The Word Salad of Grief by Laurel Dowswell




Sending LOVE to all the survivors of the horrendous violence in Orlando. Sending LOVE to all of the victims, their families and friends, the community, the nation, the world…

From here on in this post isn’t going to make any sense because I can’t make any sense of what has happened.

How a human can do such a thing. Why guns that are built to kill many many people in a very very short amount of time are available to civilians. The targeting of people because of who they love. The amount of hate that is in this world.

How can we make people stop wanting to kill? Rightness, justification. A tortured mind he must have had and what was going through his brain when he pulled the trigger and pulled the trigger and pulled the trigger again. Grief- loss. Had he ever seen anyone die before he killed. Had he ever seen the drain of life like guppies breathing like fever killing the insides out. Bringing so many to their knees, for his needs.

Is this self-serving drivel? Grief has its own palette for everyone. How can this be true how can this be true how can this be true and who am I to justify these words of sadness anger . Die – o – rama of guns in my head and blood on his hands and what do you say to those parents those sisters and brothers and those partners and boyfriends and girlfriends and husbands and wives and those souls that are our own. Like me. Like you. We are oneness together in all of this and love trumps hate and I can’t even stand to say that word trump anymore it feels like dirty dishwasher in my mouth no more like rest stop toilet water and how can this have happened and how much hate does someone have to have to do something like this.

How is it my right to write this grief word salad these words thrown together like garbage which is what he treated those people like those human beings who loved and struggled and lived until they didn’t. Sure he must have had his struggles too and that is why he did it and yes the preacher said he is a human too and yes he was once a child who just wanted to be loved.

We have to think of hope and love and hope and love for a better world for all of us for our children and figure out how to stop this from happening and love each other and love each other and love each other some more. Is it that hard to love? Words are just words are just words- but are they- those who write or call themselves writers or whatever they really do and what it really means and are we doing enough what is worthwhile what is good enough how can we ever do enough to make this all stop. Lay down your weapons for kindness lay down your weapons for your children lay down your weapons for love and what would the world be like, really? This is fantasy I know but sometimes fiction is better than real life. Like now.

Love is love is love and whether you are L or G or B or T or Q or I or A or P or straight or anything we love you please love each other and see the oneness the joy the pain the anger the grief in us all.



Laurel Dowswell is the Features Editor at Change Seven. Her short story “I Am theEggman” was nominated for the 2016 Pushcart Prize. She was a copy editor for an independent feminist newspaper in Santa Fe, NM, after being raised and educated in Florida. She lives and writes in Georgia, just outside of Atlanta with her son. She is currently working on a novel filled with oil paintings, family drama, and the spectrum of sexuality. Follow her on twitter @laurels_idea.

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