Grief Moments: Part 2

I’ve been quite busy during the past few weeks. I celebrated my birthday, celebrated a friend’s birthday and explored another part of the state, and met new people. Yet, grief is like a shadow that’s standing behind these joyous days! Grief is also like a paper cut. Paper cuts sting, and they can come unexpectedly. I don’t like grief moments,but I have to hang onto God when they occur. As much as I appreciate the encouragement and support from friends and family, God is the One who is aware of how gritty my grief is. A grief moment happens…

-When I hear a peer talking about the illness that my sister suffered with, and I have to be normal.

-When someone asks me how many siblings I have, and I do not know how to answer the question.

-When a family member suggests that we go to my sister’s grave, and I get defensive. I say, “She’s  not really there, so what’s the point of going there?”

-When the death anniversary is approaching, and I am trying to figure out if I should just ignore the fact that the day is going to arrive soon.

-When I act like grief shouldn’t be a problem. I think to myself, “Get over this. You’re a Christian and you’re Black.”

-When I feel like I shouldn’t talk about grief. I say to myself, “My sister is in Heaven and is not suffering anymore.”

-When I feel misunderstood, because sibling grief is forgetten grief.

-When I watch a movie and someone dies in it, my heart starts to crash in my chest.

-When I read a Psalm, and I realize that I can be honest with God about my grief.

I feel like grief is so weird and challenging, but it also cannot be ignored. I usually want to ignore it, but I know it’s better to deal with it now, than to let it explode later in my life.

Learning to Live

I have a present for y’all! I have a vlog post featuring my buddy, chica, birthday gal, and sis in Christ, Ms. Jessi Hughes! We are always having these deep/spiritual/introspective conversations. We felt that we should vlog about one of the lessons we have been learning. We are striving to live our best lives! Please relax in your favorite chair and watch us chat about life.

To the Men in My Family…

Before I say anything about the following vlog, I must acknowledge the grief that I have over the murders of Black lives in Charleston, SC. I am tired, and I do not have many words to describe my feelings. Yet, I believe in love, and I know that God is a God of justice.

My vlog is unique, because it is in honor of Father’s Day and of the strong Black men that have surrounded me! I want to wish my dad, brother, uncles, cousins, and nephews a Happy Father’s Day! This tribute is for them!

June Baby

I am a June baby! Last Sunday, it was my birthday! Yaaay! Woohhooo! I turned 29 years old, and it was a busy birthday weekend! On Friday, I went to one of my college friend’s wedding, and I celebrated her happiness with her! On Saturday, I volunteered at a  community outreach event that happened in my hometown. Lastly, I went to church on my birthday, and celebrated in afrotastic style with one of my friends in Beantown! We went to the New England Aquarium and looked at sea creatures. Then, we had some apps and dessert at a restaurant. I was tired from the weekend, but I was glad to be involved in several fun activities.

I believe that birthdays are a time of gratitude and introspection. As you may have noticed, I already think a lot, but the thinking increases around my birthday. I’ve noticed that during many of my birthdays, I have become saddened by the fact that I am still unmarried and not in my dream job. Usually, I have a pity party of one with zero guests invited to the festivities! It’s a pathetic scene where I have complained that I should be married and working as a leader of something somewhere.

Well, this year, I am in a different space. Hopefully, you’ve read my blog posts “Afrostastically Single” and “Afrotastically Single: Part 2.” If you haven’t read them, I will tell you that I am really liking this single state right now. In previous years/birthdays, I have had fits about my singleness. Right now, this time is the right time to be single! So, no one heard any  “I should be married right now. God, what’s going on?” rants during my birthday weekend!

What has been heard from folks is that I have a lot of things that I need to work on! I have some wounds and issues that God is helping me with! On my birthday weekend, my prayer was not for a man, but it was for wholeness! In praying for wholeness, I feel as though God wanted me to remember what He has brought me from. I tend to be a perfectionist, and when I am working on a task, I become consumed with getting it perfect. It has to be just right! My latest project has been ME! And even with working on myself, I have gotten upset with my progress. Fortunately, God, friends, and family have reminded me that change takes time! Change is a process, and in the process, there has to be patience and flexibility with oneself. Sometimes, it feels like I am taking two steps forward and one step backwards. But, at least, there is progress, and I am taking steps.

On my birthday, I thought about my younger self. I thought about the little timid girl who read books at recess and had little to no friends. I thought about the little girl who was labeled as “slightly mentally retarded” by professionals. I thought about the little girl whose lungs collapsed because of asthma, and spent time in the hospital. I thought about the scared little girl who watched her big sister suffer with sickness. Then, I thought about where God has brought me from. From timid and “slightly retarded” to the strong woman who is pursuing her Master’s of Social Work. This is my testimony.

Even though, I carry some wounds, I know that God is sculpting me into who I really am! I realize that God has brought me through many battles, and He will be there through future ones too! I like that birthdays can be a opportunity to thank God for what He has done and for where He is taking me. I have actually been listening to Hillsong United’s newest cd called “Empires,” and many of the songs speak about praising God during joy and pain. Check out the some of the lyrics to “Captain:”

“Like the stars

Your Word

Will align my voyage

And remind me where I’ve been

And where I am going”

I am not doing this thing called life by myself. I have God, who can guide me to where I need to be! And my lovely family and friends who can put me in check when I get too perfectionist. I appreciate those friends who tell me to chill out. You know who you are! 🙂

Before I conclude this blog post, I want to give a shout out to my fellow June babies: TJ (my high school homie),JH (my homie from the local church community), L (my birthday twin), K (so glad we crossed paths; you’re a blessing!),  H (fam and smart Ph.d cookie), W (my handsome nephew) and R (my cutie pie niece). I love you, and y’all are fabulous. Enjoy your birthday month!