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  • Writer's pictureAshley Gray

Misty Blue

Today has been tough. Awful, actually. I slipped into a funk. A deep dark place. I wouldn't call it a familiar place, but I've been here a few times in my life. Truth is... I'm up to my eyeballs in grief. Since I started this program, I've lost family members, friends and relationships. There's something about a doctoral program that makes you feel like you're in a holding pattern. Like life is going on without you. Like everything that you want and need happens after you get the degree.


I've struggled to celebrate any recent accomplishments. Not because I want to be Eeyore, but because life right now doesn't seem like a celebration. Between the constant coverage of COVID-19 and the social media antics that accompany it- I'm heartbroken. Every time my tv is on a local station, I am forced to see an increase in COVID-19 related deaths. Today DC made it to over 3,500. That's 3,500 people gone. 3,500 households disrupted. At least 3,501 hearts broken. I'm the 1. I grieve every death during this time as if I'm apart of some mourner's circle. I feel them all. I'm not sure why. And I'm not sure how to make it stop.


It's hard trying to be productive in the middle of this mess. And while I know I don't have to be go-go-get-em Robot Ashley, I still have to be productive. That's the lie we aren't telling. My job expects productivity, my school expects it and I have been wired to work. As I come undone in the 4 walls of my treehouse apartment between picking myself apart of weight gain or struggle to put my phone down, I know today I need a little more grace than other days. A little more love than yesterday.


I want God to make it stop. My prayer today with tears streaming was, "Please no more deaths, please no more deaths." And while I know some of my foolishness bounces off the ceilings, I really hope this one gets through to the call line in heaven. There is something terribly tragic about losing someone and then not being able to even give them a proper burial. It makes my soul ache. I want it to stop. And I know God is able.


Black and Native folk are dying at disproportionate rates. And I think about all that we have endured and this hurts me more. How much more can we take? Truly, I get scared to bring a little human into this world knowing that my power to soften the blow of racism is minimal. I don't want my role to be placing salve on my baby's wounds because of hatred. This makes me question God. Not God's love, but rather God's plan. How can this work for our good? The only peace I have from this question is perhaps God defines good differently than I do. So maybe I need to see it from God's eyes because this right here- this ain't it.


I have hope that tomorrow will present itself with new mercies and grace. And perhaps I won't be as blue. Maybe I'll wake up to the sun on my face knowing that I'm still here. Maybe smiles won't feel forced. And maybe just maybe no one else will die. I don't know what it'll bring, but I'll tap into my reserve jars of hope that tomorrow will be just what I need it to be.

Love y'all. Take care of your whole selves.

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