The pain, the grief, the loss
Is felt at the core of our souls.
We live with grief. Every day.
Beyond the dirty past, beneath the hard scars are fresh wounds
We live with them. Every day.
Grief is our second rib.
Our constant companion
Existing without her is unfathomable

She is there in December amidst celebrations of birth and Christ
In January and new beginnings.
Reminding us of missing families to share the feast with.

We shake her hands in July when hats are thrown up in the air with joy
And she reminds us that a parent’s pride is something we will live without.

We peak at her in August when love is the chorus to an incomplete song
Reminding us that forever was the bridge and it is no more.

We play hide and seek all year
We convince ourselves that this time we have managed to part ways,
That we have moved on and happiness can totally be embraced.
She waits patiently for us knowing that this will always be a dream unfulfilled
She knows the time we stop denying.

The time we allow ourselves to let go and wail.
The time when we gather as a couple and allow us to be seen in public.
The time we walk with hands held and heads laid on each other’s chests.
That time she knows we will never forget,
Not because we love her, but because we know we can never live without her
That time she knows, the whole world will know how we are feeling.
That time. That is forever engrained in our hearts.
She waits with open arms. Always.
Grief knows. Mourning lasts for seven days but grief stands time.

It never gets easier, but we get better.

We get better at coping. We get better at living.
We get better at surviving. We get better at striving.
We get better at telling our truth. Our truth. Not the world’s.
We get better at grieving at our pace. At our time. Our way.
We get better at rising up. With our heads held high, arms on our hips
Ready to take the world by its nipples.
We get better at rising even when the world says we don’t deserve it.
We get better at proving them wrong just like when they stood by.
We get better at setting our table and eating from it.
We get better at rising. We get better at being the Rwandans.

For us and our children:
May we get better at healing. Each other. Because we are all we have.
May get better at seeking and finding healing.
May we get better at being whole as a nation and a people.
May healing be our name. Thrive our identity. Resilience our root.
May healing be our flowerbed.

It never gets easier, but we get better each day.