I’ve lost many friends and loved ones. I know what happens when you keep ignoring your losses and don’t try to deal with the pain; you may not be dead, but you’re sure as hell not living. It took me over a decade to finally figure that out. Now I’m slowly crawling out of my mourning-debt, and many other emotional debts, to finally start to come back to myself and my life.
This life matters, right now, you reading this, your life matters. Even if you believe in an after-life that’s free of pain and suffering, you matter now. I matter now. Black people matter now. Those dying from Covid-19 matter now. Those who will die from Covid-19 because we as a society care more about billionaire’s checkbooks matter.
When I ignored that my life matters for all those years it made me sick. When I ignored the importance of my loved ones to me by not mourning them it broke me.
The purpose of death is to remind us that this life matters.
It’s an opportunity for us to recognize where our personal priorities are wrong and adjust them so that we can live again. So that we don’t miss time with our next loved one who’s going to die.
Our nation purposely kills Black people every day. Our nations purposely kills people of color every day. Our nation is currently, purposely, letting tens of thousands of people die because it’s the people our nation doesn’t care about. Hundreds of thousands. Literally. Our nation is not only ignoring these deaths, but causing them, justifying them, and promoting more death.
These deaths should remind our society that our lives matter and that we need to adjust our priorities. They don’t.
Our nation is sick. Our nation is broken. We as a society are sick. We are broken.
These protests, all throughout our nations history, are reactions trying to cure this sickness. Appropriate reactions! Necessary reactions! Good reactions!
Unless we change course, drastically, we will remain sick forever. Each of us individually caries the weight of that sickness. When we excuse or ignore these deaths it slowly kills our ability to love others. We’ll trend towards excusing more death when we should be trending towards more love.
“I don’t understand why they’re ruining their own community.” Buildings aren’t communities. People are communities. They’re trying to protect their community from a government and society that doesn’t want them to exist. This is a community trying to heal itself.
“I can’t condone violence or looting.” Unless it’s from the police, right? Our police force is rooted in violence and oppression. It is built on white supremacy. It doesn’t matter if individuals in a police force are good people when the system they support itself is built to oppress.
You can see this very clearly in the police reaction to armed, screaming white protesters wanting haircuts and Black protesters wanting to not fucking die. The media reaction. Your social media feed’s reaction. Your personal reaction.
The only way out is for all of us to care. For all of us to recognize Black Lives Matter. Immunocompromised lives matter. Old folk’s lives matter. Your life matters. Our lives matter. This isn’t happening to “them”, it’s happening to “us”.
Please, start doing the work to wake from this nightmare. It’s hard, but if you don’t you won’t be living, you’ll continue dying because you don’t care about life.