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Love, What would you have me know today?

I recently tried the writing exercise from Liz Gilbert’s Letter’s from Love. She asks you to sit down and have love write you a letter. Her writing prompt is Love, what would you have me know today? The following is love’s letter to me on grief. It turns out love can speak into the great, grief abyss.

That your grief will not consume you. That it will not break you in the ways you are most afraid of. It will soften you, mold you, and shape you by excavating who you were before.

Before the walls were erected and the armor was donned, before the heartbreak of living caused you to shrink inwards, protecting your soft soul like a snail’s outer shell protects its inner being.

Your softness and kindness are true to you. It’s ok to let it show, slow down, and realize that you are loved just for being you. Not for the excessive doing, pushing, and willingness that drives you. Your strength is admirable, but it does not define you; it is not you.

Grief, my love, has been the only tool available to make you slow down, listen and realize your intrinsic worth. When you show up and offer yourself to those you love, know it is enough.

You do not have to come with full hands to hide your broken heart.

I would rather have your empty hands to hold.

I keep putting you in situations where you have nothing to give but your heart; you have nothing to offer but the softness of your soul. Your worldly gifts mean nothing; they are of this world and not the next.

Your heart and your soul’s love are valuable in every plane, across time and space. What I would have you know is that grief will not kill you, but it will strip you and show you that the only real, lasting gift you can offer is your love.

I am not sure why you don’t want to believe me, why you insist that doing, making, and willing are what grants you permission to be on this earth.

What brought you here is my eternal love, and your only job is to radiate that love to others. Stop trying so hard. You do not have to earn your love. I gave that to you when I called you here.

Recently, your job has been to sit at the edge of heartbreak as I call my loves back home. It’s been to notice that the things you will continue to treasure long after the person has left this world have no earthly value.

What you value and what you miss is their view of the world. Seeing the world through their lens of love made your experience more joyful, full, and complete.

Know that you are connected for infinity through love. The gaze of their love will never fade, and the memory of what brought them joy is yours to treasure for always.

Know that your love is their greatest gift, and their love is your greatest gift.

Know that your grief brings you closer to me and them. Below the rough ocean of grief is quiet, is love, is where you will find them and where you will find me.

What I would have you know today is that soft and vulnerable is true and real. That allowing yourself to grieve is brave. That your strength comes from your empty-handed love, not from your full hands and hidden heart.

I've been grieving for two years now. I still don't understand it. I don't understand how it ebbs and flows and how it still manages to take you by surprise, but I do know that grief is universal, it is hard and it is meant to be shared. Today marks two years since I arrived in my mom's oncology office broken and drowning in grief with a flower and note for someone who might also be suffering. In my grief I still have a hard time showing up empty handed, but I do believe I'm learning to lead from my heart. Thank you to Daniel for telling our story and everyone who supports the Sugar Bloom Foundation and its mission.


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