“Grief Brut” : Raw Grief

IMG_7779There is a kind of art called Art Brut, literally “raw art.” It describes art that defies the rules of traditional or popular culture. Art that is not tidy and acceptable but raw and wild. Often referred to as “Outsider Art,” it’s expression that has not been edited or sanitized or applauded but has found a way out of one’s heart and into the world.

What about Grief Brut. Raw grief. Can we create a space for grief that does not fit within societal paradigms, stages or expectations; for grief expression that is not edited, sanitized or applauded but courageously finds a way out of our hearts and into the world anyway.

It seems the more I invite in this conversation with grief the more she has to say. My role is to listen and at times to speak for her. There is nothing easy about this conversation with grief but there is everything honest about it. Honest doesn’t always fit politely between hello and goodbye. Honest is often messy, raw, and uncomfortable.

Written, voiced, drawn or made, can we welcome our raw and heartbreaking stories of loss? Can we listen to them without looking away or looking for the happy ending? Perhaps if we pave a road for grief to travel and walk beside her for a time we will one day realize she is not an imposter but one of our own.

The full version of this piece appeared on The Huffington Post.

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