Things I learned about death, love and heartbreak.
Things I learned about death…
Death means people will never come back. This will take you 3 years to understand. When that becomes to cumbersome of a concept, though, remember this: To miss someone is hard, but not necessarily a bad thing. Try to replace the word “Miss” with “Remember” or “Love” in your mind when you can. I love my dad. The love is as present and helpful as when he was alive because he’s still my dad. I still do things to make him proud. I still get angry with him. I still turned into him in some ways, good and bad.
Death will give you some strength, maybe wisdom, but it will never make you a better person. If it did, everyone would be a better person. However, you can pretend to be wiser sometimes and that’s sort of fun. You may be the first of your friends to really lose someone. That’s not so fun. I’m sorry. Someone had to be that person. Help others through the vines you cut for yourself. You’re safer in numbers.
Do not compete with others suffering. Please, god, do not compare scars, even if it is only in your mind. This is a game that no one will win. Your pain feels the biggest, I know, because you feel it. But no matter the circumstance, the size of your grief is irrelevant. Others are going to compare miseries with you. It’s inevitable. “I know what you mean because…” may seem like a comfort, but it’s not. And when you hear it, you’re going to want to throw your drink in their face. Don’t. As hard as it is, try to be the person you needed but probably didn’t have; Someone who lets you finish, and then stays with you in that moment instead of taking it, and maybe provides a little humor and alcohol.
Just because people aren’t perfect doesn’t mean they don’t love you. So, when the pedestals you’ve built for people in your life begin to crumble, which they inevitably will, don’t try to put them back together. You built these shrines when you were five, of course the work was shoddy.
Telling embarrassing stories about someone who you miss is still fun. Try it.
You should try and find a way to forgive everyone for how they handle the death that touches you. Treat grieving the same way you might treat drinking. Everyone is a different kind of drunk. Fighting, fucking, crying, dancing, sleeping, isolating, talking; all of these are colors of the drunk and grieving. After all, no one got mad at you for laughing at the funeral.
Don’t bring dead people up at parties.
Don’t apologize for bringing dead people up at parties.
Things I learned about love…
There are some things that love is not going to be able to fix.
Remember how Ke$ha said “Your love is my drug”? She was right. Remember in Clueless, when Cher said “It is one thing to spark up a doobie and get laced at parties, but it is quite another to be fried all day.”? She was also right. I couldn’t think of a better way to express the importance of avoiding codependency, so there you go. Don’t be fried all day.
If you love someone; stay up. If they are sick, working, or talking mumbled love-sick syllables, try desperately to keep your eyes open. I promise it’s worth it. I know this is hard; you have a lot going on. But it’s easy to say “I love you” after you’ve both had your coffee and put your makeup on. The biggest and best “I love you” I’ve ever felt was when I had the flu and you watched cops with me and helped me eat a bagel. I must have been hideous. I felt beautiful.
Picking your battles does not mean that you toss off arguments when you’re tired of having them. Fight for yourself like you would fight for her.
Don’t worry so much about making mistakes. Yes, you might bring her the wrong type of coffee when you surprise her at work. Oh well. You live and you learn. You come from an alien planet where coffee is coffee and you tried your best. Is it hot? Yes? Well, fucking, done.
You deserve to feel the love you’re willing to give, and the safety you’re willing to provide. You do. You just do. If you expect less, you will receive less and you deserve everything because you are lovely.
Guard your heart, but leave it open. Make it a home; let people in. Ask them if they’re hungry. There are going to be incidents. Someone is going to break something. Accidents happen. Treat others’ hearts like you would treat your best friends house; don’t make a mess, don’t take anything, and be nice to their parents.
Be a little more careful who you decide to love. In all probability you will love them forever.
Things I learned about Heartbreak…
Sometimes you have to hang up the phone and then turn it off. She’s going to be ok, and if she isn’t, you won’t be able to help her through a phone anyway. (You wouldn’t be able to help her anyway)
You are not a bad person. The next person who makes you ask yourself that should fucking die.
You are going to sound insane. You are going to swing so quickly and violently from hate, to love, to grief that it is going to leave you feeling exhausted and desperate. You’re going to know that when people say “Heart-ache” it’s an actual pain that you are going to want to type into Web MD. Don’t type it into web MD. Don’t type it into tumblr. Try to eat something. Go out. You’re allowed to go out. Write something down. Watch Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle and laugh hysterically at how ridiculous you look when it makes you cry.
You’re not a bad person.
For about 3 months, everyone is going to try really hard to listen to you complain about something they have already felt 3 times over. That is your free pass. 3 months. And maybe a few odd drunk nights after. I know this sounds really harsh, but you’re going to be fine. Maybe now you will listen better.
It’s easy to victimize yourself. And maybe you’ve gotten very good at it. The urge will be to say things like “How could they do this to me?” But you already know the answer; they’re unhappy. They wanted it to work out as much as you did. They are as devistated as you that it didn’t, no matter who called it first. They’re also going insane. They’re also trying to remember to eat. They’re not doing anything to you.
Don’t bring ex-girlfriends up at parties.