This feels pessimistic in nature, which conflicts hard with my baseline vibe. But I’m just going to outright say it:
You can’t save everyone.
I have watched a newborns heart physically beating, their chest open and vessels craving abetment… and I could not save them.
I have stroked an infants hair as their brain actively swells within a beautifully created but, nonetheless, constricted cavity… and I could not save them.
I have changed the diaper of an infant, navigating the bruised and battered skin atop as I lay them in their first and last clean garments… and I could not save them.
I have been with a child who slipped beneath the waters surface, and their family – ridden in the waves of guilt – grieve into their child’s body knowing they will never wake again… and I could not save them.
I have sat with a teenager seeing and hearing destructive wishes – begging them to comply – knowing ANYTHING is worth doing if it promises even a few quiet moments… and I could not save them.
I have watched an adult just one year younger than me scream piercing silence for help, their lungs covered in soot from the BBQ they hoped would end their agony… and I could not save them.
I have spoke with an adult who tore both of their eyes out with their very own hands and numbly waited for their sight to be restored through faith… and I could not save them.
I have cleaned a middle aged adult who fell in the shower, and by some monumental force landed in ways that deemed this one everyday task their last… and I could not save them.
I have held the hand of an older adult who’s family never showed, and though awake and seemingly coherent cannot express their wishes to live… and I could not save them.
I have had old friends become prisoners, and new friends become headstones… and I could not save them.
The reality is that you cannot save everyone.
I’m sorry, but you simply cannot.
But please don’t stop trying. Please don’t harden. Please don’t let the emotions dissipate. Please don’t take it personally.
Talk about it, write about it, think about it. Set a placemat for your feelings and spend an evening with them. Not everyday, not every moment. Maybe just today, maybe just for this moment. However long it takes to navigate the loss to a healthy compromise between mind and soul.
Keep trying. Keep loving. Keep caring. Keep learning. Keep believing you can save everyone.
Because even if you cannot save everyone, if you keep believing, you will SOMEONE.
You matter. Your faith matters. Your strength matters. Your sense of hope matters. Your well-being matters. Take time, take space, and dampen the harsh reality with a healthy dose of optimism wherever and whenever you can.
So for those that need to hear it today: no, you could not save them. And I am so sorry for that. But YOU TRIED. And for that you are loved, you are valued, you are appreciated, and you were uniquely created to encounter the one, or the many, you could not save.
Light & Love