I had the honor of attending a screening last night of the documentary, “Mothers of No Tomorrow: An American Genocide” . It’s a film by @SixxKing which explores the heartache of mothers following the loss of their sons to black-on-black violence. I don’t often use this blog to speak on political matters, but I think this video moves beyond the politics of gun violence to the true impact to our community.
The statistics are sobering and I found myself near tears as I listened to the stories of three mothers who lost their sons at the hands of violence. The three young men in the story were not men who were involved in criminal activity. The common thread in the story is that they were men who were pursuing a future, but who were killed during an outing with friends. It was wrong place, wrong time, but the damage is forever done.
This is not a critique of the documentary. Instead, I want to share with you the feelings that surfaced while watching the movie. I think we all hear about violence. It’s hard to turn the news on and ignore all the stories of violence inflicted. I can admit that I have become somewhat desensitized. I shake my head and feel sad, but I never really stopped to think about the true impact of the violence. We move on with our lives, but the people who have lost someone are left with a hole where a person once filled their life.
I’ve talked about my experience with loss. I don’t want to pretend I understand. However, I can empathize. A mother carries her child for nine months within her body. There is no stronger and more intimate bond than that. I was not lucky enough to carry a child to term, but my maternal instincts kicked in. When I experienced the loss, I felt incredibly guilty. I thought about all the things I could have done differently. I felt helpless. I wasn’t even lucky enough to know how wonderful a child can be. I don’t pretend to know the true magnitude or range of emotions of losing a child to violence. I can only say that I can understand how life-changing it is.
Mother’s love is peace. It need not be acquired, it need not be deserved. ~Erich Fromm
As I watched the film, I saw three courageous women. I saw the smile in their eyes as they talked about their sons before the tragedy. I saw the pain in their eyes as they talked about their loss. And, it all felt so senseless. The idea that an argument or robbery can lead you to take someone’s life and steal them from the people who love them seemed like the worst crime in the world. There is little respect for the life that is taken. There is little concern for the people who are left to carry on.
And, I couldn’t help but think about what happens when all the well-meaning friends and family are gone. What happens when the outcry has moved on to the next murdered young person? As the years go on, these mothers try not to think about all the milestones their son won’t have. They won’t attend his graduation. He won’t find a bride to walk down the aisle. There will be a grandchild with his eyes, playful laugh or his mischievous ways. And when you laugh during a holiday celebration, looking around at your beloved family members, he is noticeably absent. Is it something you can get over? I don’t think so. You can make peace with it, but there’s always a piece of him that lives in you.
When I think about this, I realize that any son or daughter lost to violence is one son or daughter too many. Our children deserve better. Our families deserve better. Our mothers deserve better.
I strongly encourage everyone to see this movie and to support it. On this Mother’s Day, take a moment to remember every mother who has loved and lost. Happy Mother’s Day as you celebrate your own blessings.
View and support the movie at: http://mothersofnotomorrow.com
“She is willing to give up her life for her child. I know most parents would do the same. But how many mothers would give up everything that they love, everything that they will ever be able to do in the future for the “possibility and not the guarantee” of getting their child better.
Now reduce the odds of success to less than 1%.
How many mothers are still standing?
She is.” – John Passaro