I sit and think about the voice that has yet to be heard. I think about the stories that go untold. The pain that goes unnoticed. The questions that no one will acknowledge let alone answer. I think about my sister and her death. I think about how much she struggled in her relationship before her life was taken. If someone would have only listened to her cries for help maybe she would still be here. Then I think, “were her cries camouflaged as joy or were people simply unaware of how to help?” When tragedy strikes, we look back and ask a multitude of questions about what could have been done differently.
Me personally, I think about what I could have done to help. How could I have changed the outcome? How could I make a difference? What could I do?
I was 13 when my sister was killed and I was frequently silenced when I sought answers and justice. As a young teen, I was unclear of how to help or how to speak up without being told to be quiet. I remember the feeling that came over me the day before my sister was killed. I was spiritually shaken and told to get her home or I would never see her again.
“How could this feeling be right?”, I thought. Even in my youth I was unafraid to try to make a difference. I spoke to her and attempted multiple times to get her to come to me. I tried everything that my mind knew to try besides telling her about the eerie feeling that I had before making the call. I tried to save her the best way that I could. I tried.
I do not want others to know the pain that I felt that Saturday morning when I heard that my sister had been shot. I do not want others to be silenced in their suffering nor silenced in their quest for justice. Domestic violence is something that has plagued my family for generations. The only thing that will change that is our efforts. Voices have to rise from silence and speak up. Cries for help have to be met with shoulders of support instead of tiny white flags to wipe away the tears.
We have to do our part to change the way that we are treated. We have to stop allowing pain to be a catalyst for silence. We have to speak up for those that have had their words beaten from them. We have to speak for the ones whose voices have been permanently silenced. The rocks should not cry louder than the people. We have to speak! Speak when we are not spoken to. Speak when we are ignored. Speak when injustice is served.