When the World Is Sick: Grief at the Pulse

Sign outside the congregation I currently serve
Sign outside the congregation I currently serve – First Parish Church of Groton (MA)

I mourn these beautiful dead. In my head and out loud, I cannot stop singing this song, with my voice much louder on for the second line.

When the world is sick, can’t no one be well

But I dreamt we was all beautiful and strong.

Last night, I joined a small vigil in my town, gathered on the steps of City Hall.  I did not want to grieve alone.  I wanted to be with people of kindred spirit.

13407033_10207854138286114_6586690787990775644_nEarlier today, I read aloud — just to myself — each name on Buzzfeed post that listed all the victims of the Orlando shooter.  The link includes not only their names and ages,  but for as many as possible, gave photos of each, along with short stories about them or about their grieving family and friends in these few hours since their lives were cut so short, so violently.

When the world is sick, can’t no one be well

But I dreamt we was all beautiful and strong.

So we sit with the grief at these gone-from-us somebody’s babies — praying and hoping that those somebodies — those parents — loved them for all that they were, knowing that homophobia seeps into even the most primal of our human relationships at the family level.   Given that homophobia is everywhere, I’m guessing that not everybody at that nightclub had a family that accepted them as whole and holy, not talk of sin or estrangement.  My prayers to all those family members grieving the loss of their beloved, even and perhaps especially, the ones who had not yet reconciled themselves to their dear one’s sexual orientation and will now never have the chance.

To that, I add a sweet prayer of thanksgiving for those parents or sisters or brothers or cousins or aunts or uncles or godparents who gave unconditionally their love, support, and encouragement to that gay baby who became a gay child and then a gay adult who danced and laughed and played and loved and died.

I am praying for love to win the day.  I am praying that I will be a part of making that so.


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