Sometimes I meet passengers who are where I was a year ago, and I feel the weight of their burdens so intensely.
Part of it is the shock of seeing ghosts of my own past and part of it is I know what it’s like to be the mortally wounded unicorn who has been slain for its blood, but hasn’t quite died yet; who is just hovering somewhere in that veil that separates life from death.
I know how hard it is to believe that things can be different. I know how many people urged and prodded and comforted me, and yet I couldn’t see what they saw.
Not until I was magically revived.
As the air rushed back into my lungs and blood slowly filled my veins, I gained clarity and strength and a fire in my belly again. Things I thought could never be recovered.
I’m not sure there is anything anyone could have said as I lingered between this world and another that would have led me to believe that I wasn’t already dead.
So I feel both this pressing urgency to find the right words, a verbal CPR if you will, to give someone the strength to live and fight another day. At the same time I struggle with the fear that no such words exist.
It’s moments like this that it’s all too easy to fall into self loathing, resenting the impotence, railing at the sense of injustice. I don’t want to sit by and utter platitudes while people are suffering. I wish I could fix it as easily as I kissed my babies boo boos when they were little. Sometimes when a passenger is hurting so deeply, it’s hard to just witness that wound.
Last night I had a long talk with a woman who I could identify with all too easily.
It broke my heart not to be able to offer more than a friendly ear and to let her know I will pray for her.
Validation and compassion are powerful.
But neither one is the kind of miracle so many people need.