And nobody, nobody knows
Let the yoke fall from our shoulders
Don’t carry it all, don’t carry it all
We are all our hands in holders
Beneath this bold and brilliant sun
This I swear to all
– Don’t Carry It All, The Decemberists
I’ve mentioned this before at least once, but I’ve always been the type of person that people can lean on when they need to lean. I’m always willing to listen to the problems of another, offer my honest opinions in return, and help where I can. I like this role, being the Pillar which supports my friends in their times of need. I like being needed, and being able to help them.
The problem with being a pillar, however, is that if you need to lean on someone else, it feels like you’ve failed at your job. How can you help bear someone else’s burden when your own seems like it might crush you?
Last night, I received some terrible news. It’s news that wasn’t unexpected, but I thought there was more time. (I think everyone thinks that, in these situations.) My best friend’s mother has entered hospice care for her Stage 4 cancer. She’s been like a second mother to me since middle school, and it felt like I’d been punched in the stomach when my dad told me. Being the pillar that I am, my first thought was how my friend was going to take the news, and how his sister (hell, MY sister, too) would. But how can I reach out and offer to comfort them when I can’t even comfort myself?
So I just sat in the dark and cried it out for awhile before going to sleep last night. Today I don’t feel any better about the situation. Maybe tomorrow. But the clock is ticking now. (It’s been ticking the whole time, I know, but not as loudly.) I need to get my shit together so that I can tell all of these people how much I love them, and how much better my life is because they’re a part of it.