Grieving Black Lives

I know there are hearts out there that are hurting. MY heart is hurting. The loss of life, seeing so many people suffering and what’s it’s doing to the world can be about the most heartbreaking moments we can bear. So much so that it can be hard to breathe, as if something or someone is sitting right on your chest. It’s ALL so much.

And just this past weekend:

  • The protests in Atlanta, following yet another young black man killed.
  • The far-right coming out in full force giving Nazi salutes in front of the Cenotaph, a memorial to those who gave their lives to defeat fascism, the ultimate desecration.
  • The men doing monkey gestures.
  • The guy urinating at the memorial.

And we’re supposed to just keep quiet and carry on? It’s madness!

There have been many deaths by the hands of authorities in my lifetime (especially in the USA), but the murder of George Floyd has sparked a global wave of emotion that has not been seen before.
Do I agree with the protests during a global pandemic?

The short answer is NO, but are they necessary? HELL YEAH!

Never have I ever had so many private and public conversations with family and friends about racism and how to address it.

Even though it’s a VERY good thing to have these discussions, it’s still hard. I go from happy to sad and every emotion in between several times a day. It’s more than overwhelming. To see the loss of black lives and the evidence of systemic racism that we’re still fighting is gut-wrenching.

For me… SHARING my experience and feelings is cathartic. This past week I read a love letter to my grandparents on air and it was beautiful… but hard. Have a listen HERE.

It’s hard to stay hopeful and grateful when everything feels upside down. I’m having to remind myself that grieving is a way to honour our shared experience.

You’re not alone. 

Grieving is a process by which you gain closure and honour your shared experience. It’s like standing on a beach during high tide.

The waves (of grief) knock you to your knees pulling you under… and then receding leaving you exhausted and gasping for air. Each time the waves roll in they get less and less intense, no matter how long it takes. The waves never go away but eventually just wash over your feet as you view the beauty of the ocean that is your loss (whatever that may be). You can appreciate lessons learned and affection and memories that will always be.

grief and loss

Be gentle with yourself. Give yourself permission to feel. It’s okay to function at a less than optimal level for awhile. You may not be able to be quite as productive on the job or care for others in exactly the way you’re accustomed. No one is superhero here; take time to heal and be OKAY with that.

It’s perfectly normal to feel ALL kinds of emotions. It’s normal to feel sad, angry, exhausted, frustrated, and confused—and ALL these feelings can be really intense. You also may feel nervous about what’s going to happen next.

You don’t have to be alone. Sharing your feelings with friends and family can help you get through. Keeping all your feelings in can raise your stress levels, reduce your concentration, and get in the way of your work, relationships, and health. Don’t be afraid to talk to a professional.

Grief never comes all at once, it hits you in waves. The first knocking you off your feet, the next just a little less intense, and so on until they lap up on your feet at the edge of the abyss. Grief may never go away but can be sweetened with memories of love and light allowing us to grow in ways we never imagined. Grief can also create change in the world… which I believe is happening now.

Honour your grief as a sign of love and respect. And even if it feels like it’s too much to bear, you will get through this and you’re certainly not alone. Let’s talk about it on Facebook,Twitter, and Instagram!