Saturday, September 24, 2016

To Jerika Bolen

Your star was there before your birth

and glimmered all the time you graced this world

with exactly who you were.

As I read about your decision to depart unimaginable pain, saw the photos of you scratching your little dog behind his ears, while your Mom struggled to hold in her tears, I saw more stars gathering, realizing slowly they were angels in bright disguise appearing, finally, for the rest of us to know, for sure, you are accompanied.

You always were. We all are. Yet in your brave insistence to scout ahead, you'll give courage to others who are in anguish, incurable levels of pain that few can comprehend, the kind of pain that racks nerve endings from flesh through bones and breath itself,

Your only wish? To be free of of the body that kept you hostage. Until the meeting day again.

And your Mom's tears? The ones she pushed back so your decision would be unimpaired, yeah, those tears. The most sorrowful kind, the same ones filling the ocean where people outlive their children go to cry. I saw her scared tears: one letter transposed and they become sacred ones.

Now. For the Know Better/No Better brigade of hate bringers who wrap themselves in flags like scoundrel patriots...

To those who would condemn Jerika for a decision she made the opposite of lightly, who are you? Even if - no, especially if - you suffer the same disease...

How can you tell a girl who's endured dozens of painful surgeries, each more invasive than the last, that she needs to stick around? When all she stands to acquire is more pain and less of the ability to communicate it.

If anyone deserves access to the exit button, it was Jerica.

To you who sought to surround her with judgment and condemnation -

Wtf? I'd like to be more eloquent, but why? Nothing in your condemnation implies mercy or understanding. There is no nuance to your judgment.

Face this, if such grim assurances of perdition are your calling cards -

One thing is evident: You would be impotent without your vitriolic diatribes.

Too complicated an accusation? How about you'd be absolutely empty without your hateful certainty? And it doesn't have to be this way.

What do you bring of life's joy that makes any of us better in your wake?

Your vile, microscopically small gods of damnation? News for you: Those devil bringers only abide in your imagination. That's not to say they aren't real. What we think become powerful, indeed, and as you furnish these hells of your own limited invention, sending engraved invitations to the awful party you're so sure will happen, know...

The most crippled a human can be is evident in the poster of you.

I don't know where you find these little plastic bobble headed itty bitty mean damning Jesus dolls. And I saw them my whole life.

Exchange it, perhaps, for a bigger one with mercy unending.

Where would you go then? Without throwing the first stone?

And if you're breathing through a surgically made hole in your neck and still had the energy and time to damn Jerika... who's your next target? Will you race to their hospice bed to clamor that they stay in your treehouse of constant pain? For nobility's sake? Because being wrong is more painful than whatever incurable disease takes its toll on you?

If you can stay and prove that your light is worth staying, for the love of God, please do.

But if you only gasp because misery needs companionship....

Unplug your Skype. Live on. But keep your bullshit hell to yourself.

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