grief stricken

this past week, I have experienced what it means to be grief stricken.

on Sunday we found out Blair is dead, Blair the poet laureate of the allied media community, Blair the Michael Jackson scholar, Blair the singer songwriter, Blair the youth worker, Blair of the bear hug, Blair with the voice of an ancient oak coming out of the winter.

and perhaps because the news came so quickly after my grandfather’s passing, most of me jumped up to another place as soon as I saw the news coming, the look of death news is a very particular and recognizable look. I decided it was a mistake, initially. it took some time for me to believe…it wasn’t until I had to tell other people that I began to believe.

because we just…and I just…and he just…we were just alive together just a moment ago. and he was so good at being alive, lively, sort of breathless and magic and massive. and generous. and genius. and we had things to discuss still.

with my grandfather I had some heads up. years of heads up in fact, years of near death experiences to prepare me.

Blair baby what the fuck. what the fuck?

so this week has been coming face to face with this sadness, anger, shock, aching, weeping stuff that is love moving through the process of grief. basically everyone I know in Detroit, and many people I know in other places, were touched by Blair. so all we can do right now is shrug, and sigh, and speculate, and succumb to the next step.

we try and go about our lives and then wash back into the ocean of grief, then forward again, and back.

other things happened this week. my nephew is learning to read. he isn’t yet 3, so this means his geniusness is no longer simply my opinion, but something objective. right? but…

Blair is dead.

no! no, no…

Blair is dead.

I just came home from a hearing with the historical designation something of Detroit, who approved making my friend grace boggs’ house a historical landmark. it was a hilarious and lovely affair where grace pitched them her book and everyone talked about how grace has transformed their lives and what Detroit means in american movement. it was uplifting…but.

Blair is dead.


Blair is dead.

it’s amazing how many times my mind has moved over memories of him and my skin has shivered up, because that’s what he did to me.

we were just getting started, I thought. I have regrets…we could have…

this is all love, I know, all it’s formations. under all the anger and sadness, it’s love. my mother has been modeling love-based grieving in the loss of her father, and it has been amazing to understand that it is possible.

it is possible to not ask why. to not ask how. to accept that it is true that this person is not here in the way you have known them, and never will be again. and to just go straight into the love you felt for them.

the love i feel is expressing itself as longing and sadness, wanting the sensual: the smell, the feel, the completely singular sound of the two men I currently mourn.

with my grandfather, my sadness quickly shifted to relief, even joy. he believed in heaven so hard that I know it manifested for him, and I know the misery of his late years is relieved, and I just know he’s good. it feels like he has told me this himself in many ways since his transition, little things that only he would have made me notice in the world.

but blair? I don’t have a way for this to end, no closure, to this piece or to this experience, or to this relationship. it feels thoroughly undone and not enough and I am one of many people in Detroit who just want him back, and that is all.

someday I am sure I will drop to that next spiritual level, and remember nothing is promised, being present is what matters. someday I may even be able to consider things like…perhaps Blair had so much magic because he had such a short time to share it. or, of course, that there is no death.

but I’m not there. I’m greedy. I want more Blair.

and Blair is dead.


Blair is dead.