Grief can turn into poison.

“We grieve the loves we’ve lost. We grieve our abilities vanishing through age. We grieve our children leaving home. We grieve the paths we didn’t walk. We grieve the family we never had. [We grieve what could’ve been.]

In our culture, we are deeply unskilled with grief.

It can feel dangerous and weak. Perhaps because we fear we’ll drown in our despair.

But grief plays an essential role in our coming undone from previous attachments. It is the necessary current we need to carry us into our next becoming.”*

Poison kills.

Or, better said, grief without expression kills.

With any heartbreak
The best we can do for ourselves
Is allow every feeling to come up
Just felt
So it can be set free
So we can be free

I’ve never known such grief as I am experiencing now. I think many people are living similar pain. There’s humiliation involved with grief. That silences us. Keeps us separate. From ourselves. From one another. Unconnected and untethered.

To rise above, it’s imperative to search for the gifts in being shattered.

Likely, the gifts won’t feel like they’re enough. And you’ll probably still feel alone. Yet they are there for the seeking. When I find them, they have me sobbing at the horror and beauty of it all.

My gifts. The growth that’s sprung from what feels like unbearable heartache. The love from two handfuls of people who’ve been strong enough to respond to my pain. The help from unknown sources that are guiding me towards a New and Better Me, whatever that is.

Here’s to you for being brave enough to go first. For speaking all things taboo. For expressing. Fiercely. Veraciously. Loudly. For feeling the fallout it produces from some, the blessings from others. Because it remains true. There’s no way around a problem except to go straight through it. Be it gracefully or not—that’s how we reach the other side. How we become a New and Better Us. How we experience joy again.

The Photo: The gift of my college roommate, Susalina—her, bearing witness to my screaming “WTF!” to the universe—her, remaining at my side as I ungracefully walk towards the light.

*Excerpt from “Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home” by Toko-pa Turner

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