I've been forcibly inducted into a club I never wanted to join.
The hazing ritual is brutal, unlike anything you can imagine.
Against my will, and with no acceptance on my part, I now belong to a group of people who are the strongest, kindest, most compassionate, most raw, loving people on the planet.
We are the grieving parents, the real walking dead.
We died the day our children died, but our hearts kept beating. We look alive on the outside, but on the inside we are a rotting corpse.
And we talk about you.
We "bless your hearts" and we shake our heads and roll our eyes. You go about your lives in ignorant bliss, and we are jealous.
You complain about teenage angst, toddler tantrums, all-nighters with a new baby, and we want to slap you, and we want to be you.
We miss the days when we were ignorant, when we said stupid things trying to comfort someone. We miss the days when our worst struggles were what was for dinner, a messy house, or a disagreement with our spouse.
It's like Hotel California in here. We can check out but we can never leave.
But we don't want you in here. As much as we wish you could understand and comfort us the way we need to be comforted, we do not want you in this club.
It is the only way you would understand or be able to comfort us the way we deeply truly need, but its not worth it. We don't want a single other member to join ever.
But new members come daily. And we slide over to give them room, put an arm around them and we begin at the beginning with them, over and over.