I figured it out. I have cried, nearly every day, for 837 days.
On many of the days that I have cried, there have been more, far more than enough tears to make up for the days I didn’t.
My face looks so much different than it did 837 days ago. My skin; the lines in my forehead, around my eyes, at my mouth; the way my mouth sits at rest, now with a downturn at the edges. The sadness has etched itself into topical relief that will never leave me at this age. I look in the mirror and am, metaphorically at least, unrecognizable. But maybe it isn’t metaphor because I still can’t find myself under all those tears.
And yet, even carrying all that sorrow, I am surprised, even stunned when I can still be hurt. And hurt. And hurt some more. Because 837 days ago, I thought I finally would stop being hurt for all the same reasons, but I was wrong. In fact, it hurts so much more because it simply brings into very sharp focus all that never really was and was never given a chance to be and how much of my life and my self that I gave to wishing it could and trying to believe it would.
I don’t write this message in search of sympathy or hugs or “it’ll get better.” I write it for me, because I have to have a place to put it, a place to let it go of it, a place to hope for the next 837 days. And I do. I hope. Because it’s still all I have.