on grief-dimmed joys

I haven’t felt like myself since Kozo died.

I wish this wasn’t true. He wouldn’t want that. I wish I was better at grief. I’ve had so much practice, and yet, here I sit:


At his memorial, I cried through my reading. I really thought I could make it all the way through, but I was talking about emptiness and fullness, and how life is both at the same time, and I could suddenly feel both at the same time, and I became the ocean he so loved.

The month since has been full and empty.

In many ways, I feel like a star. In many ways, I feel like a star with its eyes closed. No, a star with its heart closed.

A heart with its stars off.

The dark is darker, and the daylight doesn’t notice.

In that unaffected heart-light, all my gratitudes bloom from the ground like sunflowers, like shining ground-stars. The air is thick with it.

How did a dinosaur like me get to be so lucky?

My communities lift me up again and again and again.

When I got the first paycheck from my job, I felt the realness of this new stage of my life. It’s almost like I won’t drop this career down a flight of stairs. It’s almost like I can just let it be something beautiful.

It’s almost like I might be able to not drop myself down a flight of stairs again.

It’s almost like I can stay standing. Stay free. Stay living.


There’s so much joy in that, but I have trouble writing about it right now. I can’t quite hear myself the same way as usual.

My grief feels like humming at a concert. I can feel it vibrating from me even as the chorus around me sings the air to all new highs.

Things are good, my best beloveds.

I’m shining. I’m shining.

I’m shining as much as possible for someone whose heart-star is a little dimmed.


Here’s some awesome posts from other Peppers today for #PepperDay. Please visit at least one!

19 thoughts on “on grief-dimmed joys

  1. Keep shining, Ra, you’re right he wouldn’t want to add to your grief. Remember he did it the way he wanted – the cancer – for so long… and if you look out to sea in your dreams he’s surfing (that’s how I see it) xx


  2. “A heart with its stars off.

    The dark is darker, and the daylight doesn’t notice.” Gossamer writing, as always. Trust that it is full of luminous heart.


  3. You are amazing and you are also right exactly where you are supposed to be. Grief has no time line, you know that. It flows around us and I think it’s always a little bit there and then it’s everywhere, and then it recedes again to catch us unaware. You write so beautifully about your life. Thank you for sharing.


  4. When I started getting news of his final journey in hospice, I worried about you since i know you were much closer to Kozo than I and have had too much loss. So glad you’re able to shine in the midst of grief. ❤


  5. Love. These beautiful words conjured the sunflower sea star in my mind. If Kozo loved ocean, I bet he would have loved sunflower stars.


  6. Even under the brightest, sunniest of days, there will be ones who exist but cannot feel. The warmth on the skin does nothing to nuzzle up against the down turned face. The fingers are leaden, won’t lift even to give a simple direction. But you did. Did the impossible, wrote, and cried, and kept writing. I too was in such a haze. But seeing you led the way, I can now remember which way I was going. Thank you for being brave, thank you for being kind enough to share. May you always be happy, Ra!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You have my deepest condolences for your loss.

    I am grieving the loss of a dear friend right now, but I can’t go to a memorial. I have been sitting alone with my grief and memories, switching between tears and numbness.

    I am very glad you have such a wonderful community of people to support and encourage you! It’s great that you have this job and your life is moving forward, you’re involved in such positive things. You truly are a shining star 🌟


    Liked by 1 person


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