I don’t know you enough to care about you, I think.
But if I did, I would do the innumerable stupid things I do for my friends when their pain is so big that my limited empathy cannot grasp it all. I would buy you coffee and brownie bars, and give you stupid presents, and crack jokes in your inbox that would make you want to kill me. I would apologize, over and over and over, for not being able to be there, because Sorry is the safest, friendliest word I know for I wish I knew how to carry some of that weight. I’m old enough to know you can’t save people or fix them when they’re broken, but you can give them gag socks, and I’d like to think sometimes the cure for what ails you is knowing someone saw a pair of Ironman socks in a mall and decided it was worth spending money on them just to make you smile.
If I could, I’d be a friend, because I think that’s the best thing in the world to be. I don’t like myself all that much sometimes, but one thing I do like is the person I become when it’s 1AM and I should be working on music school homework but instead I’m on the phone, talking someone through their problems. I’m needy and attention-seeking and talk about myself way too much, but I like being there for people when they need a hand to hold.
(Also, I give pretty good hugs because I’m nearly always in some form of fuzzy sweater. It’s like hugging a socially-awkward teddy bear.)
I recognize that pain is inevitable, that people will hurt, and that nothing can fix that.
But it doesn’t mean I have to like it. To like being a spectator to the fact that you’re hurting, unable to even let you know that I know, unable to send you a random invitation on a Saturday afternoon in between NDMRCC alerts: “Look, you’re hurting and I’m hurting; let’s get frozen yogurt and hurt together?”
(That day, I learned there is nothing Pinkberry frozen yogurt and a walk can’t solve.)
I don’t know if I’m saying too much, but hear me out: I have lost people I’ve cared about because I could never be enough for them, and because I was so scared of losing them that I clung too much and fought too hard. I have watched my vision of the world crumble and had only shaking hands to rebuild it with. I have sleep-walked through days trying to convince myself that I was over something only to have that great big something come back and swallow me whole. I have missed people I shouldn’t.
I have days when I still do.
So, as someone who has been there, even if I haven’t been there, let me say this: You were (are) enough. And you did your best. And maybe you will never really get over this–Lord knows I am not over my own pain, my own loss–but it will get easier to carry it with you into whatever comes next.
I wish you the best with whatever comes next.