Remember who you were before their heart crashed into yours. Remember your imperfections, your edges, you stories woven into every bone and muscle in your body, the maps laid out along the curve of your spine. Remember every carefully curated thread of DNA that makes you so unapologetically you. Remember how your skin celebrates when it is drenched in the sun, remember each freckle that appears on your cheeks and every sunspot that marks your shoulder from your days basking in the glow of the sun. Remind yourself that those blissful, sun-soaked moments will always be yours. Remind yourself that you are a masterpiece, even though you lay in fragments right now. Because with these pieces, you will put yourself back together so bewitchingly and you will create a new mosaic – a mosaic that their hands have never tarnished or touched.
Remember the bonfire nights and garage parties with the ones you love – your blood family and the family you choose. Remember the moments with the ones who have walked this weathered and worn but strikingly beautiful path alongside you. Remember the ones who gave you those laugh lines and wrinkles from smiling too much. Look at your reflection and see the way those lines carve out so many chapters and stories to be told. See how they map out every moment you have savored, every milestone and junction you were meant to stand at, the places that made you fall in love with being alive. Remember these nuggets of light when you find yourself trapped under dark, stormy skies.
Remember the days you thought you wouldn’t survive, yet here you are, reconstructing your life. I know it hurts to merely breathe without them, but remember that you have lived in this lifetime without their presence, and you are strong enough to live without them once again. Remember who you are. Reinvent the parts of you that need a little extra love, care, and compassion. Give yourself grace, tend to your wounds, and soothe yourself gently. Your strength is unparalleled; it is otherworldly. You will thrive in the next chapter of your life, and you will look back on the moments that tried to break you—because they did not break you.
Look at you, whole entirely on your own. Look at you, beginning again.