The last 7 days have brought on a flurry of emotions! Just last week as we were at the gym, I remained glued to the television screen: “Ferguson Grand Jury to Announce Decision”. I vacillated between wanting to stop my workout and head home and not wanting to get in the car for fear that I’d miss the reading of the decision.  8pm CST the decision was to be read. We sat there … 9pm EST … 9:05 … 9:10 … 9:15 … the minutes seemed like hours. And finally, the county prosecutor arrived and began reading. As I sat there it almost seemed predictable – the setup was so clear – but I held on. And there it was – no indictment. My heart dropped. Just as I’d hoped for a different outcome with the Zimmerman trial, here too I wanted something different – I longed for an ounce of justice for the family and for this young man whose life was taken way too soon.

I watched the news for hours, literally unable to peel myself away from the screen or social media.  I tried my best to listen to and read both sides of the story, but was unable to bear many of the racist and insensitive remarks. I watched protects spark and unnecessary looting – graciously caught by the media, but remained thankful for the thousands of peaceful protects not only in the US, but across the globe!

On the days leading up to Thanksgiving when I thought I’d be relaxing and enjoying a much awaited week off from classes, I grieved. I grieved and continue to grieve for a country that seems lost. I grieve as the evidence continues to be released and I am further convinced that this process was not followed properly or orthodoxly. I grieve for those who dare not take a second of their day to even attempt to understand what it is like to be Black in America. I grieve for those that believe that money, education, or a reputable job somehow creates a color blind society. I grieve for those who think that a young man who allegedly commits petty theft deserves to die and lay dead in the street as a spectacle. I grieve for those who remain voiceless and opinion-less on matters of justice. I grieve for those who think this is an opportunity to exclusively focus on Black on Black crime and not address police brutality, the policing of Black and Brown bodies, the use of excessive force or the criminalization of Black men! I grieve for those who dare not protest for one day and stay at home to share solidarity on Black Friday. I grieve for those who remain unbothered and unchanged by what is happening all around us. And I grieve for those whose hearts are not the least bit softened by a mother and father who have to spend the holidays without their son and watch replays of an interview with an officer who seems not even the least bit remorseful.

In the midst of all of this we did have dinner with our family on Thanksgiving and on yesterday we attended one of the most beautiful weddings I have witnessed in a long time – the marriage of my very dear friend to her long time sweetheart. So in the midst of tears, anger, resentment, confusion and chaos, I also found solidarity, love, celebration and thanksgiving. Truly bitter sweet.