Friday, March 13, 2015

The Beauty in After

#writeingrief Round 2 Day 5-This post was written moons ago.

"We are broken but not damaged." -Megan Devine

Writing into the beauty is intimidating. We do certainly have a beauty that is unlike anything I have ever known. I couldn't see it Before. I didn't want to see it. I knew it was there but was afraid to look too closely. maybe it wasn't mine to witness yet. I don't know, though. I don’t want to say that I had no right to witness Before. I just couldn't, wouldn't. 

We are broken but not damaged. YES. How does this work? How are we broken but not damaged? I don't know HOW. I just know that this is the way it is. This is the truth of After. We walk around in the shell of Before. We do what we need to do and people may think we are doing it wrong. They may tell us that we shouldn't talk that way or write those ugly words. We should be grateful for the blessings that we do have and should focus on the positive. 

We are not damaged for feeling so deeply. That is not damaged. 

"Do not medicate away this melancholy." -Jeff Foster

Jeff Foster tells us to feel all of our feels, tells us to go into the melancholy. 

But how often do people see the bereaved as damaged? How often do they inflict damage upon the broken? We are broken not damaged, but we can be damaged. Even though whatever is said or done cannot compare to the reality of living in After, we can be damaged. By words. By thoughts. By actions and inactions.

I wish that I could protect us from being damaged. 

Do we have to learn how to protect our own heart? I am walking around with this armor up trying not to let in the poison. I can't really protect myself from those chemical burns, though. If it isn't dumped on me by another person, I find the bottle sitting on the sidewalk and dump it on myself. If I don't do that, it comes flying at me from nowhere, poison dousing my clothes. Dripping down my arms. Sizzling a new path over my skin.

Is this beauty? 

What is the beauty in After? It's the community. The support. The understanding. The witness. It's the vulnerability explored through words that cannot ever fully reach the truth. It's the trying to reach the truth.

What is NOT the beauty in After? It is not a lesson learned. It is not being grateful for what we have. It is not loving harder. It is not a gift or blessing. The beauty in After would be traded for our living love.

I would trade it for just one breath. I would trade it for one moment of her voice. I would trade it for a kiss, my lips to her cheek. I would trade this beauty for just one sleepless night with my girl and her beating heart.