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Forest Sunrays


Today marks three years and three months since I lost you. People often call me brave for surviving during this time. I try to tell them that me floating through dusty hallways like a ghost for 1,188 nights is not a choice. The emptiness is what carries me. Not bravery. There are other times when the fog has left me weightless and I let it carry me away to the land of daily life. People like me here. When I am in this space, I am able to work without my mind's interruption. I can laugh with my friends or love on my family. I can join the world for a short while and pretend that all of the pieces are whole. I have spent every minute of those 28,512 hours... searching. I seek you in every store front mannequin, each book title I read, all babies and groomsman and 21 year olds drinking their first beer and first loves and butterflies and rainbows and cardinals and even the trees where they live. I seek you, everywhere. When I succeed, I both love and hate those moments. This is when the choice is made to run and hide or to face Grief. She patiently waits for me. I turn my face to the moon and feel its warmth on my skin. I find the light and beauty and grace and courage and kindness and love that was there all along. Why do I run from this place? You are here with me. Today marks three years and three months since I. Found. You. Grieving is as natural as breathing for someone who has experienced the deepest levels of trauma. And yet, we are afraid to show this part of ourselves to the world. We hide because we’ve been told that this is the way to heal. “Flee from grief”, they say. “You can do it. You are so strong”. As a society, we are taught to move on; to pretend that the devastation which rained down on our lives was a mere whisper hidden within the screams of each morning's alarm clock. We do not allow ourselves, or others, to openly grieve. We hide our tears and our prescriptions, our depression and our therapy. We write a 3-day pass for bereavement and expect to see a smiling face come Monday morning. We tell one another it is time to move on or that we believe it is unhealthy to dwell on our pain. We throw down the gauntlet for the griever to take up the profession of acting and cheer on those who accept the challenge. We call it brave when one of us pulls it off. Our experiences mold us. Our grief strengthens us. Our honesty sharpens us. Our vulnerability delivers us. ​Our truth helps us... help others. Instead of expecting one another to move on we should encourage standing still for awhile. We should allow others to mourn and wail and share their tears. We need to tell them it is ok to invite their pain to dinner and that we will bring our best dish to the table. Instead of gauntlets, let's throw down quilted picnic blankets and soft pillows while we offer up comfort and a safe place to land. We must seek the courage it takes to meet another where they are instead of where we believe they should be. I promise we will see beauty there and witness grace in ourselves. The kindness we show will be reciprocated. ​So will the love. #seek Much Love, The Graceseeker

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