I just woke up in tears. For real tears were streaming down my face. I have been crying a lot lately, which is surprising because I haven’t been this happy in years. The holidays were hard for me. I was separated from my daughter. My family experienced a painful tragedy when my cousin was murdered. We rallied around my uncle, aunt, and cousins to make sure they were covered in love. I have worried about them since, knowing the lasting grief that comes when you lose a child. Yesterday, I cried for a family that I don’t know because of the murder of a young woman and her two young children. Reading that the woman’s oldest child survived gun shot wounds and was currently fighting for her life was almost too much to bear. I thought about that baby waking in the hospital and learning that her mama and two younger brothers were dead. I thought about her having memories of the attack. I thought about how afraid she would be to live in a world that allows these horrific things. I thought about how lonely she would feel. I thought about how we failed her. We failed that girl. We failed her mother. We failed her two young brothers. I am ashamed that we didn’t do more to protect her. To prevent this tragedy. I am ashamed and I don’t even know her. Many times I think of the pain that others feel much more than I think of my own. I don’t allow myself to wallow because I know that there is always someone suffering more than I. Last night, I cried in my sleep. My sleep was the only space left for me to feel my own pain. Truth is, the past two years have been the most painful years of my life. I have felt betrayed and alone. Wrongfully shamed and ostracized by people I thought were family, friends. I’ve suffered in solitude because I am too proud to display my pain. But this morning, as tears rolled out of my sleeping eyes, I cannot ignore that I am also sad for myself. I am sad that I have hidden my hurt so deeply that it has to sneak out in my dreams. Sorrow makes people uncomfortable. We are afraid of it. We run from it. We urge those who are in pain to pick themselves up. To be strong. To pretend that they are okay so that we can feel better. Truth is, the most loving thing we can do is to sit in that pain with the one who is hurting. Acknowledge it. Feel it with them. Be honest that we don’t have the answers and that sometimes…life just fucking sucks.