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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.
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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:
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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.

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