I don't believe in redemption.

stop dismissing painI enter year eight this week. How weird is that? It was a lifetime ago that he was here. It was just a minute ago. Both things.

Last year on Sunday the 12th, I was in the company of 3000 or so people at the World Domination Summit in Portland. It was somehow one of the best days of my life, right on top of the anniversary of the worst day of my life.

Such a strange experience that year, and this year is no different (albeit with far fewer people).  This year, I’m consumed with working on my new book, which is only happening because Matt died. I’m here because he was here, here because he died. My relationship with you exists because Matt drowned on an ordinary, beautiful, fine summer day.

We’re here together because death happened. I love what I do. I love that I can connect with so many of you. I can do that because I’ve lived it. I know grief from the inside.

Some people might say that it’s a gift. That to have our community of loving, grieving broken hearts is the silver lining, the redemption, inside my own story of loss.

I don’t believe in redemption like that. 

I believe that being together inside grief means, simply, that we have companions, not solutions. That you are here, that we are here, together in this crazy love-ship of shared grief makes things so amazingly much better – but it doesn’t make things right.

And that’s why we belong together, you and I. We belong together because we know this. Because we know that companionship inside the truth of what hurts doesn’t fix anything – but it makes everything better.

My talk at WDS last year was all about this – the power of companionship, of bearing witness to the true reality of grief, and the true reality of love. My hope is that more and more people become willing to bear witness. More willing to speak the truth of their own pain, and more willing to hear your pain without trying to fix it.

That’s why we’re here, loves. To companion each other, no matter what comes. 

As I enter the first days of year eight, I can’t say I’m glad about how I got here, but I am, in fact, very glad I’m here.

grief support that doesn't suckHow about you? How has being part of this community of fiercely loving broken hearts changed your grief, even as it hasn’t “solved” it? Leave a note in the comments.