You don’t know pain until you’ve watched the only person you’re certain you love, tell you they simply can’t anymore.
The same person you tried to leave in times of weakness, whose tears convinced you to stay when you should have kept walking tell you, it’s time to go.
You don’t know pain until you attend the funeral of the only person you idolized growing up.
Until you bury your 26 year old hero, at the tender age of only eighteen.
They tell you you’re a man at eighteen. I assure you, as I watched his casket lower and his mother who was maybe more of a mother to me than my own lose her peace over it, I was once again nothing more than a broken boy in that moment.
You don’t know pain until you watch as an unspeakable tragedy takes your childhood friend. The friend you were certain would always be there. The one you never thought you’d have to go to a cemetery to see. The one whose grave you haven’t been able to face in person for the last 12 years out of fear of your own emotions and feelings.
One whose soul speaks to you and asks “How come you never come visit?”
You don’t know pain until you’ve watched a Mother and Father bury their kid.
Until you’ve had to be there as they made funeral arrangements for the children they spent most their life worrying about how they would afford a college education for but have instead been left with this to deal with.
Until you’ve also watched that casket lower as one of their parents went to jump on it, because they simply didn’t want to deal with the reality they were left with.
You don’t know pain until you watch a judge declare it a freak accident rather than hold someone responsible.
You don’t know pain until you jog by the same exact spot she was killed every day. Until you learn to find peace in those moments.
You don’t know pain until you’re asked to write a eulogy for the Uncle you loved whose whole existence was consumed by addiction and alcohol.
Who took his own life in such a painful way, you just wish there was one thing you could have came up with to ease his mother or father’s pain at the funeral.
You don’t know pain until you’ve watched your own father, your personal fucking hero, rock and savior lose two of his siblings to suicide and never speak about it. And then both parents after, without a spoken word.
You don’t know pain until you’ve denounced a God who was supposed to exist to stop all of the above from happening.
Until your EGO has completely Edged God Out, as it’s designed to do.
You don’t know pain until you’re able to cause it in others because you’re certain the God you’ve spent the majority of your life praying to, no longer exists.
Until you don’t even bother to blame him for the bad because you’re certain he’s as made up as Santa Claus is.
You don’t know pain until you’re confronted by all of your darkest parts.
Until you can realize you were responsible for as much pain as you’ve witnessed and have been put through.
You don’t know growth until you find forgiveness for all of it.
Both for yourself and others. For your sake more than theirs.
Until you realize none of the pain was ever about you and most of it was never yours to claim.