I'd just finished telling Jim that I didn't feel the need to weigh in, regarding Trayvon Martin, when I saw a couple posts on facebook that got me all in a tizzy. The posts were comparing the amount of media attention regarding Trayvon Martin's death to (the lesser) amount of media attention regarding the deaths of a white couple who'd been mutilated by black men.
I was reminded of some posts I read after Whitney Houston's death.
Hang in there with me.
After Whitney Houston died, I saw many posts on facebook comparing the amount of media attention regarding Whitney Houston's death to (the lesser) amount of media attention regarding the deaths of soldiers and starving children.
That bothered me, too.
I don't understand the need to begrudge anyone his or her grief, ever. Yes, some deaths receive more attention than others, and that will never change. I think everyone would do well to focus on navigating his or her own grief, also to (unless attempting to comfort) leave others alone to navigate their own grief. Why the need to compare one person's death to another person's death? Why the need to compare one person's grief to another person's grief?
Now, in light of some of the "new information" circulating today, I know some of you are asking: what if the grief is manipulated? What if the media unfairly generates grief by portraying a young man as an innocent when, in fact, ___.
Here's my response: manipulation--when it occurs--is more than unfortunate.
But the bigger issue, here, is that a young man is dead. Does alleged crime or sin on his behalf make his death less tragic? Because I would argue: crime or sin (and let me be crystal clear: I'm not making a judgment call about Trayvon Martin) makes someone's death more tragic.
When I read questionable things about someone, I tend to think: there but for the grace of God go I. I tend to think: I hope that person knows/knew Christ as his or her Savior. I tend to think: that person is/was loved by people who are even now in a state of high grief, wondering if they could've somehow held on a little tighter, for a little longer.