Where do we look for the strength to survive in moments of such profound loss and pain? I have been so low before that all I could do is get through one breath and one heartbeat at a time. Sometimes all we have left is to try to make it breath by breath. Have you been there in that hazy space; disoriented — a hum-like ringing in the ears from an explosion of trauma or bad news? Your disbelief simply will not make it go away. In moments like this everything seems like it is in slow motion; hope is like a tiny speck at the end of a narrow dark tunnel. Sometimes we feel like we are beyond any conceivable positive thought, and we just want it all to end. Everyone eventually tries to rally — at least once. We try to willpower ourselves forward; to pick ourselves up, but sometimes we just fall hard all over again. Sometimes we cry a river of tears and sometimes our suffering is in profound silence. You feel like you will choke on the lump in your throat; your grief impossible to swallow. You try to put yourself back together, to compose yourself. Your moments of calm composure rattle and shake as the rivets in your mask burst into a falling-apart that blurs the lines between weeping and laughter. This is when you feel like you are losing your mind. Sometimes in the middle of a break-down you might involuntarily scream and then go silent; like an emotional gasp. But you can't hold your breath forever. You can't hold it in forever. The pain is going to have its way with you; it's going to work through you. There may be no comfort. There may be no answers. There may be no reason, logic or justice. Sometimes it will never be the way it was ever again. Sometimes it is a point of no return for who you were and what you had. Sometimes there is only pain. But, no matter how bad things get; no matter how painfully our hearts break and ache, it is still the sweet agony of life, and we must embrace it all. Every life is a harrowing story wrought with every emotion — good and bad — but these are the emotions that make life the bitter-sweet journey that we all treasure. It will feel impossible; like you are dying inside — this is your soul crying out for life. It may take everything you have; every ounce of will and strength. You will lose a part of yourself trying to save something essential and innocent. And when you have given everything, you will recover, and you will be set free, and you will discover there was even more in you than you ever knew.

— Bryant McGill

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