If you’re lucky, which you are, you come out the other side of this twice the person you are right now. If you’re lucky, which you are, this will one day seem like a very special and fortunate time for you, not despite, but because of the sadness and the gaping holes and the crying in the grocery store. I used to think The Time was this crazy suffering in my life, but now it glitters against the rest of my narrative like a diamond in the dark. We are made to, built to, go through times such as these. And if you can, you hold on to that notion, like a little buoy in the ocean you are now in. The Time will give you more than you bargain for, more than you ask for, more than you can reckon with.
I call it The Time because there is a lapse between your lives where you do nothing but survive, take sips of breath, move forward in minutes. I read it in a book my roommate gave me that I slept with during that summer, pages in the morning to make sure I was still alive. She called it a canyon, a place you must cross in order to meet the next version of your life, the next evolution of you. I held onto this, this tiny flame, and I clawed my way, inched forward into the often terrifying unknown. And if you can keep this tiny flame lit, then you keep on. There is even in your sadness, a sliver of what is to come, a guilty sliver of hope and even dare you say some moments, excitement.
It is only recently that I look back on that summer and think of it fondly, even enviously, because it was real and raw around the edges, and I was so alone my own breath echoed in my bedroom. My thinking so much of this was triggered by your phone calls but also by this batch of pictures showed up from a weekend in Montana I still write about. Those few days shook me loose from The Time, and showed me with every sense capable that not only was I going to be okay, but I had somehow in that canyon become more, better, and a truer version of myself. I am the woman I am because I went wandering all alone in the darkest places of myself and sought out what I truly wanted in this life.
But, none of this will matter though if you are down there, because words cannot get through. Nothing can get through. Take peace in small things because they will carry you to the other side, read a book to forget who you are, stay sober if you can, hurt the good hurt. And try only to find that sliver, that flicker, and move toward it, claw toward, inch day by day toward the life that is waiting for you.