On Loss, Grief, Collective Trauma, and Rising From the Ashes

What I am realizing is that we can barely begin to reckon the collective trauma of our generation, because it is still unfolding in real time. The wound is still open, and sadists are playing in the wound.

In the early hours of October 16th, or what we call the middle of the night, my beloved cat Coco died. 

She was at home, with me, my partner Will, and our son, who was sleeping.

I knew she was dying. I chose to let her die with me, at home, with us, and not on a cold metal table at the vet’s, almost an hour away. I didn’t even think about it — I just let it be, and let her be.

I cuddled her and held her, and gave her love, radically accepting that this was it, even though that morning, I thought she was going to heal from her illness, like last time, and that my 15 year old cat would live to be 22, or beyond.

I cannot bring myself to write all the details for you; in my immense grief, I have written them all privately. But instead, I would like to share with you what I am learning about grief, life, loss and love, in losing my feline companion.

Coco.

Losing Coco has unlocked an ocean of grief inside of me. The suffering of her last weeks, and especially last hours, was traumatic, and that needs to be processed. Not having her with me anymore, or with my little family who loved her dearly, is another process entirely. And trying to find the space to recall the wonderfulness of her being and fully accept those memories with more joy than sadness, is another.

In the morning in the winter shade
On the first of March, on the holiday

I thought I saw you breathing

The ocean of grief also flows into the immense losses of the past few years. There are many, and I am sure many of you will resonate with them. What I am realizing, is that we can barely begin to reckon the collective trauma of our generation, because it is still unfolding in real time. The wound is still open, and sadists are playing in the wound.

I find myself tapping into my grief in the quiet moments, like when I am driving in the car. I have been listening to one of my favourite albums, one that takes me back to the era of when Coco was a kitten, during my budding independence. Illinoise, by Sufjan Stevens. It is a musical masterpiece. Casamir Pulaski Day, the song I am quoting in this article, evokes the death of a friend. The tear-jerking song is followed by a neat little transition instrumental, and then brings you back to joy with a loud and celebratory upbeat number. The album is like a ride through life, transporting you through all kinds of themes and emotions, with an underlying spiritual motif. It is complex and full of wonder. In fact, the first song in the album came to me in the moments before giving birth to our son.

His birth was the most extraordinarily incredible, powerful, awesome and miraculous event. So many mothers, fathers, and babies are robbed of this sacred bliss due to the over-medicalization norm. By treating childbirth as some kind of medical emergency, they cause so much stress, unnecessary intervention, interruption, and trauma. Giving birth for most women throughout the covid hysteria, in the hospital setting and even at home, was trauma on steroids. It was disclosed to me, at about 7 months pregnant, that atrocities were taking place with all the protocols put in place “for our safety”. 

I wrote a piece on it here, and spent the remainder of my pregnancy as an activist for other pregnant women, and those that had recently given birth and been abused by the human instruments of the system. I didn’t have a baby shower. I went to the grocery store, surrounded by masked masses who accosted and harassed me for not wearing a mask. The hospital I was originally going to give birth in pre-emptively threatened to kick my husband out if he didn’t comply with whatever they needed him to do (wear a mask at all times, stay 6 feet apart). They assured me their crazy covid policies were scientific, like PCR swabbing newborns if you were a ‘suspected case’, distancing mothers and babies if you were a ‘suspected case’, dousing hand sanitizer on mother’s breasts, forced mask wearing, and more— you can read about it in my linked article. In the end, I was essentially kicked out of my OBGyn’s practice via guise of “we think you would feel more comfortable giving birth at home”. 

They ended up being right! 

My midwives, who knew of my stance and advocacy, came for a wellness check two days after our son was born. They told me how at the very same hospital, the day after I gave birth, a ‘patient’ was in active labour when they prodded her with a thermometer, found she had a fever, and interrupted her labour to give her a PCR test!Because of that, her labour slowed down, and they had to give her an emergency C-section, under full anesthesia, and no husband present because COVID. So neither parent witnessed the birth of their child. Even worse, the working paediatrician took the baby for a series of ‘tests’ without the parents consent. The midwives were scouring their manual, begging the doctor to give the baby back, emphasizing that if the mother woke up without her baby there, she would begin a natural mourning process — as if her baby was dead — that would cause irreparable bonding damage.

The sacred rites of birth, and of dying, destroyed by sadists. I don’t care if you are following orders, if you engage in or enforce this lunacy, you are a sadist or a sadist’s collaborator. 

Both of my grandparents died during the covid hysteria. When the covid programme was first unrolled, I knew that they would not make it through the end. I knew that it would kill them, in one way or another. And you know what? I never thought it would be covid that would kill them.

My grandmother was a cancer survivor, having had breast cancer multiple times, then a mastectomy, was cancer free for almost two decades. In late 2019, she moved out of her house and into a kind of retirement community, with nurses on staff. She was soon in lockdown, never seeing family except outside the window occasionally. She deteriorated very quickly, always having been sharp as a knife, she began to show signs of cognitive decline. She took two or three jabs, whatever they told her to do (or mandated, God knows), and developed aggressive liver cancer, dying within weeks of her diagnosis. 

We drove to see her at a small suburban hospital where they graced ‘the unvaccinated’ with an exceptional allowance to see her, only because she was dying and we were family. My baba and I were very close, born only ten days apart, and we used to spend so much time together. I would go over to her house and sprawl myself and all her National Enquirer tabloids across the floor, trying to solve the Jon Benet murder case.

Baba and me.

Her face was sunken in, to the bones. Her beautiful skin, smile, all were gone. She was dying, and we all knew she was going to die. Her eyes opened only one time, to see our son once, and they were the colour of death. I sang her “You are my sunshine”, because that was the song she sang to me when I was a little girl. I told her about old memories, about her brother waiting for her in heaven, about all the good things. I sang to her and I held her, and I took off the ridiculous gloves, mask, face shield, and the hospital staff were gracious enough to turn a blind eye. I held her hand. I cried, knowing no one had touched her, she hadn’t seen any faces, she hadn’t had any human contact, and this is what she needed. Love, and human connection. How can we let anyone take this from us?

What I also realized, in those moments we spent together, was that dying and coming into the world are part of the circle closing. I was cooing and cah-ing, and imitating her, and making the kinds of sounds you make when you are lovingly putting your baby to sleep. My son was an infant at the time, it was so familiar. I wrote this:

Birth & death are full circle.

Giving birth is about letting go.

Living fully is about letting go.

Falling in love is about letting go.

Falling asleep is about letting go.

The final sleep is about letting go.

At the end of life, you are reborn as an infant before you go.

I told my baba it was okay to let go. She closed her eyes, and went to sleep.

When we were driving back home, I was sitting in the back seat, next to my baby. It was late. I was looking out the window, at the moon. I was crying, I was grieving. I felt then like she was gone. I told my husband so. He said he thought so too.

We found out the next morning, she never woke up.

All the glory that the Lord has made
And the complications when I see His face
In the morning in the window

A mere 40 days later, it was early spring, and I was talking about my grandfather to a friend. He was a very funny, child-like, joyful man, who loved to dance and sing, and make everybody laugh with his antics. A real comedian. He had been in a long term care home for many years, a few years after being diagnosed with Alzheimers. He had never got to see my grandmother during the lockdowns. His own wife. Husband and wife, separated. Can you imagine? You live your whole life, and the last two years are torturous, masked and overmedicated confinement, ordered not to even see your own spouse.

I guess my grandmother was telling him, “Hurry up Walter!”, because he joined her. His death? Horrific. 

The day after I was telling my friend about him, my mother told me there was a covid “outbreak” in the home (meaning, one person tested positive). So they tested everybody. With those junk tests. And lo and behold, he tested positive. But no symptoms. So what did they do? Give him the full shebang. The drugs, the opioids, the toxic poison that is the protocol. And what happened? He died. He threw up black, and died, 24 hours after he tested “positive”. 

I don’t even remember crying. And I am a cryer. I don’t even know if I did. Probably. But I mostly felt, and feel, numb, somehow desensitized to this mass iatrogenic crime committed, and to my dear Grandpa, and angry. Furious. Helpless. It is to be expected. It is a terrible feeling to know that there is no justice, no admission, no recognition, just a bleak horizon of lies that stretches out in front of us, behind us, and around us, and when it happens to someone you love, you are almost helpless, and it is hard to feel anything but complete disgust. It is like a hardening of the heart and of the soul, incapable of truly delving into the magnitude of this crime against humanity that touches your own family, your own life, but so many others, who can just shrug it off and say, “of course not! They took good care of him there!” while you are screaming, “they killed him!” into the abyss.

Me and my grandfather, at our family’s cottage, circa late 80s.

My great-grandmother, Helen, my grandfather’s mother, used to say, in her heavy Russian accent, “Can’t help it.” My grandfather translated that into a more jovial phrase, singing “Che sera, sera, whatever will be will be, the future’s not ours to see, che sera sera.” Helen lost her first husband and son(!) to the horrible typhus outbreak in the early U.S.S.R., fleeing to Canada on her sister’s passport in 1930. One generation later, her son, was killed by government and public health diktat. Her daughter-in-law, in my opinion, was too. 

All the glory when He took our place
But He took my shoulders and He shook my face

And He takes and He takes and He takes

A few days ago, we moved. Moved out of the cramped and tiny apartment where we had been living for a few months after selling our house, mostly out of necessity. The house where our son was born, in his room. Where we had big dreams and plans, but shortly after purchasing, Will lost his two-decade career as a pilot because of lockdowns, and subsequent injection mandates. 

Before we sold though, while I was pregnant, I was selling some puffball mushrooms (really) to have some extra cash to pay our bills. We were that desperate, counting every dime. Two pastors came to buy some. It was when we were in despair, not knowing how we could afford to keep our house, jobless, and isolated from anyone who believed in liberty or thought that there was anything wrong with what was happening. The pastors asked me if they could say a prayer for me, for Will, for our unborn child. I said yes. They began a rapturous prayer that brought me to tears. They blessed us and asked God to protect us, to make sure we would have a roof over our heads and a new career, health, happiness, and all that good stuff. 

A few weeks later, our situation turned around. Will and I had began publishing videos on YouTube in October 2020, the first one being about the aviation crisis in Canada — mainly, that the Canadian government was the only country not bailing out its airlines, after taking a bludgeon to the industry with lockdowns, border closures, and the massive, unprecedented travel bans. I hypothesized that this was because the Trudeau government was on an ideologically driven path toward net zero at all costs.

The YouTube channel was started as passion project, but it quickly led to us finding members of the growing liberty movement, from Canada, the U.S., Ireland, Dubai, South Africa, Germany, all over. When we published Lockdown: The Right Side of History, based on the incredible essay by Stacey Rudin, an ode to the people against lockdowns and the unbelievable assaults on civil liberties, it got noticed. That video propelled us into the self-made gig that has now become a full time career. 

We also create videos like the Free North Declaration by Canadian lawyers, including Bruce Pardy and Lisa Bildy. We have done work for Panda, and have an upcoming video for the brand new Canadian think tank, the Ideas Institute. With my background as a musician and performer, Will’s passion and studies in cinema and filmmaking, we were able to carve out a place for ourselves in a unique and fulfilling niche.

I have a new podcast and video series, Liberty Curious for the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER), and started a brand new YouTube Channel for AIER, with short, dynamic videos on economic freedom, fighting collectivism, and defending liberty.

I am a firm believer that in making choices based in integrity, that is, in acting in line with your values and beliefs, you will find your way in life. Maybe God has something to do with it too.

“Yes, at first it will not be fair. Someone will have to temporarily lose his job. For the young who seek to live by truth, this will at first severely complicate life, for their tests and quizzes, too, are stuffed with lies, and so choices will have to be made. But there is no loophole left for anyone who seeks to be honest: Not even for a day, not even in the safest technical occupations can he avoid even a single one of the listed choices—to be made in favor of either truth or lies, in favor of spiritual independence or spiritual servility.” 

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Live Not By Lies

This marks a new era for me personally, but maybe you can relate to everything I have written, and hopefully find solace in these raw words. There is a massive, collective trauma and loss that has happened to us all through the ongoing crimes against humanity. A raw wound that needs tending to. Unfortunately, I don’t think it is over, and we still don’t know the long term consequences of what has already come to pass. Our civil liberties have been stripped of us, and then mostly regranted, for now, with no acknowledgement or admission of harms; instead, a request for “Covid Amnesty”.

There is also the imminent danger of more lockdowns, more authoritarianism, and the totalitarian threat of destroying our social and economic systems in order to ‘fight climate change’. The U.N. Sustainable development goals, Agenda 2030, the Great Reset, and the Malthusian initiatives to reduce the human carbon footprint would lead us down a path of total technocratic control, chaos, death and destitution, and maybe culminate into a third world war. Maybe historians will say we are already in the beginning phases.

“Good can be radical; evil can never be radical, it can only be extreme, for it possesses neither depth nor any demonic dimension yet–and this is its horror–it can spread like a fungus over the surface of the earth and lay waste the entire world. Evil comes from a failure to think. It defies thought for as soon as thought tries to engage itself with evil and examine the premises and principles from which it originates, it is frustrated because it finds nothing there. That is the banality of evil.”

Hannah Arendt

How far we will be dragged towards utopian hell is something we don’t have control over, except in how we deal with our own selves, our own souls and minds. Maybe stuffing the feelings down over all of this just makes us weaker. Maybe we have to deal with it as it comes, harden our calloused skin even more, but keep our humanity alive in saving room for vulnerability, when and where it’s safe to do so. Hard on the outside when you need to be, soft on the inside.

Raw me.

And that is what the immense grief I feel is teaching me. To go through it, to transcend it, but to manage it. To not let the weight of the world weigh me down. To accept what I cannot change, but to be smart about it, to be prepared for the worst. To pay tribute to loss without wallowing in victimhood. To transform loss into potential. To rise from the ashes of death. To be there for my son, to get to work, to be a good partner, a decent person, and when I can find a moment of stillness, to turn on Casimir Pulaski Day, and let the tears come out while I sing along, driving alone in my truck.

So here we are now. At this beautiful new place, a new home, a new era. Just like when I got my little kitten Coco, a grey cat in a cardboard box, whom I had waited for my whole life. The first thing I did when I moved into my first apartment was to find the cat I had been yearning for. She was there with me then, during my budding independence, and through fifteen years of joy, sorrow, love, suffering, discovery, change, careers, friendships, relationships, places, and finally, family. She was there when my inner world felt like it was falling apart at times, and there when the outer world was falling apart around us all. She was a steadfast cat. She opened my heart to the unique unconditional love you give and receive; she was my spirit animal. A silent, purring witness to the chapters of my life unfolding, to the hourglass that you can’t turn upside down.

Coco and me.

This time, she didn’t come with me.

This is an edited version of the original post, which first appeared on the author’s own Substack. It has been edited and reprinted with permission.

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