Not Supposed to Be

For Christina Grimmie

 

There’s a story on the news.

A young woman, a singer, her career just taking off,

Shot and killed after her own concert.

Dead, at twenty-two.

I looked her up online,

Curiosity burning through shock.

Her most recent tweet- her last tweet-

A mere few hours ago,

Was a video of her,

All smiles and excitement and vitality and life.

“I’ll see you guys at the concert tonight!  

I can’t wait to meet you!”

Little did she know

That night would be her last.

 

How

Can she be dead?

How

Could I be listening to the voice,

Looking into the face

Of

A ghost?

 

Death is something that happens to

The old, the sick,

The ones who have lived their lives

And made peace with the ends of them.

It’s just

The come and go,

The endless pull and flow.

Never-ceasing tidal waves of blue,

Letting go of the old, letting in the new.

Sad tales spun for fictional orphans,

while the real world resides safe in a bubble.

Shoot me, and I will not cry,

Cut me, and I will not bleed,

Your bullets and knives are but foul air and

I

Am invincible.

But I could always count on the promise

Of a new day.

 

The dead: 

They are

Faceless, soulless bodies,

A statistic of warbled tragedies,

Nameless shells who never lived.

Because of course they didn’t exist,

Not really, not to me.

If a tree falls alone in a forest,

If nobody hears the sound,

Did it really fall?

If someone who meant less than nothing to you,

An obsolete stranger,

Vanishes from the world,

Their death is equal to their existence.

Nothing but

Flesh and bones,

Atoms and molecules,

Empty matter

Returned to the earth.

Ashes to ashes,

Dust to dust.

 

The dead

Are not supposed to be:

Young, talented, full of potential,

Their present bright and future brighter yet.

Someone with the stars in their eyes and soul in their voice,

Somebody’s daughter, somebody’s sister.

The first taste of life

Should not be the poison that ends it.

I

Never knew her until this news.

God, my heart aches in wishing

To have known her for

Something other than her murder.

How can someone be living, breathing, singing, laughing

in one moment,

and bloody, beaten, defeated,

Dying

in the next?

I wonder,

What was she thinking in that moment?

As the ground trembled with sound

And air hung heavy with the stench of malice,

Was she afraid?

What would she have said if she knew

That concert would be her last?

If she had known, if we all had known,

Would her mother have hugged her until they both couldn’t breathe?

Would her father have kissed her on the cheek?

Would her brother have smiled at her and held her hand?

Would she have told her family and friends she loved them

One last time?

Would we all have scrambled for the chance to know her, to listen to her last words?

The world too often sings praise of angels

After they ascend.

Too little, too late.

I hope it was enough.

 

I hope it didn’t hurt.

I hope she closed her eyes and let herself into the light.

Battles are not always meant to be fought.

The pain of loss is not for the innocent to shoulder,

It is something for the living to bear.

Yes,

We will rise against wrong

With renewed valour,

But no martyr is better than one,

And she deserved better, she deserved more

Than this.

 

Her body

Is stiffening in its final state now,

A cold thing of science and fact.

No blazing heart beats in this cavity,

No coursing blood pumps with the rhythm of humanity

In this maze,

built of fragile bones and nothing more.

Whose fault is that?

Whose fault is that?

Funeral arrangements

are being made instead of concert setlists.

Tour buses traded for a hearse,

stages for a casket.

Twenty-two years was not enough,

But violence knows no bounds,

and Death waits for nobody.

For all the tears we weep,

For all the heart we give,

Actions cannot be undone,

Death begets not rebirth.

And she,

She will never sing again.

It’s not fair,

It’s not fair.

If anything is mankind’s chorus,

It would be the lament of

‘It is not fair’-

Neither life

Nor death.

For in a few months,

This will be nothing but old news,

A sealed wound we have healed from.

Forgive and forget,

The latter we do well.

Humans are adaptable, and every mantra we chant is to

Move on,

Move past,

Keeping your head up and keep on keeping on.

But forgive?

Her death is one of many,

Too many.

To give as she has given should be to get,

Not to die.

Stone-still lungs, silent tongues,

It pains even Death to cut short

This sweet song.

But the end is final,

It gives no second chances,

So why should I?

How can we forgive such an unforgivable world?

Yesterday was not so far away,

When she was still

Alive.

Just like that, no more.

No more.

What should have been and what was

Not supposed to be.

All there is left now is to paint her in poetry.

Dreams to dust.

Promises to ashes.

Before her time,

A girl gone.

 


 

On Friday, June 10 2016, Christina Grimmie was shot at a VIP meet and greet after her concert in Orlando, Florida.  The next morning, she died from her injuries.  Christina was a Youtuber and The Voice finalist, with many dedicated fans.  She was undeniably talented, extremely hard-working, and above all, a kind soul.  She was twenty-two years old.

Rest in peace, Christina, you have truly left your mark, and you will be greatly missed.

 

 

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