I blame my niece for all the pictures of my nephew that are now on my phone. I cannot open my photo gallery without seeing him. Sometimes, they make me tear up, but more often, they make me smile. They also cause me to stop & reflect. I reflect a lot. The events surrounding his death make me sad, but it also makes me sick, angry, & tired. I am sick of feeling pain and being confronted with existential questions. I am angry because this should not have happened. My sister has survived so much; this is a burden I cannot carry for her. I am tired of living in a world where our youth are so misguided and disgruntled that they do not seem to consider the consequences of their actions. I am tired because they do not realize they do actually have choices. I know; we do not all have the same choices, but we still get to choose. The problem steps in when we can only see our options from a place of pain & trauma and choose what we think is survival when the reality is, we are choosing death. Besides that, surviving is not the same as living. Yet so many of our youth are out here just trying to survive. It is not enough. There is so much more for them; for us!
My nephew lost his life while embodying the way of life the kid that took his' seemed to be oblivious to. That kid did not care that my nephew had children who loved him. I know he did not care because he took my nephew’s life in front of his children. He DID NOT care, not only about my nephew's life but that of his children and, sadly, his own.
It's been two months and STILL...
Last year, I lost a good friend through another act of violence. It was so painful to imagine what she endured. Another protector; another parent lost; another child witnessing death in a way they cannot comprehend; another stop in this journey of grief, loss, and sorrow. Another reminder that we must remember to live NOW.