“I feel like a fraud” I desperately say, caught in a web of fear. New loss, old loss, future loss – all weaved together, I am centered in it. “I talk about hope and joy one day, then to be on the verge of complete panic attacks the next day? I feel crazy and like a complete fraud.”
“You are not a fraud,” my friend tells me gently. “You are just human.” This isn’t the first time she’s told me this. It won’t be the last.
I need this reminder so often – that the journey is not a smooth, unwavering line. It is jagged, like a mountain skyline. It expands and deflates, like breath. I remember a woman once told me to think of a heart monitor machine – to think of the line measuring the pulsing of the heart. “It goes up and down, like this, yes?” She gestured with her hand. I nodded, not understanding her point. She shrugged. “That’s how you know you’re alive. Once it goes flat, you’re dead.”
The jagged journey is the very definition of being human. Of being alive. And just as there are many ups and downs, I will need many reminders. Because forgetting – that too, is part of being human.