"This is how I feel with the What If UP community. My heart is safe here."

stories Feb 11, 2022

Adrianna in Ypsilanti, Michigan

Adriana is a neuro-scientist and #whatifupper. She joined us for our Spoken Word Open Mic night to share a poem she wrote following the death of her father, and shared how The What If UP community provided a safe place to grieve and to share:

"What I want to share tonight is a poem that is actually very sad. What I want to do is emphasize the fact that I'm sharing it because this is a community where I feel safe.

I went through some grief, and it's very deep. And I would not share this with just anyone. I'm sharing because I feel safe here. And this is what the community represents to me.

I'm sharing a poem that is called, "A Home Among the Stars."

Home is slowly moving away.

Without asking, with no warning, Home is making its way to a place among the stars. First grandpa left, his cooked greens and playful pranks, not to be seen or heard again.

In their place, Nothing but eerie blanks.

Then Grandma went, like the soft breeze that cools the skin, her absence, left a cold dent right in the middle of my heart.

Now daddy said, "It's my turn, Kid."

I pray that God takes this pain away. And so he passed, he rested in peace. He said,"N o worries. With the Lord, I'll be okay."

Some people talk excitedly about moving. They fill up houses.They buy many things. They get bored. They call the garbage man. They throw it all and hit the road again.

But my house is the one that is moving. Piece by piece, brick by brick with the foundation plot. Where should I now stick? For the time is long before I go. That is at least what I hope. Yet it means life without them. All I can do is try and cope. Mother said to me, "This cup of powers is looking Toothless. Kernels dropping off one by one. We are ever more less. But this is life, dear Daughter. Remember what grandma said: It is only pain that reminds you that you are not yet dead.

Mendhi, can you come back?

Thank you. And thank you so much for allowing me this. That's usually not the kind of content that I would share. I'm usually talking about the brain and connection and how happy we can get, but this is part of life too. And what I love about the community is that we have each other. This I wrote after the death of my father and there's a lot of people that don't know that my dad died because I didn't want to share in every kind of like the usual circles. Because, you know, to hear platitudes to hear the I'm sorry that people feel that they have to grieve, that's not the real sharing.

The real sharing comes with a community that you choose and the people that you choose to be with and that you think, "My heart is safe with you."

This is how I feel with the What If UP community. My heart is safe here. And that's why I made this choice today.

It all goes back to smiles because I am so happy and excited to be part of this community and to be here today. So thank you so much for this."