Heartbreak

The Most Heartbreaking And Eye-Opening Facebook Post I’ve Ever Read

Photo: Pheelings media / Shutterstock
sad woman looking at phone

My eyes scanned over the Facebook status and I stopped dead in my tracks.

I stared at my computer screen with a sickening sensation.

My once obsessive social media scrolling had been reduced to marketing purposes in the past couple of years.

An occasional family update, or a picture, became my preferred use of Facebook.

So, I don’t why I saw the post, but I believe I was meant to stumble across it — divine intervention?

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My heart stopped and my body stiffened.

She said goodbye.

Oh, God.

Why?

Maybe, if I stay very still but slowly look away, the words will be gone when I return?

I couldn’t avert my eyes.

Unable to shake the foreboding message, I realized that any recovery from this vision truly was a pipe-dream and would elude me.

I could not process it.

I still can’t.

My swirling emotions not only bubbled to the surface but have become all-consuming and ever-present.

She said goodbye.

What does it feel like?

Knowing that your fight is over?

She said goodbye.

Author’s screenshot from her Facebook page

Having the ability to say goodbye and tell everyone you will miss them is braver than I can imagine.

Were you crying when you typed it?

Or, is there a peaceful acceptance that comes?

How long have you suffered with the knowledge?

I hate to think of the torture, the mental anguish on top of the physical drain from treatments, that you must have endured.

Her courage overwhelms me.

We went to high school together. So many of our classmates have passed away. In my dark times of quiet reflection, I wonder if even half of our graduating class still lives.

I’ve lost count of the deaths, and I don’t know how many of us are left.

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What I do know is that she is a warrior.

She received a kidney transplant from a living donor in May 2020. Her journey, tears, fears, and ultimate joy were well documented on Facebook.

The one-year celebration pictures in 2021, with her donor, would move any who came across them.

Cancer wasn’t done with her and reared its ugly head for round two.

She is a fighter, but some hurdles cannot be cleared.

And now, she has said goodbye — in her way, on her terms, per her comfort zone, she has said goodbye.

I think I read her posted message a dozen times.

Possibly more.

I obsessively pored over the responses and cried, one by one.

Some professed their own shock, some gave encouragement to keep fighting and all of them spoke volumes of their love for her.

No noise, no sobbing, and no wailing erupted from inside me. Tears silently rolled down my cheeks.

My head pounded.

Who has that degree of strength and grit?

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She does.

She is one of our own, valiant, and strong.

She is yet another one of the remaining classmates who I find myself desperately wanting to safeguard with prayer.

Do we react by clinging to each other in a feeble attempt to keep mortality at bay?

We’ve lost our cronies to addiction, accidents, cancer, suicide, and murder. We are in our late 50s, not our late 90s and too many lives have been taken.

The numbers seemed skewed.

Too. Many. Too. Young.

None of them, to my awareness, ever posted a goodbye message on social media. Most weren’t given that chance.

Why can’t I just respond, leave a note, and let her know she matters to me, too?

My guilt weighs heavily over my lack of courage to add my thoughts to her page. I’d feel like an interloper because we weren’t close.

But, I desperately long to tell her everything that is running through my brain.

She is quite sick. Tired, too, of fighting and not winning.

I am sorry. So very sorry.

Her smile is engrained in my mind. Ever kind, down-to-earth, an animal-lover, wife, and good friend to many, who will be greatly missed.

Is there a scarier rollercoaster ride?

To face the storms head-on, make it to the sunshine, and then be told you don’t get to stay?

People rally around her, sending loving and supportive comments, and have been afforded an opportunity to fill her heart before she goes.

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She selflessly gave everyone the ability to grieve and share before she leaves earth.

Does she read them?

The responses?

If so, I hope she finds comfort in each and every thought-provoking sentiment.

She is loved.

If she doesn’t read them, I would understand that, too.

I grapple with her chosen path to say goodbye as she did.

Could I do it?

Am I brave enough to look at the end of my time here, smack in the face, shoulders squared, and make sure I said goodbye to as many people as I could reach?

I don’t know.

Maybe writing this is my small way to put out in the universe how overwhelmed I am by her beautiful spirit.

Her soul, her essence, and her apparent acceptance are truly awe-inspiring.

And given a cruel twist of fate, she set a high bar of grace.

Author’s screenshot of a response from her Facebook page

May she leave us painlessly, with peace, to dance and sing with the angels.

God bless the fighter, the lover, the friend.

Her dignity as she said goodbye, in her style, will never be forgotten.

I continue to be at a loss for words.

May she find comfort. May her family and loved ones find solace.

May her life continue to be celebrated.

May she be pain-free, in the land of puppies and kittens, laughing and dancing, where cancer doesn’t exist.

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Lisa Gerard Braun is a writer focusing on mental health, physical wellness, inspirational personal growth, and equality stories.  

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This article was originally published at Medium. Reprinted with permission from the author.