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Words For Those That Remain: by Tyler Knott Gregson

I've been struggling writing lately because, well, because I'm scared, is why. And I could really just use some prayers for my little family - for strength mostly. For patience. And for the ability to absolutely trust God in what's coming around the bend.

So, instead of writing, I've been reading... because sometimes the right words strung together can strengthen a heart. And this that I'm about to share -- this strengthens.


Words For Those That Remain

There will come a time, a day, a moment
when words are not enough. When the letters
hooking to other letters and tying themselves
to each other, the trains of vowels and
consonants chasing each other out of my mouth
just won’t do justice to the avalanche
that you’re struggling through. If
this is that day, if these are those moments
I will not speak, but I have no choice
but to leave you with these attempts,
as futile as they might be, for words
are all I have to offer and the only
currency I believe in:

This is not, and never will be, a goodbye.
You should not, and never can hold onto
the should haves or could haves or why
didn’t I’s. The time will come, I promise
you, for us all to stop wearing these
bodies atop these souls. The time of taking
one long, full and deep breath in through
these lungs only to exhale it out
through brand new lips. The last light
we will ever see through these perfect
and beautiful eyes will be the first light,
the exact same and blindingly beautiful
first light that filters through new irises
and shocks our tiny pupils before we blink.
What a gift every single day in between
has always been. What a hauntingly painful
and sublimely joyous gift to live, truly live
every single day in between these firsts and
yes, these lasts. Do not carry the weight
of all you did not say, the times you did not
make the time or the excuses you made, because
there is a secret you must know: Those that leave
us, never do. They see us how we never could
and how we were always so scared to. When
they go, bravely stepping into the first day
of their new lives, all they pack into
the bags they choose to carry, are the memories
that soothe their longing and and settle
their aching bones. It is we, always we
that carries the luggage of regret and
burdens of doubt, and why? Somewhere, right
this very instant, the first wobbly steps
in their search has begun again. Somewhere,
right this very second, they are beginning
their journey back into love. Somewhere,
the only person that truly makes sense to them,
the only person to ever exist and exist exactly
for them, is waiting.

You will hurt. You will cry and you will be scared.
You will miss and long and ache and look for
their fingerprints on the life you’re going to lead
without them. You will swear you heard, if only
for an instant, the sound of their laughter
or the timbre of their voice. This is ok, and more
than that, this is beautiful. Hold onto the
sadness you feel like a trophy. Hoist it high
above your head and shout to the photo that is not
being taken of you that you loved them, you will always
love them and you are proud of the tears that roll
down your face. They live inside the memories that
give shape to those tears and you must never apologize
for your sorrow, nor your joy when it too returns to your

These are the words for those that remain; for all
of us and all of you that are left scrambling
and shaking and weeping tears of compassion and
joy and confusion. These are words when words
are not enough. I say them because I must say them,
because words are all I have to offer besides my
shoulder and my hands and my belief that this
is not and never will be goodbye. Today is
and always has been such a perfect day
to say goodbye and to once again, say Hello.

-Tyler Knott Gregson-


angie said…
praying for you, matt, jadrian, and brody. i'm so, so very sad to hear you're afraid. so, so very sad that there are things happening that put fear in your path. for shame (on them ... whoever "them" is). I pray you all find strength and the faith you need to propel you forward. I pray you find the words again that will help you heal. much love, as always.
I absolutely love the part about the tiny irises blinking to the blinding new light. It really makes me think about what it must be like for a newborn baby to open it's eyes for the first time. I also like the part about the aching bones & wobbly first steps.

Even though you are not writing, I am still thinking of you every day and sending you strength and positive energy to help your heart heal from the shock. And now, I suppose, the grief begins a new step. A new phase with new complications. Set your mantra. Manifest your truth and repeat. "Let the weak man say, 'I am strong'" (Joel 3:10) [The Power of Awareness Chapter 1]
Anna See said…
Praying for your family.
KIT said…
Still praying for you and your family.
Brenna said…
I hope that you don't fear the judgement of others about what you write here, though I understand that worry. You words are a gift.

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