I paired it with a beachy blowout and honey highlights. Lacquered it beneath a peachy nude lip and a smile. Wore it under an outfit that wasn’t supposed to still fit. Held it in a body that grew new life and then didn’t. Packed it in suitcase taking me to a different future than the one I envisioned when we planned the trip. I wore it on the inside. Like a t-shirt bra that doesn’t actually support but fits fine — until one day the underwire pokes out and cuts you. How do you wear grief? I didn’t know which clutch to clutch in it. And one day it all spilled out.
The first time I cried in public was a Saturday. Inconveniently at a summit for leaders, entrepreneurs, makers, dreamers. I wanted some space from the programming and looked for a dark, quiet room. I stumbled accidentally into a Restoring Yourself Through Balance session in the women’s lounge. I sat alone on a couch in the back just breathing… less than half listening, more than half trying to maintain mastery of my emotions.
A woman in a flower crown sat down on the other end of the couch and she had no partner for an exercise. I felt bad that she would miss the experience, and when she smiled at me, I ignored my instinct to avoid interaction and hesitantly offered to participate with her.
Next we were asked to take turns in a small group and share something we felt was lacking within. And when it came to my turn, my grief suddenly presented itself and, despite my full resistance, poured out of me.
And I was so so unprepared.
I couldn’t find the words, the language, for it. I couldn’t speak at all. It was like my body and then my mind betrayed me. I could only close my eyes and shake my head. Buried in its depth and magnitude.
Finally I apologized. I’m so sorry, I said. For our collective discomfort. For an emotional unraveling I did not see coming. But really for so much more…
The second time I cried came just a day later after a conversation with new friends about purpose and afterlife and consciousness and connectedness.
After parting ways, I walked into the summit meadow and a song I never heard was playing in the background. The music paralyzed me, and I felt it deep in that raw exposed unhealed part of me.
I froze and tears started to roll down my cheeks. Slowly this time.
And even though there were people around, I searched frantically on my phone to see if it still had shazam. Do phones even still have that.
“You can paint these wings and make me fly…” The art for Painter/Valentine by Lapsley appeared.
It occurred to me that maybe the song was a message. From my grandmother and great aunt who I had just minutes before spoken about, who I would love to see again one day. Or maybe someone else. Someone I never got to meet.
And like an out of body experience, I texted Nico: “Having a hard moment. Out of nowhere again. I know it’s probably just rebalancing hormones. But I feel very sad all at once. I just get hit by these emotions. I think it was talking about seeing loved ones in the layers, and now I’m wondering if the baby existed as a person and if the baby would meet us there.”
In the near distance I saw a private space, an actual sanctuary, and made it there in time for the pain to hit my heart, so sharp and uncontainable it seeped out of my eyes, heavy thick tears.
I had been doing so well in the weeks since learning our family would no longer be growing. Why was this happening now.
A woman there asked if I needed a hug, and language again failed me. I couldn’t respond. So I just tried my best, little by little, to release the grief through the tears leaving me.
I was offered a private room where shadows from a lace window shade gently comforted me alone in the dark. Until finally I could breathe again. And think again. And sit with my grief and accept it not as against me but as part of me.
Originally posted on Instagram on November 18, 2019
NOTE: This post is not sponsored. All thoughts are unbiased and my own. All photos and content are property of Lauren Cosenza Beauty LLC.
Lauren Cosenza consults for top brands, websites, and magazines and serves as a trusted beauty/fashion/mom expert, a brand ambassador, an on-camera personality and spokesperson, a creative director, a published editorial contributor and writer, the creator and owner of DIVAlicious®, the creator and owner of BEAUTYfull®, a product junkie and an insatiable beauty and style seeker — with a former life at Cosmopolitan, Shape and Bustle/BDG brands. She currently runs Señor Lechuga Hot Sauce with her husband and baby boy as the Co-Founder + Head of Brand.