By Samantha McKenzie
The recent deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile have me struggling. The deaths of the slain officers in Dallas – Brent Thompson, Patrick Zamarripa, Michael Krol, Lorne Ahrens and Michael Smith – weigh heavy on my conscience. Micah Johnson’s death is equally tragic.
These are the casualties of war, in the war we pretend does not exist.
I struggled when I watched Diamond Reynolds’ video of the aftermath of the fatal shooting of her boyfriend. I admired her composure, her poise, her ability to stay calm. I recognized her strength. But her tears penetrated my soul. Her screams still haunt me. The comforting words of her 4-year-old daughter stirred something in all of us.
These are the sounds we are all too familiar with – the tears, the weeping and the wailing.
I did what we all did. I worried. I prayed. I talked to those who would listen. I got silent, even reclusive. I contemplated staying home because who could focus? The fear was paralyzing. I struggled to make sense of this. I struggled to give my own children advice. My daughter headed to a local protest. My son reminded me that he wouldn’t be a hashtag. I struggled finding the thin line between right and wrong. It had become blurred.
I struggled with praying because I didn’t want it to lull me back to sleep. I didn’t want the act of supplication to make me feel like there was nothing for me to do. To be honest, I didn’t want to ask God why? or why us? I waited a day or two out of respect.
I struggled too with jumping to conclusions, with finding that balance between hope and hate. I fought back the urge to toss out answers, or thinking too linear, or believing everything I’ve heard. I thought about possible solutions (almost shamefully) as families prepared to bury their loved ones.
I struggled to write this. I hoped to find more hope.
I pray there’s a remedy for fear.
And yet, I’m still struggling…