It was an after-school theatre class.
It was a class that started like any other — and then it was time for students to share what was going on with them.
One student let the class know that her mother died over the weekend. And in her unapologetic, elementary school wisdom she said, I know she was sick, but I’m still sad. It still hurts.
Her classmates gave her comfort, and I shared as much words of love as I could. It was as if you could see the space that people had created around her so that she could grieve, and still feel loved.
She could talk about her feelings, and not be branded as too emotional. She could say she was sad, and know that that’s ok.
There was room for the messy bits of emotion that rise to the surface when you lose someone you loved — and each and every soul made that room for her.
And in that moment, that room, that making of space amidst a tidal wave of grief, that was beautiful.
I sometimes wonder about her, and how she’s doing. I wonder if she has gotten to speak to people, or a professional, about the immense loss that she has faced. I wonder if life has continued beating to the same rhythm for her, or if she’s been given the space to change her beat.
I wonder how we can create a more nurturing space to talk about loss, not just for kids, but adults, too.
Loss knows no boundaries — it doesn’t care about age, or gender, or race, or economic status. When it comes, it comes swiftly, and it packs a punch.
But through moments of loss, we see glimmers and shimmers of love — and that’s how I know that if we make room for one another, everything will ultimately be ok.
When we create room for grief without judgment, we create a space for healing.
When we show up for one another in the aftermath of heartache and loss with love and compassion, we dry tears — if only for a moment.
When we create the space for a young kid or adult to voice their sadness, even if it’s only in an extracurricular activity, we create community.
When we create room for these moments of compassion, we let people know they’re seen.
We let people know they’re heard.
We let people know they’re loved.