Thursday, July 18, 2013

Today vs. Tomorrow.

You know when you just take in everything around you and find yourself overwhelmed and weighed down by all that you've heard? Seen? Felt?

I'm not going to write this to capitalize on all that's been happening in our world these days. I'm writing it to say, what the eff has been happening in our world these days?

But seriously, sometimes things trigger and roll into one another and so on meets so forth and before you know it you can't fall asleep at night and your head hurts, your heart hurts and you wonder what sort of world you've brought your child(ren) into and what the future holds.

What the hell am I talking about - you wonder?

Well, start off with the Trayvon Martin case. And the verdict. And finding out (thanks social media) that the verdict was coming in, turning on the TV in seconds and hearing, 'Not guilty,' as you sat and stared.

My Facebook update after that?


Yep. That was all I could say. OMG.

Did I think he'd get off? Sigh. Yes. Sadly, I did. Did I want him to? Nope. No way.

You know back when this all first happened and those news stories floated around? I read them all. Watched them all. LISTENED to them all. I heard that dispatcher tell him, this 28 (now 29) year-old man, to stop following the boy. The 17-year-old boy. I heard those words. And he didn't listen. And now a boy is dead.

Do I know if Trayvon Martin was an angel? No. Do I believe he was the best young man in the world? No. I don't know anything about him to prove he was or he wasn't. I just know he was a 17-yo boy who was shot dead by a 28yo man.

Was race a factor? Sure. Say it wasn't and I say you're probably hiding the truth from yourself. That's okay. We all do it now and then. Yes. ALL of us. Even me. And you. And our friends. Family. Whomever. Whenever. We do it.

So I shook my head at the verdict and I watched as Facebook and Twitter blew up with some serious and important statements. And some huge generalizations. And some negative reactions. And some not-so-negative ones. I agreed with some, disagreed with others, and politely discussed what was on my mind with some.

The over the top people? The ones who didn't speak like real people? Generalized and went off in one direction or another. Spouting their hooey all over the web? I ignored them. Or stopped following them. Whatever I needed. And then I went to bed.

And the next morning I woke up and found out that Cory Monteith had died.

And I was really sad.

Being said about this young man of 31 did NOT mean I was less sad about the verdict from the night before. AT ALL. I was sad because someone who had an issue with drugs and addiction in his lifetime likely had succumbed to the disease and lost his life because of it. Cory Monteith is not someone I knew. He is, however, someone real. Despite being an actor. He's a real person.

And you know what? I cried for him.

Maybe it's because Glee has been a part of my world since it started those few years ago? Maybe it's because I have seen so many celebrities walk in and out of rehab, only to lose the battle anyway? And maybe it's because PEOPLE, people in general lose that battle every single day.

So I wallowed in the music of Glee. I watched videos of Cory singing songs.

I was already sad from the night before. I had no words. I had needs.

I needed to cry.

You know when that happens? When your tears are there but they need that final shove? That ultimate trigger?

That was me.

I needed that catharsis. I needed to cry. For Trayvon and his family. For Cory and his. Two totally different situations, yes, for certain.

I saw a tweet that made fun of those of us reacting to the loss of a celebrity who meant nothing to anyone. And I got it. I did. But I also didn't like it very much.

People grieve in their own way. People react to things that are beyond their control, their scope of living, and their PERSONAL CIRCLES in their own way.

Unless you knew Trayvon Martin, you're going to grieve over this verdict differently than his family will. And you can say it hurts you and makes you ache, and no doubt it does. But you weren't his friend. You weren't his mother. His father.

So I respect your grief. I respect your pain. And I especially respect the fears this brings to life for you. I have so many friends who have discussed this. Mothers of black sons. I will never understand. I can never pretend to. I can try, and I can respect, and I can love. But I won't understand. Not exactly. Not precisely. But I will try. And I will respect. And I will love.

And I have done so. And continue to do so.

And at the same time? I think to myself of a 31-year-old man who sat in his hotel room and lost his life. And I shake my head because why is it that celebrities die this way all the time? What is it that leaves them so sad and lonely that dying alone is what has to happen for them? Can you imagine it? Have you ever lost someone to addiction and said to yourself, why? What happened that made them succumb again?

As a social worker I can try to get into Cory's brain. I can try and imagine what spurred him back to the drugs that soothed him in some way. We all can, I'm sure. But as a social worker I've been asked to before. This was not a field I chose to go into lightly. And when I followed my path to work with children many years ago, I met with many people in many organizations helping men like Cory. And I didn't take those roles. I wasn't sure I was strong enough to. I'm still not. But there are people who are. And I hope that they find the Cory-s out there and help them. Help them before they find themselves alone in a hotel room.

Because it's so damned sad when a life ends too soon.

No matter how it happened. Or why.

And when someone accidentally takes their own life - it sucks.

And when someone intentionally takes their own life - it sucks.

And when someone has their life taken away from them - it sucks.

Death sucks. Period. End of story.

And this, my friends, is why I watch The Daily Show at night. Because laughter really IS good medicine.

And why I cried when I watched this video, because Cheerios rocks and people need to know that THIS? THIS is our future. This is what we need to see. Need to watch and need to feel.

And damn, if I didn't watch it and cry my eyes out.

For good for a change. Because these kids? They see the good. They ARE the good.

And so is mine. And so are yours.

Cheesy final line? *I believe the children are our future.* Truth.


  1. I didn't say anything after the verdict came in. I couldn't. We do all grieve in our own way and in our own time.

    The video with the kids is just awesome, isn't it? :)

  2. I love this post. I felt exactly the same way. It was just a devastating 24 hours. You just put it all SO VERY WELL. Thank you.
    I had not seen this Kids React video (and I've seen a bunch of them). It made me sob. I hope these kids don't ever change. I wish racism was a thing of just the "older generation" but I don't think that is necessarily so. This video at least gives me hope. --Lisa

  3. I love the video. Right now it is so hard to know what to say.

  4. I just love how you strung all this together and funneled it to end on something good. It makes total sense.

  5. I as you had to ignore many of the over reactions after the verdict came in. And as for Corey Monteith? Exactly! He is a real person. He was someone's son. Someone's friend. That is enough reason to cry for any 31 year old who dies.

  6. Oh, that video is too cute. I love the innocence of children. And I hope that our kids can continue thinking that way.

  7. You know what it means to grieve for someone you don't know?

    That you understand empathy and have a soul.

    Never change.

  8. Truth, indeed! I have been sad, too. As a mother two women lost their sons. Very different circumstances, opportunities, lives and deaths but at the end of the day, they lost their sons and I cannot fathom the pain.
    I have so many feelings about the Martin case. We still have so much to change, to fix, yet like you when I see how my children are,I have great hope. Whitney got it right... "they are the future!"
    HUGS, Momma. You are not sad alone.

  9. This really hit a cord with me on many levels. Today our family is observing the 1 year anniversary of my cousin Michael's suicide. He was a year older than I am, the sweetest, most caring man on the planet, and an almost life long drug and alcohol abuser. The abuse started to take it's toll and he decided to end it all, sadly for us. But this whole blog about death and justice and how people react is so strong to me today! Thanks for the peek into your head, and the chance for me to say out loud that I am mourning too.

  10. Thank you for this post. I think so many people, despite how they feel politically, forget that these are real people. A life has ended, and someone has lost a loved one, and that idea breaks my heart no matter who it is. As a society, we need to stop passing judgement and start loving each other more. Everyone is someone's child or parent or sibling or spouse, and their lives deserve respect.

  11. That Cheerios commercial is awesome. I love that it took the kids so long to see what I saw instantly.

    And you're right -- anytime something terrible happens to someone, one of my first thoughts is always wondering what that person's mom is going through.


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