Hold Space For Each Other
Dear Africana Woman,
Have you ever found yourself in a space where you have extreme joy and extreme sorrow at the same time. I find myself caught between the two this week. There are some really big wins to be grateful for. But at the same time my heartaches from the rising cries of my nation and on a more personal level having to say bye to so many people in one week. If you looked for me yesterday, I apologise because I cannot create from pain lest it seeps out and bleeds on you. However, I feel called to hold this grief space for you today.
Four years ago we watched Thanos snap his finger, issuing a death sentence by lottery. To which we said, “How could he?” Not knowing that it was a prophecy. Literally now you see me, now you don’t. Yesterday there was a surety that you be would there tomorrow. So what do you mean that you are gone today?
Nothing can really prepare you for continuous loss. It’s like a Samurai slicing away at you til there is no space on the canvas that is your skin. But he doesn’t stop there instead he digs in. How do you bare the pain?
There used to be closure as we marched to the burial, watched the coffin go 6 feet in and finally be covered by dirt and prayers. Ashes to Ashes, dust to dust. Return to the earth you must. We understood the cycle of life. But now, no sooner do we turn to leave, do we see the funeral processions backed up. So we are asked to stay to bury another, and another and another …. This will take a while.
There is no time to process. There is no time in between to grieve. Soon, we just become numb.
It will never be the same again. It’s forever different. Which is not to say that different cannot bring it’s own version of joy. In fact, I think that the hope for joy is the light that will illuminate our path out of this maze of sorrow.
We honour the people we have lost by choosing to live. Just by knowing them, they gave you a piece of themselves. Some larger than others. The piece they gave you is a gift that should keep on giving. Share it. Pass it forward.
So how do we support each other as we collectively grieve:
We shall not compare each other’s grief or as my sister Herdyne says, “Do not police grief.” So just because you lost one person and someone else lost four, does not mean your grief is less valid. You are allowed to process it in the way you need to. You are allowed to feel what you feel. You are allowed to pause …….. you are allowed to voice what you need.
We shall check on each other’s boundaries. Africans we have a strength in being able to process grief BUT I think we need to reimagine our process for the time being. It’s not only the bars & clubs that continue to spread this dis - ease. It’s the crowded funeral house, it’s the jam packed funeral buses, it’s the travelling across towns to attend funerals. SERIOUSLY. Just like one sin is not more deplorable than the other, they each carry the same weight. So too, is your amassing at funerals the same as people socially assembling. You are ALL part of the problem. One is not better than the other. Do not lie to yourself.
We shall hold space for those who it hurts the most for in a particular time, knowing that it could be you sooner rather than later. Holding space does not mean you say things like, “I know what you are feeling” “I can only imagine what you are feeling” You can’t. Just listen. Listen to what they need to say. Listen to how they need to say it. Give them the space to be expressive. Don’t project or give unsolicited advice on how they should handle it. All you have to say is, “I am here for you” “I will support what you decide to do” That’s it.
Stay safe my Darling. Think about others as you make a decision to either go party or mourn. This is a War, therefore, we know no soldier ever comes off the battlefield with no scars. They may be visible but it’s the one’s’ that are invisible that cut the deepest. Do what you need to do to get help to heal. There is no shame in that.
I know this was a downer for some. But it’s our reality right now. If you want to chat during the week, please hit me up on Instagram @Chulu_byDesign. I have just discovered how to make reels. So I am having fun experimenting with techniques. Go check them out and give me some tips and ideas. That would be amazing. At Africana Woman we serve you through the Blog, the Podcast and Visionaries Community. Next week we have an amazing Pop Up Masterclass led by Keji Castano, the Wealth Encourager. You know that’s going to be good. You can find out more details on the Events page. Sweetheart, you are loved. I mean I love you but there is someone who loves you unconditionally, despite what you may have done, what you may have said, it doesn’t matter. In this very moment you are loved beyond description. Remember that. So my desire is that you go and love yourself flaws n all, and attract the life that you truly desire.