adriana suriano
1 min readFeb 22, 2022


Complicated grief

you share that your lost everything when your mom died.

the DC home that was in your family for generations.

the cousin who said you could sleep on her living room floor

until her daily use of heroin made you miss feeling numb.

you started sleeping in your car so numb was normal

for just a bit longer. by yourself.

you look at me from the shelter you are stuck in.

it’s too cold to sleep in your car.

you smile with tears in your eyes

that you wish you were more like me.

that you wish you handled your mother’s death more like me.

i want to tell you. i know i can’t.

so i smile.

i order 4 bottles of wine that’s delivered to my warm condo

with my beautiful husband tipping on the delivery.

i want to tell you that i am so broken.

That i cry. i drink a bottle of wine. i sometimes sleep. Sometimes not.

that i am broken into bits spread the 160 miles from where my mom died and where i live now.

the difference between your mourning and mine

is that i am white. privileged.

you are african-american. fighting to survive.

i will never know what you lost.

you lost the most important person

as i did.

but you lost everything else, too.



adriana suriano

i am a first generation italian-american who grew up in southern new jersey. Life is amazingly beautiful and devastating. Sometimes in the same day.