Neat & Nasty
Grief, Goodness & A Couple of Announcements for y'all!
Grief doesn’t have an expiration date.
It’s not like a loaf of bread that’s fresh for a week or so and then slowly molds and crumbles away into nothing. Grief is resilient. It perseveres. It doesn’t give up. Ever.
Grief is more like a non-perishable food item. (Like the can of green beans that’s been sitting at the back of your granny’s pantry since your mom was in diapers). It doesn’t matter how long it’s been since grief was put on the shelf, but the moment that can reopens, it feels as fresh as the first day you got a hold of it.
It’s been 7 years since my brother passed away. April 14, 2015 is a day I’ll never forget. April 14 (insert the current year here) is a day that I’ve dreaded for the past 6. This year is different.
I’m doing something different with my grief. I’m taking a page from Toni Morrison. A literal page.
Alright, in her book the Bluest Eye, she does something so unexpectedly spectacular, that I imagine I’ll never forget. And neither will you after I’m done. She has this scene where she’s describing throw up. And it is the most beautiful description of throw up, I’ve ever read. Don’t take my word for it, read it for yourself.
The puke swaddles down the pillow onto the sheet—green-gray, with flecks of orange. It moves like the insides of an uncooked egg. Stubbornly clinging to its own mass, refusing to break up and be removed. How, I wonder, can it be so neat and nasty at the same time?
Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye
How could something be so neat and nasty at the same time?
I don’t know how it can be. I do know that grief is that. Neat and Nasty.
It’s the reason why I wanted to do a book on grief and purpose the way I did. I wanted my book to feel physically heavy. Grief is heavy. But I wanted this heavy book about grief to be beautiful. Because that is confusing. Grief should be ugly, not beautiful. But sometimes grieving is beautiful. Sometimes our tears water our future smiles. Grief is confusing. It disorients us.
So this year, I’m aiming to do to y’all what Toni did to me. Leave me questioning what life and grief should look and feel like. I appreciate y’all subscribing to this newsletter so I really want you to be the first to know what I have cooking! Alright, here we go.
WE GO ON: The Soundtrack
I love movie soundtracks. While I don’t rewatch a ton of movies, I do re-listen to movie soundtracks. In re-listening to the soundtracks, I get to re-live the movie. Most people don’t re-read books. So I hope that listening to the soundtrack will help y’all to re-live some of the experience you had when you worked through the book the first time. (I also hope that this will be another way for people to explore the book). The first single drops at midnight tonight. Y’all are literally some the first people (outside of the folks that have worked on it) to even know this coming. (Thanks for subscribing!)
WE GO ON: A 3-part Mini Doc
On April the 14th, I’m dropping part 1 of a 3 part mini-doc on how the seeds of grief, planted in my life, blossomed into this book. Again, NOBODY else really knows about this. I’m sharing it with y’all because you’ve taken some interest in me and my goings on. I really appreciate y’all and would love your feedback and encouragement. Stay tuned.
WE GO ON: The Tour
I didn’t want to do online events. I wanted to be in person with actual people as we talked, and cried, and laughed and hugged our way through grief to joy! So I decided to wait until the pandemic died down enough to be able to do this is person comfortably. Starting in May, I’ll be traveling to my favorite cities (ATL, NYC, Philly, DC, LA, Chicago, and Houston) to do in person events that include all of the above. Again, y’all are the first to know about this. More details to come.
Thank you again. As I’m putting the finishing touches on all this stuff, I was so overwhelmed with joy that I felt like I had to just share it with someone! I chose y’all.
You’ll be hearing more from me soon.