Words to a Friend I Love

Cara Friend,

I know you feel like you are at the bottom of a dark deep pit. It hurts to be there. And whenever you pick your head up to look around, you see steep, slick walls, with no way to climb out of the pit. You wander around at the bottom of the pit, feeling like you are bleeding to death, until you are so exhausted you can finally fall asleep. You never knew it was possible to hurt this much.

I do not know your pit, I only know mine. I know how slick the walls are. I know that when you touch them to try and climb out they burn your hands and your heart. I’ve sat in the bottom of that pit for days, weeks, months, until I can barely remember what sunshine is.

I cannot pull you out of your pit. No one, not friend, not the person you lost, not a therapist, can do that. I will sit with you in the pit, though I am not who you want. That person is gone, and will never sit with you again. I will talk with you while you try to climb out. That climb may be the hardest thing you ever do in your life. Each step feels like it is taking you away from the person you loved, the person you still love. Each step feels like a betrayal to something that once was, but you know no longer is.

I cannot promise that the scars of the pit will ever leave. But I do know that you betray nothing by moving on, climbing out. I also know that when you finally finish the climb (as much as it is ever totally finished) there will be sunshine, and happiness. You will be older, wiser and sadder, but you will still smile at the sun.


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