I want to say something important. I have spent the last 24 hours watching so many of my dear friends shatter and fall to pieces in the wake of this loss and I need, so desperately, to reiterate to you the value of your life. The impact of this loss is so severe, and has reached so far. It is staggering, unimaginable, paralyzing. You cannot possibly overstate your own value. The very act of living, of being, of filling a space, of sharing the experiences, tragedies, hilarities, sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the world connects you to the rest of us in ways that you cannot imagine. And when you go, when you tear out those roots and disappear, you cannot conceive of the damage you do, the destruction you wreak, the hideous vacuum that you create. You cannot possibly know the countless hours that the people you leave behind will spend staring into the abyss you left us, the confusion, rage, grief and guilt that will rush in to fill this space you once inhabited. And you cannot, you must not, know that everyone that you have touched, or met, or changed, or known, or caused to smile, will spend one of the most ghastly and desperate moments of their life when they recognize that empty space, when they stare into that place that you will never be again, when they realize that you were real, and you were alive, and we shared this earth, and that you are never, ever coming back. You will leave so many of us to face those minutes of loss and fear, and they will add up. You will inspire countless moments of terror, and of pain, and they will be crippling. You will leave a legacy of hurt and destruction that you cannot even imagine; you will create a loss so intense that it will overwhelm us all. You are necessary. You are loved, and needed. Even if you think you are not. Even if you think you have no worth. Even if I am mad at you, or if we haven't spoken in years, believe me, you are so important. You are a light on the earth, a miracle, a keystone. You are an inspiration, and a co-conspirator, and a friend. You are so, so important. And you cannot possibly know, you could not have known, because had you had the remotest conception of your worth and your value you could never, never have done this. And so I needed to tell you, all of you, those of you I haven’t seen in decades, and those of you I may have just met, those of you I never will meet. You are precious, you are adored. You have a place, and a role, and there is a need for you as a human on this earth. We are all in this together, and your loss will stab the brutal fingers of anguish into remote places you could never have foreseen. Please, please know that you are valued. Depression lies. It perverts reality and it mutilates truth. The truth is that you are special, remarkable, invaluable, irreplaceable. The truth is that you are you, and that there is nothing more devastating that you could take from us. You are precious, and you are not alone.
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