I watched you today. Living, breathing, talking. The grief bouncing off you like shock waves. All the while I was wondering: “how is she still standing?”.
My heart heavy, the tears stung my eyes as I hugged you and felt the weight of your pain. It felt like a throat punch: taking away my ability to breathe. It stunned me for a second, but then I realised it just felt familiar.
You see, we’ve been here before, you and I.
We were so much younger then, more easily shocked by the cruelty and unfairness of it all. More easily wounded when grief picked up its bat and just kept hitting, over and over.
For thirteen years I have stood beside you, helping you scoop up the broken pieces and glue them back together. I have watched on helplessly as grief tried to crush you, then cheered as you emerged stronger, like a diamond.
You wear your pain like armour. People who only see that outer shell misunderstand you. They don’t matter. They don’t see the strength in you. They don’t see the fire you have had to walk through, that has formed your hard exterior.
I see you, in your pain.
I love you, like a part of me.
I am proud of you, like a mother.
I am in awe of you, like a warrior.
I will be here for you, like a sister.