he was declared dead at 12:37pm this afternoon.
two days after my momma cat died at my arms, i get a text that a young man from YJC/FREE L.A. HIGH SCHOOL was shot on the back of his head and was brain dead according to the UCLA doctors.
shock, sadness, tears, anger, frustration, fueled is how i felt within moments of getting the message.
i was asked to come in earlier than my expected time to be available to anyone staff or students who felt the need for 1-1 grieving. when i walked into the school, the atmosphere was not what it usually is. instead of the welcoming hellos and smiles, i walked in to an empty welcome chair and table. there were a few students in a classroom but overall it was much quieter than usual.
i went upstairs to find my friend k who i was supposed to meet with to discuss healing and grieving activities that we can offer through out the day. i called on my friend Q to come in and guide through ceremony. she agreed and i am so grateful she did. we all needed the space to ground ourselves and those of us that were a part of that ritual, definitely found a new sense of ground given the tragedy at hand.
this blog entry is not doing justice to the experience i had today. i am having a really difficult time finding the words to what i felt when a teacher came in and dropped to the floor in tears when he found out, i can’t find in me to share with you how it felt to witness so many of the youth on the outside “shut down” demanding no one ask them how they feel about it. i want to so badly tell you all the details, the smells, the embraces, the confusion. pero no encuentro las palabras; i just can’t find it in me.
so i attempt to write anyway because what other reason than to share what an injustice this was, another blow to my south central community. we are tired, filled with tears tired of the injustices, the lack of access to BASIC NEEDS, the violence between one another only a symptom of the sick society we live in, the violence of poverty, the police brutality, all of it…YA BASTA; ENOUGH ALREADY.
some have thought of bringing the man who killed the 17year old to their campus for a restorative justice session. a get to know us, who we are, what we are doing, and the immense harm you have caused not only his family but his friends, community, and school. there are other conversations about living memorials, how do we memorialize our experiences, our lives, our analysis of the problems faced in our communities publicly and for ourselves.
so much more to share but its been a long day and my heart is tired and sad for too many reasons. the bed is calling me, my cats are surely to comfort me as they know very well when i am struggling. tomorrow is another day. i will be at YJC early again, we are talking to funders about our attempts at a holistic approach to health…what does health look like when we think beyond illness and savior doctor? how do we transfer more knowledge about our bodies to ourselves so that we don’t simply rely on others to cure us? who are our allies in this, who is willing to share the knowledge and how do we get more of our folks into the healing schools? what happens when we shift perspective and no longer compartmentalize economics from health from education from violence? what happens when we allow ourselves to take control of our own communities well-being? what does that look like?
so many questions and i am so grateful to have the YJC community to dialogue with about these close to the heart questions.
on other matters- 😦
but i told myself that this year is about breaking cycles. and well, breaking cycles hurts sometimes. and i feel like i need to really prioritize my well-being and challenge myself to be in truly healthy relationships with myself and others. no more excuses i guess time to step it up for myself and not wait for others to one day understand or respect me as a whole person. i mean, if i don’t do that for myself then i am not sure what lessons learned i have implemented. bueno, besos* hasta pronto.
p.s. moon ceremony saturday… 🙂