Is Hate Becoming Normal?
April 13, 2014
“The young man brought in from the gunshot wounds, did not survive. We lost this heart beat in the ambulance.”
– Ron D Fishman, MD, Overland Park Regional Medical Center.
We lost his heartbeat. Another crushing blow physically, mentally, emotionally. I was reeling. If not for the chair already holding me, I would have crumpled into the heap of mess I had just become. The weight of a building had somehow landed on top of me, crushing me beneath it and limiting my air supply. Dizziness. Cries. Screams. Tears. Dad is dead and now, Reat, is too.
Much of my experience from this day is documented in other blogs and episode 1 from my podcast, Real Grief－Real Healing.
April 12, 2020
“I want a normal day. I want the day to come and then be over.”
– Lukas Losen (18), surviving brother of Reat and grandson of Popeye.
I try to understand what he wants, what he needs, and how I can support him. How can I support you on April 13, sweetie? “Just make it a normal day, mom.”
We haven’t had a normal day in 6 years. We found a new normal, a paradigm shift (borrowed this term from another grieving mom) out of necessity to relearn how to breathe life into ourselves. Episode 5, Real Grief－Real Healing.
What I understand Lukas to mean is for there to be no special Memoriam, commemoration, prayer service, candle lighting, jet flyover, flower or tree planting, building dedication, art dedication nor are we to spread ashes in moving water or on land. Each of these has already taken place. Over the past 6 years, these were healing, cathartic, baby steps walked with care as we entered a new life thrust upon us.
I get that Lukas desires normal in his life. Collectively, the entire world is following newly established “stay at home” COVID-19 rules. Most of us want what we deem to be normal. Synagogues closed for Passover, churches closed for Easter…this was not normal. Mosques will follow suit and be closed during Ramadan, as they are now. Rationing eggs and chicken breasts…where is the normal in this? Hoarding toilet paper and cleaning supplies, one day this won’t be normal, either.
Yesterday, at this exact minute (640 am Eastern) I was walking to a sunrise Easter service on a golf course. While it was heartfelt and beautiful, it was not normal.
Lukas’ intent is not to ignore the fact that his family members were murdered in a hate crime. He misses growing up with his brother, Reat, and having his grandfather, Popeye, available for guidance. He wants the ache in his heart to diminish. Perhaps if he works to be as “normal” as possible, this will stop the aching. We keep trying.
Just outside our family bubble…Have you seen the news on hate crimes in the past month? I don’t blame you if these are not dropping in your news feed.
Never, have I allowed myself to consider the fateful day; with a cool breeze in a blue sky, three murdered people, robbed of their lives, as normal.
I truly thought the murders of my father, son, and Terri LaManno, were unusual…not only their murders but the hate that led to the action.
Why then does this still happen? Active Shooter At Kosher Store in New Jersey, Multiple Fatalities Reported and this, Assault of a Rabbi in Connecticut.
Why is this occurring? Anti-Muslim Propaganda Is Seeping Into Online Discourse About The Coronavirus
Who are these people? White Supremacists Respond to Coronavirus With Violent Plots and Online Hate
I have tried to ignore the continued and now rising physical brutality stemming from hate, in our world. I want the ache to stop, too. But I can’t continue to keep it at bay. The messages, emails, news items about planned bombings, attacks, graffiti, and more… I want to help them stop.
I want the hate to stop. These hate-filled people, hurling insults, spray cans, bats, torches, and guns… are hurting themselves and others, like Lukas. How can I help them? I would help them if I understood how. This article provided some insight and is a helpful tool. My desire is for action, to see the needle move and the curve flattens.
With almost every ounce of courage and bravery, I could muster and with more than a handful of caring humans called family, friends, and strangers, we created SevenDays® Make a Ripple, Change the World. Our mission is to provide opportunities for increasing kindness through knowledge, mindset, and behaviors. Why do I feel like we are ignored? Why is this not helping? Or is it? Are we reaching the people who need kindness the most?
It cannot be that I need more “likes” on Facebook. It can’t be that I should tweet hourly, every act of kindness brought to my attention. All the “boosting” of social media ads cannot be the answer.
As humans, we have to make a change, inside our own hearts. We must be willing to help stop the hate from the root cause. Shocker, I don’t know the root cause. Each human is as unique in finding their path to hate as we are in finding our normal. If you thought I had an answer, I don’t.
Today, and all the other days I can see ahead of me, I will continue to shine a light on peace. Peace; a calmness, stillness…allowing me time to find my normal. This is my direction, my true north…declaring the pain, sitting with the grief, finding my onward, and helping others do the same.
Lukas just peeked at me with his sleepy, just awake eyes. “I love you, Mom. I’m gonna chill for an hour and then we can take a walk together.” I like his idea of normal.