I’ve invited some teens to write guest posts on the general theme of “Keep Walking”. I’m thrilled to introduce today’s guest. I met Alisha last fall and was immediately struck by the depth of her thoughts. She knows a thing or two about getting through things. If you have time, check out her website, Mercy’s Miracle. She appropriately quotes Shakespeare on her ‘about’ page–“And though she be but little, she is fierce.”
Here, Alisha is talking about her cousin who died suddenly earlier this year.
It’s been 6 months and there are still moments when I forget to breathe.
Because he died and I’m alive, and that doesn’t seem fair. It’s not fair. And there are some moments when my lungs forget how to be lungs and my heart forgets how to be a heart and I don’t want to exist in a world where he doesn’t.
I live my life in metaphors. I make up similes about my emotions because they can’t be explained by just saying I am happy or I am sad. I am all of those things, and more. I am a hurricane.
I remember waking up that first morning, and being told that he was gone. I didn’t think it was possible, that it was some cruel joke. And then I broke because the boy who was larger than life died and there were a million things I never said or did.
So I live my life in metaphors and I make up reasons for his death and for my broken heart and I pretend everything is going to be ok. But the one thing I never forget, that’s buried deep under my skin, is that it will never be ok again. Because he changed my life and then he died. And he left me here, on my own, trying to live in the absence of him. And everything I can’t be is everything he should have been.
Sometimes, for a second, I forget. And I expect to see him coming through the door or standing on the porch. Until I remember he’s not coming home again. And I keep waiting for him to come home so I can stop feeling these unexplainable feelings, so I can stop being a hurricane.
Because that’s what I am now, since he died. I’m a beautiful disaster, holding inside of me all the potential to uproot everything. I’m the storm and my life has been tarnished by losing the boy who taught me more about love, and pain, and family than anyone ever has before.
He taught me about loyalty, and taking chances, and that you can never be irreparably broken. And there are a million things I want to tell him, most of them beginning with the words I’m sorry but I also want to tell him thank you.
Thank you for making me this force of nature with brute strength. Thank you for making me realize the potential of my own being. Thank you for saving my life.
I am a hurricane without him, and I live my life in metaphors as a way of trying to numb the pain. And I can sit and go over the things I wish I’d said and done differently, how I let my own brokenness and humanness and hurt keep me from seeing the bigger picture.
Because there is so much more than what our eyes are seeing. That’s a lesson I learned from my cousin. I learned that I am stronger than I think I am, that I am a force to be reckoned with, and that inside of me I have this flame that cannot be put out. I learned that family is stronger than anything, and that even the greatest of pain cannot break them. I have learned to live a little, to trust myself and I have been taken on a journey far greater than I could have ever imagined, one that consists of more than what my eyes are seeing and one that won’t end until I’m finally home, in heaven, where I can say the words I’m longing to and where there is no more hurt or pain.
And I’ve learned that sometimes the most unexpected people become our greatest teachers, and that the danger drives the passion.