observing a grieving period for family

I feel like I and those I am close to have come to a slow and painful stop this week. I feel like I should be wearing black, weeping all the time and tearing at my clothes. This? Again? Those beautiful faces again?

I kept going through tasks and to-do lists and then coming back to the various blogs, pictures, accounts of what is happening in haiti. It looks so…familiar. And, futuristic. That crisis, that inability to respond, to communicate, to extract ourselves from man-enhanced disaster.

We have grown so reactionary as a species, when we need to be evolutionary.

Now we will invest, not before.

Now we will speak words of community, family, duty, what is right. Before, we conspired, intervened, destabilized.

Now we know the lay of the land, we jump in on the politic, we send millions.

To me this is the most devastating aspect of the failure of capitalism, the main story of this moment in human history. We know we’re wrong, but we will open up our hearts and bank accounts afterwards. We think we can ever afford the tourniquets and pop-up hospitals and flights and donations…the lives. The piles of bodies, children and elders and women and young strong men covered in dust and shock. That, that look in the eyes of the living.

The price to our humanity is so incredibly, unbreathably high. It is our humanity that keeps us clicking through images, articles, stations looking for news. It is our humanity that has us passing on information for how to find the lost, and redistributing wealth to those who most need it.

This is how we should always be – concerned with dignity, survival, reality. Sovereignty. History. The way we are open and attentive to Haiti now is how to be humane at our best. Not imperialist. Not neoliberal. Not covert. Not horribly damning and judging, racist, defined by our fears. None of that. Simply loving, feeling present with, and caring for – each other human. As if they were your family.

Because they are.

4 Responses to “observing a grieving period for family”


  1. 1 sarafina

    Thank you for sharing so generously…these are indeed serious times. And i am grateful for your insight…

  2. 2 Onome

    Thank you for the clarity and compassion you convey through these words.

  3. 3 Secundra beasley

    Thank you for writing this.

  4. 4 Milano Harden

    AMB:

    Thank you. I share your sentiment, but could not find your words. Well said, for many of us. May we re-discover our lost humanity and sensitivity as you admonish.

    Milano

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