Tonight There Is Grief


Tonight there is grief.

Nooses hung at the Mississippi state capitol building.

Two-year-olds — babies — at deportation hearings.

Tear gas at the border.

It hits me hard everyday, and today is no exception.

In the other room, behind one door, my daughter sings and plays guitar.

In another room, my wife makes herself dinner. The dog sleeps.

In another house, a few miles from here, my son and his father, my ex-husband.

Earlier, I wrote something. Then I almost deleted it.

A friend died. I did not know her in “real” life but I watched the short videos she shared on Instagram as the cancer progressed. And now she is gone. I feel so sad.

A friend’s mother is dying. This friend is more of an acquaintance, someone I knew a long time ago. I leave a comment, sending my love.

A friend’s mother died, after a long, difficult spiral into dementia.

A friend’s mother died of breast cancer.

A friend’s father is dying. He no longer speaks or remembers everyone’s names. Her writing about his dying is exquisite and sad and so very real.

A friend whose brother died does not post about her brother’s death, but it’s there, behind the screen.

A friend posts that her little girl died 11 years ago. I do not know this friend well at all. I had no idea. I have to choose between a “heart” and a “sad” emoji. My heart breaks.

A friend’s son died.

Another friend’s son died.

Another friend’s son died.

A friend’s daughter died.

Another friend’s daughter died.

A friend’s sister died, who had been her best friend.

Everyone has lost someone or is in the process of losing someone.

Everyone knows grief, the way it shocks the system, the way it can appear years later, the way it can become part of the landscape, the way it can be invisible.

Live as if you are living.
Live as if you are dying.

Love as if the person you’re loving is grieving.
Receive love if you are grieving.

We are here.
We are here.
We are here.

And if you are grieving today: I’m so sorry. I am sending love.

I almost deleted it because my god, it’s depressing, right?

But this is also real. This is also life. Life is so much loss. And yes, so much joy and joy is radical and necessary, and beauty can be found in the sound of the guitar and the simultaneous sound of the rain, mostly because we are here, alive, to hear it.

I am feeling this so acutely tonight, the utter pain in the world, and also the love, the deep love for humanity and the deep repulsion from humanity, too — how can these both be true?

No, I will not ask “how” — how can we treat each other this way? That question is like asking, “How/when did our country become this way?”

We know how, and the when never began; it has been this way since the beginning.

Tonight there is grief.

3 thoughts on “Tonight There Is Grief

  1. daniel says:

    Big sigh exhales as I end reading this. I feel as if I’ve known grief since I was a little boy. Had too many die before I was out of high school. Now hearing of all the mothers who have lost their sons and daughters—it chokes your heart. Thank you for writing this.

    Like

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