For some months now, I've been growing and developing a play that attempts to uncover how we talk about grief, mainly to our children, as it's to be a play for young audiences. I've been writing, sketching and outlining with my father in mind, who died in 2014, when I turned 30 and was starting graduate school, and didn't give myself much time or space to deal with the loss, but kept adding work and panic on top of my whole self so I could move forward and do my schoolwork without falling behind. I've since found ways to deal with my grief, and part of my way of doing that is writing this play.
Tuesday night, in reaction to our nation electing a President I believe unfit to lead us, who promotes hate and exclusion and fear and bigotry, I cried deeper and heavier than I can remember doing since I got the news my dad was going into hospice and there was no more the doctors could do after his 9 month cancer battle.
That night and next morning brought back all those grief feelings from years ago that I didn't know what to do with in 2014. Emptied out of tears, not wanting to enter the next day but knowing I must, and knowing there are so many people we need to hold up in love and light, I was a mess of hollow conflict. And I knew that those emotions were part of this time, and I had several others who were mourning with me.
And now, losing Leonard Cohen opens all those wounds again. But yes, this is not the time for despair. This is time to be here for each other. To make loud and reactive art. To write in bigness and concise rebellion, in ways that brings people together, and spreads love to those who need it most right now.
I know this is a time to stand up and be strong and brave, for those who are afraid to speak, for those who are afraid for their lives, who fear the oppression that a man embracing misogyny, racism, and mass deportation has threatened to uphold. And I know it's also okay to grieve right now. This play I'm writing is taking on the same personal reflection, and still trying to communicate with children about how to talk about hard times, but also will embrace a larger, national, global mourning - and a mourning toward morning, toward action, toward positivity.
So here, I open up this as a space for you to share your own grief and sadness, as well as thoughts of light and change and empowerment, or words of gratitude and breath and life, anything on the wide spectrum of those seven grief stages. And if a public forum is not for you, know that I'm here for you who are scared and heavy right now. We can talk in person when I see you next. I want to hear your voice ring out and I want to stand for you in bravery. You are not alone.
Process notes on a work in progress. This page serves to invite you into the way I work, with intermittent posts to show you the hows and whys on the whats I make, as well as prompts and ideas I bring to certain workshops. There will also be some raw, rough content found in notebooks written years ago, which I would previously post on (I've decided to simplify, at least for the time being):