I am mourning dreams.

I am grieving the times I won’t have with my mother. We had so much left to do together. I shed tears for lost love and the hopes of a future that would heal and transform. I lament transitioned friendships and the memories that will never be made. I mourn the loss of first date innocence and excitement because of sexual assault. I am grieving the woman I hoped I would be by now and in the years to come. She is gone and she is never coming back.

I am mourning dreams.

I’m not the only one who has spent time thinking about/grieving/missing what hasn’t happened yet. Brandy and Tamia sang about it. Langston wrote about it. Dreams matter. We build our lives around them…hang our hopes on them and often work hard to make those dreams come true. And many times, we are successful. Graduations, promotions, business openings, book releases, weight loss celebrations and the like are all proof that we can live into dreams. And then there are the times when dreams don’t come true- when things beyond our control force us to watch certain dreams die. And when those dreams are no more, we need the space to grieve.

Grief can take many forms and, if we are honest, many of us are afraid of it. We are afraid of what acknowledging death and loss will do to us. And somehow, we have convinced ourselves that some things aren’t worth grieving- that if we admit losing a particular thing changed us, we are somehow weak and entirely too vulnerable. Yet refusing to accept grief does not make it any less real. Ignoring the pain caused by the loss of hopes and dreams won’t make it go away. There comes a time when we have to face what hurts…when we have to acknowledge how life and circumstances have washed away what we once hoped would be and left us with what we never wanted. It is scary. It is hard. Unfortunately, it is life.

There will be a time, I’m sure, for new dreams. To have renewed hopes and a vision for the future. And I believe that time comes when we are finally able to make peace with letting go of the life we thought would be ours. Maybe mourning those dreams makes room for that. Could it be that grieving what we have lost is our signal to the Divine that we surrender to its will and the ways it has for us? Do the tears we sow over the dreams we have lost water the ground for a much more fertile and beautiful life? I don’t know. I hope so. I believe that our dreams matter. I believe they are the ways we see God, light and love in this world. And when we have to let dreams go, it hurts in more ways than we even admit to ourselves.

…and so, we hurt. We cry. We cuss. We grieve. We mourn. We fight. We fight to live and dream again.

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