanted in the room. I know they talked about me. Poor Becky. I can’t imagine what she’s going through. I don’t know what I would do if it was me. Just awful. I know they talked about me because they cared. And I know they thought about me because they cared. They wished it wasn’t so, they wished they could help. And they likely would have helped if they knew how. They didn’t know how, but you did.
I can point to exactly what you did for me. You called. You asked me how I was, and when I gave you the bullshit answer you asked again, and I opened up. I poured my heart out to you. I cried, I yelled, I laughed, I smiled, I died inside… and you asked nothing of me in return. And for a long time, I gave you nothing in return because I had nothing to give. You allowed me to be selfish and take up your time and your emotional energy. You took the weight of my pain upon yourself with your compassion and love and you beared the weight of it so that I could take some of it off my shoulders. You breathed in my pain so that I could breathe in a little bit of relief.
You didn’t need to do the things you did, but you did them anyway. You didn’t need to hold that kind of space for me, but you held it anyway. You didn’t need to ease my pain by carrying some of it yourself, but you did it anyway. Your compassion, your kindness, your love – these things changed me. You taught me compassion. You taught me the value of just being there, even if just in silence. You taught me that sometimes the most healing thing a person can do is not to fix, but just to accept the broken pieces for what they are, and to know that it’s ok to be broken.
What you have done for me means more than you will ever know. Thank You.