I want to acknowledge how incredibly hard it is for you right now. Your grief runs deep and the temptation to surrender to addiction runs high. You find yourself wanting to self-criticize, somehow feeling there should be a tender, more loving way to experience death. That you should be doing just this. There is always some fantasy version of ourselves that has it together, has it all figured out. I know you can see her clearly! Yet that is not your path. Your path is winding and dark. The kind that needs a candle to light the way. Be kind to yourself and the light will grow. Don’t listen to the voice of criticism, don’t give in to self-hatred. Discard that story. Believe in yourself and the knowledge that no matter where you are, whether it’s a place of addiction or self-love, things are exactly as they should be. You cannot alter the path you are on, only walk it with courage and grace. The message is love yourself no matter what. To know that each day is an opportunity to practice self-love, which in the midst of grief is unclear. I only know you must love yourself wholly, shadow and light, no matter how imperfect you think you are. The rest will fall into place.
Photography by April Aronoff