I Hope You Remember That You Are Essential

thoughts shuffled as a crispy deck of cards,

memories picking up momentum,

and I,

for once,

am watching the heaviness set in my bones without resistance

because this pause I have to take for your aches.

I know that it doesn’t hit you during dark, cold nights;

often, it hits you on Wednesday evening at 5 p.m. when you are driving home alone.

you hear it before you can actually register what’s happening;

sometimes, the reflection in the rearview mirror hints at pools of liquid gold about to leave the corners of your eye.

rarely do you stop to grieve, but always you drive too fast;

because you love people too quickly, because you love them before you can ever call them “mine.”

it’s completely human to yearn for someone who is far away; it’s alright to miss those who aren’t coming back.

living without them may leave a rasping shiver, and an echo of hopelessness,

but also a void beneath your rib cage that you get to now sow with gentleness and vulnerability.

you have a chance to walk slower and recognize every demanding emotion,

and I hope that in these moments you unravel that we are all connected:

we inhale the same oxygen and observe the the same night sky holding a myriad of celestial bodies;

we all are co-inhabitants of the land, sharing a home with a variety of crawling and flying creatures;

we are entities of extremes—of fatiguing anger and misery; of invigorating happiness and peace;

we are privileged to experience failures and to find inspiration for a better future in all of it.

and we are all extremely loved.

I hope you remember that you are essential, whether you believe it or not.

your flaws give way to your resilience.

your fears can become your strongest motivators.

your losses gift you with invaluable wisdom.

you are here because you are right where you belong—beside an array of exquisitely imperfect beings.

in uneven gasps, growth will flow through us and in a timeline unwritten, we will know that it has passed—the uncertainty, the wait, the fatigue, the letdowns

we will scribble our renaissance with carbon from our bones

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