Some choose violence, some are chosen by it. Victims shot down in their prime. Lives snuffed out by others rage. No coming back from a choice that wasn’t theirs.
Some people can stand against it, fight. No matter how many walls against their back. Some fall with the first, second, or third blows. Not able to withstand the trauma.
Some people say-but that isn’t me, I would never do that, act that way. Some people say thank God it wasn’t me…this time. All while looking at the world filled with people who aren’t, who would never, who didn’t…
But look at how many do. And who suffers for it? Those that matter least to society’s base feeling of superiority over others. That ingrained beast you never taught different. That you taught the opposite. That you taught you were the one that mattered most.
Women, children, people of color. Entitlement was never theirs. It’s yours when you turn a blind eye to the violence they and others face every day. When you make excuses. When you forget their deaths. Their suffering. Not because they are victims. But because they are people.
And they are people that are gone. Because they were chosen by violence. Because they could not stand against it. Because it came for them. And it will never stop. Not until those that feel superior stand up and say I am not the only one who deserves to live without fear.
Death became me and I became death in a time gone by. I no longer felt, it was as if I was floating while still experiencing immeasurable pain. Pain that would be the end of me as I knew myself.
I lost myself for a time, years went by. I didn’t know who I was. I only felt the absence. Death was so much more than a body in the ground for me. It was loss and grief yes. But it was also the end of childhood and life as I knew it.
It was loneliness in a room full of people. Abandonment from those closest and fear of commitment as I aged. It was finding a way to grow on my own and making mistakes I wouldn’t have dreamt of making in another time.
It was reaching my breaking point, filled with shame and doubts. No longer lovable or worthy because death had stolen from me what I could not seem to gain back in life. It was the knife under my pillow.
Yes, once in a time gone by, death became me and I became death…until the pain burned through me and I learned to stand again. Until I learned the shame and doubts were not my own. Until I learned that death was not a hated enemy or a treasured friend.
Death simply is. In the way that my living is now. Both have a time and place in our lives. We should not hurry it along. But learn to accept that it will one day come for us all. In the days before we can only stand when we are knocked down and continue loving despite the risks.