I Don’t Want to Be Inspiring

I don’t want to be inspiring and strong.

I doubt you do either.

My friend’s husband died this week. She isn’t the first of my friends to lose their spouse or their child or their parent or their friend.

When people are living in difficult situations, we call them inspiring and strong.

Look how she has come through this hard time. Look how she has done everything in her power to survive this, to thrive in this, to help her family, to make this child’s life better.

Look at how, when he falls, he gets back up again. Look at how he keeps trying in the face of failure.



But how many of us want to be that kind of an inspiration?

I’d rather keep my husband, my kids, my parents, my friends. I’d rather my kids soar through life as compassionate and beautiful people without ever having to actually suffer.

I don’t want to actually suffer.

But we will. We all will suffer somehow and some way. We can’t truly live without facing hardships and setbacks, big and little and in between.

As E. E. Cummings said, “Unbeing dead isn’t being alive.”

If we are going to live, we are going to suffer.

Some of us will be inspiring.

Some of us will be strong.

But I am sorry we have to be.

I am sorry my friend is suffering this week, that her kids are mourning the loss of their father. I am sorry that she will not wake up next to the man she loves ever again.

She is inspiring.

She is strong.

I wish she didn’t have to be.


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