I’m not really sure where to start with this letter.. I know you bring the sharpness of truth wherever you go. I have sought you out with a longing thirst for the truths that continue to break me open. And at the same time, I choose to numb out when I feel your fingers trying to pry open what I have sworn to keep closed. There is so much to grieve for that it feels overwhelming at times.
How can I desire you so desperately and at the same time, want to push you to the farthest corners of my mind? I know it is a choice to let you in. Some days I can feel you knocking politely at my front door, asking to come in & share some tea with me. Other days, you are a tornado on a warpath to tear apart the walls I have built around my heart. I know that to allow your medicine in, to cry & scream & rage with the emotions of what I have lost, is to open myself to all that I am still angry about. To open myself to the hurt I don’t know how to carry anymore..it’s so heavy. For all the years I have avoided, numbed out, chosen to be busy instead of being with myself… I am here now, humbly kneeling at your feet & asking you to teach me how to open.
I have seen so much I wish I hadn’t seen. Addictions taking over people I love. Losing friends to overdoses & suicides. The first death close to me, I was 13 years old & lost a dear friend to cancer. My sweet grandmother passing away last year. My nana’s journey through cancer & the fear that comes with such a path.
Hearing the stories of sexual abuse from so many loved ones I can hardly bear the thought of such violation. The dark underside of humanity, the hurt people who don’t know how not to hurt more people in their unexpressed grief. My own heartbreaks & profound sadness at the loss of light, of hope, of my childhood, my innocence & the times I have abandoned myself. The waves of grief I feel for the state of the world right now. Our loss of freedom, loss of lives, for the people scared for their families & grandparents.
I remember growing up with stories of: “Crying is weak. You have to be tough. Don’t let people see you cry. It’s safer for you this way.”
Is it weak to break? I can no longer believe that. To hold it all in seems like the easier choice to make honestly. But breaking, letting all the emotion out, reaching out to be held..that seems like the much harder choice. The more I continue to push you away Grief, the stronger you push back. I know I cannot selectively numb one emotion without numbing them all.
So, come in. Wash away the hurt with the sharpness of your truth. That people can be dark, that people can hurt people, that nobody knows what the fuck they are doing, that we all feel lost for awhile, that I will continue to lose people I love for the rest of my life, that some people will choose to live in their darkness for a very long time, that I can’t save everyone, that I sometimes still carry hate in my heart for things that have happened, that my lack of forgiveness will continue to hurt me & how I desperately want to not feel all of this. Because the hurt has become so big, so vast, it seems an endless wasteland of nothing & everything.
Grief, I know you have come to help me let go of the anger so I may return to tenderness. I feel you tugging at the heartstrings holding so many stories together; pulling that one loose thread of truth that will completely unravel me. There is resistance in my body, tension, a bracing for what’s to come & I want to lean in. I know it’s uncomfortable and every particle of my ego is asking me to turn away, to return to my creature comforts, to run fast in the opposite direction of the pounding in my heart.
Grief, help me open up. Help me lean into the places that scare me. Hold my hand & tell me that we will make it through the storm that lives inside me. Help me return to my light with a little bit of this darkness tucked close in my pocket, so I may hold my humanity close to my heart. Grief, help me to lean in. I trust you. I trust that you always lead me back to the truth. You are the most honest truth seeker I have ever encountered, for you will not rest until the truth is brought to the surface. Over and over and over again. And for this reason, I trust you with my whole heart.
The truth is, I don’t know how to go on carrying so much heaviness anymore. So, I will lay it at your feet with the hopes you will teach me how to let the waves move through my body & out my eyes. Until the salt from my grief soothes the wounds that are no longer left open. Until all that is left is the quiet that comes with emptiness. The softness left after a storm.
Thank you for being the most honest friend I’ve ever known.