I won’t lie. November sucked.
The days and weeks leading up to Hudson’s birthday on December 1 are always hard, but the election and its aftermath have made this time even more full of mourning and anxiety than usual. It’s some of the most awful symmetry I’ve experienced since Hudson died. Eight years ago, the month of November was euphoric, exhilarating, full of nothing but hope for everything that lay ahead of us—our first child, who would be born into an America that had just elected its first Black president, a decent, brilliant, good-humored, even-tempered man who fervently believed he could bring the country together.
The past eight years have failed so much of that November’s promise.
And now we are here. Three days away from what should be Hudson’s eighth birthday. Fifty-three days away from inaugurating a president who is the opposite of his predecessor in nearly every respect.
Many bereaved people will understand me when I say that the days and weeks immediately following the election felt not unlike the death of our loved ones, in quality if not in degree. In turns, I felt shock, deep grief, hopelessness, anger, denial—and these emotions doubled back on themselves again and again and again. Finding One Good Thing has been as hard as it’s ever been since those early days and months after Hudson died.
But just as the emotions feel so familiar, so, too, is the One Good Thing that has somehow managed to shine through these dark days.
The ways I have witnessed people in my circles come together over the past three weeks—offering communal support, checking on each other occasionally and saying we love each other and are thinking about each other, offering words and acts of solidarity with those among us who are feeling most vulnerable right now, holding each other up—these things remind me of the way my community circled around me after Hudson died. On the many days during that time that I felt like I might not be able to go on, someone just showed up, picked me up, and held me up.
And that is what we are doing now. That is what we must do now. One Good Thing.
So much will be required of us over the coming days, weeks, months, and years. Far more than simple kindness will be required: love, courage, perseverance, determination, resilience, and much more, up to and including our physical bodies. But at the heart of all of that is kindness and our belief in kindness—our belief that as humans, our fundamental obligation is to care for one another and our world.
Kindness is a necessary, if insufficient, component of our resistance.
And so, as we do every year, we invite you to do One Good Thing sometime in this next week to remember Hudson’s life. Do something kind, big or small—for another person, for an animal, for the earth. And if you are so inclined, please invite others to join us, too.
Let us never stop working to fulfill the promise of that November eight years ago. Let our kindness be but one component—a necessary but insufficient component—of our resistance.
And let Hudson’s light and life shine on us all the while.