On Coming Alive

Grief is human.

Every person on this planet will experience grief.

It can be dark. It can be scary. And many are afraid they will be sucked into grief’s abyss.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

It is possible to see grief differently.

And the abyss so many fear can actually be authenticity.

There are so many notions about grief and, as a society, we consistently espouse stoicism as the appropriate way to grieve. We say, “Stay strong” and “Time heals all wounds.” Suddenly raw emotion is deemed unhealthy or only appropriate for a finite time period. Leaving those mourning, a perfectly normal and appropriate response to death, feeling they must shore up their emotional walls. But, pushing down and holding in does not allow healing. It will not go away.

Yes, losing a loved one, someone who made up your whole world, will burn you into a million pieces. And this may include darkness. And, sometimes it may feel scary to be overwhelmed by the rawness of emotion. But, there is also light in the process. If you give yourself permission to mourn, knowing you will rise from the ashes, it allows you to break and feel and truly process unimaginable loss. And this allows for hope.

Rise with us.

The On Coming Alive project launched. My contribution is here. And I am so honored to be among 72 writers talking about grief. Really talking about grief — without taboo and without fear. Most of us have lost a child. Two of my beautiful SMA sisters are contributing (Michaela and Sarah) and there are many more rare disease parents in this group. Others have lost children to cancer and heart disease and stillbirth. A few to sudden unexpected events. There are some who have lost their spouses or siblings. And there are some of us who have faced multiple losses. All of us are experiencing deep grief. And all of us believe this should be talked about.

Grief is human.

Every person on this planet will experience grief. Not always because of loss, sometimes because of trauma or a diagnosis or a plethora of other reasons. But part of our human experience is to feel and feel deeply.

We do not have to be ashamed.

Rise with us.

Feel with us.

Share our stories.

Share your stories.

Rise from the ashes and look grief in the face with a new perspective.