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the pain is real.

I have met a person who was told by her father that the world would be better off without her. Repeatedly. Over and over. 

I have met a person who is dealing with cancer, again, and just watched two of her siblings die including a brother while choking on a piece of food after a successful surgery. She told me she is “broken”. 

I have met a person who lost her mom within 3 months of a diagnosis and is now getting ready to get married without her there to help her. 

I have met a person who is one of only 80 people in the world with a certain genetic disorder. 

I have a met a person who asked me if I did funerals because she believes her 21 year-old son will not be around much longer… he’s had two overdoses this summer. 

I have met a person whose father has ALS.

I have met a person who was repeatedly sexually abused by her step-father until the age of 12, lost her sister to suicide, and was addicted to pain-killers.  

I have met a person whose parents told her to not bother coming home for Thanksgiving, because she was gay. 

I have met a person who recently lost her husband to MS, after taking care of him for years. She still says “at some point I’m just going to start crying and not be able to stop”. 

I have met a person who was sexually and physically abused as a child. 

I have met a person who was sexually and physically abused as a child by her parents who were on the elder board. 

I have met a person whose wife took a nap one morning and never woke up because she took too many pills. 

I have met someone who has tried to hang himself, shoot himself, and take an overdose, and said, I couldn’t even kill myself the right way. 

Writing these sentences, recalling these beautiful people, is causing me to cry as I type this at this very moment. 

I haven’t even mentioned miscarriages, addictions, teen moms, hundreds of illnesses, loneliness, eating disorders, broken relationships, doubt, frustration, or our 7 year-old neighbor who was hit by a car a couple of weeks ago and will never live anything close to a normal life again… and the list goes on and on. 

The pain is real. It’s hard. It’s staggering. And there are no easy answers. 

Sometimes it’s just good to cry in it.

a certain beauty finds itself in the darkness.

you.