How Long…(on the occasion of the death of Rainbow Chris, November 18th, 2015)

How long, O Lord? How long?

How long must we live with the news of yet another member of the LGBT community, and a friend of ours, taking their own life?

How long must we have our hearts broken with the thought of knowing yet another person is gone from us?

How long?

How long must we deal with the shock, with thinking things like, ‘I just saw her a few days ago – she seemed fine’?

How long must we live with awkward responses from families, who want to have the memorial service done and over with ASAP, for reasons we don’t understand, but have our suspicions about?

How long, O Lord? How bloody long?

How long must we torture ourselves with the inevitable questions: ‘What did I miss? Why couldn’t I have helped? What was it in this person that I couldn’t reach?’

How long must we live with our guilt, our anger at ourselves, thinking there was something we coulda, woulda, shoulda done?

For Christ’s sake, O Lord, how long?

How long must we continue to comfort ourselves with the idea that this person’s anguish and suffering are over – a lot of comfort THAT is – and that we have to deal with our own?

How long must we endure the silence or worse yet, the hearty condemnations, of churches and families and work places, of an entire cultural system, that will simply not accept the truth of what people discover about themselves and who they are meant to be?

HOW FUCKING LONG?!?!?!

We’re waiting – we’re waiting for some kind of answer, from without or within.

In the meantime, while you’re dithering about – if indeed you are there dithering about, somewhere – we’re thinking, remembering, laughing, crying…

Some of us are praying, others are cursing you and your damned religion up in heaps…

Some of us work for changes in laws and attitudes, while others hold this society and this culture in contempt for its barely concealed hatred of anything different…

And we’re watching – doing our best to watch out for others, to make sure we don’t lose touch, even if it’s just a message saying, ‘Haven’t heard from you in a while – everything OK?’ Because sometimes that’s the only thing we can do so we can feel like we’re making a difference.

And we go on, because our lives and our love keep us going. And for now, that’s enough.

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