after fear

this is what I know:

after the worst thing that you didn't want to happen, that you prayed would never happen, happens, and you're left alive, grieving, grieve. cry, scream, bellow your rage and sorrow and anger and regret. or stay home huddled in a ball on the couch, tears streaming silently. or call your best friend. or write. or take a bath. or drink. or go to work and hope no one asks you about what happened. or quit your job. or go see a movie. or paint your toenails. or scream at the walls. or paint. or sleep all day. or stare at nothing, petting your cat. or have all the sex and then hike the Pacific Crest trail. or get on a leaking boat, hoping that more people won't die along the way to safety.

the point is: life is not safe. we will all die.

the point is: grief is inevitable.

the point is: if you're alive, you're alive.

the point is: fear will eat you alive, before the shittiest thing even happens to you. after, what's the point of being afraid? the worst thing already happened.

the point is: you survived.

which doesn't mean other shitty things won't happen. which doesn't mean don't be ashamed of being afraid. which doesn't mean fear isn't a valid response, when you're looking at a loaded gun. it means practice being brave.

after the shittiest thing happens, breathing is brave.

after the shittiest thing happens, sleeping is brave.

after the shittiest thing happens, all you can do is practice being brave, because just being alive after the shittiest thing happened is brave.

and don't be an asshole.

don't let your pain hurt other people purposefully. and when it does, apologize. don't start a war. don't keep thousands of refugees in unsafe conditions because you're afraid they'll do what their brutal government and equally brutal rebel army did.

don't justify your hatred and bigotry with fear.

being afraid is the best place to practice courage. be courageous. be brave. life is short and the worst thing has already happened to someone.

don't be the worst thing that happens to somebody else.