I am over at Modern Loss as one year turns into the next:
We come to Glow because it is not mixed company. We are a tribe of our own within the big tent of grief and bereavement, the deaths of babies being a cosmic injustice that we make even others well-versed in the land of loss flinch. The great and terrible flinch! Where the experiential loneliness of babylost parents roots. We can’t hold it against anyone—heck, I would have flinched too, before it happened to me. But by finding each other, we form a balm. With each other, we can be specific. We need not apologize, and we don’t feel isolated by the (thankfully) rare burden of carrying the sad poem of a life that ended before it began.
That said—every now and then, I come across a big tent that feels comfortable in its sass. There’s a certain rebellious streak I need to note, if it’s going to have the fortitude to include me. Us. It’s got to be a reclamation of sorts, a straight-forward pride of a weird sort that flies in the face of the western world’s oppression of anything real or raw. It needs to echo what we’ve been saying, in our little space, for years: that everyone owns their own private conversation with death, and that the peanut gallery that crops up around the grieving—around all grieving—can stick it. The fire of that sass is how we make our lives, which tumble along despite incomprehensible absence(s), warm and beautiful again.
That’s what Modern Loss is. You can feel the air moving around over there in such a broad but necessary way. It’s interesting and humbling and important to step outside our own. People mourn husbands and sisters and moms and dads and brothers and wives and lifelong friends, and I can relate to that. There is space for everybody. And that’s such a good thing.
Be where you are, darling. Start here, and try again tomorrow. That’s all.
I’m not much one for the orthodoxies of holidays: Valentine’s, New Year’s, even October 15. I’ve been thinking lots, lately, about why I feel so instinctively cranky about being told when to be grateful, loving, reflective, sparkly, or sacred. It’s a curious thing. I reject most of them outright. I shrug a lot, and it vents the pressure of performing any one day more perfectly than any other. But when my feelings match up with the expectations, that’s alright. And this year, as 2018 fades, they do. I’m feeling thoughtful and intentional.
2019 feels like it needs a shift, for me. I’m enjoying thinking about that. I hope you are too, wherever you are in your life, your grief, and this incessantly pepperminty cultural pause between one year and the next. Make it your own, loves—and seek like-minded company wherever you find yourself.