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you cry until you laugh.

you know you’ve hit rock bottom when you’re standing in the middle of the baking aisle at walmart crying your eyes out.

in my defense[janitor man giving me the stink eye, please take note]:
1-daniel had been on my list of people to make finals week brownies for, and that’s what i was shopping for.
2-the song playing through the store happened to perfectly fit everything i’ve been feeling all week.
3-me and daniel’s first bonding moment was when we made these same brownies for the first soccer game of the year.

so, yeah. all of that, right after yet another night spent crying with the team…it all made me very glad that no one else is in walmart at 11pm, especially no one i know.

the good thing was that after i finished crying, i proceeded to laugh uncontrollably at myself for maybe 30 seconds. that’s probably progress.
it really was hilarious to realize i was basically performing a cliche scene from every melodramatic Lifetime movie ever. i’m laughing again just writing about it.

you have to hit rock bottom to know which way to swim.
but i’m still too tired to swim, so i think i’ll just lay here for a while. at least i have plenty of friends down here with me.

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nothing is okay. but we’re together.

i woke up this morning, looked at the clock and thought, “i need to get ready for work.” then i remembered, “wait, i got someone to cover for me today! i can sleep in!”
then as soon as i rolled over and closed my eyes again, i remembered why i called out of work and where i’d be going in a few hours.
more tears. i’m just so sick of crying.

it’s funny how ciu was the loneliest place in the world for three and a half years, now all of a sudden it’s the only place i want to be. even if they have no idea how to help me, at least i know that everyone who sees me crying knows WHY i’m crying. and that’s enough to make me feel a little bit okay.
campus is so quiet. no one is unaffected by this. whether they’re devastated over losing daniel, or just broken at the idea that something like this could happen in our innocent little bubble of a school, i haven’t passed a single person who looks totally normal. everyone is thinking.

seeing my team take care of each other has been beautiful. i’ve been sadder than i can ever remember being, but i’ve also felt more loved than i have in a long time. aside from going home for eight hours to sleep, i haven’t been alone once since it happened. we’ve carried each other every minute.

we all sat in the caf together at lunch, and for once all the looks we were getting weren’t because we were being loud and weird. people everywhere would walk in, look at all of us, then quickly look away. no one knows what to say to us.

but i don’t know what i want them to say. i went in the res life office to take a nap on their couch, and when mike asked how i was, i finally just exploded, “i HATE that question today. everyone’s asking us that and there’s NO way to answer it.” but mike pointed out, there are no good questions, and no good answers. everyone just says the first thing that comes to their minds.

how AM i, you ask?
when i answer, “i don’t know,” it’s not that i’m trying to bottle up my feelings and hide them from people. there just isn’t a word for what i am.
sad, sure. but that isn’t deep enough.
angry, absolutely. but it’s all mixed in with so many other things.
i’ve never felt quite this way because i’ve never lost someone this way.
all i know is this is the worst i’ve ever felt, and i want it to go away.

also, time feels totally bizarre. it hasn’t even been 48 hours yet. it feels like this has been going on for a week. it’s like the world slowed down. maybe it’s because i’m not having any fun, and that’s the only way that time flies?

i don’t know. i do know that i somehow have to go back to work tomorrow, so i should go to bed.
i wish i could live at ciu until saturday. i’m not okay anywhere, but being with other people who aren’t okay makes me slightly more okay than i would be anywhere else.

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we can’t even.

life changes fast.

one minute you’re walking out of church, excited to go to lunch and celebrate your wonderful mom.

the next minute you find your brother in the parking lot, who tells you your friend is dead.

this is my family, and today we lost our brother.
fall13 001

i don’t understand.
i can’t think of words for what this feels like. and that pisses me off because writing is how i deal, and i can’t write without words.

it’s only been five days since my world race squad mate died, and i had just started to be okay again.
then this happened, and this is so much worse. i hadn’t met anastasia in real life, but i have memories with daniel. this is so much more real to me. and i don’t know what to do about it.
to borrow one of the many sayings he constantly used…i can’t even. none of us can.

just months ago, we were right here:
fall13 002
we ate 45 breadsticks, we taught the waitress about carbo loading, we taught melissa about the word “ratchet,” we made fun of patricia’s ghetto side, and we laughed. it was the funniest night in the world, and we couldn’t even stop laughing long enough for the waitress to take the picture. we were so happy.
what happened since then? why did he leave? why couldn’t we see it?

i’m good at carrying other people’s pain. instead of making me smart like most other people, God gave me an overdose of compassion. i’ve said way too many times, “why do bad things always happen to people i love? i’d take it on myself any day if it meant they didn’t have to.”
i wish i could take those words back from all those times. i’m great at helping other people through things like this, but i’m bad at being the one this stuff happens to.
especially because this didn’t just happen to me; it happened to me and to SO many people i love. even worse, it happened to his family and to all of his friends who were closer to him than we were. so many lives are being rocked by this.

in a way it doesn’t feel real at all. we all went to our coach’s house to be together for the afternoon, and in so many ways it felt normal. like it was just another hangout time, and daniel was just running a little late, and at any minute he’d walk in the door and say something sassy.
all day we went back and forth from shared silence, to talking about what daniel would be saying if he were here, to watching youtube videos and pretending like life was the same.
at one point we were all lying on the couch in silence, and i closed my eyes and wished i could take a nap and wake up to find that this was all just the worst dream i’d ever had. i laid there and wondered if my friends were thinking the same thing. but because i’m a coward and a people pleaser, i didn’t have the guts to ask out loud.

there were lots of things that we’re probably all feeling and wondering, that we’re too afraid to say or ask. all of us are grieving in different ways, and none of us wants to hurt each other or be misunderstood, so we just grieve in our heads instead of taking a risk and helping each other.
at least that’s what i found myself doing. i guess i can’t speak for anyone else.

i know that God has a plan and a reason. i know that he’s still good.
but i don’t want to hear any of that right now, because while that’s all good and well, it doesn’t bring my friend back. i know it SHOULD make me feel better, but right now it isn’t. that probably makes me a horrible person, but it’s how i feel.

you know how when you were a kid, your parents would do something you didn’t like, and as much as you knew they had a good reason and you knew they still loved you, you still just wanted to be mad?
well, God took daniel, for whatever good reason he has. and i don’t doubt that he loves me or anyone else who’s affected by this. i’m completely certain he’ll bring perfectly beautiful things out of this someday. but that doesn’t mean i’m happy about it. i love him and i trust him, but i’m also mad at him.
that’s a hard emotion to explain, but it’s even harder to feel, so please don’t yell at me for it. i’m sure it’s what a lot of other people are feeling right now too, and maybe they’re afraid to say it, so i’ll be the one to speak up and admit it.

i hope this makes someone else feel better. or less alone at least.
i’m all out of words. if you’ll excuse me, i need to go drink more water so my eyes can make more tears, because i’m getting a headache from having nothing to cry.