“In the English language there are orphans and widows,
but there is no word for the parents who lose a child.”
― Jodi Picoult, My Sister's Keeper
oWe've forgotten how to mourn. Social media is full of self-righteous platitudes about the rights of us all, but we've forgotten to put aside our philosophical differences and grieve at the loss of innocent school children. We should be reaching out to comfort and support the families left behind, not protesting in indignation upon a political pedestal decrying the rights of man. And because of this, we've become numb and lost sight of the tragedy that is amongst us.
As a child, we drilled for earthquakes and fires. Now children know the words 'Code Red' and can recite lock down procedures and know where the 'safe places' are in case they are separated from their class. They understand phrases like 'Run. Hide. Fight." They flee in terror and then have media cameras in their faces as they describe what it was like to step over the bodies of fallen friends. And we're embarrassed by a distraught mother on television, who vocalizes her angst, despair, and anger as she made funeral arrangements for the 14-year old daughter she will never see again.
Put down your politics for long enough to mourn. To grieve at the loss of life and innocence. To understand the senseless violence that is all to commonplace should not be our new norm. This isn't about your rights. Would you be touting your rights if it were your loss, and not a stranger's? Let our politics not separate us, but bring us together to contest the violence. Let us all hold on to hope.
“We were promised sufferings. They were part of the program. We were even told, 'Blessed are they that mourn,' and I accept it. I've got nothing that I hadn't bargained for. Of course it is different when the thing happens to oneself, not to others, and in reality, not imagination.”
― C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed
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