By Anna May
We are seeing grief on a mass scale right now: for the loss of life in Palestine and Israel, and for the violence and injustice many people continue to experience, most notably in Gaza; as well as for the division, loss and injustice we may feel within our own communities.
I want to send my love to all those mourning around the world; I want to show my solidarity with all the people caught in oppressive and violent systems; and I want to share a couple of thoughts in relation to grief.
1) Grief is a universal and often unavoidable human experience. It can feel complicated at the best of times, but when we experience loss through unjust circumstances, it can be particularly hard to come to terms with. It’s important to find ways to express and process all those emotions. We can also channel grief into action and a commitment to change. We can channel our hatred for all that is wrong into love for all that is right. If we chose to engage in this way, it’s important to be gentle on ourselves too. Rest and joy are part of activism and healing.
2) If you have experienced loss in your personal life, seeing it everywhere can be triggering. Our own pain might become amplified, or we may feel numb to other people’s experiences. Big historical moments like this can help us feel connected to our community, or we may feel more lonely and misunderstood than ever. While it’s important to stay informed, we all have different capacities, and it’s okay to prioritise your own wellbeing. Check in with what you need and let that compassion for others reflect inward, for yourself, too. Let’s work towards justice and peace, while also nurturing those ecosystems of care in our own personal lives and communities.