When we say your names, it will be loud and clear as a bell. There will be no wavering in our voices, for they will be steady and distinct. We do so in your honor and memory. We will grieve because loss is hard, but we will not surrender to it or actions born in hatred. We might feel compelled to give up and bite our lips but know that we will get through it. We will do so because of you.
When we say your names, it will be with love. We have felt your anguish but we will not let it define us. Each of you: unique, special, a gift, a dream. With our hearts heavy, our tears salty, we throw our heads back to the sky, shut our eyes tight and wonder Why? in your absence, but know this is fleeting. We will climb out and emerge from our chrysalises leaving our misery behind, then we will beat our wings and share our colors and fly and we will do so because of you.
When we say your names, and we will say them again and again, we will do so because we are connected, we are love, and we all shine despite the darkness of our pain. We held your hands and rocked you in our arms in comfort and protection as your flame began to dim. But we never let you go. You are in our thoughts, and in our hearts, memorable and substantial and mighty as mountain ranges. And we did this because of you.
You are not lost on us and when we find you again, we will take away the smooth, solid stones of our despair and put them away for good. Then we will smile and with it release the torment from our hearts. And it will resonate with you as we lock our fingers together in reunited glory. Our foreheads will touch; our cheeks hot and flush with joy and you will know we found a way to be triumphant through it all. Will we look into your eyes and nod our heads and be at ease and we will say your names.
Derrick Jefferson, Communication Librarian
This blog post is part of a series of IRDL Scholar responses to the shooting in Orlando, FL, on 6/12/2016.