Sunday, December 22, 2013

claire, epilogue

"Claire Davis, the 17-year-old who was shot in the head during the Dec. 13 shooting at Arapahoe High School, died Saturday afternoon with her family at her side."

hundreds of AHS students and alumni are changing their profile photos on facebook.

"rest in peace," the badge says, because that's what people say when someone has died.

i don't really understand the "rest in peace" concept, and it doesn't seem appropriate anyway. 

if we're going to offer up words of remorse, they should be, "we're sorry, claire. we're sorry we were unable to prevent your needless death and the suffering of your family. please forgive us for failing you so utterly, and for those we will fail today and tomorrow and every single day in the coming new year.

"forgive us for the fact that if we could somehow magically bring you back today, we would do absolutely nothing tomorrow to change the circumstances that took you from your friends and family.

"even if for that there is no excuse, and can be no forgiveness." 

our community is in crisis, but we've lost the ability to do anything about it. we starve our meager mental health services, and we bow to small gods speaking to us from large screens.

and we worship guns. oh, my yes. we love the guns that are killing our children and maiming our future. 300 million guns laying around for absolutely anyone to pick up...and still we are viciously hostile to the slightest suggestion that we make doing so more difficult.


maybe we say, "rest in peace" because that's what people have done since long before we were born, and we find comfort in the ritual. 

maybe, though, we say it because we can't bear the thought of what our loved ones might say if they had one more breath to take and one more message to deliver before continuing on their journey.

something like, "i won't rest ~ and i won't give you a moment's peace ~ until you do something."

we shouldn't have to hear it. if we loved them and wanted their deaths not to be in vain...we'd already be doing it.

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