Isn’t the passage of time funny? You catch a glimpse of the sun one day and it is covered in clouds the next. 

december 3, 2022
I’m crying on the 119 bus right now. It’s Saturday. My grandma is in hospice care and it feels like I’m losing my dad all over again, somehow. Losing the single largest piece of him I had the honor of holding close for longer than I could hold him. Rain dots the windows and I just passed by the NYC skyline thinking: how is it I get to experience this and so many people I love don’t? 

december 29, 2022
My grandma died the Tuesday after I wrote this, three days later. We called her Damu or Grandma or Mimi. This year began and ended with the loss of both of my dad’s parents. It’s a visceral experience of timing: grief has bookended my 2022 on the cusp of 2023, a year that will mark 10 years without my dad. An entire decade. A third of my life. The numbers render me weak, really. But to know loss is to know love. 

I turned 30 this year and I feel a much deeper sense of coming into being. I carry them with me knowing full and well the depth of their love, and the depth of my love for them. Especially after losing my dad, I leave nothing on the table when it comes to expressing love and honoring loved ones. I do this with words and actions, mainly. Despite it being incredibly hard to express just how much someone means to you, I’ve tried. I wrote my grandparents a poem during Covid when isolation kept us apart. It is one of the most profound acts of love I’ve created and gifted, yet it only begins to detail their impact on my life. 

My grandparents were married for 71 years. They met when they were 8 years old growing up on the same block in Staten Island. Their love and partnership were immeasurable: they radiated a sense of ease in loving one another. If I can emulate even a fraction of their joy, my life would be full. 

I think of tWitch constantly and I keep watching his videos. He signs off with “let love lead.” Here’s to leading with love.

photos of new york city, and myself and my grandparents — Damu and Pop
poem by me, design by my friend alyssa

2 thoughts on “Damu


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