The 11th of August is St. Susan’s Day. As a Gnostic Narnian, I honor St. Susan the Grieving today, the One Who Was Left Behind.
Due to public events, I find that I am surrounded by others expressing honest, heartfelt, and overwhelming grief today. Some mourn with anger that racism continues to cut lives short, and others mourn with the bewildered hearts of those left after a suicide. I am posting this late in the day, and much has been said about both of the highly-publicized deaths already. I’m not going to try and do better.
Grief is such a strange emotion. It is what you feel when you are the one left standing, but there is no victory in it. The ones we grieve for are not in a place to appreciate our grief; they stand before Aslan, or they drink to forget, or another fate befalls them. Grief is selfish, but only in the way all internal work is selfish. We do it for ourselves, so that we are able to keep walking. We mourn publicly in the hope someone who needs it will see that suicide counselling number (800-273-8255) or that the system will be changed or justice will be served.
May we all be right about that.
May our grief wash over us, burn us to the nerves and make us stronger, sent us forward with renewed purpose.
St Susan, I bid you sit with me tonight
as I sort through overfull containers,
grief and ideation in equal measure.
In your patience keep me company, and I
will cry my tears for you and yours
just as you share my pain with me.
When the night is dark as glass and quiet
as the distant humming fan, never silent,
join me in my vigil whether I sit
for others or for myself.