I met a special person yesterday and the conversation we had about our shared experiences with loss was really helpful.
Her name is Liz and she sent me a hand-written letter in November to say how sorry she was for Jimmy's loss. It touched me to the core that someone, a complete stranger (she is my business partner's BFF), would do such a kind thing. She happened to be at my partner's birthday party yesterday and I just about pounced when I saw her - it meant so much to be able to meet her and thank her in person.
She knows what it's like to experience this much pain-- her father unexpectedly died in June of last year. She intimately knows what it is like to have the world's worst kind of broken heart. Yesterday we talked for two hours straight about what all of this new shitty reality is like, and she said something that accurately explains it all: "it's just too much"
It's too much pain to handle. Waking up, smiling, thinking, dating (oh lord)....sometimes it's just too much. Thinking about how Jimmy was killed is too much. Thinking about not having him around for life's big (and small) moments is too much. It's too much.
So what can you do when it's too much?
I try to take life twenty minutes at a time. It seems like the only thing I can do to remain sane.
If anyone is in a similar place of hurt or sorrow, take things in twenty minute segments. Shower. Put your makeup on. Tie your shoes. Read a chapter in a book. Check one thing off the 'to do' list. Dont' think about two hours from now, think about these next twenty minutes. Once you get there, work on the next twenty minutes.
When it's all too much, sometimes that is the best thing you can do.
Thank you, Liz, for your love, grace and humanity.