Wednesday, August 10, 2016

In The Aftermath of Tragedy, We Are Not "Okay"

Our society's reactions to tragedies are flawed. Instead of using the same tired, canned phrases and reactions, we should honestly say, This fucking sucks! Yes, we're sorrowful. Yes, we're in disbelief. Yes, we should've seen the signs. But sometimes shit just happens, and it fucking sucks. 

When my brother committed suicide, I would have been grateful if someone had said to me, What the actual fuck, y'all? This fucking sucks! (Perhaps this is because fuck is my favorite word.) Those words would have allowed me to respond, Hell yes, it does! I would have appreciated such honesty.

In the aftermath of tragedy, many victims feel the need to respond, It's okay, when a well-meaning person says, I'm sorry. It's not okay! Their world has just been turned upside down. For some, it is going to be a long time before they are okay.

Asking grieving people if there is anything we can do is also ineffective. No, there's nothing that we can do. Nothing at all. The next time a tragedy occurs, I will be proactive and not wait for someone to tell me what they need. I will send tissues, candy, a stress ball, or perhaps something they can break. I will let my actions speak for me. By acknowledging the ugly in awful situations, I will be a safe place where loved ones can express their feelings honestly.

In the face of tragedy, people - especially women - must know that their emotions are valid. It's healthy to be sad. It's healthy to be angry. And it's healthy to let things go and allow yourself to be happy again.

And, then and only then, will we party. Fuck yeah!

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