A few months ago my aunt shared a post on Facebook that read, “I’m not okay, but I am okay, and that’s okay.”
Adjective or adverb (\ō-ˈkā) meaning acceptable or agreeable; not ill, hurt, or unhappy. Not hurt, but hurt.
Hurt is navigating the deep valleys and souring peeks that is grief when you’re a twenty-something. Especially when, mostly, life is sweet and beautiful and full of opportunity.
Hurt is putting your shoes on and dragging your entire body through the nuances of life when your head is screaming, you can’t do this.
Hurt is p o l a r i z i n g and unnerving.
Hurt is purely personal.
Hurt is… okay.
I was lucky to be blessed with a father who, in my eyes, could do no wrong. A man who was loving and dependable, kind and selfless, determined and strong. A devoted husband and loving father. His departure will never be okay, its a hurt that will never heal. But that’s okay because I am okay. And I’m starting to realize that that’s okay.
“It’s not okay that he’s gone, but I’m okay, and that’s okay.”
There is nothing right about death, its ugly and confusing no matter how many times your forced to face it. But it’s as natural as breathing. I’ve come to learn that being okay with the aches in the spaces between my sternum and shoulder blades is the only way I will ever pay tribute to a legacy I’ll never live up to.
It’s incredibly fitting that my aunt would share these words with the online community; she is the epitome of standing tall when you feel like sinking in. An example of what it means to be perfectly okay when you are completely broken. She knows searing loss and yet she lives and smiles and laughs and loves. I know she is no stranger to those long, quiet, oppressive nights when nothing feels okay. But in the morning, when the sun is shining and the house is quiet, there is peace in the internal whisper of I’m not okay, but I am okay, and that’s okay.
Stay humble, stay focused, and make no small plans.