This past week has, without a doubt, been the hardest seven days of my life. Witnessing someone I love being stretched, twisted, torn and cracked by a situation that was merely a mistake, is the hardest thing to see. I know, I know. I have never experienced a loved one pass away. I have never seen the ruins of a war stricken town, or witnessed the effects of post traumatic stress. There are things we all struggle with, but among all of these tragedies the hardest part of it all is not the experience itself, but knowing that there is a limit to what you can do to help someone going through an excruciating stage of life. This week has been terrible, but none of it has directly happened to me.
Instead of writing about the horrible experience my best friend has endured this week, I need to focus on the tiny slithers of light that have come out of all of this. I may not exude confidence and positivity, but through the depression and other personal struggles, I find myself still trying to sift through the silt and mud in order to find the almost microscopic and seemingly valueless slither of gold. There are two values of humanity that lately I have found difficult to identify with, but in this horrendous and life changing situation, I have found them to be true again.
1. The blessing of true friendship.
I don't want my close friends to think that in saying this I had forgotten their value in my life. I hadn't. I just needed a reminder of the importance of a true friend in the healing process after any trauma. Whether it simply be a text message of support and love; a care package of basic essentials used in the grieving process; a two week survival plan; a shoulder to cry on; someone to get mad at the injustice; someone who will simply come and sit, watch terrible television, eat bad food and just BE there. You all know who you are and you have all played an incredible role in helping an amazing person.
A simple but poignant value of humanity. It is in times of great adversity when we are able to surprise ourselves by the strength we have been storing for when it is truly needed. When facing a situation as earth shattering as what my friend has endured, I'm not sure I would be as strong as her. Yet when I tell her how proud I am for getting out of bed, planning what her next move will be and fighting for what she has left, she seems surprised. Why? Because we never truly realise our own strength until someone else recognises it. Maybe I would handle the situation as incredibly as she has. Or maybe I would break underneath it all. All I know is that at the beginning of this post, I specifically said she had been stretched, twisted, torn and cracked - but I never mentioned her breaking. She will heal. She will recuperate. She will never be the same, but I have no doubt that her spirit has become more resilient, her friendships solidified and her fight more powerful.
The heartache and trauma is not yet over. There will still be bad days. Days of crying, of not wanting to get out of bed, of excessive amounts of icecream and bad movies just to pass the time. And through all of this, one thing is certain: with supportive friendships and endurance, the days will get better.