Important, vital people to your life will fade and disappear, whether because of the trauma you are facing or because they faced it with you. Sometimes the more you reach to keep them close, the more easily they seem to slip away. Survivors leave a trail of ghosts in their wake.
Their presence remains. Moving in and out of your life and your dreams. Reminders frequent and moving. These memories can leave you both hopeful and hopeless.
Your very soul becomes the house they haunt. They stroll through your thoughts and live restless in your pulse. You miss them. What they were to you. What you hoped they would be. How they still matter. How often you still feel their presence.
When you lose so much of yourself while struggling to survive, it is interesting that some of what you will miss the most is about what you lose with other people.
Crisis can bind people together and rip them apart. But, even torn bindings have a way of reaching with wispy tentacles which wrap your heart in longing and loss.
Ghosts are confusing. They make you angry. They make you sad. They hurt. Yet, more often then not, they tug at a deep quiet place within you, for once they weren't a ghost. Once, they were very much a part of your life.
Ghosts are felt most acutely because they matter. You need them. You reach. They step back into the shadows. You forget for a moment, then they brush past like they were never not there.
There is grief and envy, true mourning. It's the deepest kind of wound to feel people so important to you become ghosts, especially with the painful knowledge that in the moments they chose to fade from your life, they became more willingly present in other people's.
Being haunted has a unique way of making you less tangible.
You fight to remain solid. You struggle to be seen yourself. To feel valued and know worth. Losing those who matter to you can make you lose sight of your own beauty. Ghosts fill you with self-doubt. They wound already damaged self-esteem. Surviving takes strength, but it also leaves you weakened, more vulnerable to additional loss. Ghosts seem to thrive most vividly when you are the most exposed.
If there are ways to repair a haunting, they are hard to keep a lasting grasp on. For each step you take to fix the loss there are three more steps back into the shadows. Losing your footing makes repairs even harder, because you hesitate the next time you have a chance to make up lost ground.
You must be brave. You must forgive. You must have hope. You must believe that ghosts happen for a reason and not all ghosts remain unreachable.
Even ghosts have feelings. In fact, there is a chance they became ghosts because they felt too much. Trauma is hard. Love without fear is harder.
Maybe someday your ghosts will visit in memories more soothing than painful. Maybe someday your ghosts will find the strength to come back to you, stepping out of the shadows, removing their sheets, and smiling at you like they once did.
Maybe someday you will reach out and find you touch a human being who is brave enough to not fade away. Maybe hope is reason enough to keep reaching.
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