Something in Common



New York & Virginia Tech

Neighborhood: All Over, Letter From Abroad

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As a survivor of a tragic event, I remember it like it was yesterday and yet, it seems like a dream. The first five weeks were surreal. I don’t know how I got through it. My friends helped. Everyone said I was strong--I wasn’t. I wanted to die. I almost did but I held on bc I figured Jon would have wanted me to try. Everyone kept saying that he wouldn’t want me to kill myself but it was bullshit.

He wouldn’t have cared, only would have asked that I was sure, he wanted me to be happy, no one got that. I almost killed myself Sept. 28th, but one of us had to show up for the party, and since he was dead, I figured that left me. I wore jean-paul gautier and fuck me red lipstick--we chanted and read poetry--I think he would have loved it--I imagined him smirking that shit eating grin with a cigarette dangling out of his mouth, eyes sparkling--knowing this party was for him.

so yesterday, all these senseless deaths, I went to therapy and told my therapist about it and I felt like it wasn’t true--how could it be--it was too crazy--and on the news at noon they talked about the rain for twenty minutes before breaking the story to talk about the murders--why? I obsessed about this. Was rain more important or did they not know?

I’ve been to VA Tech before. Twenty years ago, when I was in college. And in therapy,

All I could think about, is that another tragedy has happened, and we care for a moment--its on the radar, and then it's gone. Such a horrible horrible tragedy, and that when my husband was murdered, I felt no one cared, no one but me, and now when things happen we callously live our lives, and no one gives a shit. Just a blip on the screen.»

And mental illness, how does it play into this? Why didn’t anyone catch this kid before?

I took a course on suicide prevention twenty years ago. We had to learn about hostage negotiation, and I remember clearly, young men often would engage in situations where they would get themselves killed by guns. Suicide by police firearms basically. I thought of this yesterday. This man wanted to die, why take so many with him? Our system is so fucked up. We spend billions of dollars on wars for oil. We lie to the American people about everything important. I can’t even think about how we could elect Pres Birdbrain--really I can't. I knew that Iraq wasn’t a threat, sorry anyone with a brain knew that--violence doesn’t beget violence. It won’t bring Jon back. He wouldn’t want others to die bc of his death. Communication and working together are what’s needed. Tell that to birdbrain. Seriously though, mental illness is such a problem and we don’t deal with it.

Drugs, mental illness, the poor, healthcare, family unity, these are the things that need dealing with instead of seeing who has bigger balls--glad you won mr. birdbrain. Does it make you feel like a man? We are so very proud to live under your direction.

My husband died, these students died, and one can only hope that the world will change and learn from tragedy. We have to. I believe this, bc otherwise, there is no point.

Please, listen, learn, grow. Be kind to those around you. Give love and peace where you can.

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