My Thoughts on Ferguson

Since we are in St Louis and about 15 miles from Ferguson and Rosie’s interview was aired during the coverage of the chaos in Ferguson, I wanted to write down some of my thoughts.

First I’m glad that the local NBC channel still ran Rosie’s interview during all the live coverage of the events in Ferguson. It’s selfish. I know. But a lot of people were watching the news and more people saw her story. And I hope it was a spark of light during a dark time for this city.

Second, I can’t help but feel for the family who has lost their son. Melanie and Mike Brown were both 18 and maybe there could have been different choices made in both lives that would not have ended in their deaths but that is where the similarities end. I don’t know anything about this family but I do know what it is like to loose a child. I can’t imagine what they have gone through these last weeks.

I take comfort in the fact that I was able to be with Melanie the last days of her life. I was there to hold her hand and talk to her. Mike Brown’s family did not have that opportunity to say goodbye. We were able to go through those first few days and weeks surround by friends and family and positive support. Sadly Mike Browns family had to deal with the world seeing his death on the news and the negative protesters exploiting their son’s death for their own agenda. I say negative protesters because there are also peaceful protesters who are doing what they can to show support for the family and to start the process of building a bridge between the community and law enforcement. Anyone who knows me knows that I have a lot of grace and mercy to give. I don’t know all the facts surrounding his death and it’s not my place to judge. We don’t live in a perfect world and I’m sure there are things that need to change in the relationship between the community and law enforcement. However, in the end a very young man lost his life and a police officer who chose to serve and protect the community has to live with taking a life. Both lives have been changed forever. This family will never get the answers they want. No one does. I still have unanswered questions about Melanie that will never be answered here on earth. I am happy that the family was finally able to have their sons funeral yesterday and that the negative protesters respected the family’s wishes for a day of peace.

Losing a child is the hardest thing a parent will ever have to do. It should have been private. I don’t like that the news showed video and pictures of his body laying in the street. I’m so sorry that his family had to see that. Those images will never leave their mind. I can’t help but think about the why’s and what if’s they are asking themselves. Their desperate hope for answers and their anger for a child lost too soon. This family understandably wants answers, but they also need time to grieve. They need time to process their loss and learn to live with this new companion called grief. It will always be with them. No amount of time or change will chase it away. They will learn to live with it like their shadow. Over time they won’t see it everyday but it will be there catching them off guard at the most peculiar of times. We live in a fallen, sinful world and tragedies happen everyday.

People seem to get caught up in the racial issues and “facts” that change every time you turn on the news, the cries for justice and the looting and violence. I hope that people can think about the loss of a young life and pray for the family going through this pain. We don’t always know why, but sometimes we can find some good in the bad. Sometimes there are lessons learned and things changed for the better and I hope and pray that will be the outcome in this case.

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