The impossible things

umzila kawulandelwa
3 min readApr 17, 2023

It’s my late boyfriend’s birthday today. He would have been 31 today. What a bittersweet day it’s been. I’ve been a wreck since yesterday. I don’t know why this birthday has been harder than last year’s birthday. Grief is so unpredictable and definitely not linear.

I am so thankful he ever was. He may be no more now but his life was bigger than just him dying. I had to scrape myself off my bed to go celebrate that he was ever born. What a gift that I got to exist at the same time as him and also had the privilege and honour of being the love of his life and him the love of my life.

Man oh man. I miss him so much.

You should know by now that Cheryl Strayed is my favourite author in all the world. I finally got ‘round to watching Tiny Beautiful Things this past weekend which is based on her book with the same title and these words just stuck with me: “Healing is a small and ordinary thing. And it’s one thing and one thing only- it’s doing the impossible thing every single day.”

Of course they stuck with me cos Cheryl Strayed writes for me. I’ve been mulling over this all day today. After my angel died living without him was impossible. But I am doing it. Finding my joy again in his absence was impossible, but I did it. Raising a dog by myself was impossible, but I’m doing it. I thought of every other impossible thing which I am surprisingly doing and realized I am actually healing.

I mean healing itself was once on my list of the impossible, but I am doing it. There’s so many things on that list of the impossible, but I am doing them anyway. Today’s impossible thing was getting out of bed. I just couldn’t. It felt impossible. But I’d asked my sister in law to join me for dinner to celebrate this special day so I had to scrape myself out of bed at 2pm.

Ugh. I am so thankful for the strength, grace and courage to keep doing the impossible. I was very comforted to discover that Cheryl Strayed also turned to books when her mother died. For the longest time I was wondering why no one else has used reading as a way to process grief because words have really been my vehicle to healing. I felt affirmed reading that Cheryl did the same when her dear mother died.

Man oh man, I can never get over how Cheryl Strayed’s and her late mother’s words have been a guiding light on my life’s journey. “There’s always a sunrise and always a sunset and it’s up to you to choose to be there for it,’ said my mother. ‘Put yourself in the way of beauty.”- Cheryl Strayed. I packed my bag to come sleep over at my brother’s place this week cos being around my nieces is my way of beauty. Being home alone with Ry was making me feel too sad.

I want to keep moving forward. I want to heal and that for me means doing the impossible and putting myself in the way of beauty. I am so grateful for words and writers who pour their souls in their work that even if we’ve never met their words can be a lifeline to me across the interwebs.

It’s been a tough day. Living without the love of my life was once impossible, but I am doing it anyway.

Taken at dinner today

Happy birthday my angel. You are loved all ways, always. Here’s to doing more impossible things!



umzila kawulandelwa

I tell stories about my experience of being alive. Perpetually day dreaming of reading and writing by the beach