An open Lettre to a Community Mourning The Recently Departed
This has to stop: the deaths from violence, social, cultural and political conflict, drug addiction, negligence of self worth (including suicide) have to stop. The deaths are senseless deaths that have real, long lasting ramifications. This lettre is to my fellow community members who are currently mourning the loss of a recently departed loved one.
As I put pen to page, my thoughts, emotions and meditations into words, I recognize that some of you may currently be experiencing anger, hurt, guilt, remorse and even fear. Perhaps harboring these sentiments in the minutes, hours, days, since the beloved departed. To those of you who are hosting these feelings, I say “breathe. Breathe and let these lurking sentiments be silenced by your own empowered breath. Let your breath guide emotions out of the harbor of your heart and back into the ether of eternity.” I write this lettre out of Love, Love for my community, for myself and for the friends family and Loved ones of the departed.
Often times I have written without direction, but in this instance my vision is clear, my intention focused and the words which will follow will be relentlessly honest. Today I am call an end to the senseless deaths that have plagued our community. In a sense I am speaking to the survivors of this recent traumatic event, I am speaking to the family and friends of the departed, I am addressing the individuals who have been imprisoned by the illusion of helplessness. This evening I am writing to the men, womyn, sons, daughters, transfolk that are still languishing in solitude; crippled by the belief that Love has abandoned them.
Over the course of my life I have experienced many losses but the losses that have shaken me to my core have been the deaths of friends and family members who died from seemingly preventable circumstances. To be clear I consider cancer, gunshots, suicides and overdoses to all be preventable situations. Having seen death from so many different angles has been difficult (emotionally draining may be an appropriate description); it has been difficult for myself and for the communities that have been affected by the loss. Ultimately, no death is ever expected, despite the fact that death is an integral part of the cycle of life.
In light of the recent death within my community there are several insights that have surfaced as a result of my own meditations. As you read these next words please consider them to be than dynamic guidelines through which we may be able to transcend needless suffering. The ideas that I am proposing are based on my observations and in my humble onion will be functional only if the community itself is willing to support the core ideal– we need to put an end to the senseless death which plagues our community.
First and foremost, we must educate ourselves about the nature of death; it simply is a part of this mortal coil. (There is no arguing death’s existence). However, death itself should not be seen as a means through which suffering, tribulation, or an idealized goal can be halted or achieved. The fact is this, there are many things which we may live to see and there are some things which may continue for many generations before reaching a conclusion– something may never conclude. We may be fortunate to stand witness to monumental cultural shifts within our own lifetimes– the end of slavery, sex trafficing, transphobia, class warfare, eracism, sexism, cultural oppression for instance. Thus, as conscious , sentient beings we can work towards these changes, with the hope that they will c.ome within our lifetime. While focusing on the “larger” social issues remember that Love is always present and eternal. More importantly, remember that one may choose to celebrate Love at any given moment– without fear, judgment or guilt. To approach death fearlessly is to see it a the compliment to life, the flame that creates the ash from which the phoenix will be able to rise.
Secondly, the harboring of states of dis-ease and sacrificing of our Divine Body-Temple to low vibration energies (such as drugs or nonliving foods) is over. Yes, as of yesterday. Addiction within the community is a wellness issue that deserves our attention, as well as our support– “tolerance ” is not the answer and never was. That said, to my Loved ones in this community that are battling addiction or simply recovering, I urge you to seek support (emotional, physical, spiritual, mental); this also applies to those of you who know of community members that are in the recovery state. We are a community and we are here for one another; more importantly, when we stand together, we can meet each need without judgment, fear or a sense of helplessness. Between the many beautiful people that I have personally met, and those who I have only heard of, I can affirm that hope, help, and harmonious state of being available.
Lastly, I just want to say that I Love You. Without knowing everything about you, I Love You and I look forward to our growth together. Moreso, I recognize that my freedom is tied to your freedom and so long as the deaths within this community are link to homicide, to suicide to substance abuse and addiction then I will cannot (in good faith) claim unchained freedom. In closing, want to say that I look forward to the day when we will be able to shake off the shackles of these traumas which have plagued our community; until that day arrives, I am here with you in spirit and solidarity.
Michael Ray De Los Angeles Menjivar