These bones have been hanging out near my family’s river home. A skeleton technically, there’s an aliveness to it because I can feel its energy. I don’t mind seeing bones. They feel like death processed cleanly. And in that clear processing, there’s freedom.
Lately I’ve been reflecting on the importance of taking time to grieve. A well-worn phrase, the problem is, I think, that grief so often seems to take longer than we want it to. Sometimes significantly longer. Grief doesn’t obey schedules and goals, and has a tendency to linger, especially if we’re trying keep it small. But, like indigestion, it has a tendency to come up, and no amount of tums will stuff it down.
I’m not a teacher on grief. Grief teaches me. I respect grief and, when I respect it, I’m respecting myself.
But how to grieve the two mass shootings over the weekend? The white supremacy in our country, our nation. Climate change. Toni Morrison.
I should not be writing on grief. Each time another shooting happens, I have a tendency to go more numb, instead of opening deeper to the pain. It’s unfathomable really. How to grieve the unfathomable?
I have no words of wisdom. Maybe just an honoring. An honoring that we are in a society that is grasping for sanity and one of the best things we can do is feel our feelings, whatever they might be.
And, if what’s coming up is grief, let’s bow to it. Let’s say, “honey, you can take all the time you need to feel your feelings.” Let’s give thanks for the opportunity to feel this grief. It means we’re alive.