Here’s the thing about me: I often think I’m braver than I really am. It isn’t delusions of grandeur. It might be delusions of hope. Instances of swelling promise that lead me to believe – not that I’m bulletproof – but that I’m tougher than my sensitive nature allows. Most of the time, I can put up quite a good front, which occasionally fools even me.
But today? Today is not one of those days. Today, it’s two years since my mother died, and I thought it would bother me less if I stuck to my routine. Except, that’s not how feelings work. I maybe tried to strong-arm them into submission, only to fail miserably.
People always tell you the same (well-meant) things: it will get easier; you will feel better with time; and it gets better. Except with respect to losing a loved one, it doesn’t get better. It doesn’t get easier. It just gets different. You just learn to deal with it the best you can. This sometimes means crying at ridiculous things and needing people in a way you’re not entirely comfortable with.
Here’s another thing about me: I loathe asking for things from people. Loathe it. If you don’t offer, most of the time, I won’t ask. It is something I’m working on, but for now, it means that if I have asked you for something – I have not done it lightly. And it probably cost me more than it would someone else. I am stubborn. I have a ridiculous amount of pride. And did I mention I’m stubborn? Because I am.
This also means that I love with unfailing strength and passion. Life is short. Life is too short. I know this like I know that the sky is full of unseen stars. Things that happen in our lives often change us. My mother’s death was no exception. I’ve always been stubborn when it comes to knowing my own heart. No one can ever talk me out of my feelings, though a few daring souls have tried. But since my mother’s passing, I made a promise to myself to make a real effort to let those I love know that I love them, even when it may be unwise. Even when it might be inconvenient or difficult. Perhaps especially then. Because no matter what we tell ourselves, or how we try to wall ourselves off, we all need love.
So, in memory of my mother, who loved fiercely and without hesitation, I’m going to ask you this: if you love someone, tell them. Forget all your fear and just say it. Forget all the ways it might not fit into your plan. Forget everything except that feeling.
Be not only brave enough to love – but also brave enough to say it out loud. Don’t keep it to yourself. Don’t try to hold it in. Don’t you dare try to hide it. Because you never know when everything will change. Take this moment, this chance, and seize it. Darlings, you owe it to yourself – trust me on that. Love is not a pet to be kept in a cage – or a madwoman to be hidden in an attic.
Let it out. It’s the truest, scariest, best, wonderful thing you can do in life. Say the words out loud, and you might change a life. You might change your life. And love, revealed, is the absolute best change there ever is.