She was so absolutely stricken with grief.

Not sadness, but grief that hurt…and cut deep. The kind of grief that made her sick to her stomach and sensitive in her nerves. Grief so gripping that it called for solitude and tears, but so pungent and tangible that it didn’t NEED to wait on anything, any circumstance, or anyone, to make her cry.

She was so stricken with this grief as she approached her 5th birth.

Grief for her births in the past, and grief for the births and deaths of all the black women before and alongside her. Grief that made it impossible to breathe weighed heavily on her and she didn’t really even wish to push it away.

She needed this grief in this moment. It was long overdue.

It was a cleansing grief. A tunnel of grief to clarity. Something had to be done. It was all too unfair.

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