Friday, April 19, 2019

Lost Heroes

Today I lost a hero…

Have you ever had one of those moments where something happens in front of you to someone else, but the underlying truth of the moment cuts your heart like a hot knife through butter?
That happened to me today and now I sit here and mourn a hero, or at least someone I revered as such.

I have a friend who has a family member struggling with infertility. In a casual way she said she would be willing to be a surrogate carrier for her. She said she would do anything for this person and giving her the gift of life, in spite of the complications and trouble it would bring into her own life, would, without any hesitation, do that for her. I hear and watch her anguish over wanting to be able to support her family member through the pain and struggle she imagines this person must be going through, even when and if she doesn’t understand it. You can see the love and concern for her family member and it’s inspiring, but in this moment, also heart breaking.

I had a hero once. Someone I could talk to about anything. Someone that I could be my true self around. Someone I looked up to and admired for their overcoming struggle and strife. I had a hero who I had to acknowledge in that moment would not and does not care for me that way. Maybe my hero never did. Maybe my hero was a capacity I had imagined because without it I would have crumbled under the pressure of life. This hero isn’t someone who even checks in on me.

My wife and I had to face a terrible & life changing decision to terminate a much wanted pregnancy due to medical complications. It was the most compassionate thing we could do, removing the pain and suffering from a life that would be over before it even had a chance to open his eyes. His name was James. It’s been almost 2 years since we said goodbye and even as I type his name my eyes fill with tears of anguish. James changed my life and taught me that reality isn’t always palatable.

My hero not once has checked in on me. Not once have they shown any concern. My hero came crashing down from the throne of expectations I had built them. Reality set in as I watched a family member truly care for another. I realized in that moment my hero was not a hero at all, but a person that did not stand up to those standards I had imagined. My hero was less than ordinary and someone that had not supported me and remains oblivious and apathetic to my pain. My hero is no hero at all. My hero is a memory that I laid to rest that day.

Although painful, trauma changes you, and sometimes for the better. This DOES NOT in any way justify or make sense of the trauma, but in a simple way, is simply a side effect of that trauma. That’s where I see god. Not a god that creates pain in order to fit some greater purpose. A god that in spite of trauma and pain can reveal beauty.

Although I lost my hero, I gained important perspective of reality and not allowing myself to believe something that is not supported in action. Action is the expression of the heart and soul. Without action there is no love.

I hope for someone reading this it can be a rallying cry of sorts to let go of false heroes and fabricated realities. May you give up any fictitious reality you’ve created to insulate yourself from pain and embrace actuality, even if it hurts. Painful reality is far better than a blissful ignorance. Free yourself from false heroes.

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