Gratefulness in a Time of Grief

I’m utterly devastated, and the worse is still ahead. It additionally feels like coming to the mostly bitter end of the last few years of my life, which have revolved around multiple cancer diagnosis of most of my nearest and dearest and chronic underemployment for me as I scrambled to provide them with care. There’s no silver lining to watching my loves suffer so much, for so long. Those whose remission consolidated are forever accompagnated by a bruised and battered understanding of the fragility of their health. I don’t pretend I can (yet?) capture the experience of those who never went into remission.

Family funerals since starting medical transition have been a layered experience. Some of my eldest relatives’ friends were disturbed when I was presented as a relative, others thought their dementia was getting the best of them. I was asked to not attend the last one for it would upset those closest to the deceased.

At least this time, no one will be assessing the legitimacy of my relationship because of my health history or gender. His two closest friends are community who helped him achieve tolerance, which is as close to acceptance as could ever be hoped for him.

I am grateful to past me for sticking it out in therapy and support groups for all the years I went regularly, and for resolving my dysphoria no later than I did. I’m profoundly sad, but at least getting dressed in morning, showing up as myself and doing what I can isn’t framed by my former Herculean battle with myself just to manage those basics. My autoimmune stuff is converting this distress into fuel to set as much of my body ablaze as it can, perish the thought of the state I’d be in if there was dysphoria on top.

I’m also grateful for my partner’s and community’s support. My hope for our future is the Phoenix amidst the ashes raining down on me.

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