We are a nation in grief over George Floyd. And for those of you who don't know his name yet, you will. Grief, however, is a touchy thing. Especially in a national spotlight and conversation.
As many of you well know, the emotional stages of grief are usually understood to be that of shock or disbelief, denial, bargaining, guilt, anger, depression, and acceptance/hope. Symptoms of grief can be emotional, physical, social, or religious in nature. Not all who go through it experience these stages at the same time, or in that order. Sometimes the stages are cyclical.
At current, we are a nation in multiple stages of grief simultaneously - and once again, we must mourn with those who mourn. Weep with those who weep.
Emotions are, and will be - running deep and wide as the aftershock of this tragedy reaches far outside its epicenter.
The heart of our nation is both outraged and uncaged - divided and broken…no remaining shelter in place orders can or should contain our collective grief. No amount of tweets and shares can do justice to the injustice. No protest can properly assuage the unrest in our hearts.
And perhaps, more importantly, at this time - no expression of national grievance need outshine the grief of his family and friends. We must at least - pause before we post. We must temper our tweets, and be careful in the streets. We must remember the words of Dr. King. “It is either nonviolence or nonexistence”...as violence, whether in the heart or mind - in word or in action “seems to create more problems than it solves.”
At the same time, George Floyd’s family is asking for justice. And rightly so. No person with any shred of empathy or sense of justice would stand in opposition. As a nation, we must, as we are able - stand with them in seeking that. And we must “read the room” of the family - and honor them by standing in lock-step with them, not exceeding their measured composure in the public space, and not diminishing their pain and loss.
To say the death of George Floyd is both a horrific tragedy and a massive loss to those who knew and loved him - is still, a gross understatement.
And while George is undoubtedly in a better place, his death - his absence from this world is not okay with so many. His friends and family - are not okay. We as a people - are not okay. Because THIS - this moment - this injustice - this loss of life, like others before it - is not okay.
To the friends and family of George Floyd, our hearts are broken for you, we are “not okay”...as we grieve with you. And at this time, regardless our race or color - we wear black with you.