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Screw school pamphlets, unhelpful grief groups, and people saying “sorry for your loss.” It’s time to get real about grief. We’re in this together.

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On our minds
Why don’t I get signs from my person who died?
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What should I do when a classmate says something rude?
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Do your non-grieving friends know how to comfort you?
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3 ways music can ease the pain of missing your person
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What we're lovin'

by Quinn, age 17

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed is a book detailing Strayed’s hike of the Pacific Coast Trail and reflecting on death loss of her mother and her own identity. 

This book immediately interested me because of the beautiful imagery of the Pacific coast, but as I read on I encountered articulated descriptions of my own grief (my mother died when I was 14). I could empathize with the author as she wrote “It was wrong. It was so relentlessly wrong that my mother had been taken from me.” 

But I also read lines celebrating the joy of nature, movement, love, and art. Strayed expertly balances grief with the excitement and happiness of adventure. This book is beautiful read for anyone, especially anyone looking for understanding in the wake of a death.

"One Day" and dozens of tissues
"One Day" and dozens of tissues

"One Day" is based on a book by David Nicholls that was then turned into a 2011 movie (starring Anne Hathaway) and then recently was made into a Netflix series (what's next...a Broadway show?).

Anyway, the series is a romantic drama about Emma and Dexter, who meet in college and experience immediate sparks. But it's the end of the school year and their relationship doesn't get a chance to really take off.

Still, they do find their way back to each other, and the series follows their friendship (and screaming matches and romantic flings) over the next decade.

Without spoiling the story for you...grief shows up in a BIG way by the end, and we're telling you right now to have your tissue box(es) sitting right next to you because you'll need it.

What we appreciate is that the person grieving (trying so hard not to spoil the story right now) does such a good job of showing all the feels and how grief isn't just something that we just get over after a few months. It's messy and awful and sometimes beautiful and everything in between.

"Chip on My Shoulder"
"Chip on My Shoulder"

by Aryn, age 15

What we love: “Chip on my shoulder" by Rod Wave

I so appreciate the lyrics:

“And this life we live is strange
I've been lost since I was young
'Member pops had went to prison
That's when we was low on funds
Mama said I have this chip on my shoulder, that's forever
Seen them close the casket on Deja
We grew up together.”

These lyrics are powerful because watching the casket close on someone you loved, especially a parent or a loved one or someone who played that role, is hard and it hurts I feel like the song is a good one for people who are grieving a loved one because sometimes you feel like there’s a chip on your shoulder, and it’s just totally relatable. 

"To Live in this World"
"To Live in this World"

We've been seeing this poigant short poem by Mary Oliver from "In Blackwater Woods" posted on social media, and it always makes us stop and take a deep breath...

To Live in the World

you must be able

to do three things:

to love what is mortal;

to hold it

against your bones knowing

your own life depends on it;

and, when the time comes to let it go, 

to let it go.

"My father died in an accident when I was 12, and I was completely lost. It's important to have a place where I don’t always have to pretend it’s all ok, where I don’t have to wipe away my tears."

– Avner, age 16
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