A U.S. Special Forces soldier climbs over a short wall during a clearing operation in Gaza Valley, Arghandab district, Zabul province, Afghanistan, Dec. 11, 2013. The clearance operation was conducted by Afghan National Security Forces in order to disrupt insurgent freedom of movement in the area.
I’m actually terrified of what this inability to mourn may turn us to. Tragedies hit. From mass shootings to the attacks in Kunduz or Zabul, to UNC Chapel Hill to Beirut yesterday and Paris tonight and we have to jump on analyzing/defending/fact checking/counter-narrating/sharing our narrative, have to jump to organize hashtags and vigils, have to jump to prove our humanity. There’s no time, no space, no silence given to mourn and unless we fight back, unless we demand it, we won’t be given that opportunity to mourn and process the events and their consequences.
I’ve noticed my body reacts often.. I tend to shake a lot, my voice tends to break if I do talk. But we’re not given the privilege to fully mourn, to have out mind and body process loss. And I’m terrified of thinking about what this might turn us into.
Cry, shake, mourn. Let it out. Experience it and never, ever become used to horror.
U.S. Army soldiers with Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment looking for suspicious activity from an observation point during an area reconnaissance mission off Highway 1 in Zabul province, Afghanistan. 1st Oct, 2010.
A U.S. Special Forces soldier with Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force - Afghanistan waits for helicopters to arrive after a clearing operation in Jafare Sufla, Shah Joy district, Zabul province, Afghanistan, Jan. 15, 2013. The operation was conducted in order to disrupt insurgent freedom of movement in the area. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. David Devich/ Not Released)