“Yes, we need to boldly go forward, but we also have to talk about the aftermath of loss.”

– Christina Rasmussen

I Stopped Internally Combusting

I stopped it. It was only for a few seconds. A few seconds not being who I had been. The stop, crushed me. The interruption of who I was, brought on panic. I interrupted the force that had kept me going. The engine I installed inside my brain to keep me from losing my mind after loss, was for a few seconds silenced. Void. I started the engine back again, immediately. But these seconds were enough…

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There is Someone Living in my Attic

Whenever I want to give up, I think of the bold words of Ralph Waldo Emerson “God will not have his work made manifest by cowards” And I want to scream. I am not a coward, God. I am not a coward. I will keep going. Keep knocking on doors. Keep doing the work. Keep making a fool of myself. Falling. Hurting. And I won’t give up. Not even when my legs don’t want to move. Not even when my…

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How to Make Trees

What does it mean to feel your feelings and be with them? Hold them. Hold them as if it is not too much for you. As if there is a tiny lake surrounded by beautiful woods and valleys. I want my feelings, to feel this way. Like a lake surrounded by a forest. I don’t like to feel like the ocean. I don’t like waves. Or emotions that feel infinite. I feel lost then. Like I have forgotten how…

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The Quiet Pain

I jammed my thumb in the door of my car last Saturday. The door closed completely. Not just a little bit. But all the way, shut. As if my thumb was not inside the door. I nearly passed out but I had to find the strength to open the door to get my thumb back out. In those seconds, I was overwhelmed with the pain. But I was able to get my other hand to open the door. Then the pain got so much…

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The Outside Heart

If someone painted me, they would have to paint my heart outside of my chest. It is hanging there, feeling, experiencing. My heart processes everything first. Then it gives it to my head. Most of the time my heart takes things very personally. It goes into a heartbreaking position. I have been trying to get my heart further inside, behind the chest but no luck. It gets hurt by…

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The Glue Under Your Feet

It may seem unending. Your shoulders, shuddering. The day, unyielding. But did you know you can bear the loss? It may be easier for me to talk to the people who are just feeling a little down today. It is easier to lift them up. But I am not talking to them. I am talking to the ones who had something very cataclysmic happen. Something that feels even absurd to consider carrying forward. It…

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It Found You Crying in Front of the TV

I don’t know how it comes back, but it does. It comes knocking on your door. Even though you can barely notice it at first. I am talking about the feeling of wanting to live again. I know you never thought it would come back. You didn’t believe it could find you. But it did. It found you crying in front of the TV. And it made the movie you were watching, right for what you needed. It…

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Grief Woke Me Up and Now I Can’t Go Back to Sleep

I was completely blind before loss. Actually no, not blind. Hypnotized. Going about my day, as a wife, mother of toddlers, friendly neighbor, you know the rest. Living but not really living. And even after loss, I tried to go back to the hypnosis. Get the job I should be getting. Have people over for dinner, you know, do the right thing as a neighbor and friend. Believing that what I had…

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Don’t Ask Me How Long Grief Lasts

“How long does grief last?” Someone asked me the other day. “You still write about it Christina, 11 years later. Are you still grieving?” I don’t know, but something happens to me when I am asked these questions. I want to start laughing out loud. You know that ironic laughter, that insinuates that this is a ridiculous question. But then again it’s not their fault, is it now? Everyone wonders…

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Have You Been Afraid of Your Next Self?

It feels quiet. Listening to Billie Holiday, I’ll be seeing you. A few days away from finishing my next book, Where did you go? The book I have been afraid to write but found the courage to do so. I found this place, outside of this world we live in, and took everyone there. Risking it all. Shedding who I had been, so I could become. Once again. Become another me. So I could feel this.…

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