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It's OK That You're Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn't Understand It's OK That You're Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn't Understand by Megan Devine
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“The reality of grief is far different from what others see from the outside. There is pain in this world that you can't be cheered out of. You don't need solutions. You don't need to move on from your grief. You need someone to see your grief, to acknowledge it. You need someone to hold your hands while you stand there in blinking horror, staring at the hole that was your life. Some things cannot be fixed. They can only be carried.”
Megan Devine, It's OK That You're Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn't Understand
“Some things cannot be fixed; they can only be carried. Grief like yours, love like yours, can only be carried.

Survival in grief, even eventually building a new life alongside grief, comes with the willingness to bear witness, both to yourself and to the others who find themselves inside this life they didn’t see coming. Together, we create real hope for ourselves,
and for one another. We need each other to survive.

I wish this for you: to find the people you belong with, the ones who will see your pain, companion you, hold you close,
even as the heavy lifting of grief is yours alone. As hard as they may seem to find at times, your community is out there. Look
for them. Collect them. Knit them into a vast flotilla of light that can hold you.”
Megan Devine, It's OK That You're Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn't Understand
“There is not a reason for everything. Not every loss can be transformed into something useful. Things happen that do not have a silver lining.”
Megan Devine, It's OK That You're Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn't Understand
“We need to talk about the hierarchy of grief. You hear it all the time—no grief is worse than any other. I don’t think that’s one bit true. There is a hierarchy of grief. Divorce is not the same as the death of a partner. Death of a grandparent is not
the same as the death of a child. Losing your job is not the same as losing a limb.

Here’s the thing: every loss is valid. And every loss is not the same. You can’t flatten the landscape of grief and say that
everything is equal. It isn’t.

It’s easier to see when we take it out of the intensely personal: stubbing your toe hurts. It totally hurts. For a moment, the pain can be all-consuming. You might even hobble for a while. Having your foot ripped off by a passing
freight train hurts, too. Differently. The pain lasts longer. The injury needs recovery time, which may be uncertain or complicated. It affects and impacts your life moving forward. You can’t go back to the life you had before you became a
one-footed person. No one would say these two injuries are exactly the same.”
Megan Devine, It's OK That You're Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn't Understand
“When you try to take someone's pain away from them, you don't make it better. You just tell them it's not OK to talk about their pain.”
Megan Devine, It's OK That You're Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn't Understand
“Acknowledgment--being seen and heard and witnessed inside the truth about one's own life--is the only real medicine of grief.”
Megan Devine, It's OK That You're Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn't Understand
“The cult of positivity we have does everyone a disservice. It leads us to believe we’re more in charge of the world than we are, and holds us responsible for every pain and heartbreak we endure. It sets up a one-false-move world, in which we must be careful not to upset the gods, or karma, or our bodies with our thoughts and intentions.”
Megan Devine, It's OK That You're Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn't Understand
“What we all share in common - the real reason for this book - is a desire to love better. To love ourselves in the midst of great pain, and to love another when the pain of this life grows too large for one person to hold. This book offers the skills needed to make that kind of love a reality.”
Megan Devine, It's OK That You're Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn't Understand
“Every loss is valid. And every loss is not the same. You can't flatten the landscape of grief and say that everything is equal. It isn't.”
Megan Devine, It's OK That You're Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn't Understand
“True comfort in grief is in acknowledging the pain, not in trying to make it go away. Companionship, not correction, is the way forward.”
Megan Devine, It's OK That You're Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn't Understand
“Some things cannot be fixed. They can only be carried.”
Megan Devine, It's OK That You're Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn't Understand
“Grief is visceral, not reasonable: the howling at the center of grief is raw and real. It is love in its most wild form.”
Megan Devine, It's OK That You're Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn't Understand
“If you can't tell your story to another human, find another way: journal, paint, make your grief into a graphic novel with a very dark storyline. Or go out to the woods and tell the trees. It is an immense relief to be able to tell your story without someone trying to fix it. The trees will not ask, "How are you really?" and the wind doesn't care if you cry.”
Megan Devine, It's OK That You're Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn't Understand
“Things like "Everything happens for a reason" and "You'll become a stronger/kinder/more compassionate person because of this" brings out rage in grieving people. Nothing makes a person angrier than when they know they're being insulted but can't figure out how.
It's not just erasing your current pain that makes words of comfort land so badly. There's a hidden subtext in those statements about becoming a better, kinder, and more compassionate because of your loss, that often-used phrase about knowing what's "truly important in life" now that you've learned how quickly life can change.
The unspoken second half of the sentence in this case says you needed this somehow. It says that you weren't aware of what was important in life before this happened. It says that you weren't kind, compassionate, or aware enough in your life before this happened. That you needed this experience in order to develop or grow, that you needed this lesson in order to step into your "true path" in life.
As though loss and hardship were the only ways to grow as a human being. As though pain were the only doorway to a better, deeper life, the only way to be truly compassionate and kind.”
Megan Devine, It's OK That You're Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn't Understand
“Grief can be incredibly lonely. Even when people show up and love you as best they can, they aren’t really with you in this. They can’t be. It so very much sucks that, in large part, you are in this alone. And also, you can’t do this alone.”
Megan Devine, It's OK That You're Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn't Understand
“We've got this idea that there are only two options in grief: you're either going to be stuck in your pain, doomed to spend the rest of your life rocking in a corner in your basement wearing sackcloth, or you're going to triumph over grief, be transformed, and come back even better than you were before.
Just two options. On, off. Eternally broken or completely healed.
It doesn't seem to matter that nothing else in life is like that. Somehow when it comes to grief, the entire breadth of human experience goes out the window.”
Megan Devine, It's OK That You're Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn't Understand
“What we need to remember -- as a working practice -- is to honor all griefs. Honor all losses, small and not small. Life changing and moment changing. And then, not to compare them. That all people experience pain is not medicine for anything.”
Megan Devine, It's OK That You're Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn't Understand
“By simply stating the truth, we open conversations about grief, which are really conversations about love. We start to love one another better. We begin to overhaul the falsely redemptive storyline that has us, as a culture and as individuals, insist that there's a happy ending everywhere if only we look hard enough. We stop blaming each other for our pain, and instead, work together to change what can be changed, and withstand what can't be fixed. We get more comfortable with hearing the truth, even when the truth breaks our hearts.”
Megan Devine, It's OK That You're Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn't Understand
“When someone you love dies, you don't just lose them in the present or in the past. You lose the future you should have had, and might have had, with them. They are missing from all the life that was to be.”
Megan Devine, It's OK That You're Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn't Understand
“Grief is not an enlightenment program for a select few. No one needs intense, life-changing, loss to become whoever they are "meant" to be. The universe is not causal in that way: you need to become something, so life gives you this horrible experience in order to make it happen.”
Megan Devine, It's OK That You're Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn't Understand
“All those encouragements from others about having so much to live for, that there's still goodness to come in your life --- they feel irrelevant. They kind of are irrelevant. You can't cheerlead yourself out of the depths of grief.”
Megan Devine, It's OK That You're Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn't Understand
“Love with open hands, with an open heart, knowing that what is given to you will die. It will change. Love anyway. You witness incredible pain in this life. Love anyway.”
Megan Devine, It's OK That You're Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn't Understand
“Grief is not a sign that you’re unwell or unevolved. It’s a sign that love has been part of your life, and that you want love to continue, even here.”
Megan Devine, It's OK That You're Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn't Understand
“There are losses that rearrange the world. Deaths that change the way you see everything, grief that tears everything down. Pain that transports you to an entirely different universe, even while everyone else thinks nothing has really changed.”
Megan Devine, It's OK That You're Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn't Understand
“Zephyr”
Megan Devine, It's OK That You're Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn't Understand