A Funeral for my Former Self

A formal way to let go of who I used to be

Kayla Douglas
Dec 13, 2019 · 4 min read
Image by Author

My former self is dead and gone, and its time I put her to rest. I even made a playlist for the occasion.

Kayla was a sad person. She put on a smiling face to cover up all of her emotions. She thought she was brave, and many people applauded her for her efforts.

Society didn’t want to feel her pain; they didn’t know how to react to her open, bleeding heart. She was rewarded each time she closed her heart up and wrapped it in bandages. Each time she tried to remove the dressings to peek underneath, she was shushed and reprimanded and told to cover it back up.

No one could bear to look at her heart the way it was. And she wrapped it tighter and tighter, trying to protect everyone else from her pain.

Kayla always knew she was different. She felt so much, so many emotions that no one else was talking about. Sometimes she was tempted to look at that throbbing red bleeding beating heart, but she didn’t feel she had permission. The world wanted her numb and productive. They wanted her to contribute to society but not from there. She was encouraged to use only her head.

She cut open her skin to see the evidence that it was still inside her, still beating, pulsing liquid through her open vein.

She was careful to bandage those cuts up, too. She didn’t want to die. She wanted to see proof that she was still alive. With her heart protected in so many layers, she often felt a tingling numbness that left her doubting her consciousness. The energy flow between her head and her heart was stuck.

It was a painful existence, tearing herself to pieces on the inside, pulling out pieces of herself to patch up the wounds on the exterior. She was always at war, going in and coming out of her body in a way that no one seemed to understand. No one told her about being an empath, or how to deal with her heightened emotions.

Her heart grew more and more shriveled, but she kept going. She was a warrior. Even when she tried to end her own life, her inner being knew better. It knew that she was a fighter, and it protected her organs while chemicals flowed through her body. The guardian angel she never wished for, saved her life.

That should have woken her up, should have shown her that life is more than what she could see. But Kayla was stubborn and hardened from years of being tough and protecting herself from pain and fear. She no longer saw the beauty of life; she was doing it for everyone else around her. Kayla kept doing life because it felt like the only option. She kept soldiering on. Fighting against everything that ailed her.

Kayla was a giver. She gave more than she had. She was that person you went to that would put you before her. She didn’t love herself, but she tried to love everyone else. She didn’t even know that she couldn’t fill anyone’s cup while hers was empty.

She was often sick, shut off in her world. When she showed up, she wore masks and bandages covering up every inch of herself to protect everyone else. They only saw her smile and listened to her downplay what she was going through to keep them happy. Very few people saw through the ruse; those that did had no idea how to help her because she was in so deep.

She took care of her ailing body to the bare minimum, but she didn’t dare look inside. Its contents were too fragile and too dangerous to consider.

At some point, everything changed. A switch flipped inside her. She stopped identifying with her broken body and saw this field of energy she had never perceived before.

Little by little, she took off the bandages, letting herself show to the real world. A lot of people didn’t want to look at her, and most of her relationships fell apart.

She picked up the pieces of her life and moved abroad, thinking somewhere else maybe she could feel accepted. As she traveled, she saw more and more of herself.

At some point, it became evident she wanted more than the life of this pitiful body. And that is why this funeral is taking place.


Kayla is in a completely new life; she is an entirely new person. She loves herself; she feels worthy of love and knows that she is enough precisely as she is. She knows her body isn’t perfect, and her past doesn’t make her a bad person. She is burying the previous version of herself to stop allowing her old beliefs and fears to hold her back in this new life.

So here is our last farewell. Goodbye to the scared, fragile child. Goodbye to someone who couldn’t love herself and tried to build herself up by fixing others. Goodbye to someone so self-centered, she didn’t see that she couldn’t help anyone until she helped herself. And farewell to the person who was afraid to trust, afraid to love, and terrified of opening her heart up. Adios.

inkMend

inkMend is a writer’s safe space on Medium to express experience with pain and write to heal from trauma. Inspired fiction, poetry, and non-fiction/memoir welcome.

Kayla Douglas

Written by

Life Coach, author, lifelong learner, travel enthusiast, narcolepsy advocate, living in Myanmar, she/her https://www.kaylamdouglas.com

inkMend

inkMend

inkMend is a writer’s safe space on Medium to express experience with pain and write to heal from trauma. Inspired fiction, poetry, and non-fiction/memoir welcome.

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