Here we meet again.

This is the intersection I try to avoid with all my power. The lights are broken and always blink, leaving everyone at it to make that painful decision about who gets to cross next.

That wasn’t the best analogy, but it describes the anxiety that comes with loss rather well. I avoid thinking about, pushing the pain back far beyond reach on the top shelf. Out of sight, out of mind. It’s not my healthiest decision, but when a loss brings back so much pain- it’s the way I cope.

This morning, we will say our final goodbyes to a wonderful man, the most loving father I’ve ever seen, and someone who inspired so many. I feel like I don’t have a right to mourn. I’m only a passerby in his life. He was the world’s most fabulous landlord and never failed to brighten our day when he stopped by to do a little more work to the already beautiful house. My heart is so sad though. I never wanted my dear friend to have to experience anything like this in all her years. I wish she never had to be as brave as she has been through her dad’s battle. And I really wish life didn’t throw just one last punch when they thought they were in the clear. I wish they could have a million more lunch dates, a million more cards for every occasion and a million more moments together.

I feel selfish for these wishes. I feel selfish for feeling pain. And I especially feel selfish for the anxiety I have thinking about stepping foot back into the place I had to say my final goodbyes to my Obachan so many years ago. All to say goodbye to someone I do not want to wish farewell to yet. Loss is a bitch.

How does one provide strength and love and courage to a friend experiencing such a great loss? Another struggle that I’m sure many of you have experienced. I feel like pushing my feelings aside and giving her the biggest hug is the only way I can imagine to support her. But it doesn’t seem enough. Nothing seems enough. These are times that I understand I have a fixer personality and that I just simply cannot fix it all. Another selfish thought.

Loss is the fire that burns a hole right through your soul. It leaves the edges smoldering for months and years until finally the embers start to go out and the pain gets to be a little lighter. But you are always left with this gaping hole, some try to fill it with whatever vices are nearby. For me, I just try my hardest not to lose anything else down the hole. Memories, jokes, facial features that seem to have gotten blurry over the years- some of those things, against my hardest efforts, have been lost down in the deep darkness.

Dear Loss- I wish you would just leave my loved ones alone. Stop causing them grief and sadness. Stop taking things away from them way too early. Just go away for a while. Love, Rachel

Just as a struggle with the words to type, I will struggle to dodge my emotions today. I will hold my friend so tight her heart will feel it. And I will just pray. Pray for peace and for a strong memory, so none of those moments or facial features are lost among the years that pass. I pray they live in her heart forever.

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