It can happen so fast. One day you can think you have everything together. You can believe you’re finally over them. You can believe that you’ve come to terms with losing that person you loved. But in one split second, you smell something familiar, the moment changes, reality hits you. It can be something so simple that reminds you of something, of someone, of a happier time.
It’s happened to me mid laugh before. I was fine one minute, and the next, my laugh turned to a sob as my lungs somehow forgot their normal function of inhaling. I suddenly couldn’t breathe because I remembered who I was pretending not to be. I remembered what I was running from. I remembered what I tried hard to forget.
I remembered the tender way you touched my face before you kissed me. I remembered the way my grandmother used to squint her eyes when she laughed. I believed I was fine and that I had moved past the bad, but in one moment, I was rendered to my knees as the weight of reality crushed the false shell I had built up around myself. I remembered the feeling of being completely and utterly happy. It was like an intense phantom pain of a limb. I could remember vividly how it felt to have no doubts, to have no fears, to feel like I could do anything.
Life has a way of penetrating our defenses despite the effort we took to build them up. It’s a different type of heartbreak when it’s life that’s doing the breaking. It’s one thing for someone to tell you they don’t love you. It’s another to have everything you believed in, everything you thought you were, ripped from your hands like a kite string in a strong wind. We will never be the same again, however, our most common mistake, as humans, is trying to.
I will always miss my grandmother and wish I had just one more minute with her. I will always look back at memories of us and smile because of how happy you made me. I’ll remember opening my eyes right before you would kiss me to sneak a peek at the face that I was so enamored with. I’ll remember when I believed in the good and had faith in everything. I used to believe that everything happened for a reason and that life had purpose.
Maybe one day, I’ll believe in that again, but I know it will never be the same. Life keeps going despite you wishing, praying it would stop. You just have to do your best to keep up. I’ll always remember the people I’ve loved. I don’t regret giving them my love, but that doesn’t make it hurt any less. Life hurts, that’s the truth. But even if you’re in a dark place right now and don’t want to believe it, it won’t always hurt. You won’t always cry. You won’t always catch your breath at a familiar place, smell, or face. Time dulls pain, but it will still be pain.
Keep going. You will survive.