On Greif

I’m currently taking part in one of my favourite writing practices by a wonderful yoga teacher in Toronto. For the entirety of June, I wake up to an email with a prompt, idea, image, concept – something to explore. We’re asked to write for 15min minutes and put the pen down.

Today it was grief.

The collective grief. I rolled my eyes and said not again. I didn’t want to peak back out into the world and write about the issues plaguing us. The email continued…”look at the way it is reflected in you, and if you don’t think it is, that right there is your invitation”. I had an invitation staring me in the face. How can I have compassion for what the world is feeling instead of only judgement?

I’ll start by saying I actually Googled the word grief. To be honest, it still feels foreign to me. Like I don’t want to get too close. I think of grief as a process more than a feeling. Yet, I see the grief in people’s eyes. I can feel it in their words. The world is hurting and it isn’t just racial injustice, we’re grieving the death of a life we were promised. I feel the sadness, the frustration and the history of oppression in the generations before us who were not treated like humans.

We feel their pain and we carry it upon our backs and the load is now too heavy to bear. So we attempt to throw it away, trying to escape this weight we never asked to carry yet as we do, our separation from love grows. We find ourselves not just carrying the weight but carrying it alone, cut off from the very thing we need to survive – each other.

I see now, where the world is coming from but I can only carry hope in my heart and grief on my back because I know it is possible for us to rise together. I’ve heard multiple people say they’ve lost hope in humanity. This isn’t time to lose hope. A “new earth”,” taking back our sovereignty”, these abstract words that never sank into me before have now carved themselves a home in my mind. I know it is possible.

This time is allowing our grief, our anger, our distrust our dispair to come up to the surface and wash over us. To feel it, name it, claim it. And I hope we keep learning to allow ourselves to feel it all, and I hope it leads us back into our hearts.  To let our hearts know we have not abandoned them, that we’ve come back in search of what it can offer. When we arrive back in our hearts we can begin to birth ourselves anew. New hopes, new visions and it’s only possible because we felt the grief. We drank her medicine, we carried the weight all the way home. To be transformed, to be remembered, to be honoured.

So to those that went before us, thank you. To those marching in the streets, thank you. To those fighting for our rights, thank you.  For those speaking up, thank you and for all those who refuse to lose hope, thank you.



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