The Great Ache Letter
Today MoreLoveLetters.com is featured on Magic in the Backyard: Free Write Friday! Be sure to stop by and see all the magic that Kellie stirs up over in her crook of the internet.
Kellie asked me to write her a love letter for the post and I could think of no better letter (look, I am NOT JUST a love letter writer but a poet too!) than the Great Ache Letter… a letter that I have given to my closest friends and loved ones during hours when they needed it most. And now, Kellie has it in her possession…
And you can have it too… because I adore you just that much… but probably would adore you even more if you wrote love letters and left them around your hometown… hint, hint.
So here you go, friends. Without further introduction, the Great Ache Letter.
*This letter works best when printed out, folded up, and kept in a safe space for the days when you need it most.
In 23 years, I have learned this best: Every girl, no matter old or young, needs a pair of comfortable walking shoes in her purse, a trusted umbrella in her hand, a few good sisters by her side and a Great Ache Letter in her pocket.
A Great Ache Letter to counter the fact that we have terribly unreliable any warning. Unreliable hearts that leave us in puddles of tears in the middle of a courtyard or the second a certain song comes tumbling through the car speakers.
A Great Ache Letters exists for those Broken Hearts, those Bad Days and those Tragedies that take us by the elbow. My mother first handed me mine when I was seventeen; she saw my heart falling to pieces by the pool.“ Keep this by you and read it good,” she said. “ And when you are older wiser and better versed in Hard Times and Hardships, script your own Great Ache Letter from the jumble of glassy lessons learned within and pass it on to someone who needs it most.”
This is your Great Ache Letter.
Print it. Fold it square. Tuck it safely. Unearth it from a wallet or a cluttered desk drawer on days where the World dresses herself in clunky costume jewelry:
Cruel. Plastic Pearls of Loneliness
Take out this Great Ache Letter on those kinds of days and know yourself loved. Loved by fingertips. Loved by the toes. Loved through the hard spots. Loved and taken into clasped hands by a bedside each night, your named whispered into prayers that beg you’ll be kept safe and you’ll grow stronger as the days pass and the Great Ache wears away. Great Ache wears away.
Let’s review the things I don’t care about right here, in this Great Ache Letter:
That we’ve never met.
That I don’t know the way to your house and could not pin point it on a map or draw it upon a napkin.
That we’ve never shared a playground or an ice cream cone or even a chat room.
None of these silly things matter in a Great Ache Letter. All that matters is that One Great Acher can reach out to another Great Acher and say out loud,“I care about you… no matter where you are or what you do… no matter where you go or where you have been before this.”
And how does One Great Acher find the strength and courage to write a letter to another Great Acher? Simple. They have been there before They know the way life can so effortlessly sock the air straight from your lungs. They know how it feels to think you’ll never gain the strength it requires to pick yourself up again. And, of course, they know that nothing– absolutely nothing– feels more glorious than that moment when you discover your own two feet again and you find yourself standing.
Learn the truth in all the hardship: You will be o.k. again. Whole again Ready again. All you have is grey on beautiful can be painted from grey. Better we learn early that it is o.k. to curl into a ball and let the pillowcase take our tears for a while. It’s o.k. to be sucked dry of inspiration, to lift our hands up in exasperation and ask for a saving grace or just a little help.
Hear me when I say it: if Loneliness needs to visit then waste no time in pulling up its chair. If Sadness wants to dance today, get on those ballet shoes. If Tire and Exhaustion are demanding that they sit beside you on the train, let one take the window seat and the other the aisle.
They’ll be leaving soon. They’ll make their way out. They won’t stay forever, though it may seem that way right now. But you, you just keep on going, knowing that all you are doing is absolutely enough. You are doing just fine. You are doing just fine.
And one day soon, you’ll stand. From One Great Acher to another, I’ve been there. I’ve felt it. And I can promise you: you’ll stand.
Please, oh PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE share your letter writing skills with us… we want YOU to be a guest submitter in the weeks ahead! Have an idea for a letter brewing already? Shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.