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I took some time away to situate myself, to catch up with myself away from any internal narratives around what I needed to do in/ for this space as I worked towards feeling more possible, more figureoutable. I suppose when you experience big, consuming or what I like to call violent emotions, it’s easy to get stuck there, to find yourself only sitting in and with them. These are the emotions that often demand space, ask to be felt primarily and often, only. For a long while now, that emotion for me has been grief. Outside acknowledging and allowing myself to feel other things, that practice was limited to what I considered ‘lighter’ emotions. This is not to mean less consuming, I’d say often more welcome emotions, what many people consider and refer to as ‘positive emotions’. So for instance, it has meant that I continuously soften my heart to joy even when I don’t want it, feel it inappropriate or want to sit in my sad.

Where I continue to fail, is the neglect of my other demanding pains. The parts of myself that needed tending and even sometimes, mending, before grief found me and stitched my entire being with its colour. Somewhere within, I can hear the more rational and gentle part of myself, reminding me that it’s okay not to be good at grieving, that there’s no way to fail or succeed at it. But, I’d like to be able to keep up with it, to keep up with me and I’ve struggled with this more than some parts of myself wanted. I have been overwhelmingly disoriented by my grief in ways I thought I wouldn’t or perhaps more honestly, ‘shouldn’t’ be by now. ‘… by now’, as if there is indeed a timeline for this, a time when it gets easier or better. Honestly, I don’t think it does, more bearable more often? maybe.

Taking Time

I need a day of nothing, a reprieve from the spinning merry- go- round of my life. Shrug it off like an old winter coat and hang it by the door. I need a day where I am not asked, wanted, or noticed. To know there is a wall of silence between me and everything else.

– Lang Leav

I’ve also found the seamless continuity of time and the entire sum of the banalities of daily existence, awfully jarring. For me when loss happens, I am in many instances, transfixed by all the feelings that come up for me. This time in particular, I’ve had a lot up in the air, pandemic and all other chaos in the world aside. For this reason, change, beginnings, ends, middles, the usual routines I had in place, seasons, day and night as we know them, unchanged have felt almost offensive. As if I’m the only one moved, touched by what felt like a big thing for me, what was and still is one. This isn’t the first time I’ve felt like this and so, I am just as aware that this is a fairly common trauma response. That it is okay to struggle through this, even and especially when I’m frustrated or impatient with myself for having a difficult time.

I too am conscious of, at least partly, the extent to which I am and will keep being changed by loss and the magnitude of grief, of what it means to be left behind, to let go, wherever it is you think we go when we leave this plane of existence, of what it means to continue to live and what that life now looks/ feels like. I remain very tangibly and painfully in the know of how fast everything feels, of countless ‘firsts’ and so, ‘lasts’ as well, with missing loves. I am here. My heart is holding on as far and as often as it can. When it doesn’t or it can’t, when I don’t feel possible or I just can’t be, I am so grateful to have so many loves staying tenderly, safely, patiently as and when I unravel.

Go where love carries you, where your being is not treated as burdensome.

– Siphokazi Veti

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