An Open Letter To A Grieving Friend
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An Open Letter To A Grieving Friend

From your caring and loving Friend

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An Open Letter To A Grieving Friend
Harli Marten

Dear Friend,

You're grieving and it's hard for anything to be anywhere near normal. I know that nothing that I can say will relieve you of any of the pain that you feel or any of the sorrow that is yet to come. You've received more food than you could ever dream of eating, and we all know that I'm a terrible cook anyway. I have no wisdom that relates to this situation at all. I only have my words and our good memories together. I promise that I can be a good distraction for when you need to get away from the emotions you're feeling.

"It has been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. My mom says some days are like that." - Judith Viorst, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Let's start with these words: This sucks and nothing will ever make it not suck. There will be days when you feel so low that you don't know how you'll ever get out. But there will also be other days where you'll experience joy like you've never known before. I'm sorry that your loved one will not be able to share in those moments with you. But we both know that they will always be watching you, proud as ever.

Next thing: This isn't fair. We've both experienced far too many losses for anyone our age. We know that the way life and death go is never fair. Good people die too early and their families are left in the wake. For you and your family, this pain was only a chapter, not the end. And I know it feels like the end now, but I promise that it isn't. Your loved one lives on in you and will continue with you on your journey for the rest of you life. They aren't there physically, but they are closer to your heart than ever.

"At the blueness of the skies and in the warmth of summer, we remember them" - Slyvan Kamens and Rabbi Jack Reimer

I know that this is impossible to grasp. You probably feel like you're painting a picture, and you have all the right colors, but you can't get the color right. I want to remind you that no one can get the color right, and we all have our own demons that keep us from getting it right. Especially me, because I'm the worst artist that I know.

Like I said before, I have no wisdom to offer you, and though it may seem like I know what I'm talking about, I really don't and that's okay. It's hard to know what to say and it's much easier to just be a distraction for you. If that's what you need, then I'm more than willing to distract all you want. If you just want to talk, then I can sit (mostly) quietly and listen.

You've always been everyone's support system. Always empathetic, always loving. It's hard to be in the other role, but you have so many amazing friends who will always do their best to help you through whatever pain you're feeling. It's okay to be selfish right now and it's okay to ask for things that you might not have asked for before. You're the most giving person I know; let me do the same in return.

This absence will always be felt, but time will make things easier. It sucks and it's not fair, but I know that you — strong, kind, beautiful you — will come through this 100% stronger. You'll throw yourself into your studies and fulfill each and every dream that your heart has ever dared to dream. I've always been in awe of you and your accomplishments, and I know that you have so much more to offer this world. I cannot wait to see the amazing things you will do in this life.

I want you to know that you will never have to walk this path alone. I will be with you every step of the way. Many people are here to aid you on this part of the journey. Right now your load is much heavier than ours, let us lighten yours. Don't ever worry that you're being annoying or start thinking that you're bringing us down. We would move mountains to make all of your pain go away. Unfortunately, mountains stay pretty stable and you're looking up at the biggest one yet. Don't be scared to lean a little harder, we'll always be there to catch you.

"Walk on, walk on with hope in your heart and you'll never walk alone." - Rodgers and Hammerstein

There will be days when all you want to do is be alone with your thoughts, and that's okay too. Know that we'll still be there, waiting patiently, when you open the door to your bedroom again. It's good for you to spend time alone, but don't stay in there forever. If you do, you better believe that we'll all come barging in wielding cookies and hot chocolate. We can sit quietly and watch movies if that's what you want. I can talk your ear off for hours if you want a nice distraction. You know that all of your friends are willing to bend over backwards to make you smile, and we will not stop until you do.

I know that this won't be easy in any sense of the word. So take time to cry, be angry, be upset, ride out this roller coaster of emotions. We'll be waiting for you at the end.

“I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil.” - J.R.R. Tolkien

I love you always,

Your caring and loving Friend

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