Tag Archives: Death

Unseen.

Quietly, I shut the door behind me, the light disappearing as it closed. Silently, I slipped up the steps, hoping this was okay. I had ignored the “authorized personnel only” sign on the door. No one saw me enter and once I was in the balcony, no one below had reason to turn around. I was safe.

One empty chair was there. I grabbed it and began to roll it closer to his, which drew his attention for the first time. Surprise lit his face as he said hello. In typical fashion, he reached for my hand and shook it, doing some handshake I had never been able to catch on to. Then he pulled me closer for a hug and told me it was good to see me. It was good to see him too.

“We’ve missed you.”

I just smiled.

If he had said, “I’ve missed you,” I would have been able to respond that I missed him too. That I wish I could see him more. But he said “we” and I didn’t know who “we” was and I couldn’t say anything polite back while still being truthful. So I just smiled.

If I missed the “we” I assume he was talking about, I wouldn’t have had to sneak up to this vantage point. I could have walked in like a normal person and sat on the ground level in the chairs with all the normal people. But I knew they would be among the normal people, and so I couldn’t.

He was the only one of them I felt comfortable around. The one who had treated me kindly. More than that. He treated me like I had value. He saw beyond what he could get from me and saw into who I was. And not only did he see that, but he accepted that. He accepted me for who I was. He still does. And I can smile and laugh and talk with him without faking everything. He saw me in a world where I had been glanced over. A world in which, if I was seen, it was only to look briefly down on me, as if I was some annoyance to remove. Not worth the time they were forced to devote to me.

Before the show had ended, I felt the need to get out before anyone saw me. I leaned over and whispered that I had to go and he hugged me again. I told him it was good to see him and he told me it was good to see me too. He said, “Come back again” and without thinking, I replied with a simple, “I will.”

And maybe I will. But only when it’s safe. And when there are a couple of people wondering around him that are not safe, I can’t make any guarantees.

I slipped back down the stairs and out the door. Through the lobby, quickly, without even a glance around and made my way outside. As I made it through the double doors unseen, the fresh air hit me and I took a few steps before my air threatened to leave me. I stood still, trying to breathe, a relief at being out running through me and pulling tears to my eyes. I stood for a good moment like that, trying to not let sadness and hurt and disappointment and death and sweet relief overwhelm me.

They sure did do a number on me, didn’t they?

Remember the entry where I wrote about having to leave good things behind when you left bad things? He’s one of the good things. And it sucks having to leave those good things behind.

But I can’t face the bad things.

-Melissa

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Missing you.

Someone asked me the other day how I ever could have been friends with you.

For once, I tried to put myself in his shoes. Really, in their shoes. Because I know he wasn’t the only one. I knew how… hard you could be. I knew, vaguely, how other people saw you.

And I listened as he tried to explain why it never made sense that you and I were friends. How it never made sense to anyone. He said the same about another one of my friends too. Honestly, he doesn’t see much clearly. But I understand what he was saying. I mean… sort of. I understand what he thought he saw.

But that’s just the thing. He didn’t see you. He thought he did.

But he didn’t see the first time you spoke to me. I sat there quietly, just like I always do, and you made conversation with me. You know, I don’t remember the moment I first meet someone. Most of the time, you just wake up one day and you’re friends with someone and you can’t remember the moment it started. But I remember you. Because I could tell you…saw me. Do you know how rarely that happens?

He also didn’t see the time I had to deal with a death surrounded by people I barely knew. You were the only person here that I could tell. He didn’t see the way your face fell when I told you. You had no reason for your face to fall. You didn’t know them. But you let yourself feel my pain.

He thought he saw you. And maybe he did. But it wasn’t the real you. It was the hard you. The you others couldn’t see past. The you people were afraid of. Who pushed people away. Who constantly built up your walls, higher and higher. But he didn’t see that crack in your walls. Just barely big enough to let a grain of sand get through. And I got through.

I just… I didn’t know how many layers of walls there were. Not that that would have changed anything. Okay. Maybe it would have. Because I do hope I would have fought a hell of a lot harder than I did at the end.

What terrifies me now is that I know you’ve pushed me out. And you repaired that crack in that one wall. And your walls got higher. Stronger. And I’m… terrified you won’t let any one else find another crack. I’m afraid you’ve repaired them all so perfectly that no one else will even be able to think about getting through to you. I’m afraid you wake up every morning and take a walk around the wall, a bucket of mortar in your hand, and fill all the cracks, even add another layer of cement where you think it might be weak. And then, when you get a chance, you go out an buy a few more bricks and make the wall thicker and taller. And it’s just this ongoing process where you make sure that no one sees you.

Which… I don’t even think you see you. Actually, I know you don’t. Because you choose to see the you other people see in you.

Ha.

Not me. Other people.

Because you never believed any of what I told you.

Oh, what did I tell him? When he asked why I had ever been friends with you?

I told him he never saw the you that I did. He didn’t see the way you talked to me. The way you cared for me. The way you were literally there for me whenever I needed you. I told him about the time when, at four in the morning, you were begging me to come outside to talk because you knew how badly I felt. Because you knew how much pain I was in and you knew I needed to talk about it.

I told him he didn’t actually see you.

Missing you.

-Melissa

Awake.

“Oh death, where is your sting?!”

Where is my sting? Really? That’s what you want to ask me? Have you ever known someone to die? Have you ever had someone you loved disappear, never to be seen again in this lifetime? And you’re asking where my sting is? Seriously? You know where it is! You know the pain I cause. You know the grief I have the power to put you through. And you can’t control it! I control you when it comes to this and we both know it.

“Oh hell, where is your victory?”

You know where my victory is. Why do you bother to ask? My victory is in every sin you committ. Oh, you know the guilt you’ll feel after you do it. But you won’t be able to stop. And even if you do figure out how to control this sin, I’ll bring something else. I won’t give up. I won’t do it. You will spend your whole life fighting me. And I might not have an eternal victory, but I have victories every day. I have victories over you.

Wow. Not A great place for my thoughts to go in the middle of a worship service. But that’s where they went. Which is, admittedly, rather defeating. But then the next part of the song:

“Oh church, come stand in the light! The glory of God had defeated the night! … Our God is not dead, He’s alive, He’s alive!”

And death has no sting when it comes to the Lord. Death, ironically, cannot keep us from life. And hell has no victory at all of Christ, and therefore, over us.

“Christ is risen from the dead, we are one with Him again. Come awake, come awake, come and rise up from the grave!”

-Melissa

Missing you: Everyone

I sighed and wiped my eyes again. So much for the mascara I actually bothered to put on this morning. My eyes were beginning to feel raw from wiping the tears away but I knew if I didn’t keep wiping, there would be black streaks down my face.

And that’s not actually something I wanted to deal with.

I tried to get myself to stop. Crying never does any good. It results in headaches and blood shot eyes. Plus my reasoning was stupid.

After all, it was just a TV show.

“It wasn’t real,” you told me.

Still as I watched it, the sadness, despair, brokenness of the characters became my own. Not many people understand it. In fact, I’m not sure anyone I know gets as attached to the people in books and movies and tv shows as I do.

It’s a blessing and a curse.

No, I thought. No, no, no, no! What’s happening?!

Tears streamed down my face. Sobs ripped their way out of me. The scene in front of me was devastating. What made it worse is that the disaster I was watching had actually happened in real life. Maybe not with these people. Maybe this certain story had never existed, but this, these last five minutes of this movie, this had been real.

I cried out as the screen went black.

There’s only so much you can cry over something fictional before you realize you need to stop.

I needed to stop. But I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Those horrible moments replayed in my head and a fresh wave of sadness enveloped me.

You could make me stop.

I got on skype and realized you were on to. I called you but I could not see or hear you. You could hear me. You could hear me crying.

You typed out short responses to me as you tried to get your microphone to work.

“My mic doesn’t work”
“Hold on”
“Let me see if I can see enough”
“What’s wrong?”
“Just talk”

Just… talk.

Finally, you gave up with the computer. You picked up your phone and called me, sounding hurried, trying to figure out what had upset me this much. When I finally formed the words to tell you what was wrong, relief filled your voice.

“It’s just a movie.” You reminded me, trying not to laugh, “Melissa, everyone dies.”

I know that everyone dies. I know. He never thought I realized that. He thought I needed to come more to terms with it. He didn’t think I knew how to think logically.

“I know everyone dies. That doesn’t mean I like it.”

I know everyone dies. And I know if they’ve excepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior, they live again in the place He has prepared for us.

I know everyone dies.

That doesn’t mean I like it.

Missing you.

-Melissa