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Something You Shouldn’t Say to a Grieving Friend

The most frustrating thing anyone’s ever said to me while I’m grieving: “It’s part of God’s plan.”

I know, you’re taught to say that, to think that, to use that as an easy-out response so that you don’t actually have to grapple with painful realities. But seriously. Are you trying to make me view God as a sadist? My reaction is to shout at you, “So God wanted this? Can I not even take comfort in the thought of God’s goodness, or the thought of God grieving over horrible things? God’s just some emotionless jerk now?”

So, if “it’s God’s plan” is the only think you can think of to say, then frankly, please do not say anything at all. Also, trying to explain to me that that’s not what that means will be entirely useless. I don’t want to hear your thoughts on how life is just a cosmic game of chess and God is moving the pieces. I am grieving. I want to know that you- and God- are grieving with me. 

SFJs and Moving On

They say that SFJs have an especially hard time ‘moving on’ from things. They say it like an insult (or maybe I just hear it that way because I am so self-critical), but I must defend myself (or rather, argue with myself).

Imagine that your heart is made of rich, vivid memories, and everything- new and old- reminds you of something or someone else. Imagine, then, that you have a long string of memories tied to one person, and then one day you lose that person. 

Your heart does not just forget all those memories. Your mind doesn’t stop reminding you of things. Your heart keeps on working like usual, except that now, all those vivid, rich, constant memories become painful. Now, they constantly remind you of what you’ve lost. 

Of course it is hard to ‘move on.’ I am not made to just skip along from one thing to the next with no attachments to whatever is behind me. I am incapable of forgetting. The only thing that can heal me, thus, is new memories. Once the initial long wave of agony is over, I must make new memories to crowd out the old ones. I can’t forget, but I can let them lose their strength. I make new mental links and now something that once always and only made me think of what I lost makes me think of other things, too.










Robert Smalls was born into slavery in 1839 and at the age of 12 his owner leased him out in Charleston, South Carolina. He gravitated towards working at the docks and on boats and eventually became the equivalent of a pilot, and in late 1861 he found himself assigned to a military transport boat named the CSS Planter.

On May 12, 1862, the white officers decided to spend the night on land. Smalls rounded up the enslaved crew and they hatched a plan, and once the officers were long gone they made a run for it, only stopping to pick up their families (who they notified) along the way. Smalls, disguised as the captain, steered the boat past Confederate forts (including Ft. Sumter) and over to the Union blockade, raising a white sheet his wife took from her job as a hotel maid as a flag of truce. The CSS Planter had a highly valuable code book and all manner of explosives on board.

Smalls ended up serving in the Union Navy and rose to the rank of captain there. He was also one of a number of individuals who talked to Abraham Lincoln about the possibility of African-American soldiers fighting for the Union, which became a reality.

After the war, Smalls bought his owner’s old plantation in Beaufort and even allowed the owner’s sickly wife to move back in until her death. He eventually served in the South Carolina House of Representatives (1865-1870), the South Carolina Senate (1871-1874), and the United States House of Representatives (1875-1879) and represented South Carolina’s 5th District from 1882-1883 and the 7th District from 1884-1887. He and other black politicians also fought against an amendment designed to disenfranchise black voters in 1895, but it unfortunately passed.

Smalls ended his public life by serving as U.S. Collector of Customs in Beaufort from 1889-1911. He died in 1915 at the age of 75.

And now you know Robert Smalls.


Let me hammer this point down. Slaves running away from plantions fighting for the Union army devastated plantations in terms of labor which weaken the south’s economy and immaculately leaded to the South losing the war. And if it was for Robert Smalls convincing Abraham Lincoln to allow former slaves to fight in the Union army slavery might have not have been abolished.

This man Robert Smalls was the man that ended slavery and we never learned his name in school. I heard about him from an article on

Being born a woman is an awful tragedy. Yes, my consuming desire to mingle with road crews, sailors and soldiers, bar room regulars—to be a part of a scene, anonymous, listening, recording—all is spoiled by the fact that I am a girl, a female always in danger of assault and battery. My consuming interest in men and their lives is often misconstrued as a desire to seduce them, or as an invitation to intimacy. Yet, God, I want to talk to everybody I can as deeply as I can. I want to be able to sleep in an open field, to travel west, to walk freely at night.

Sylvia Plath

fuck every single time that last line gets quoted without the rest

(via sadjailbait)

(Source: raccoonwounds)

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