Over the past few months, I’ve written about the challenges my family has faced in 2021. The hits have continued to come. Some days it feels like an endless loop of loss. Back-to-back-to-back. September was another month full of family illness and another death.
Black grief requires community so mourning during a global pandemic is especially hard.
We heal from loss by being together.
Funerals are one of the few places Black folks in America find healing. We wail. Sing. Dance. For hours. And then we eat.
For the past two years, grieving has been distinct. Healing has been slow to come.
Since the pandemic began, I have realized how I’ve taken the collective mourning experience for granted. I’ve also learned that I am unique in the professional privileges I’ve had around PTO for bereavement. I have always worked for organizations that did not require ‘proof’ and who honor my definition of family. I cannot imagine having to grieve a loss with no PTO or having to prove how someone was a member of my family.
Take note of the recent bereavement conversation on LinkedIn to show little uniformity our companies are around who has the right to grieve, including how and when they mourn.
I have been moving slowly. I am behind on emails. I have taken some mental health days. But more than that, I have been supremely loved by my circle of humans who care for me deeply.
This month, these are all the words I can get out.
Instead of forcing a thing, I would like to invite you to explore a concept called ‘Healing Justice.’ Coined by Cara Page and the Kindred Southern Healing Collective, one element of healing justice is “…bring[ing] collective practices that can impact and transform the consequences of oppression on our bodies, hearts, and mind.”
So let’s practice holding space for each other on the page.
Read. Listen. Feel.