The 24 hours since the election results have brought back memories of the grieving process I experienced following the loss of my mother last year. Grief is coming in waves in the form of anger, disbelief, regret, sadness, isolation and mostly loss. Not just loss in terms of the number of electoral votes, but a loss of something that was once a part of me.

I felt so hopeful for our future, as I believe Hillary Clinton would have promoted equality while working to fight misogyny and rape culture in this country. But instead I am struck by fear as our president-elect, Donald Trump, and his intolerance do not encourage progress in this country.

My heart breaks for women, minorities, LGBTQ community members, immigrants, Muslims and impoverished Americans as a result of this election. But it also hurts to know that about half of my fellow Americans support an unqualified bigot, who also happens to be a xenophobe, fraud and possible sexual predator who denies the legitimacy of climate change. As Americans we share a unifying identity, but I have never felt so disconnected or divided.

However, I do feel very fortunate to live in a supportive community that has given me a place to express my grief, anger and disbelief recently. As you are overwhelmed with emotions and decisions, I encourage you to take the time you need and to grieve at your own pace.

You don’t have to follow anyone else’s expectations. You can remain sad for weeks or months, you don’t have to feel ready to move on right away and you don’t have to put a positive spin on this horrific situation. Be present, express your feelings and seek empathy in those who are grieving and hurting around you.

Hilary Forsley

Portland


EDITOR’S NOTE: Comments have been disabled on this letter because of personal attacks.