Confession time: I'm a fan of One Direction.
I know. I know. It started about a year and a half ago. Part of me is ashamed of it. The other part is like screw other people's opinions haha.
For those of you who have blocked this boyband from your mind, this is Louis Tomlinson.
He's the oldest of the band, and I'm not entirely sure why, but he's been my favorite since I started following them.
Well, this past Wednesday, his mom Johannah/"Jay" died from leukemia. They actually kept her diagnosis private, so none of the fans knew she was sick until the press release from her husband announcing her death. And this may sound silly, but this has hit me really hard, much, much harder than I could have ever predicted.
Louis has six younger brothers and sisters, two of whom are only two years old. My heart especially hurts for them because I know what they will be going through in the future with having to rely on stories in order to know someone who is literally half of them. I know what it will be like to grieve for and miss someone you never really got to know.
And Louis. I've watched a lot of interviews with him since I became a fan of the band, and if there was one thing that was clear, it's that Jay is the most important person to him. He was the textbook description of a "mama's boy" and couldn't have been prouder of it. And if you looked at Jay's social media, you could see she was his biggest fan (as she was for all of her kids). That's the relationship I want to have with my kids one day.
Tonight, just three days after losing his mom, Louis got up on stage at The X Factor UK and performed his first solo single since 1D went on hiatus a year ago. He wrote the song, "Just Hold On," for his mom, and it was announced that it was one of her last wishes for him to continue on with this performance, so he did. This not-quite-25-year-old stood up and performed in the midst of unimaginable pain and sang his heart out for millions of people (literally millions - there was an international livestream for his performance), and it was the most beautiful thing I have seen in a long time. That immense bravery, that level of strength mixed with utter vulnerability, it's beyond comprehension to me.
Watching the video of his performance brought back some hard feelings, feelings I didn't think I'd have to deal with just because of the loss of a celebrity's mother or 17+ years into this whole grief thing. But man, this hurts. I miss my dad so freaking much, and looking at the tears in Louis's eyes after his song ended made me feel actual pain in my chest. And I get angry sometimes, wondering why some families get to stay in tact and others don't, why some good people get healed on earth and others have their bodies and minds taken and destroyed by cancer. I wonder if I'll ever let go of that question, or if it's something I'll be holding onto until I'm meeting Jesus face to face. I've never grieved for a celebrity as hard as I have for Louis's mom, and I think it's because we're about the same age and I know exactly what he's going through.
The sun goes down and it comes back up
The world, it turns no matter what
If it all goes wrong
Darling, just hold on