Beloveds I ask that you allow these affirmations to be my reflection on our renewed collective grief:
In the wake of the violence that occurred in Dallas resulting in the deaths of police officers I added two new affirmations. This morning two more were on my heart, as inspired by a Facebook friend. She reminded me that while yes, some of us can grieve for the lives of #AltonSterling, #PhilandoCastile, Melissa Ventura, and other black and brown folks while also grieving the the lives of the police officers in Dallas, some of us cannot; nor should we be shamed into doing so.
However your grief manifests itself is okay. You do not owe the details of your process to any one; your grief process does not have to fit a socially expected nor respectable narrative.
With that in mind here are 5 new affirmations:
My grandmother died on May 28th, 2011 and I am still grieving her death. Over 5 years later and there are still tears left to be cried and an emptiness that gets smaller, but that I know will never be filled.
In the beginning I resisted grieving because I thought the sorrow I felt would drown me and I would not survive it. You may be feeling that now as our community is being collectively water boarded by the most recent trauma and snuffing out of black life. If you aren't ready to grieve that's okay. If resisting grief is what you need to do to survive that is okay. There is no manual that dictates how or when to begin the grief journey.
Once I was ready to grieve, however, it was something I had very little active control over. It was as though I was a bathtub filled with water and someone had pulled the stopper. I would cry on the train, at work, in bed at night. My grief was sometimes inconvenient because life continued around me while grief demanded that I indulge it. And while I wanted to stop the tears I dared not; I knew the time had come for my grief to take up the space it needed.
As a black woman learning to be okay with taking up space has been a difficult process. However, it is a process that was aided by my grief. Grief does not care about privilege or propriety. Grief demands acknowledgement and once it begins there is no turning it off. And so I began the journey of not only grieving but of convincing myself that the way I was grieving was perfectly fine. Active Grief Affirmations was born from that place.
Here is my gift to you in the midst of your grief my beautiful, black people. 100 affirmations to accompany you on your grief journey as you mourn Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and the countless others who became ancestors before them. Affirmations to remind you that it is okay to cry randomly in public on your way to or even at work. Affirmations that will hopefully make room for you to grieve as you see fit. Grief is not a linear process and you do not owe any one a grief process that makes them comfortable. This grieving is for you and you alone, you get to be selfish with your grief.
And for those of you without the privilege of being selfish with your grief, without the ability to call out of work or practice mindful isolation I hope these affirmations provide some semblance of respite. Perhaps, when you are able to escape the demands of your service job for even a brief moment or late night after the kids have gone to sleep you can read one and remember you're not alone. Hopefully they will serve as a reminder that your community is a breath away.
We have a right to grieve and our grief has a right to be unique.
In wholeness and radical love,
Here are the first ten affirmations, I will post another ten next week: