Our Shards of Dissillusion
The thing I have learned about loss and grief over the last several years is that it shows you more of who you are and defines you. Whatever you didn't appreciate before, you sure as hell start to appreciate more now. Will we now understand ourselves better as a nation after this? I don't know. Time will tell. But if you are grieving right now because you think you don't know your own country, give yourself time to get over the denial phase. Because I promise you, you'll start to see clearly who we were all this time. And when you're finally ready to accept that - you'll have the choice to stay still or move forward.
This has always been our America. Many of us who exist in the marginalized parts of it have known this our entire lives. My parents are from the south...my dad told stories of still having to go through "colored only" doors to get to his job. My mom told me a story of being physically assaulted by a white man on the street as he screamed at her and called her a nigger in broad daylight. I'm but a generation away from that "America" (but am I really though?) - and all I can think of today is, "what would my mama and daddy say now if they were alive?" Because I can't really fathom....
I do know that they fought so hard for me and my family to have a better life than they did. And my grief continues to teach me that I will fight on in their place. My grief teaches me that they were strong enough to endure much worse, so that I could be stronger. My grief continues to teach me gratitude, reverence and perseverance.
I hope, if your grief for this country is real, you'll allow it to open your eyes and live better. Not just for yourself but for those who came before you and for those who will come after you. Let your grief be your growth.