We’re not all superheroes of our story, and silence kills humanity

“I didn’t want to enroll in this class and the teacher sucks.” (forgotten source)

6.6.22, edited in Sept ’22. This is a place for fragments, written as a human, borrowing the words of others – and not a professional trying to prove something to someone. This is a piece about walking through raw things, while saying goodbye to someone you love – despite everything. Before I write I ask myself: do I have anything to lose? I don’t, though I’m not afraid to lose. And soon, I’ll shed the skin of the person that I’m now. Instead, the world has everything to win if we all make the invisible visible. PS: please be cautious if grief is not what you can read about right now (then I don’t know how you got here. Still, welcome!)).

(Pierre Bamin on Unspash)

“One of the things most people count on every single day is that there will be plenty of time. Until there’s not. Until life steps in and we are reminded that there are no guarantees and life is is far too short.” Writes grief specialist @micheledeville on one of the supposedly most superficial places on earth: Instagram. It taught me a lot about grief in the little in-between-moments, these are some things that made me go “yes, yes, yes”:

  • “Part of grief is feeling like I no longer fit in a world I once belonged to.”
  • “Time doesn’t heal your grief, it teaches you how to wear it.”
  • “Grief, I’ve learned, is really just love.”
  • “Grief is a long road.”
  • “No matter how little or how much people support you, grief is still lonely…And: grief needs room.”
  • “The only thing I need I for you to show up for me, listen and acknowledge my pain and grief without trying to fix it all.”
  • “Grief isn’t easy and especially when the person you used to be is gone and you have no idea who you will become.
  • “Sometimes you need to stop trying to meet the expectations of everyone else and just meet yourself right where you are. That’s what your grief needs right now.”
  • “Grief knows no boundaries or limitations..Your grief matters, always.”. (@micheledeville) & the list goes on….
(Toan Chu on Unsplash)

Grief and loss might be invisible. But once they’re there, they’re everywhere and they are here to stay. “Grief sucks. Family sucks. Playing with burnout, but not there yet” I write in a midnight note last month on my phone (that would break down a month later with all the documentation of a life turned upside down). It’s suprising how before all of this happened, in far-away 2020, it is as if I knew. I was reading “Option B: Build resilience in the face of adversity” by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant in between a stressful job, giving a climate workshop somewhere in Austria and my lockdown-times-bed. And there were more books that year.

How do we change with grief? I can just say, my old self has ceased to exist. And I don’t put up with shit anymore. I still work too much, but I put other things first. I guess that I’m an adult. I’ve built myself foundations cause I needed them at all costs, a purpose, and I went back to my roots, that grow where I don’t feel like a guest, a stranger. To not lose myself, I swore on being as honest as possible, authentic and vulnerable. To remember who you are. “Grief has given me the gift of not being scared of being a truer and more authentic version of myself.”– writes Stacey Heale on Instagram after losing her (btw famous) husband and father of their children to cancer. The power of fear is limited when your focus is elsewhere, and to power on you need to stay true to yourself.

“Now i see my mum first as one very brave person”, I’ve read this somewhere and I agree. “You can’t be afraid to love. Not ever.”

“We only get a few specks of time where any of this makes any sense. The only thing I do know is that we have to be kind. Please, be kind.” (Leyley Imgart, illustrator). I just want you to wonder what your co-workers may be going through behind the brave (and hopefully not overworked) faces. I want you to check on your loved ones and have them do the cancer screenings, the health checks they thought they wouldn’t need, out of love towards life. I want you to take your health seriously. I want you to be kinder than you feel and might have ever been. Remember the ones who seem weak, but are the strongest they’ve ever been. No, work is not your priority. I want you to remember that if you haven’t lost a close loved one yet then you’re lucky, but sometime the moment will come. I want you to understand that a culture of positivity is toxic, exclusive and well…simply fake. And silence kills humanity. Things don’t happen for a reason in life and we’re not all superheroes of our story, not machines, not performers. We’re just people. Running a marathon of emotional miles. Showing up is your breakfast, discomfort a foreign concept, void skirmishes a no-go. Allergic to judgement, longing for companionship. Old patterns their shadow. Goodbyes your breath. Trying your new forcing.

There’s room for you here.
Still, in this world.
Remember that.

While you work and walk through your pain.
You’re loved.*

*in all the different love languages out there

(Elyas Pasban on Unsplash)

“I learned that if you don’t deal with grief at the time, it will never leave you.” (Kumi Naidoo, human rights and environmental activist)

From nothing comes nothing, thank you for all people on the web talking about grief. You do such an important work. Here some random, helpful sources on the topic, to grow in the future: