The Struggle Is Real

When I go through lows in life, I struggle to share my thoughts for several reasons:

  • I don’t want to dwell too long on the negative and miss out celebrating all the other awesome stuff that’s bound to be on the periphery of my sad circle.
  • I fear that sharing my sadness with others might steal others’ happiness.
  • I don’t want my writing and my blog to be tinged with sadness where you, dear reader, hesitate to visit my site because you’re thinking, “I wonder what bad stuff is going on with Karen now.”

Like Mariah Carey, I believe in glitter and rainbows and I try to find them in every situation but sometimes, the storm before the rainbow is an absolute deluge, the kind that soaks your clothes and chills you to the bone and leaves you too weak to trudge through it. Sometimes the glitter dust is too fine and it makes you sneeze. Sometimes the glitter dust gets mixed in with sand and it feels like life has lost its shine. Sometimes you think you’re going on vacation and too late, you realize you’re on the struggle bus bound for who-knows-where. The Struggle Bus

But part of getting over something is dealing with it, part of dealing with a loss is acknowledging the pain and letting the hurt heal you. In the last 5 years, I’ve lost 4 uncles – 3 of them to cancer. This past weekend, a fifth uncle also succumbed to the same disease and there’s news that a 6th is on the front lines of the same battle. Honestly, although these are all family members, I wasn’t particularly close to any of them. We didn’t meet regularly to talk about the meaning of life, but I have very distinct memories of a conversation that I had with each one, something that impacted me and when I think of them, that’s what I remember. This last uncle that died, Uncle Harry, was who I lived with when I just moved to New York. I had just started in school in September 2001 and on that fateful morning, September 11th, we were on the train together when the planes hit and when we got out at the  World Trade Center exit, I went upstairs to witness the tragedy and he got on the last train that left that station bound for New Jersey where he worked. Neither of us knew the severity of what had just happened but our 9/11 stories are forever bound in that moment.

In the 15 years since, I haven’t talked to Uncle Harry much. In fact, the last time I saw him was two years ago at the funeral for uncle #4,  but when news of his death reached me, I cried. For the loss to my family because he was a good man, who had treated my aunt well and raised up his children to excel; because he and my dad were very close and I hurt to know my dad is in pain. You know, with the losses my family has endured, I’ve lost uncles and “relatives” but my mother and father, well they’ve lost their brothers and there’s no closer bond.

Some days, I wake up and keep my eyes closed for a moment, just wondering how much more pain we can endure, how much loss can a person really be expected to deal with, where do you get the strength to keep going. We believe in God and the eventual resurrection when those who have accepted and are faithful will live again but man, it’s hard to lose the ones you love and feel like you’re just stumbling through this life without a limb you got accustomed to having.

At a funeral for a friend’s mother this past weekend, another friend told me the doctors have finally decided how to treat the pain she’s been enduring for several months now and that she will be having a hysterectomy on Wednesday. My heart bleeds. Drops of the lifeblood that should be going through my heart and flowing through my body, well they are escaping and falling from my eyes. It’s hard to be excited about presents and decorations when there is so much hard stuff to deal with. It’s hard to smile through a weekend of celebration knowing there’s a funeral for a loved one and there’s bound to be tears and heartbreak come Monday morning.

My parents’ next door neighbor, who share our same last name even though we’re not related, the wife just died last week. In the past 5 years or so, 3 of the 4 women in the circle where my parents live, have died. Mrs. Tingling, Mrs. Bromfield and now the other Mrs. Wright too. I can’t deal.

A friend who’s had a complicated relationship with her father, well she got word last week that he had died. And in dealing with the loss and making arrangements for his funeral, her grandmother also passed away yesterday. How much more loss can we handle? How many ways to say “I’m sorry you hurt. I’m praying for you to be strong, I’m crying with you.” I don’t know.

I need some happiness. I need to put my head in someone’s lap and let them just stroke my hair and tell me everything is going to be okay, even when neither of us knows whether that’s true. I need some reassurances even if they are empty promises that no one can honestly make.

I wish there was a time machine so I could go back to that time in my childhood before my grandfather died and I learned what true heartbreak was, that time before my grandmother died on Christmas Day, that blissful period where everyone in my family was healthy and young and strong, when I lived in Jamaica and we missed our relatives at holidays because they had moved to America or Canada or England and not because they were dead, where my parents could still shelter me from bad news so I thought all was right with the world, where I watched Hallmark movies to cry because there wasn’t really anything to cry about in real life. Man, I miss those days!

I’m trying to find a way to smile and really feel it. In the meantime, I’ve been writing sad poems, filling up journals with my bleeding tears and faking the happiness until it finds its way back into me.

Have you ever felt like this? What do you do to get out of the funk?

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Thinking Out Loud, Thursday ThoughtsStuff and Things

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Paul Goddard says:

    Its going to be ok!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh Karen I am so sorry.

    I can not begin to imagine your hurt and pain right now.

    Virtual hugs and a lap for you to cry on.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Run Wright says:

      Thanks so much, Meeks.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh I’m so sorry to hear that Karen. I really wish I could send you a big hug.


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