June 17, 2015, was a terrible day for my home. A coward drove two hours to kill people he didn’t know.
He sat with them for an hour while they prayed.
And then he brutally took their lives.
My heart hurts for them, for their families, for my home.
Yesterday we sat and listened to the news, the manhunt, and his capture.
At the neighborhood pool, I listened to a little boy try to explain this to his older friends. They told him it was done by a crazy person. They are somewhere around twelve, they didn’t have the capacity to handle the difficult conversation. This little boy, that plays with my own, didn’t know how to continue, he trailed off with, “I’m sort of scared of white people.”
I didn’t say anything, I just blinked back tears while I pretended I wasn’t eavesdropping. I’m thirty-six and don’t have the faintest clue about how to have these conversations.
A friend of mine called those of us who would normally choose to stay silent out. I write about home economics, not current events is just an excuse to stay quiet about uncomfortable things.
This happened in the place I call home, to the community that is my larger family.
I know what it’s like to get that phone call, to discover that your loved one was violently taken because they were seen as less than. I do not know what it’s like to live a life where I never know if someone will see me for the human being I am.
Evil, in all its forms: ignorance, greed, fear, hatred, and corruption thrives in darkness and secrecy. A friend, who speaks beautifully, but in a protected Twitter account said:
Evil isn’t the opposite of good – it’s the corrupter and abuser of good. It can’t create, only destroy, and this is its impotent rage
I was recently told that if I didn’t begin to let go of the guilt and anger around Laura’s death that I was letting him kill me, too.
I see the parallel.
Today I’m going to Mass.
Today I’m going to point you to the words of a little girl who is wiser than many of us.
Peace be with you.
13 thoughts on “[Personal and Off Topic] Heavy Hearts”
And also with you, Heather.
I’m terribly sorry about your friend. I saw the news on the television in the morning while getting ready for work and I was shocked and dismayed to hear about those poor people. That young man committed a great wrong to those 9 people and a great many more who knew them and loved them, people such as yourself. Hugs to you and to the family of your friend. Take care.
Sending you love and light and healing. My heart is so heavy for everyone in your community and our country as a whole. This endless cycle of violence and hate has to stop.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this blog post.
There is NO inappropriate space to express what you have expressed today. So often we stay silent in these spaces, self-policed by notions of appropriateness, Silence, apathy, side-line standing — it kills.
Your sadness and horror is not merely reactive. Those emotions have the power to move you and others. Use your power — as you have here in this space — to help propel us into a different future than the one that seems to be laid out before us.
The difficult but simple act of naming your pain is so important. Thank you.
When it seems as if there are just no words, this is so beautifully said. Thank you for writing them, Heather.
Very eloquently said. It’s a sad commentary on our society that a person should be afraid of others based on skin color. I really felt for that boy at the pool.
Thank you for your beautiful post. It’s mortifying to know so many people seem to lack the capacity or willingness to see everyone (regardless of skin color, gender, religion, etc.) as people who are worthy of basic respect and kindness.
Beautifully said. It is so heartbreaking to continually hear all the violence and horrors in our society.
Thank you for taking the time to comment so elegantly about this horrific murder and the devastating sadness and shame it has brought to us all. I am very sad for your loss. Your posting has touched my heart. Let us hope we all talk about this issue instead of ignoring it-again.
and one more thing. The quote by the 3rd grader in Tennessee, Elise Pelham, was so beautiful She is wise beyond her years. Thanks for the link.
Thank you for writing this. Thank you to your friend who encouraged you to do so. And thank you for sharing that post – I think that her drawing is a really powerful image. All too often, we (especially we white folks) can be tempted to not look at the big holes that violence creates – we try and ignore them and keep them out of our line of sight.
But that doesn’t help to make things whole – it just creates a landscape where people are afraid to veer too close to ‘touchy’ topics. Talking about things and connecting with each other can start to address (though never undo) the damage that’s been done. And we can’t start to deal with the root causes of it all until we’re looking at things as they are.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings. This senseless outrageous killing of nine people hurt my heart and I know it hurt many. Watching people of the Charleston area come together to share love and support, as well as unity, brought tears and healing to my heart. So good to see that there are caring and good people who can shine the light of what is good in our world.