So there I sat. Ready with a blog post about a band that I had recently discovered whose music I was going to feature this past Saturday. I had woken up early to edit, polish it off and press send to my followers. Instead, I woke up, picked up my cell phone like most of us do in the morning, and saw an unexpected headline. Christina Grimmie had been shot while signing autographs after her concert. I had to re-read it again to make sure I had read it correctly. My brain slowly processing what it was saying. A young woman, 22 years old, full of love, life, and a bright future ahead as a music artist was out meeting her fans, meeting young and old who looked up to her, loved her, and loved her music. To thank her for it, one soul less individual, ended her life as well as his own. So there I sat. The wind had been knocked out my sails. My passion for sharing music was put on pause and I no longer could publish the article because it just didn’t feel right. I just felt sad. So instead, I posted something on my personal social media and then tweeted heartbroken condolences to her, her fans, and her family. I took the rest of the day to reflect.
I didn’t sleep that night. I kept reflecting on Vice President Biden’s open letter to the young woman at Stanford who had endured such a terrifying and horrific experience. It was such a thoughtful, heartfelt message to not only that young woman, but to all women and society in general. I thought about the challenging days the rape victim will continue to face as she tries to piece herself back together one day at a time. I thought about Grimmie’s death. The end of her amazing and incredible dream that had finally come true. I thought about her fans, her friends, her family–her mother who has had breast cancer numerous times, and the grief that will continue to engulf them in the days to come. I realized I was grieving. Not only was I grieving for these two young women, I was grieving for society as a whole. I grieved for the world that we are currently living in and the hate and violence that seems only to be increasing with every day that passes us by. I slept a total of two hours last Saturday night. I kept praying and hoping for a brighter tomorrow. A glimmer of hope that the world will grow in love, not hate.
What I didn’t expect was to wake up to headlines about the worst Mass shooting in the history of the United States that had taken place while I laid awake with a heart that was already feeling heavy. My heart sank even more. I sat there speechless. No words. I had no words I could speak. All I felt was the shock and pain I felt for the victims, their families, their friends, my friends, the LGBT community, my own gay friends, my own gay relatives…and my mind raced on and on. So I grieved with an emotional fortitude that I had not felt in years. I didn’t know any of these victims. I didn’t know Christina Grimmie. I didn’t know the Stanford rape victim. But the one thing I could feel was that each of these victims represented a little part of me. A little part of my soul because they were me. It could have been any one of us in those situations and it hurt. So I did the only thing I know how to do when I feel helpless. I turned to music and just let my self reflect.
I didn’t know much about Grimmie’s music but I took the time to listen to her songs throughout the day as my own way of remembering her. Ironically so, one of her most recognized songs and hits is called With Love. She was indeed so incredibly full of love.
All of these people represent love. They don’t represent hate. So I will choose to hang on to their spirit and love them. Love their memory. The Stanford female is alive, but a big part of who she was died that night. I choose to love this woman I’ve never met and send her thoughts of courage and strength. I choose to live my life in a manner that supports the world around me and doesn’t tear it apart. There’s enough of that already so I choose to love. And I hope that you will choose love as well. If you’re grieving, feeling alone in this world, and just feeling isolated and scared in the aftermath of all of these events, just know that you’re not alone. I’m grieving with you. You may not know me but you’re not alone. We’re all in this together and we’re all going through it with you, regardless of what country we may reside in, our race, our religion, and our sexual orientation.
Since this is a music blog, and I focus on sharing my love for music with you. I will share the song I’ve been listening to throughout the last couple of days. It reminds me to live for today. It reminds me that we all share moments in sorrow and pain. And therefore, I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues…thank you Elton John.
Thank you for letting me share my grief with you. Thank you for following. And most of all, thank you for standing by one another.