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When I hear about your loss, I feel it more in my chest than the syllables ringing in my ears. The moment I know that there’s a missing piece of you, the chasms in my own heart echo in their emptiness. Reverberating emotions up to the surface that are never floating that far below. Never far enough to sink forever, lost in the darkest abyss. No, the echoes come and rattle my bones and they shake for you.

My bones know grief. It sits menacingly in the marrow, and no transplant, no replacement can ever rid them of the feelings that those that know have felt. They know the other side of the funeral line. The receiving end of the same phrases repeated over and over from faces you barely know, that want to help you. All they want to do is help you. But they won’t because usually, the only person that would help is the only one that isn’t there.

My bones ache for you – the you that will be flooded with messages that maybe mean something but also mean nothing at all. My heart blackens with the rushing blackness of that feeling of wanting to fix¬†it. Of needing to be ok. Of being completely helpless with too much attention, too many cards, too many flowers, too many messages and not being able to process any of it. To have to function through the wake and the funeral and all the silly meals in between where you feel like you can’t laugh but you can’t cry anymore and all you really want to do is find a bed somewhere. Alone. Or maybe go ride rollercoasters. Just something other than this thing that you have to do. Even if you’re a heap of ash on the inside. Even if you feel nothing – like this world is a dream.

When I hear about your loss, I ache for you. I want to take the other whole pieces of my heart and throw them to you, sew them inside your own rips and tears and prevent you from feeling this. I will never tell you that you’re strong. I will never say I know how you feel – because I’ve lost my people, and you lose yours. But I know that ache and I hate it and I hate even more when it spreads its terrible web and I know that more will feel it.

When I hear about your loss, I know it will still hurt years from now, but no one will really remember but you. When I hear about your loss, I know that ten years later that birthday, that wedding day, that beautiful day in June, will still sting as sharp as anything, and I hate that you will know the feeling.

There aren’t enough words in the Engish language to say what I feel when I hear it. My condolences, my prayers, my warm thoughts, I’m sorry. Nothing comes close.

My heart just hurts for you – because I know how yours is hurting.