“He [Deno Wooldridge] was 18 years old at the time [of his death].It is hard to live after the death of a child. What people need to know is that this is a pain with no name.” –Shundra Robinson
The ongoing violence in Chicago that has led to the murders of many men and women, and children leaves mothers stuck in a lifetime of pain and suffering. Their tears flow incessantly as they mourn the reality that they will never hear from their loved ones again or be able to simply say, “I love you.”
Mothers certainly feel the pain of their lost children more deeply than anyone. Their pain is without resolution. No amount of support or encouragement can fill the empty hole the violence has created in their lives. Al they have are memories and photographs to hold as treasures.
There are mothers in Chicago and around the world who suffer in silence because they don’t have a public relations firm, or a team in tow to procure media attention. Some of their cases are even overlooked by police and remain unsolved.
These cases haven’t gained the notoriety or media attention because the crime isn’t a bank heist. Their suffering is not a public relations marathon or sensationalism like Donald Trump stomping for popularity and airtime.
The silence builds a sad paradox where the lack of attention leads to more murders. The ongoing violence becomes so prevalent, adding attention to fix the situation may appear futile or seem like a waste.
“I would tell the public that losing a child is life-changing, but through violence it’s like PTSD. When a child is diagnosed with cancer you prepare yourself for the day, you have an opportunity to process this soon to be lost. But murder has no process.” –Keshie Young
Still, attention is needed and no amount of attention is wasted when we are trying to save the lives of youths. Whether it’s a result of random violence or serial killing, all life is precious and must be protected.
Many rap songs we sing suggest black-on-black violence is an unfortunate reality. Many Black people flee their own black neighborhoods out of fear from one’s brother and sister.
The mothers in the Sisterhood alliance in Chicago are mothers who have suffered and give face to this inhumanity. What is missing from our agenda is really getting to the root of this destructive and deadly behavior in our community.
“What I am dealing with now is emptiness, and a broken heart. My life has forever changed. I will never ever be the same again. My emotions are up and down. I am angry, hurt, confused, disgusted …” –Jocelyn Meeks
Emotional and psychological trauma create unprecedented burden and suffering for mothers who won’t likely see justice.
Society’s acceptance of the predicaments in which African American neighborhoods are victims of is inhumane. They act as if such events are inevitable. Black families find themselves unable to find safety from surprise gunfire and the calamity that follows.
“I lost myself when I lost my son and I can’t seem to find me.” –Sandra Cole
It is here that we must celebrate these moms who raise their causes, sharing pictures of their children and reminding us of their pain and suffering. Our community is under siege by said individuals that lurk in our communities, inflicting death and pain. Their insensitivity and cold manner permit their fingers to pull the trigger and destroy and eliminate a life. They are even willing to serve time for these random acts or for a group for no reason – morally, financially, spiritually, holistically or ethically.
After Gwen Baxter lost her 22 year old son, Larry Harper, to gun violence in December of 2003, she founded the Youth Voices Against Violence organization.
We need more attention, more analysis and we want more solutions for the deaths and murders of our young black men and women. The people who lost their lives aren’t the only victims. The mothers of these lost boys are victims too. However, their actions can still make a difference, through the YVAV foundation. It can make all the difference in someone’s life, and their family’s lives.
Article Originally Published by our friends at Rolling Out.