Out of gas

“Some things broke can’t be fixed,” Kaylee told Mal. She was holding a crappy, broken catalyzer in her hands. Their ship, Serenity, was dead without the simple, single part. They would all die without Serenity. Kaylee’s job was to fix the ship. There was no one else to call.

Beth is an analyst. Her entire job is testing computer systems to see what can be broken and then she and her team set about fixing the problem, no matter how large.
When Bryan died on March 29, 2011, both of our hearts, along with dozens – if not hundreds – of other hearts were broken in an instant. Beth could not fix it.

“All the King’s horses and all the King’s men…”
Some things broke can’t be fixed.
Real life doesn’t allow the players to solve a life-or-death issue in a one-hour episode. Bryan’s heart stopped. Ours broke, but kept on beating. That muscle kept right on pumping even though the arteries in Bryan’s body were running dry. Ours keeps on beating even though we wish that single, simple part would just stop.
“How are you even speaking right now?” Brent Jacobs whispered to Bryan on that blood-soaked mountainside in Afghanistan. Bryan’s life ebbed away. Brent was a medic. His job was to fix broken bodies.
Some things broke can’t be fixed.
Bryan visited me in a dream that morning. He couldn’t speak. (The living have been unable to tell me if the dead cannot -or, are not allowed to – speak.)
Near the end of the dream, or vision, or visitation, Bryan glowed with such a white-hot intensity that (even in the dream world) I had to look away. When I could see again, Bryan was gone.
Not even five minutes later, Tiffany told me over the phone he was gone. I told her over and over that I had just seen him.
Our world – our life – was broken. Bryan’s life, lived shortly though fully, was broken.
Some things broke can’t be fixed.
I would have traded every single drop of my blood for Bryan’s seeping through Brent’s fingers, soaking into that mountainside.
Instead, Bryan’s family (and by family, I mean everyone that loved him) have taken that broken moment and turned it into a living, beating organism of honor. Even though we all felt like we had simply run out of gas, we got out of bed each morning, we ate, we worked, we performed our simple daily tasks, and we shared Bryan’s story.

Life goes on, as painful as it feels. The world keeps turning. The sun keeps rising. The seasons change.

Broken hearts keep beating.

Broken hearts keep beating.

No one can fix a broken heart. Wise people refrain from telling us that “it will get better.” We refrain from punching unwise people in the throat. We do what we can to not only share Bryan’s story, but to share every grieving parents’ story.

If and when you feel like you’ve “run out of gas,” put your hand over your heart and call me. I can spare a few gallons.