I’m grieving. Again. Not for the dead but for the loss of the living.
Fred says I should get over it, ignore it, not talk about it. There’s a logic in that, I guess. But I keep coming back to this:
“Crazed, crying lowlife”
“Big, fat pig”
“Grab them by the pussy”
“You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.”
And the list is so sadly, enragingly, exhaustingly long. Worse, it’s only one list of many. This one is about women. There are more lists—about Black people, about Mexicans, about the enemy of the week, about Muslims, about the disabled, and on and on.
Those are just the childish insults. The evil is the actions.
I think, If someone called me a crazed, lying, horsefaced pig, what would you do? Would you laugh? Would you defend me? Would you cheer them on and vote them in as the leader of a country?
A petty, personal line of thought, sure, but how else can I make you see the harm without showing you my wounds? The words may have been directed at a specific individual but, collectively, they apply to all women, they apply to me. I know, without a breath of hesitation, he would say those words to me. You may not care about some stranger far away but you care about me, your friend, don’t you?
I grieve because the choice is the answer: No, I don’t.
I can show you facts and you can show me facts and we can argue and debate but I can’t make you care.
I’ve made my peace with the inevitable divide. I know the side I choose to stand on. If this was 1965, I’d be one of the unarmed people marching, not one of the people with billy clubs and tear gas. Even so, there’s an ache in my stomach when I think of the friends I have lost and will continue to lose.
The right thing is seldom the easy thing.
I’m staring out my window at a postcard: majestic mountains topped with snow, clouds so puffy white you want to hug them, a rugged island of dark green forest and steel grey rock, the mighty Pacific Ocean swirling around it all, and, in the foreground, a Canadian flag flapping in the breeze. The symbol of a country built on theft, on murder, on abuse, on the twin devils of colonization and patriarchy. A sordid past with which we have never reconciled.
The divide exists and, as long as we keep pretending our systems aren’t deeply flawed and riddled with inequality and bias, it will widen and grow. I will grieve more losses—good people lost in bad systems, lost to fear, lost to lies and propaganda.
I will let them go.
I will love them and I will let them go.
And I will mourn.