August kicked my ass.
The entire month was ridden with death, suffering, anxiety, and pretty much every terrible situation and miserable sensation imaginable. Between saying goodbye to someone who I really cared about and watching the one person who means the most to me face even more health challenges, my heart was broken and my spirit was shattered. The news stories this month were just as depressing, what with racial tensions in Ferguson, Missouri and the death of actor Robin Williams. In these trying times, my faith in life was put to the ultimate test. I wondered, why should I have hope for a world, let alone trust in a higher power, when good, innocent souls, including the people I love, are put through the ringer of pain, or are taken away forever? How am I expected to hold on while being ambushed with awfulness all around? What is it about life that makes the sadness, the anger, worth it?
I was saved by people. If it wasn’t for my support system, I would have been consumed by my grief and my fears. My friends were there to lend an open ear, impart words of encouragement, provide the smiles and laughs to lighten things up, and offer to do anything they can to help alleviate the situation. When it comes to shared grief, it’s amazing how people who are hurting collectively come together to give each other love and strength, reminding us all that we never have to experience these worst moments alone. The gratitude I feel towards these phenomenal people is overwhelming.
What did I learn from August 2014?
We may not have control over the bad that comes our way in life, but we can control how we go through the dark days. We are strong on our own, but stronger together, and strongest when we take care of each other, stand together, and fight back together, as one.
See you soon, September. I’ll be coming up swinging.
Image by Leon Biss.