Photo by Mat Reding on Unsplash

My grandfather “Groompa” died this week. As I reflect on it, I find I am quick to explain away “He was 91. He had a long run.” 

This is true. But the fuller truth is that I am sad. This is a piece of me that is gone. This is another person I will never see again. It’s painful to really absorb that. So I explain it away. I find some project to bury myself in. (See: Kindling’s new website!)

But what’s really most helpful for me in sad times – whether it be a death, the Amazon burning, or the wrong person getting elected – is to make a home for my grief, to nurture it, to let it be seen and voiced. Because if I don’t, I know it will lash out at me. It will find a way to infiltrate and corrupt the places in me where I keep and grow my joy, gratitude, energy, and purpose just to make sure it is seen.

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Peter Schulte is the founder and editor of Kindling. Peter is also Senior Digital Engagement Associate for the Pacific Institute and the UN Global Compact's CEO Water Mandate, connecting businesses to sustainable water practices. Peter holds a B.S. in Conservation and Resource Studies and a B.A. in Comparative Literature from University of California, Berkeley, and an M.B.A. in Sustainable Systems from Pinchot University. He lives in Bellingham, WA, USA with his wife, son, and cat.


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