This week I'm depleted, so I'm directing you to a tremendous interview between Sachiko Murakami and Nikki Reimer. The first time I read it, I was so moved by their insight and bravery and generosity in having this conversation in a public forum that I immediately read it again.
Some highlights from their discussion:
SM: Yes, carving out writing time and energy when I have to day job is, for me, nearly impossible. I’m working a desk job right now, and it uses up nearly every one of my spoons. I need at least two free hours in which I am fed, well-rested, calm, and pain-free to get any kind of writing done, and I am never fed, well-rested, calm, and pain-free for two free hours on a work day. In order to get to a writing-state, I need to put in many hours of self-care. And then the acts of self-care ironically use up the last spoons that I was saving for writing.
NR: ...I feel a sense of responsibility, particularly in grief and mourning, to be honest, because I think we have a very fucked up attitude towards death and grief in our culture, and I have seen how much it hurts people I know to have their needs in grief dismissed. The death of a central person in your life changes you radically, and you don’t stop having a relationship with them just because they are not with you physically. There is still a mainstream misconception that the healthiest thing is to “get over it,” and “move on,” to stop being, as one friend was told, “a sad widow.” That’s all bullshit. If I can help raise awareness about the realities of significant loss through my posts, than I’m happy to do it. And I will never stop missing my brother, loving my brother, feeling my brother’s presence in my life. Earlier in the process it would wound me deeply to be criticized for my openness about my journey through grief, but I don’t care, anymore, what people might think of me for being outspoken about it. I know my truth. I’m in a much more stable place now, four years and three months after, but the pain doesn’t end. You just learn to fit it into your body and your life.
I'll be back again next week with some preliminary thoughts about trauma and health.