I wish I personally knew you.
I wish we could take our dogs for a walk together.
I wish I was there when your loss took place and listened to you until you had nothing more to say.
Until all the invisible and visible losses were seen and validated.
Until you felt strong enough to exit The Waiting room and start a new life for yourself.
Until you laughed out loud a few times in a row.
Until you were able to watch the sunrise without sadness but with immense gratitude.
Until you were able to be in the present moment and stay right here without feeling pain, without having to run away from it.
And if I couldn’t be the one walking with you, I wish there was someone like me who lived next door to you.
Someone who had been through tragic loss.
Someone who had compassion and knowing that this takes time, a lot of it.
That one year, three years and even ten years does not take away the love and loss that we feel in our heart. It doesn’t make it less of a loss.
And just because we learn to live again it doesn’t mean we don’t need to talk about what happened to us.
If you have been reading this letter for years then you know it is not your typical letter. You know I like to speak to you like nobody else does.
You know that my loss made me do things that were outside of the box.
And you also know that I want the same for you.
I want to help you step outside of the very low expectations that our world has for people after loss.
I am sorry to be so blunt but what is wrong with the world?
How come nobody talks about the incredible evolutionary experience that takes place after we go through tragedy, how come the world stays quiet? Why is that?
I went to a middle school class once to teach my Life Reentry to kids.
I asked them ‘how many of you have had your heart broken?” they all raised their hand.
Then I asked them ‘what did you do to mend it?’ They raised their hands proudly again and one kid said ‘played basketball every day’. Another kid said ‘I told my mom about it’. Another kid said ‘I hid in my room for a while but then I went out and made new friends’.
You see, as kids we know how to reenter our life after loss, but as we grow older that ability vanishes in a world that teaches us to be afraid of sharing and crying in public.
We lose our voice, our memories of who we used to be and most of all we lose our future. These kids knew what to do with their broken heart much more than we do.
And no…kids are not resilient. Whoever said that didn’t know what they were talking about. Kids carry their hearts in their hands and they break even more than ours.
But they choose life afterwards.
They choose to go and play again.
They choose to go and live again.
They choose themselves.
Kids don’t stay in the Waiting room.
Only us adults occupy that space. And we die there.
We die in the place between two lives, the life we had to let go of and the life we never got to have afterwards.
I will keep talking to you as if we are friends, as if we have known each other for a long time.
I don’t live next door to you and we don’t walk our dogs together every day, but I write you a letter every week and that my friend is my way in.
My way into your waiting room and my way to get you out of it.
In my Life Starters community this month we are trying to spend time outside every single day, outside of our routine, outside of what we know.
I am going to ask you to do the same thing.
After you read this letter, grab your jacket, your keys and get out of your house.
Just get out without planning anything, without knowing where you are heading.
Surprise yourself will you?