By Sarah Spradlin
I understand your hesitation, dear one.
Life has fallen so far from perfect.
You’re left shattered,
staring at the broken pieces of what was your normal life,
struggling to find the words to say goodbye to what was good,
tired of searching for the silver lining,
tired of looking on the bright side.
Nobody died, so
the world has moved on quickly,
and alone is all you feel
as you wrap yourself in the sorrow
that comes from losing something you can’t name.
Let me invite you to the funeral for my friends,
normal and pretending everything’s okay.
Things are different now,
and it’s okay to cry,
it’s okay to wrestle with the reality you’ve landed in.
I don’t expect things will ever be the same,
but let me stand by you at your funeral for normal,
let me listen as you say goodbye.
Just being there will be enough.
Let me hold your hand as whatever comes next is born.
I’ll leave the panel on the fence at my house loose if you want,
but please come to the front door.
Bring your mess,
bring your loud music and dance moves,
bring all your dreams, but especially the hard-to-reach ones
(we’ve got a step-stool),
bring your kids and your racist grandma,
bring your boyfriends and girlfriends,
bring your heart.
When you look up at the stars, I hope you know
one of them was lit for you,
and its shining is enough for me.
I hope you know there will always be brighter, stronger stars in the sky.
Perhaps you are not Andromeda’s eye.
Perhaps you do not string Orion’s belt,
nor sit on Scorpio’s spine
or seal the ladle’s lip.
But remember, dearest heart,
the storms that cover the sky are not governed by the light of the brightest stars,
and perhaps, dearest,
you will only be seen by one or two hearts lost at sea—
you will be the star that shines through the storm.
You will break through the clouds and be the one to light up their dark.
How unforgettable you will be, little one, to those two lost at sea.
Don’t confuse vulnerability with weakness—
trust in the stars that have shone on you,
and when the time comes,
when it is your turn to shine,
shine like the North Star.
When you are the only star shining into someone else’s darkness,
through the storms surrounding them,
your light will seem greater than any that has ever shone before,
and I have loved you since you first rose—
ever since you graced these horizons with your light,
and even if no one else noticed,
Oh, and let me introduce you to my new friend:
she says she goes by authenticity,
and I believe her.
Sarah grew up in Georgia with her mom, dad, and little sister, Merry, where she attends the University of Georgia, majoring in International Affairs and Agriculture Communication. When she graduates, Sarah wants to help people all over the world succeed in the agricultural industry and tell the all-important story of the farmer. Sarah has been homeschooled, private-schooled, and graduated from Madison County High School in May 2015. She attended Summit in July 2015. She’s lived in Costa Rica for seven months, hung out in Panama for a few days, and dreams of visiting and working in Nicaragua. She’ll read pretty much anything and has tried her hand at almost every kind of writing, though she likes poetry best. But because writing bios is a struggle, if you really want to get to know Sarah, shove some words in her general direction on her instagram @sarah.spradlin or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.