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What’s the hardest thing you will ever have to do as a human being? We don’t get to think about these things. We don’t. We carelessly live our lives in hopes of serenity and tranquillity, we spend our time in whatever comfortable peace and our version of happiness and excitement, and we methodically refuse to contemplate about the hardest things in life.

Because we are built that way. We are built to endure and the only way to endure is by shielding ourselves from whaver life may throw in our way. Even so, life will still find a way to throw a curve-ball. Even worse, it seems, as the old Greek folk wisdom will tell you, myriads will follow that first one evil. They like to pop up in bunches. For you may be strong enough to fight off one or a couple of them, but when she decides to play with you, you will find yourself battling for your sanity.

So what is it? Let’s take a moment to think. Granted, it won’t be the same for all people. For example, the hardest battle for someone with a family and a job and a routine will hardly ever be the same as someone’s who has no one and nothing. So, yeah, we need to accept the limitations of our understanding about how hard life can be. Life can be fucked up. You can only go so far with accepting how life is precious and valuable and beautiful. At some point, you get to look into the darkness and you know that, surrounding the beauty and the value of life, there exists a darkness like nothing you’ve ever fought before.

That is the strength of life. She always has something worse to test you with.

But I digress.

What is the worst thing you will ever have to go through?

Like, for example, is there anything worse for a mother than grieving her child? It’s one thing I believe we can all agree and put it up there as one of the hardest things anyone will ever have to do. Similarly, losing a parent is not much easier. Depending on age, it may even be worse. I don’t know. I’ve been blessed and I don’t know. But, I believe, that too should be high up on the list.

There already starts to form a pattern. Mourning. Loved ones.

So, lately, I’ve been thinking.

The hardest thing I’ve been asked to do is to watch a loved one suffer and keep my distance. Know of the suffering and keep away. Know of the pain and the insanity it brings and not get closer, not try to help, not even try to offer some comfort or even understanding.

One of the hardest things you will ever have to do is to mourn for someone who is not dead.

A loved one who, for whatever reason, accepts the abyss within and drifts into the darkness; without a safety net.


How much of this can you deal with? How far can you let a loved one drift before you lose your mind or before you completely ignore their cry for isolation and you just go with your gut and force your help to them? It’s a battle. How can you help someone who’s begging you that the only way you can help them is by keeping your distance?

It’s the demons in your head. Are you really helping? And to what end? Are you helping them destroy themselves? That’s not much help, is it? But, at what point do you know? Can you ever know before it’s way too late?

I used to think that there can never be too late. But, life taught me that sometimes it’s just too late. Not everything is forgiven, not everything is fixed, not everything is forgotten. For some things, it’s just too late.

I don’t believe we’re put on this world to watch our loved ones dissolve and dissipate. Here I am though, here I am, grasping at my last gram of strength to not disturb the one person I care for, the one person I belong to; here I am, with all my remaining might, trying to obey that cry for isolation.

Fuck me; that’s the hardest thing I’ve ever been asked to do. And, I’m not complaining; I’m not! I’d rather exhaust the universe than having to live without the pain of the person’s memory. We belong to people. I’m not being romantic. Well, I am. But I’m not. Some of us had made up our minds about being better off alone. Until we found someone and all the pain before them and irrelevant to them and all the pain after them and because of them, everything made sense.

I wish I could help. All I know is where I belong. I belong where I’m being asked to keep away from. I belong where I want to help, where I want to be, I belong where I’m not.

I used to think I wasn’t a weak person. We’ve all been through some tough times. Some of us have had it a bit worse than others. Some had it even worse.

Allowing the old pain to control our future is a lost battle. We suffered. We survived. We found each other. Anything else, before and after, is for us to look in the eye and never flinch.

We found each other.

  2017  /  Stories  /  Last Updated May 20, 2023 by Phlegyas  / 

1 Comment

  1. Dawn Kirby says:

    Right now you are strength. As long as you keep the door open, there is hope. Simply knowing you’re there should the need arise, may be their saving grace. It doesn’t make it easier for you, but it may mean the world to them.

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