Dear Club Member,
I’ve been where you are before, but you’re there now and that’s what matters. We are members of a club that does not discriminate, but no one wants to be included. I remember telling you I was part of this club only to have you look at me with compassion and forgiving eyes, but telling you I hope you don’t have to join for a million lifetimes. But you’re here, with me by your side, wishing we were anywhere but here.
We stand side-by-side because one parent can no longer stand with us. Every day we are reminded that our parent will be absent from the rest of our forever, but it’s the anniversary that really makes our heart hurt. It’s the ultimate reminder that our forever with our parent ended that day, and the first one is always the most painful. It’s the closest anniversary to the actual day, and this is a closeness that is least bit comforting.
You’ve asked me how to handle the anniversaries, the missed birthdays, the holidays that are no longer the same, and my answer is always, “I don’t. They just happen.” They will just happen for you too, but the first one of each of these events will always make you drop to your knees. It will be a struggle, but do not deny yourself this moment of grief and hurt because it will save you and help you rise from the ashes.
This day will, the first anniversary, will arrive to your horror and hit you the way a frigid wind hits your face- you do not see the hurt, you just feel it. I wish I could shield you from it, but there are some battles we lose before we even start the fight. This my friend is one of those fights. But just because you will lose the fight with your emotions, does not mean you will you will fail, or worse, not finish the fight.
While strength and perseverance are not words you want to hear, especially when pertaining to this particular day, they now help describe your truth. Our truths- a truth I discovered before I knew you, but now I experience with you. Perhaps we became friends so you did not have to go through this alone, and that is a truth I can accept.
This club, this Stupid Ass Club, selected us to be members because life took our parents away too soon. This is your first year in the club, and it’s always the most unforgiving. There is no need to fight, or struggle, or do more than what your body and soul allow you to do on this first anniversary. Just be. Just survive. I’ve been where you are, but you’re there now, and I’m there with you too.
Your Fellow Club Member