To Do While Grieving List

1. Shower ever day. Even if you have to cry through it.

2. Put on clean clothes, even if they aren’t your favorites. Or do laundry, and wear only your favorites.

3. Behave well toward Kristen. She loves you, you love her, even if you are numb and can’t remember.

4. Write. Because it heals you. Because you can’t do anything else. Because it makes the most sense. Because it is your deepest practice, your deepest craft.

4a. Take a class, make some art, take up time.

5. Run. When you want to get away from yourself and these emotions, get them out of your body. Go back to boxing class. Take out the anger on something else.

6. Grow the fuck up. Behave like an adult. Stop the self-pity. Stop the over-indulgence of your feelings. Stop taking yourself so seriously.

7. Read. Read poetry if you can’t get into long things. Read indulgently. Read grief memoirs and buddhist philosophy and ttantra and open up to healing. Ask yourself, what do I need to do to heal today. Read more.

8. Work. Set reminders in your phone for appointment times because you can’t keep track of time. Calendar everything. Make work a priority. Finish projects. Make art. Focus on this, if nothing else.

8a. Don’t publish over-indulgent blog posts that attempt to tell the “whole story” and draw some conclusion. Write poetry. Write about feelings. Write about love and sex and grief and loss and abandonment, how scary it is to watch Kristen bloom, and how much it matters to let her. Learn what over-indulgent blog posts look like, so that when you do write them, you don’t hit “publish.”

9. Go outside. Feel the earth. Drink water.

10. Pray. You are not alone, even though you feel you are. Faith is when you see no hope, and you do it anyway. Times like this are why we practice. Lean on your practices. Everything is temporary.

11. Behave well toward yourself. Take care of your body. Eat well. Nourish. Buy a fancy new soap so showers suck less. Make a list of your favorite foods, then eat them. Start watching a new TV series when you can’t be in your brain anymore. Be alone when you need to be. Practice impeccable self-care. Forgive everyone, and maybe yourself most of all.

Published by Sinclair Sexsmith

Sinclair Sexsmith (they/them) is "the best-known butch erotica writer whose kinky, groundbreaking stories have turned on countless queers" (AfterEllen), who "is in all the books, wins all the awards, speaks at all the panels and readings, knows all the stuff, and writes for all the places" (Autostraddle). ​Their short story collection, Sweet & Rough: Queer Kink Erotica, was a 2016 finalist for a Lambda Literary Award, and they are the current editor of the Best Lesbian Erotica series. They identify as a white non-binary butch dominant, a survivor, and an introvert, and they live outside Seattle as an uninvited settler on traditional, ancestral, & unceded Snoqualmie land.

9 thoughts on “To Do While Grieving List”

  1. DeeJay says:

    Outside of over indulgent blog posts, it seems us two have the same list. It’s nice to see someone else deals with it in about the same way.

  2. femmefulloflove says:

    Lots of love to you and Kristen! I know you will come through this. I struggle with this all the time, many hugs and lovely wishes and sparkles and cheer to you both!

  3. jaxxy says:

    I needed this. x

  4. Kadie says:

    I’ve never thought of your posts as overindulgent. I appreciate that you share so much of your raw, honest self. That’s a rare thing these days. For every self doubt you have, there are at least double that amount that your writing has healed, inspired, or touched. I don’t always comment but I am always moved. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other. At some point in your life, it will be just one of the difficult parts of your journey… Another thing you thought you’d never lie through, but here you are on the other side. Sending light your way and praying that you find some peace.

  5. Attaboy.

    Except, I hope for many more overindulgent blog posts on all kinds of subjects, so, you know, just sayin…

    One breath at a time.

  6. CK says:

    Add to list: DO NOT BEAT YOURSELF up for self-indulgent blog posts that were a necessary purge of what you have held inside for weeks. Welcome back. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. Each and every step is important, even the lengthy ones.

  7. Robin says:

    What everyone else said (or in case this isn’t evident, the super nice things posted prior to my post). For whatever it may be worth from a stranger, I’m a fan of your work, including your grief posts, and I’m sorry for your loss. You are wonderful and valuable and needed. Please keep taking care of yourself in whatever way you see fit!

  8. Kyle says:

    I would like to emphatically agree with CK and others: don’t sweat the self-indulgence! It’s alright, it’s part of the process, let yourself have a lavish pity party when you want one. Then clean up the mess and get on with life. In my experience, the only thing avoiding pity parties does is make them inevitable and even bigger than they would otherwise be. So let off the pressure once in a while, curl up with your blankie and let it go. You’re always going to be judging yourself more harshly than the people who love you will.

  9. e says:

    12. Cut yourself some slack. The only way over is through and it’s hard. Know that and accept that you’ll be a mess sometimes and it’s ok. There’s no timetable for grief.

    At least, that’s what I tell myself.

    And, I’m … ok. And you are too, at least sometimes.


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