Grief After Tragedy

On Sunday night, a lone gunman killed 58 people and injured 515 more, during the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival. I woke up Monday morning, checked my Snapchat stories, and saw the news of this story on every major website. In English class, we talked about the shooting, as it related to our weekend reading of Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery.

A husband and wife were enjoying the country music festival, when they heard gunshots from up above. The husband got shot in the back while protecting his wife, as they ran out of the concert. His life’s work as a nurse culminates, as he saves one more life: his wife’s.

That story isn’t made up, a fabrication put in this post to add even more tragedy to the United States’ deadliest shooting to date. That is the story of Sonny Melton, a West Tennessean. His wife, Doctor Heather Melton, has spoken out about her husband’s final moments in a heartbreaking testimony.

“He saved my life,” she told WSMV, a CNN affiliate. “I want everyone to know what a kindhearted, loving man he was, but at this point, I can barely breathe.”

This breathlessness can be felt in every victim’s family as they find out about the massacre from articles, workplace conversations, or a lack of a call back. Just like how one finds out about their dad’s car crash from the police knocking at their door at 3 am. Just like I found out about my mother’s death when I woke up on Labor Day six years ago from my uncle, who had to brave a face of me, even though he just found out his sister died.

Whenever a massacre happens, I feel that initial stab in the heart for the 58 families who won’t get to celebrate another birthday, will never get another phone call, or will never see their loved one again. I feel for the 58 funerals filled with tearful eulogies and scratchy black dresses.

I feel for the daughter who has to finish her math homework with dry eyes, as she’s told to “move on with her life.” I feel for the wife who has to go to work, while she budgets for how her husband can have an open casket with a bullet hole through his left eye. I feel for the weeks of articles pinning this shooting on ISIS or a bad father, when all the families want is to bury their loved ones in peace.

Whenever we talk about death, we ignore grief and sadness. As a society, we focus on moving on and waiting for the next tragedy. I hope that those in Las Vegas take the time to mourn and that this time it sparks conversation about gun control or mental health. I hope that no more people have to die to learn how to fix our mistakes, but until then, I hope whoever reads this knows that it is okay to feel bad, to mourn.

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Quiet is violent

“I am not as fine as I seem, pardon.” – Twenty One Pilots

Damn right you’re not perfect! Why else would you make us wait for your new album for THREE YEARS! You have this huge fanbase that follows you on every social media platform there is, analyzes every single one of your interviews, trying to find hints and clues as to what your ingenious minds are working on. And that’s the thanks we get! You let us sit in the dark, staring at your blank Twitter profiles hoping for a new blurried face post or even a like on someone else’s but no! You’ve been quiet for over three months now and your dear skeleton clique is slowly but surely going insane!

Three months ago, you last posted on Twitter. THREE MONTHS AGO! You posted a picture of an eye, with lyrics in it, written backwards, and every day you’d post another one, every day the eye would close a little further. Seriously, you guys are so extra. And all the last picture said was “and now I just sit in silence “.

Photo Credit: bradheaton.com

Uhm… no you don’t, we do! Because we don’t have any new god damn music to listen to. And remember when you promised us a new album in 2017? Well it’s October now, you better hurry the hell up!

 

Okay, but to be honest, even though I hate you guys for torturing us like that, you two are amazing. You’re just these two boys from Columbus, Ohio, without a plan B, who set everything they had on their music career, working as hard as they possibly could, to play another set at another festival, drive another seven hours to perform in front of another seven people. And now, six years and three albums later, here you are, touring together as best friends, in sold out venues like the famous Madison Square Garden. You even won a Grammy. And just like you said in the speech you gave when you received it, “anyone from anywhere can do anything.” So with that said, even you guys should be able to drop your god damn album.