You're Going to Die

A 501(c)3 nonprofit bringing diverse communities creatively into the conversation of death & dying, inspiring life by unabashedly sourcing our shared mortality

For All the Dead...

I woke up today before the family, longing for a little quiet time in the overcast glow of a soon-to-be-rainy morning, & fittingly, on what turns out to be World AIDS Day, I finally sat down to read this article Chelsea Coleman sent me earlier this week...

As a child, I remember the fear that came with grossly inaccurate information the media, education & religious systems taught us about the epidemic. To the point, I’m embarrassed to admit, that it wasn’t until I was shockingly older that I learned AIDS wasn’t homosexually-caused. To THINK what it meant for that entire community to have a killer, of pandemic proportions, taking the lives of most your loved ones, & to have it initially branded with the searing words: Gay-Related Immune Deficiency. That imbedding of tremendous shaming & guilt & traumatically heart-shattering grief, & on top of that, to be abandoned by whole communities, by whole families, to die, in many cases, totally alone.

And for me this morning, visiting this inspiring & heartbreaking story of Ruth Coker Burks, the gift of history with which we’re so often irresponsible, dismissive or deny altogether, emerges to teach me again... My lesson from this story is a reinforcement in a belief I strengthen with each day I grow older, the more & more present I allow myself to be with my own deep grief & the grief of others, that the absolute only reason we are here is to take care of one another, to show up for each other, no matter the circumstances.

We post this today for all the dead, for all the people that loved them, but also for the grief & trauma we inherit from the sometimes brokenness of humanity, as a historic reminder to remember & honor the work of all people the likes of Ruth Coker Burks, those who show up when so many don’t, so we might find love, peace & most importantly healing, for the dead & all of us who are still responsible for their care.