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The Persistence of Grief
Greetings lovely one,
As you have likely figured out by the increase in Canva graphics and reposted social media kits, May is Mental Health Awareness Month. I have become acutely aware that for many, mental health has plummeted over the years. Suicide rates are up, layoffs galore, long-COVID illness is still very much so “a thing.” I feel grief all around me, especially typing this letter on the day set aside for remembering and honoring soldiers who died protecting their country and families for and beliefs in an American dream. And it made me think about the myriad ways we honor the memories of our loved ones whose spirits left their human vessels before us.
It made me wonder about the healing process of naming our internal struggles, the battles we have in our workplaces, in our faith communities … the fights we have over the rights of our bodies, the back-and-forth verbal takedowns on social platforms about what often seems like trivial matters to some, but not so trivial to others. I thought about how all this made me feel. One can easily get lost in the minutiae of the day-to-day before going back to these thoughts and feelings, and I recognize some of the sources of my persistent depression.
So, in this Love Letter, I’m pausing and honoring the awareness that I grieve suffering in the world, period.
In this Love Letter, I am encouraging you to pause and honor your grief as well.
You see, right alongside the hope buried deep in my bones, is a grief for war, disease, hatred, fear, for all of the isms. I grieve the way we treat one another, the way we treat our home planet, the way we make gods out of men, that we got money for and use the poor to fight war. I grieve rent being so high that people can’t afford a pot to piss in. I grieve inflation. I grieve the heartbreak that swells across the world as people look to leaders for a small peace of hope (yes, I spelled “peace” that way on purpose) only to find they’re all caught up in the lifestyles of the rich and powerful’s rat race game. I grieve the growing irreverence of prayer, the disconnect from the Church, and the gap in soul care needed but unnamed.
I grieve the utter exhaustion some of us feel, the ignorance birthed out of history and literature erasure, the healthcare system, the justice system, the foster care system, the way we treat our veterans, houselessness, poverty — mind, body, and soul. I grieve the single mom who can’t afford a bus ticket home after a double shift because she doesn’t get paid until tomorrow, and she’ll have to rob Peter to pay Paul once she gets said paycheck. I grieve the working mother and wife who can’t seem to catch a break as she juggles being a “bawse”, (I see you Lilly Singh), super mom, and a foxy lady.
I grieve the chronically ill retiree whose Medicare and Medicaid won’t cover a home health aid to help with simple daily living tasks. I grieve those who couldn’t properly mourn the loss of a family member to COVID. I grieve the way people disregard their truths because it didn’t directly affect them. I grieve our doubts and the insecurities we project onto ourselves in the face of people who have superiority complexes. I grieve the worries and anxiousness that fester for too long and develop into full-blown anxiety disorders. I grieve those who are the last hired and the first fired. I grieve those who are amazingly talented with relevant skills but constantly get put down, overlooked, and straight-up disrespected by people who assume incompetence armed with nothing other than their biases. I grieve being the only brown skin in the room and being surrounded by “nice” people. I grieve soul-sucking jobs and hurt bosses who hurt employees in power plays. I grieve the entrepreneurs who don’t have access to the same resources as their more privileged peers (even with the same degree) and the messaging that tells them they aren’t enough when it’s not even close to being true.
I grieve the fact that I didn’t want to hit publish because I didn’t get this to my editor in time and assumed she’d encourage me to throw it in the garbage and try again (btw she wouldn’t really say that).
I know I keep writing about grief, maybe I sound like a broken record, but grief is what keeps coming up for me. So until the muse says, “Okay Lynette, let’s write about your random thoughts around the connections you see with Q, the Q Continuum, and the phrase ‘there is no spoon…’” I’ll keep writing what’s coming up for me. Thanks so much for reading.
Peace, Love, and Wellness,
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What’s the Buzz? Here’s what’s happening
Coming up: Excited to join this online Illuminate Summer Speaker Series hosted by Pendle Hill with Barclay Press. This series will take place on select Monday evenings from June through August with fellow authors of “Illuminate: Minor Prophets,” a recent publication in the Barclay Press Illuminate Friends Bible Study Series. Speakers will share insights from their studies as they prepared the lessons and “Friendly Perspectives” in this series. Each night will feature a different book with different presenting authors. See the full schedule and reserve your virtual seat on our website: https://pendlehill.org/events/illuminate-summer-speaker-series-2023/.
Ongoing: I’m co-creating stigma-crushing, mental health awareness merch for entrepreneurs and small business owners. Wear your support!
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Community Member Kudos: Do you have something coming up that you’d like me to share next month (a new creative work, a new service or program, looking to hire for a new position, etc.)? Email me so I can give you Kudos. First come, first featured. (This opportunity is for email subscribers only.)
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