Orbits of Loss (and Other Miseducations)


Diriye Osman

Beloved reader, Oftentimes, when we're ensconced deep in depression, we will be told by many a loved one that our losses are lessons; that by dint of our polychromatic grief, we will have gained something.

This pseudo-filtration process is presented as a pure state of existing in the world, and it is almost always framed as Oprah-lite aphorisms and new age word salads. Loss is not a lesson. It never was. It is a wound that sometimes takes years, decades even, to suture, let alone heal. To deny the saber's cut as anything less than an injury would be doing a disservice to your personhood. Acknowledgement of the pain helps, but only you will know how best to spin this morna. This self-directed permission is freedom, beloved reader. We might learn something about ourselves during the restoration process or we might not. Only you, in all your infinite wisdom, will know how to anchor yourself in the wake of your grief. Only you, in all your infinite wisdom, will know what your brain and body needs. Only you, in all your infinite wisdom, will know how your heart murmurs late at night, seized by longing or regret or the rush of forgiveness. In this season of misinformation and mass deaths, please don't feel pressured into thinking your sadness is some kind of moral or intellectual lack. It isn't. It is a cruel aspect of being cognizant.

The good news is that you have choices: seek support and solidarity and kinship in order to carry through or hug your hurt. Either way, the choice is yours, and this matters. May you know peace, beloved reader. May you remain connected to your sense of discernment even when daily living tries to disorient you. May you understand that your body is yours, your sexuality is yours, your humanity is yours, your dreams are yours, your dopeness is yours. May you continue to glint and dazzle during this miraculous lifetime. With love, Diriye DIRIYE OSMAN'S new book, The Butterfly Jungle, is out now and can be ordered via these global retailers: https://bit.ly/3L9SLR4


Song of the moment: 'Melt' by KEHLANI.