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When did you last feel free to be your True Self? That's such an interesting question because I'm not entirely sure I would know what my true self ever looked like. I guess what I mean is that it shifts and changes, morphs into something else as time and experience pass, as I come to understand the world more profoundly, and my place in it. It also shifts in response my emotional self. Ultimately though, I suppose if we strip away the body, then all we are left with is the spirit, and in essence that's my true self.

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Ah there you are. Dana1 I have just worked out how to thank people for sharing. Thank you. 💜

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Oh, Karen. I am so deeply sorry for both of your losses, and listening to these words made me feel the emotion of this evening more keenly. That question is sitting with me. 'If someone told me I could have a child but he would only live for 20 years, would I still have him?' Oh my.

I completely appreciate what you say about grief unmasking us, even if only for a short window of time. Life, though, is never simple and perhaps as much as we would like to imagine sharing our unguarded selves with one another, we often find it impossible to sustain beyond the initial aftermath of a death. And I can only talk about those deaths I've been closest to. Ones involving older relatives. Not young people. Sending love to you and your family.x

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Grief is so complex and unexpected. There is freedom inside of the most terrible circumstances- you no longer have to fear the worst, because it has happened.

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Karen, reading your beautiful post brought tears to my eyes. I’m so sorry for what you have gone through, and continue to go through. Reading about how your grief liberated you for a time really resonated with me. I have had similar experiences - for different reasons. The grief can really disarm you.

Now, to learn to live life without putting too many guards up...that is something I need to practice. I guess being a sensitive, empathetic person makes it that much more difficult to let those guards down, and knowing when it is okay to do so.

Thank you for showing me a different way to think about grief and authenticity.

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